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The Gender Stream organization focuses on promoting and advocating for law draft No. 5488 “On Amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the fight against manifestations of discrimination.”

If passed, it will strengthen accountability for crimes based on intolerance and include sexual orientation and gender identity in the list of grounds for hate crimes. Its provisions are aimed at implementing Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of November 28, 2008, on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia through criminal law.

In advocating for Bill No. 5488, the Gender Stream organization:

  • Collaborates with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the National Police, particularly with the Inspectorate General and the Human Rights Department of the National Police of Ukraine.
  • Conducts meetings and initiates discussions with representatives of Parliament, the Government, state authorities, international and national non-governmental organizations.
  • Participates in national and international events to advocate for the necessity of passing the bill.
  • Develops and implements informational and advocacy campaigns, among other activities.

Why do we need Bill No. 5488?

  • Filling Legal Gaps

Bill 5488 amends the Criminal Code by expanding the definition of hate crimes to include motives based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This will help close existing loopholes in legislation that currently only recognize crimes based on race, nationality, or religion. As a result, those who discriminate against and harm others will not be able to simply evade punishment with conditional fines for mere “hooliganism.”

  • Protection of LGBTQI+ Rights

LGBTQI+ individuals in Ukraine often face discrimination and violence. The proposed changes will help more effectively combat this phenomenon. The bill defines intolerance across various indicators – racial, ethnic, SOGI, and others. This means that its adoption will contribute to increasing the level of safety for all socially vulnerable populations.

  • Alignment with International Standards

Bill No. 5488 is an integral step towards Ukraine’s European integration path. It is one of the bills that harmonizes Ukrainian legislation with European standards. The EU expects the adoption of this decision, as was specifically stated in the conclusions of the European Commission in 2023. These changes will help Ukraine better fulfill its international human rights obligations, enhancing the country’s image and strengthening relations with other states and international organizations.

  • Promoting Improved Security Situation in Ukraine

Fair punishments for hate crimes can serve as a preventive step against similar crimes in the future, thereby reducing manifestations of intolerance in Ukrainian society.

Currently, Ukrainian legislation lacks mechanisms to hold those who use intolerance as a primary pretext for attacking peaceful gatherings, educational, and cultural events accountable. Bill 5488 ensures accountability for such actions, thus positively impacting the security level during such events aimed at vulnerable populations.

  • Towards a Just Society

The bill aims to debunk stigma, counteract homo- and transphobia, promoting a deeper understanding and acceptance of LGBTQI+ individuals in society. The adoption of 5488 is a step towards a society where everyone feels protected, regardless of nationality, orientation, gender identity, skin color, or preferences.

law draft No. 5488: The Legislative Journey

  • May 13, 2021 – Bill No. 5488 was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
  • May 17, 2021 – The bill was referred to the Committee for consideration.
  • June 15, 2021 – The bill was included in the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
  • May 23, 2023 – The Committee on Law Enforcement recommended to the Verkhovna Rada to adopt Bill No. 5488 as the basis.