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Укр / Eng
25.01.22

Every single day the specialists of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) face various violations of human rights, the rights that are fundamental and enshrined at the international level. The people face such violations in every corner of the world, regardless of the place of residence, nationality, or religion.

Today we will tell the story of Lida (name changed) who came to Ukraine from Iran to study.

The girl saw the world for the first time and realized that the European worldview is closer to her, that she does not want to be “sold” to her future husband, and that she wants to choose her own path. But what she did is not allowed and is punished by death in Iran, her home country. So she sought protection where she sees her future and feels safe.

However, as it turned out, finding protection and asylum in Ukraine is not so easy.

For the whole year, the girl was visiting the territorial department of the State Migration Service to receive the status of a refugee or a person in need of complementary protection, but each time she encountered a new obstacle.  Neither the impeccably completed application, nor the notarized translation of the passport and other documents, nor her attempts to obtain supporting documents from the university helped.

Each time Lida received a new recommendation to correct something in her application, bring documents, redo photos, etc.  And every time she left the migration service, she cried and wanted to give up. One day, while being in total despair, she turned to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

Коли рідна країна не дозволяє вірити по іншому. Історія Ліди, шукачки захисту з Ірану

«We have provided Lida with all the necessary advice and helped to gather the whole package of documents. With our legal and moral support, the young Iranian girl was able to apply successfully and is now documented by the Certificate of Application for Protection in Ukraine. The first step is finished. And for Lida, this is a huge step forward after a whole year of unsuccessful attempts. For our part, we are preparing to continue her case, including in court,»

– said Olena Rychko, a lawyer at the R2P.

The Project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers” is implemented by the
Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the financial support
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Contact us if you require legal aid. Our hotline numbers are listed below.
All services provided by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) are free of charge.

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    19.01.22

    What will you do if you suddenly become a foreigner in your home country and start receiving violent threats because of your political views? The only logical step in such a situation is to run away. And this is exactly what Natalia, a refugee from Belarus did (ed.note – name changed due to safety concerns). The woman arrived in Ukraine in August 2020 due to political pressure from the Belarusian authorities. She was forced to do so.

    The salvation for her was obtaining refugee status in Ukraine. The woman turned to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) for help, where she received essential legal aid.

    The lawyers of the organization helped Natalia to fill in all the necessary documents and submit them to the State Migration Service for consideration.

    Олександра Журко

    “The applicant received all the necessary information about the refugee recognition procedure in Ukraine and was assisted in filling in the documents and providing evidence. Due to quarantine restrictions, she was unable to apply to the migration service within the statutory deadline, but due to her persistence and the legal consultations from R2P, on the last day of Ms.Natalia’s legal stay in Ukraine the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) accepted her application,”

    – said Oleksandra Zhurko, the Manager of the R2P Project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers”.

    Finally, Ms. Natalia’s application was approved and the SMSU decided to recognize her as a refugee in Ukraine.

    This was a difficult path and lots of hard work, but together with Ms. Natalia, we were able to make it real.


    The Project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers” is implemented by the
    Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the financial support
    of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Contact us if you require legal aid. Our hotline numbers are listed below.
    All services provided by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) are free of charge.

  • ALSO READ:

    05.01.22

    One of the main areas of work of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) is legal assistance to asylum seekers and refugees.

    These people leave their country, home, and sometimes relatives not because of their own free will, but due to persecution for political, religious, and other reasons enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    They hope for help, but the road to recognition as a refugee in Ukraine is usually long and thorny.

    Feraz (name changed), an Iraqi national, applied to the State Migration Service of Ukraine for refugee status, but soon had to prove the right for it in court. According to the Migration Service, the plaintiff simply sought to legalize his stay in Ukraine, and also could not prove the fact of religion change and threat to his life.

    Here is what Feraz says about his reasons for appeal:

    «I cannot return to Iraq because I am in danger there. In July 2014, I passed the rite of baptism in Ukraine. I have converted to Christianity. I currently attend a Protestant church in Kyiv. Every Sunday I also preach in church with other people. Because I changed my religion from Muslim to Christian, my relatives and the community in which I lived threatened to persecute and kill me. According to Islamic law, a person who changes his religion must be killed in the name of the Islamic God. I cannot return to Iraq because I am in danger of dying there.» 

