In May, Ukrainian Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky, a controversial member of the Servant of the People Party (Ukraine’s ruling party, headed by President Volodymyr Zelensky), registered a draft law that would label certain civil society organizations as “foreign agents.” More specifically, this legislation—which resembles Russia’s 2012 “foreign agent” law—would:
- Oblige NGOs receiving at least 50% of their financial support from foreign entities to include the term “foreign support” in their organization’s name, and to include in any materials published by the NGO a disclaimer stating that the materials are published by an organization that functions with foreign support;
- Initiate the creation of a central register of such NGOs, requiring the Ministry of Justice to publicize a list of these NGOs on its official website and to publish annual reports of foreign-funded NGO activity in Ukraine;
- Require the management of these NGOs to undergo annual polygraph interviews in order to review whether or not these individuals have committed treason; and
- Prohibit any individuals in NGO management positions from working in the civil service or holding membership on supervisory boards or in the leadership of state enterprises for five years after working in a foreign-funded NGO.
While Dubinsky’s proposed legislation poses a serious threat to all NGOs that receive foreign funding (except for a few categories that the draft law specifically exempts, such as NGOs that work in the sphere of culture, arts, science, prevention and health of citizens, social protection, social support for the disabled, and environmental protection), this legislation would have a particularly adverse impact on the work of anticorruption NGOs.