Aug 09, 2012

Crimean Tatars: Language Law Protests

Protests and the prospect of amendments loom as Ukraine’s language law is submitted to the president despite vocal opposition from Crimean Tatars and other groups. 

Below is an article published by Ukranian News:

President Viktor Yanukovych has signed the Law on the Principles of the State Language Policy providing the official use of regional languages in the work of local governments if at least 10% of language speakers live in the territory, the presidential press-service said in the press-release.

Based on the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages the Law on Language Policy of Ukraine envisages use of 18 languages, notably, Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Gagauz, Yiddish, Crimean Tatar, Moldavian, German, modern Greek, Polish, Romany (Gypsy), Romanian, Slovak, Hungarian, Rusyn, Karaim and Judeo-Crimean Tatar in Ukraine.

The law allows local councils to apply the measures to the language of a regional language group accounted for less than 10% of the population in the inhabited territory.

The law stipulates that a regional or a minority language spoken in a certain territory is used in the work of local bodies of power, local self-governments, in state educational and communal establishments and in other spheres of social life within and under the procedures determined by law.

The law states that the acts of the supreme bodies of state power shall be adopted in Ukrainian and officially published in the national language, Russian, and other regional or minority languages

Under the law, passport data or the data in the document which replaces it shall be introduced in the Ukrainian language and in a regional or minority language.

The requirement for the language of instruction is determined on a mandatory basis due to the applications of students or their parents when they are enrolling for state and communal educational establishments.

At that, the educational establishment provides separate classes, groups where training is conducted in the language other than the language of instruction if there are a sufficient number of relevant applications.

Tests for external evaluation of the quality of education are prepared in Ukrainian, but at the request of an applicant they shall be translated into a regional or minority language (except for the Ukrainian language and literature).

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on July 3 [2012] the Parliament adopted the Law on Language Policy.

The opposition organized protest actions on the same day.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn first refused to sign the law, but did it and submitted to the President.

Meeting representatives of intelligentsia on August 7 [2012] Yanukovych said about establishing of a government working group of drafting amendments to the Law on Language Policy.