Ukrainian Karaites plan to establish their own representative body
“We establish a representative body through which our state will implement the law on indigenous peoples of Ukraine. Why is it important? Because now they will address us not as individuals but as representatives of the indigenous people of Ukraine,” Olena Arabadzhi, the founder of the Association of Karaites of Ukraine, told Krym.Realii.
According to the 2001 census, 1,200 Karaites live in Ukraine.
The law on indigenous peoples entered into force in Ukraine on July 23. On July 21, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed the Law of Ukraine “On Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine” No. 1616-IX, which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on July 1, 2021.
The document is aimed at the utmost protection of cultural, informational and other rights of indigenous peoples, providing them with mechanisms and tools to work with the Ukrainian state. In particular, the representative bodies of indigenous peoples are recognized.
The law stipulates that the indigenous peoples of Ukraine formed in the territory of the Crimean Peninsula are the Crimean Tatars, Karaites, and Krymchaks.