Map source: Human Rights Watch

Ukraine, population 46 million, is located in Eastern Europe.

The Ukrainian Constitution, adopted on 28 June 1996, is the principle governing law of Ukraine, and it clearly affirms Ukraine’s commitment to protecting human rights. Article 3 of the Constitution states that “the human being, his or her life and health, honour and dignity, inviolability and security are recognised in Ukraine as the highest social value.”

The Constitution of Ukraine states and guarantees rights regarding life; respect for a person’s dignity and freedom from torture; rights relating to personal freedom and integrity; respect for private and family life; freedom of movement; freedom of speech; right to work and to choose the place of work; equal opportunities in work and education; protection from illegal discharge; right to social protection; right to housing; right to an adequate standard of living for a person and family; right to health protection, medical help and medical insurance; and equal rights and obligations for men and women in family and in marriage.

But despite the guarantees in the Constitution, in 2005 the Ukrainian Parliament, or Verkhovna Rada, recognized that in many areas gender discrimination continued to be a serious problem, and legislative steps would be required to combat this. The law “On Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men,” which went into effect on 1 January 2006, contains Ukraine’s first legal definition of “discrimination based on sex" and provides the right of judicial protection against it.

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