On 16 March 2017 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij sent a letter to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko calling for public hearings on the Draft Act on amending the Law of Ukraine “On Ukrainian citizenship” with respect to exercising the right to change citizenship (Draft Act), the adoption of which would have very negative consequences for an important part of the Ukrainian diaspora.
The UWC President requested the reasoning behind this Draft Act that restricts the rights of Ukrainian citizens and expressed concern on the conformity of the Draft Act with the Constitution of Ukraine, specifically:
Article 22. Human and citizen rights and freedoms affirmed by this Constitution shall not be exhaustive.
The constitutional rights and freedoms shall be guaranteed and shall not
The content and scope of the existing rights and freedoms shall not
be diminished by an adoption of new laws or by introducing amendments to the effective laws.
Article 25. No citizen of Ukraine shall be deprived of citizenship or of the right to change citizenship.
No citizen of Ukraine shall be exiled from Ukraine or surrendered to another state.
Ukraine shall guarantee care and protection to its citizens staying abroad.
Article 58. Laws and other regulatory legal acts shall have no retroactive force, unless they mitigate or nullify the responsibility of a person.
No one shall bear responsibility for acts that, at the time they were committed, were not deemed by law to be an offence.
“The Ukrainian World Congress, as a representative of the millions-strong Ukrainian diaspora which is an integral part of the Ukrainian nation, urges the President of Ukraine to call public hearings for a thorough discussion at the appropriate governmental level of the Draft Act with the participation of experts and civil society in Ukraine and the diaspora, including the UWC,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.