Countering racism against 'visible minorities' in Ukraine : in search of a road-map for civil society : anticipatory reconnaissance
Civil society in Ukraine has been alarmed with the sudden surge of racist violence that was directed against individuals who differed from the majority in phenotype and started in 2006. NGOs and IOs concerned with the problem lobbied the Government to take measures aimed at outlawing racism and prosecuting perpetrators of racist violence. The Government established working groups and specialised units in its bodies that were entrusted with putting an end to racism in the society. In November 2009 Parliament of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine which harshened liability for violent racist crimes. All of these measures, however, were undertaken with no research into what triggered racist attitudes among the population and what continued to perpetuate it. I tried to explore this question and came to conclusion that to some extend factors structuring racist prejudices against visible minorities have their roots in the official ideology and mass culture of the Soviet Union. However, I identified that racism in Ukrainian society was triggered and perpetuated by the recent discourse on migration, which is a universal phenomenon in the modern world and is particularly actualised in the West. Within this discourse settings that legitimized and normalised symbolic and physical violence against members of visible minority groups were established. Furthermore, analysis of the strategies of anti-racist discourse that has been so far generated by the civil society and the authorities, not only did not help to marginalize racist ideology, but suppressed articulation of effective opposition to racism.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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