Ivanova, E., Kharkiv National University, Ukraine
Human rights are crucial for a democratic society that Ukraine aspires to build. Their observation has two sides: creations of conditions by the state and observation and protection of human rights by people themselves. To achieve it people should have knowledge about human rights, about the sources of information about them, their importance for people, etc. These questions became a topic of my research conducted in 1999-2000 with the financial support of J. and C. MacArthur Foundation. This study was carried out in the three main regions of Ukraine. More than 1200 people participated in it. The analysis of the received data made it possible to come to the following conclusions. As a whole, the respondents estimate the situation with human rights in Ukraine as unsatisfactory. Approximately half of the sample estimates their knowledge of human rights as not quite satisfactory. The rights that are most frequently violated from the respondents' point of view are social and economic rights (rights to work and wages, pension, health protection) and civil rights (rights for privacy, freedom and freedom of speech). The right for freedom is considered to be the most important for the respondents from all the regions. This shows that in spite of the extremely grave economic situation the population of Ukraine appreciates freedom most of all. Besides common features, distinctions between the three examined regions of Ukraine have been received.