Treatment of homosexuals by the authorities and protection offered to them by the authorities; legal recourses with respect to the Civil and Labour Codes; and whether homosexuals are targeted by nationalist organizations such as UNA-UNSO [UKR33444.E]

In its 1999 World Legal Survey, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) states that:

Homosexuality [in Ukraine] was decriminalised at the end of 1991 when Article 122 of the Penal Code (corresponding Section 121 from the Former Soviet Union), which punished "anal intercourse between men" with up to 5 years imprisonment was modified. Only homosexual acts which are non consensual are now punishable. (ILGA)
In addition, ILGA quotes a survey conducted by the Swedish Foreign Office, working with the Swedish national lesbian and gay organisation RFSL survey which states that:
Ukrainian criminal legislation does not contain provisions related to homosexual issues, homo- and bisexual organizations. However, Article 122, Section III of the Ukrainian Criminal Code relates to sodomy and provides for jail punishment from 2 (two) up to 5 (five) years if sexual intercourse was made in a forcible manner. [Forcible] Group sodomy provides for up to 8 (eight) years imprisonment. But if sexual intercourse between men was consensual it is not considered a crime. Therefore, under Ukrainian legislation individuals can not be judged only because they are homosexuals or bisexuals." (Swedish Foreign Office/RFSL survey)
On employment practices, ILGA quotes a Message from the Lugansk-based Our World (Nash Mir) Gay and Lesbian Center which states that:
"There are no special protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. There is known at least one restricting departmental instruction - a letter of the Ministry of Education that recommends not to employ "obviously homosexual persons". The term "obviously homosexual" is not elucidated. There are not known cases on this issue." (Message from Nash Mir - Our World 5 Apr. 1999)
Information on the attitude of nationalist organizations towards Homosexuals is scarce. About UNA-UNSO, a 22 August 1994 article published in The New Republic, and reproduced on the UNA-UNSO Website itself, states that:
The goals of UNA-UNSO, according to its leaders, are to overthrow the current Ukrainian government, because it is anti-national; to fight the mafia, because it is criminal; to fight homosexuals, because they are an aberation of nature; to fight the Jews, because they own all the banks and media.

No further information on the attitude of Ukrainian nationalist organizations towards homosexuals could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). 1999. World Legal Survey: Ukraine. [Accessed: 29 Dec. 1999]

The New Republic [Washington, DC]. 22 August 1994. Anna Husarska. "Big Guns." [Accessed: 14 Jan. 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases


Internet sources, including:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

World News Connection (WNC)