    – Feraz tells.

    Olena Kalashnyk, a senior lawyer and advocate at the R2P, took up Feraz’s case:

    Overview of the practice of the Supreme Court in disputes concerning the recognition of persons as refugees or in need of the complementary protection (2018-2021) Огляд практики Верховного Суду у спорах щодо визнання осіб біженцями або такими, що потребують додаткового захисту (за період з 2018 по 2021)

    «An asylum seeker appealed to the administrative court. Our lawyers helped gather the necessary evidence: information about the country of origin from internationally recognized sources, a baptismal certificate and photo evidence, the testimony of the pastor of his church, letters of support, and more. The court of first instance dismissed the claim, but the appellate court overturned its decision and ruled in favor of the plaintiff.»

    – Olena tells.

    Now Feraz has been granted refugee status in Ukraine and can finally start making his life and planning for the future while leaving all the fears in the past.

    Read more about the legal practice in favor of asylum seekers and refugees in the review (in Ukrainian) from the National Bar Association of Ukraine and the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

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    07.10.21

    At the meetings of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (hereinafter – the CoE), held on September 14-16, 2021 in Strasbourg, the issue of implementation of our state decisions in the groups of cases was considered once again (“Yuriy Mykolayovych Ivanov v. Ukraine” (application № 40450/04); Zhovner v. Ukraine” (application no. 56848/00); “Burmych and Others v. Ukraine” (application no. 46852/13).

    Based on the results of the review of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (hereinafter – the Committee), a decision was made, the main points of which can be summarized as follows:

    • The Government of Ukraine was reminded of its obligation to fully address the multifaceted problem of non-compliance or delays in the execution of national court decisions, as well as Ukraine’s obligation to comply with the European Court of Human Rights under Article 46 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. At the same time, the Committee noted that currently, the Government is far from properly fulfilling this obligation;
    • The Committee noted Ukraine’s implementation of individual measures in 18 cases from the Zhovner / Ivanov group, and removed these cases from control by a relevant resolution; at the same time, the Government of Ukraine must provide information on the implementation of the other 31 decisions from this group;
    • The Committee expressed concern about the lack of progress in the implementation of the Action Plan and National Strategy (hereinafter – the National Strategy) for Resolving the Problem of Non-Enforcement of the Court Decisions which must be implemented by the state body, state enterprise, institution, or organization until 2022. These actions do not require the necessary budget allocations to implement and enforce the solution.
    • The Committee noted that reforming the institution of private performers does not solve the problems of enforcing national court decisions.
    • The Committee expressed interest in the constitutional submission of the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (approved by the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of 18 September 2020) to review the constitutionality of moratorium laws and their compliance with the rule of law.
    • The Committee has called on the Government to finally establish a data accounting system that reflects the enforcement of national court rulings against the state.
    • The need to implement the package of legislative and institutional reforms set out in the National Strategy and Action Plan, as well as to provide sufficient budget allocations was also noted by the Committee.
    • The Committee instructed the Secretariat to prepare a detailed memorandum for the next hearing of the case on financial and budgetary allocations to ensure the automatic execution of decisions and on moratorium issues that impede the execution of decisions not in favor of the state-owned enterprises.

    Also, given the urgent need to resolve the urgent issue, the Committee of Ministers of the CoE called on the Government of Ukraine to provide information on these issues by January 1, 2022, in particular on the progress in implementing the necessary reform package and decided to continue consideration of these groups at the March 2022 meeting. The Committee also instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft interim resolution for consideration at the meeting if the Government of Ukraine will not show any progress, in particular in the implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan.

    Thus, following Rule 16 of the Committee of Ministers Procedure, in the process of monitoring the implementation of a resolution or amicable settlement, the Committee of Ministers may adopt interim resolutions, including information on the implementation process or, if necessary, concerns and/or proposals for the implementation.

