The Number of Complaints on “Language Law” Violations Has Halved Since January

By now, 51 violations have been recorded, while 13 cautions have been issued.

12 August 2021

The Number of Complaints on “Language Law” Violations Has Halved Since January

Over the past six months, the Secretariat of the State Language Protection Commissioner has received 2,126 reports on violation of the so-called “language law.”

In January, the Law “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language” came into force requiring the service providers to provide the services and information in the official language. As many as 647 complaints, the largest number, were filed by concerned individuals during this period.

In the months that followed, their number fell threefold but rose again to reach 327 in July when several new rules of the law came into force. These rules apply to book publishing, tourism, television, and the film industry.

Citizen appeals by month
MonthJanuary 2021FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly

Most often, citizens complained about online stores and websites providing services, and the business service sector with 32% and 24% of appeals filed, respectively.

Appeals filed by citizens by business area in 2021
Online stores and service websites68332.1%
Service business51324.1%
Outdoor advertising21910.3%
State authorities and local governments1517.1%
Television and radio broadcasting1115.2%
Education and science803.8%
Clarification of certain rules of the Law653.1%
Security and law enforcement agencies281.3%
Book publishing and print media10.0%

According to the State Language Protection Commissioner, the above appeals have resulted in 95 investigations being initiated, of which 55 have been completed so far. Fifty-one entities were found non-compliant with 13 inflictors cautioned. The law provides that any repeated violation within a year is punishable by paying a penalty of UAH 5,100–6,800 (between three hundred and four hundred minimum non-taxable personal incomes). Opendatabot asked the Secretariat of the Commissioner why cautions were issued randomly, but no response was received at the time of publication.

As to the territorial distribution, the lion’s share of appeals— 754—has been filed by residents of Kyiv and the Kyiv Region. Distribution by region:

Lviv Region — 249

Kharkiv Region — 160

Odesa Region — 99

Chernihiv Region — 97

Dnipropetrovsk Region — 95

The Rivne Region had the lowest (11) number of complaints.

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