Law of Ukraine

"On Restoration of Rights to Persons Deported on Ethnic Grounds"

Date of entry into force:
August 13, 2014

The Law determines the status of persons deported on ethnic grounds, establishes state guarantees for restoration of their rights, the principles of state policy, and authority of state power bodies and bodies of local self-government related to restoration of rights to such persons.

Article 1 of the Law defines the terms:
  • "deportation" (forceful removal of peoples, national minorities and persons, on ethnic grounds, from their domicile, based on resolutions made by state power bodies of the former USSR or union republics);
  • "compensation" (restitution of the material damages caused to the deported person as a result of deportation, by the state).

Ukraine recognizes deportation of people, national minorities and persons from their domicile, carried out based on decisions made by state power bodies of the former USSR or union republics, as unlawful and criminal acts committed against such peoples, national minorities and persons. Ukraine determines that restoration of rights to citizens of Ukraine among the deported persons is one of the top priority directions of political, socioeconomic, cultural and spiritual development of the society. Ukraine recognizes the acts of state power bodies of the former USSR directed at rehabilitation of deported persons forcefully removed from their domicile and at restoration of their rights. The state facilitates voluntary return of deported persons to Ukraine, their adaptation and integration into the Ukrainian society, creates favorable conditions for their settlement, allocation of land and residence, employment, education, as well as preservation and development of their cultural, linguistic and religious identity (Article 3 of the Law).

According to Article 4 of the Law, a deported person is a person who acquired Ukrainian citizenship and belongs to one of the following groups:
  • the Crimean Tatar people or representatives of other nationalities (citizens of the former USSR) who were, forcefully and on ethnic grounds, removed to special settlements according to the decisions of the state power bodies of the former USSR and union republics from their domicile that is located on the territory of modern Ukraine;
  • persons (citizens of the former USSR) who were forcefully sent to join their family members in special settlements after returning from military service, evacuation, compulsory labor, service of sentence, etc;
  • persons (citizens of the former USSR) who at the time of deportation were away from their domicile (in military service, evacuation, compulsory labor, correctional facilities, etc.), but who were subsequently subjected to restrictions of rights and freedoms on ethnic grounds, including the prohibition to return and reside at their domicile;
  • persons born in the families of deported persons before their return to their domicile, but no later than the time this Law takes effect.
Separate laws of Ukraine may establish the procedure for restoring the rights to other categories of persons subjected to forceful removal.

The procedure for granting and lifting the status of a deported person is established by Article 5 of the Law.

Article 6 of the Law provides for the following state guarantees for deported persons who returned to Ukraine for permanent residence:
  • deported persons who returned to Ukraine for permanent residence are guaranteed the right to settle, at their discretion, within the same administrative-territorial units where they (or their parents or grandparents) used to reside at the time of deportation;
  • deported persons are compensated for the cost of travel and transport of baggage to the place of their domicile in Ukraine, according to the procedure and within the amounts determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • deported persons on a separate house waiting list are granted ownership of a residence built or purchased at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine, the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, budgets of local self-government, or other funds allocated for such purposes, according to the procedure approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • deported persons constructing individual residences can be provided a one-time financial aid for completing individual construction, in the amount of 30 minimum wages  effective at the time such aid is granted (the provisions of Law related to granting residence or financial aid do not apply to deported persons who, at the time of return to their domicile, were granted ownership of a residence built or purchased at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine, the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, or local budgets, or granted one-time financial aid to complete individual construction);
  • if necessary, deported persons, are provided, on priority basis, with land plots for individual residential construction and residential house servicing according to the requirements of the Land Code of Ukraine, or granted ownership of a residence built or purchased at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine, the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, budgets of local self-government, or other funds allocated for such purposes;
  • in areas of compact settlement of deported people, residential, municipal and social facilities are constructed at the expense of funds allocated in respective budgets;
  • favorable conditions are created to provide for daily activities and satisfy social, cultural and educational needs of deported persons;
  • for deported persons who were assigned to special settlement, during the term between the time of their deportation and the time the special settlement regime was lifted, the time of employed service (pensionable service) in the period of special settlement is included in the time of employed service (pensionable service) threefold;
  • deported persons of retirement age or with disabilities receive benefits for: 1) vouchers for treatment and recreation resorts; 2) 50% discount for rent and municipal payments, within the norms provided by the legislation, and for fuel expenses (including liquid fuel), within the established norms, for people residing in buildings without central heating; 3) 50% discount for prescription drugs; 4) priority registration with social security institutions.

Buildings and, whenever possible, other property confiscated during deportation are (if the building is unoccupied and the property preserved) returned to the deported person or their heirs in kind. If that is not possible the applicant is compensated for the cost of buildings and property. Application for property compensation and return must be filed within 3 years of a person receiving the deported person status. The cost of buildings and other property confiscated during deportation is compensated to the deported person or their heirs in stages, over the term of 5 years after a respective resolution is made by the authorized body. At least one-fifth of the assessed amount is paid at each one time. In case death of a deported person occurs after a respective resolution is made, the cost is compensated to such person's heirs. Return of property or compensation of its cost to deported persons or, in case of their death, their heirs, is done according to the procedure established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (Article 7 of the Law).

According to Article 8 of the Law, funds to finance measures related to the return, settlement and restoration of rights to deported person are provided in the State Budget of Ukraine, the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and budgets of local self-government on an annual basis, in a separate item. Measures related to the return, settlement and restoration of rights to deported persons can also be financed from resources of international organizations and foreign states provided by them for such purposes.

The scope of authority of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the central executive authority implementing state policy, the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, local state administrations, and bodies of local self-government in the sphere of restoring rights to deported persons is determined by Articles 9-11 of the Law.

The Law also supplemented Article 25 of the Land Code of Ukraine with a new part, according to which citizens of Ukraine among the deported persons who settled in the rural areas are granted free ownership of agricultural land by the state, in the amount corresponding to the land share in the appropriate area, from the undistributed and reserve land fund, if available.
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