    In this context, the CoE has already issued 8 interim resolutions. The last one was issued in October 2020, which states that Ukraine has not fulfilled its obligations and has not made progress in implementing the decisions of the ECtHR by the deadline, in particular in the case of Burmych and Others v. Ukraine (more information about this is available here).

    There are concerns that in March 2022, Ukraine will again face a negative interim resolution. The government will not have time to radically change the situation in the legal and institutional spheres in such a short time.

    However, significant changes can be achieved in at least one aspect. In the coming months, the Law of Ukraine “On the State Budget for 2022” will be considered, and the amount of funds allocated to cover debts by decisions of national courts, including in the social sphere, will be important. At the same time, given the pandemic and the economic crisis it is contributing to, it would be too bold to predict significant budget allocations for such purposes.

    Given the above, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) calls on the Government of Ukraine to take decisive and coordinated actions to address the systemic problem of non-compliance with national court decisions and will welcome all effective steps taken by the state in this direction.

    R2P LOGO ENGLISH

    Yaroslava Zvolinska,

    Strategic Lawyer 

    CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)


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    06.10.21

    Recently the team of the R2P Project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ukraine” joined the round table “Interaction of public authorities, legal aid centers and the CSO sector in the context of refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine.”, which took place in Lutsk, Ukraine. We have continued the annual tradition of meeting with the government officials who work with the asylum seekers, who were detained at the border for illegal crossing and placed in temporary detention facilities in Ukraine.

    The event was attended by the representatives of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the employees of the Temporary Accommodation Facility for Migrants, judges (Kivertsy District Court of Volyn Region), employees of the Kivertsy Legal Aid Bureau and Lutsk Local Center for Free Secondary Legal Aid. The round table discussion was organized with the assistance of the National School of Judges of Ukraine and lawyers of the free secondary legal aid system.

    Such meetings have also been held during the strict quarantine restrictions, albeit in an online format. This year’s round table became a platform for topical discussion, exchange of ideas, experiences, and even for the search for cooperation opportunities.

    For example, this year a representative of the Volyn Temporary Accommodation Facility told about how they managed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and had no cases of the disease on their territory among the detainees. The lieutenant of the Lutsk border detachment shared the experience of our foreign neighbors from Poland and compared it with the Ukrainian realities. The judge of the Kivertsy District Court spoke about the peculiarities of consideration of cases of detention and extension of stay in the Facility for asylum seekers and shared his experience from his practice. The lawyers provided interesting information on the representation of the interests of the beneficiaries of the R2P in the courts in the cases of detention and expulsion.

    The main purpose of such events is to create a space for communication and exchange of views to be able to address many relevant issues. That is why we are sincerely grateful to everyone who had the opportunity to join the dialogue!

    Круглий стіл «Права шукачів захисту та ОБГ, які були затримані та розміщені в ПТПІ»

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    28.09.21

    Recently the team of the R2P Project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ukraine” joined the round table “Interaction of public authorities, legal aid centers and the CSO sector in the context of refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine.”, which took place in Lutsk, Ukraine. We have continued the annual tradition of meeting with the government officials who work with the asylum seekers, who were detained at the border for illegal crossing and placed in temporary detention facilities in Ukraine.

    The event was attended by the representatives of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the employees of the Temporary Accommodation Facility for Migrants, judges (Kivertsy District Court of Volyn Region), employees of the Kivertsy Legal Aid Bureau and Lutsk Local Center for Free Secondary Legal Aid. The round table discussion was organized with the assistance of the National School of Judges of Ukraine and lawyers of the free secondary legal aid system.

    Such meetings have also been held during the strict quarantine restrictions, albeit in an online format. This year’s round table became a platform for topical discussion, exchange of ideas, experiences, and even for the search for cooperation opportunities.

