Biometric Passports To be Issued to Ukrainians From This Day
Biometric passports come into effect in Ukraine on January 1. According to UNIAN, the bill on the biometric passports took effect on December 6 despite warnings from the churches.
The passports are to contain a microchip with biometric information about the holder including photos and fingerprints. Additional information may also be included on request. The information included in the passports refers to the unified state demographic register. According to the law, each citizen regardless of his/her age, is obliged to obtain a passport in the form of a card containing a contactless electronic information carrier. The passports are issued to all persons from their birth for ten years. The biometric passport includes information contained in the unified state demographic register, such as the name, date of birth or death, place of birth, sex, date of entering of information to the register, information about the parents, guardians, etc.
As RISU reported earlier, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate of October 22, 2012, addressed Ukraine’s president with a call to veto the bill.
According to the bishops, the law violates basic human rights (including the right to private life and protection from illegal interference in it) and presents a potential threat of criminal influence on people through illegal use of the register’s data, the website of UOC-KP reported.
On October 18, in the Kyiv Cave Monastery, a working session of the Committee on Bioethics and Ethical Matters of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) was held under the headship of the Vicar of the Kyiv Metropolitanate, Bishop Ilarii (Shyshkivskyi).
The participants of the session considered the question of introduction in Ukraine of the Unified Demographic Register and electronic biometrical identification of citizens according to the newly passed law “On the unified demographic state register and documents confirming the Ukrainian citizenship, identifying the person or their special status.”
According to the website of UOC-MP, the participants noted that the law directly concerns the Orthodox Christian creed in its anthropological, ethical and eschatological dimensions. The participants came to the conclusion that the recognition of the system of biometric identification as the basis of social relations is a radical restriction of human freedom and that being part of this system is a challenge to the Christian conscience and is spiritually understood as giving up one’s personality and freedom given by God. The fact that there is no alternative to the passed law and proposed system of the electronic register outside which a person cannot function in the society provoked special concern of the participants.
The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), addressed Ukraine’s president with a call to veto the Law “On the unified state demographic register and documents confirming the Ukrainian citizenship, identifying the person or their social status,” which was passed by the Supreme Council on October 2, the website of UOC-MP reported.