February 5, 2024, 15:50

Human rights activist: ICJ ruling will take opportunities to influence Russia to the next level 

The International Court of Justice ruled Ukraine’s terror financing and discrimination case against Russia on January 31. In particular, the court acknowledged that Russia has discriminated against Ukrainians in Crimea. The lawsuit concerned the period before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Despite this process having a number of drawbacks, it has given a significant push for positive developments. In addition, the decision of the International Court of Justice has a major political role for Ukraine in proving the crimes committed by Russia against the Ukrainian people.

Volodymyr Yavorskyy, lawyer, human rights defender, and Program Manager at the Center for Civil Liberties underscored this during a discussion at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“It plays a big role in politics because this is the very first time the country delivered its Judgment in the case concerning the Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. And it is very crucial for Ukraine to have this path chosen and to get this decision. There are many things here that are obvious to us, but aren’t quite obvious to two-thirds of the UN countries. It is very difficult to promote the Ukrainian political agenda, for example, for African countries, South American countries, or Asian countries to embrace, because they are far away from us, and so they are far from understanding all this. And when there is a decision by the UN Court, it is very important. And it serves as a very strong argument for these discussions that discriminatory acts are taking place, and it has nothing to do with the Ukrainian side being wrong, that is, we are not violating this international law. Therefore, politically, it will take opportunities to influence Russia to the next level,” the human rights activist emphasized.

However, according to Volodymyr Yavorskyy, there will be no significant legal consequences for Russia, though it’s a major systemic development for this issue in the future for Ukraine.

“The only thing we can do is to keep putting more pressure on Russia’s education system, because we have a gap here since the court has established discrimination against Ukrainians in the education sector, and we can demand changes in legislation and practice. Hence, we can update and resubmit this case, etc. That’s, there is a dramatic systemic development here that depends on the Ukrainian side,” the human rights activist explained.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news