Representative of the CTRC spoke at the 21st session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples
On Thursday, April 28, the manager of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, Liudmyla Korotkykh, spoke at the 21st session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. In her report, she spoke about the situation of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people, especially in the context of a full-scale war in Ukraine.
The text of the speech in English
The indigenous Crimean Tatar people have been living in the conditions of an interstate conflict for the ninth year. Today I am forced to say that my homeland - Crimea - has become a springboard for a new military escalation and a full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into my country - Ukraine, in February of this year.
The reason for this conflict was the non-observance and disregard for the rights of indigenous peoples, primarily the right to self-determination in accordance with Art. 3 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Only after the occupation of Crimea began in 2014, Ukraine began to actively engage in the restoration and realization of the rights of the Crimean Tatar, Karaite and Krymchak peoples, and this process has not yet been completed.
The actions of the Russian Federation make it impossible to realize the rights of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people to life in peace and security, provided for in Art. 7 Declaration.
Separately, I would like to draw attention to the problem of militarization. Last year alone, 44 illegal military exercises involving at least 2,900 pieces of equipment and more than 47,550 military personnel were held in Crimea, which was not agreed with the indigenous Crimean Tatar people and their representative body, as required by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Young Crimean Tatars were forced to leave their native land because of the threat of being drafted into the army or being prosecuted for refusing to serve.
During the 8 years of occupation, thousands of representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people were illegally drafted into the Russian army, which is prohibited not only by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but also by international humanitarian law.
Today, this practice poses a new threat to my people. The Russian Federation carries out covert mobilization. Crimean Tatars are already being sent and hundreds more may be sent to fight against their people and against their country.
We (Crimean Tatar Resource Center) have sent our contributions to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples' research into the militarization of indigenous lands and the constitutional recognition of agreements between indigenous peoples and states, and we ask the Expert Mechanism to include our recommendations in its reports.
We recommend the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in its future work to:
- explore the representation and participation of indigenous peoples in the process of restoring peace and ending the conflict concerning their territory, as well as the impact of such participation in ensuring sustainable peace;
- study the issues of ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples in the context of a protracted interstate conflict and the impact of such a conflict on the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the provisions of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the state of permanent residence of the indigenous people;
- consider establishing a mandate for the Special Rapporteur on the situation of indigenous peoples in situations of interstate conflict;
- to consider the possibility of including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the list of standards of the Universal Periodic Review, since Russia systematically grossly violates the rights of indigenous peoples;
- develop a humanitarian response plan for indigenous peoples affected by the Russian war against Ukraine.