What Ukraine's Case Teaches Us About Morality, Law and Humanity

Online & in-person
June 7, 2024 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, Europe, Russia & Eurasia
This event will take place at Innis Town Hall, Innis College, 2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5 and online via Zoom
Oleksandra Matviichuk is a human rights defender working in Ukraine and the OSCE region. At present she heads the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties and also coordinates the work of the initiative group Euromaidan SOS. Aimed at protecting human rights and establishing democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region, the Center for Civil Liberties develops legislative changes, exercises public oversight over law enforcement and judicial agencies, conducts educational activities for young people, and implements international solidarity programs.
The Euromaidan SOS initiative group was created in response to the brutal dispersal of a peaceful student rally in Kyiv on November 30, 2013. During three months of mass protests that were called the Revolution of Dignity, several thousand volunteers provided round-the-clock legal and other aid to persecuted people throughout the country. Since the end of the protests and beginning of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the initiative has been monitoring political persecution in occupied Crimea, documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the hybrid war in the Donbas, and conducting the #LetMyPeopleGo and #SaveOlegSentsov international campaigns to release political prisoners detained by Russian authorities.
Oleksandra Matviichuk has experience in creating horizontal structures for massive involvement of people in human rights activities against attacks on rights and freedoms, as well as a multi-year practice of documenting violations during armed conflict. She is the author of a number of reports to various UN bodies, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE, and the International Criminal Court.
In 2016 Matviichuk received the Democracy Defender Award for "Exclusive Contribution to Promoting Democracy and Human Rights" from missions to the OSCE. In 2017 she became the first woman to participate in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program of Stanford University.
With the new armed aggression in February 2022, Matviichuk, together with other partners, created the “Tribunal for Putin” initiative to document international crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in all regions of Ukraine which were attacked by the Russian Federation.
In 2022 Oleksandra Matviichuk was awarded with the Right Livelihood Award and recognized as one of the 25 most influential women in the world by The Financial Times. The same year, the Center for Civil Liberties, which Oleksandra Matviichuk heads, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
This event is part of the Canadian Speaking Tour of Oleksandra Matviichuk, initiated by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation 
Sponsors: Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and the Canada-Ukraine Foundation
Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, Europe, Russia & Eurasia
Olga Kesarchuk olga.kesarchuk@utoronto.ca


Oleksandra Matviichuk
Oleksandra Matviichuk

Head of the Center for Civil Liberties

Lucan Way

Co-Director, Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine
Distinguished Professor of Democracy, Department of Political Science