    For example, this year a representative of the Volyn Temporary Accommodation Facility told about how they managed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and had no cases of the disease on their territory among the detainees. The lieutenant of the Lutsk border detachment shared the experience of our foreign neighbors from Poland and compared it with the Ukrainian realities. The judge of the Kivertsy District Court spoke about the peculiarities of consideration of cases of detention and extension of stay in the Facility for asylum seekers and shared his experience from his practice. The lawyers provided interesting information on the representation of the interests of the beneficiaries of the R2P in the courts in the cases of detention and expulsion.

    The main purpose of such events is to create a space for communication and exchange of views to be able to address many relevant issues. That is why we are sincerely grateful to everyone who had the opportunity to join the dialogue!

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    28.09.21

    This week our colleagues had the opportunity to talk to refugees from the different parts of the globe.  As a part of the new project to support and create independent refugee communities, the team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Kharkiv joined a meeting, conducted in a very interesting and interactive format.

    This week our colleagues had the opportunity to talk to refugees from the different parts of the globe.  As a part of the new project to support and create independent refugee communities, the team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Kharkiv joined a meeting, conducted in a very interesting and interactive format.

    In our opinion, an informal atmosphere, interesting master class, and delicious food can become the perfect mixture to unite a small group of people and involve them in the next activities in the future.

    So what did we do? Lawyers of the R2P have met with a women’s refugee community, and jointly attended a clay molding master class in Kharkiv, and then ate a delicious pizza nearby. The aim of the master class was to show the women that serious issues related to building their own communities, preparing projects, and solving collective problems can (and should!) be discussed during a friendly meeting and casual communication.

    Неформальна комунікація – ключ до нових ідей. Як Фонд допомагає біженським спільнотам знайти себе в Україні

    During such moments when, for example, you show each other ready-made ceramic products that you made with your own hands, or when you enjoy a delicious slice of pizza, the greatest ideas come to mind!

    Неформальна комунікація – ключ до нових ідей. Як Фонд допомагає біженським спільнотам знайти себе в Україні

    And this meeting was not an exception. The women, the refugees from different countries, realized that they would like to continue such a communication format and unite for a common goal. Next time, they will organize a similar meeting on their own, without the help of the R2P, and will come up with new cool ideas that will bring their community closer to the implementation of a small, yet very important project.

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    03.09.21

    Recently the lawyers and attorneys of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) visited Lviv. And visited not just to enjoy the centuries-old architecture and magical atmosphere of this beautiful city, but also to share their experience and knowledge about refugees and asylum seekers with the government officials.

    pexels-iryna-olar-4252764

    Our colleagues Oleksandra Zhurko, Svitlana Butenko, Oleksandra Novikova and Anna Khitsevych conducted two educational events for the employees of the State Migration Service (SMS) of Ukraine Departments in Lviv, Khmelnytsky, Lutsk and Zhytomyr.

    «We talked about all the complex and problematic issues that usually arise when applying for refugee status in Ukraine (such as when the person is applying from the places of detention). This was a great experience for us as well – the representatives of territorial divisions of the State Migration Service told us about their own interesting and rich experience of work with refugees and asylum seekers»,

    – said Anna Khitsevych, Capacity Development Coordinator of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).
    Співробітники Фонду провели освітні семінари для представників ДМС та центрів БПД у Львові, Хмельницькому, Луцьку та Житомирі

    Another seminar was attended by the lawyers who work in the state secondary free legal aid centers (FLAC). Among other legal cases, they also work with the cases of asylum seekers and refugees.

    «We told the FLAC lawyers about the procedure for granting refugee status, pre-trial and judicial types of appeals against negative decisions of the SMS of Ukraine, as well as the procedure for appealing decisions on extradition in cases of asylum seekers»,

    – added Anna.

    During the seminars, all the participants engaged in solving practical problems, preparation of their own mini-presentations, as well as discussed the outcomes.

    Співробітники Фонду провели освітні семінари для представників ДМС та центрів БПД у Львові, Хмельницькому, Луцьку та Житомирі

    Our colleagues provided information to the representatives of both parties who work directly with refugees: the State Migration Service of Ukraine and the free state attorneys of the PRAVOKATOR law club.

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