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Language Ombudsman in Ukraine: Who is it and what for?

Author : 112.ua News Agency

The Language Ombudsman will be appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers
16:32, 6 September 2019

Language Ombudsman
112 Agency

The position of the Commissioner for Protection of State Language will soon be created in Ukraine. Among the main tasks of the new Ombudsman is to protect the Ukrainian language as a state language, protect the right of Ukrainian citizens to receive information and public services in the state language. There is already a candidate for the new position.

Basic information

The Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian Language as State Language” provides for the position of the Commissioner for Protection of State Language. The Ombudsman is appointed and dismissed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.  

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Head of the Central Executive Body, which forms and implements state legal policy, as well as the Head of the Central Executive Body for the State Language Policy, each propose to the Cabinet one candidate for the post of the Commissioner. After this, the Cabinet of Ministers considers all candidates for the position and appoints Language Ombudsman at the Cabinet meeting.  

One person can hold this position twice (5 years each). The Commissioner is not a public official.

Poster: "Fate of Ukrainian language is a fate of Ukraine nation"
Open source

Tasks and powers

The main tasks of the Language Ombudsman will be to protect the Ukrainian language as a state language, protect the right of citizens of Ukraine to receive information and public services in the official language, and the remove obstacles and restrictions in the use of the official language.

The Commissioner monitors the implementation of laws on state language and state targeted programs. Language Ombudsman considers complaints of individuals and legal entities on actions and inactivity of the authorities regarding the requirements of the laws on state language, directs the submissions on investigation and prosecution of officials who violate law on the state language, draws up protocols and applies penalties.

In addition, the Commissioner must submit an annual public report on his/her activities and on compliance with the language law.

Ukrainian language
Open source

Who can become a Language Ombudsman?

A candidate for the position of Language Ombudsman must be a citizen of Ukraine of at least 35 years old, who has higher education. The Commissioner must speak state language and English, have experience in human rights field or experience in the protection of the state language and have a professional aptitude, moral qualities, and educational level sufficient for performing official duties.      

A person who has been accused of violating the requirements of the law on state language or attempted to introduce official multilingualism contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine, cannot become a candidate for this position.

In addition, Language Ombudsman must not be a person with a mandate; the candidate cannot engage in other paid activities or business (except teaching profession, scientific, creative activities , medical practice, coaching or sports referee practice), be a member of a political party or enter management body or supervisory board of the enterprise.

Candidates for the position of Language Ombudsman

Candidate for position of Language Ombudsman in Ukraine Taras Kremin
Lyudmyla Denisova Facebook

On Wednesday, September 4, the Commission of Secretariat of the Ombudsman on Human Rights chose a candidate for the position of Language Ombudsman.

“According to the results of the open competition, the Commission by a majority of votes recommended me as the Ombudsman to submit the candidacy of Kremin Taras to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,” the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova said.  

It is noted that Taras Kremin is a Ukrainian politician and scientist. He is a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature, English and foreign literature. He passed postgraduate and doctorate studies. Taras Kremin was the deputy of the Mykolaiv Region Council which he headed in 2014. He was a Member of Parliament of Ukraine of the 8th convocation. He chaired a subcommittee on pre-school, general secondary, inclusive education, as well as on realization of the right on education of residents of temporarily occupied territory.    

The Head of the Central Executive Body, which forms and implements state legal policy, and the Head of the Central Executive Body for the State Language Policy will propose their candidates soon. After that, the Cabinet of Ministers will appoint the Language Ombudsman during one meeting.  

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