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18.06.21

Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for May 2021, prepared by the CF ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2021

  • This month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. According to Joint Forces Operation data and R2P monitoring, the number of people crossing the contact line was without significant difference in May compared to April: over 52,000 in both months.
  • On 31 May, in Donetska Oblast there were 185 people on the list for crossing. About sixty people were waiting from 09:00 on NGCA to arrive at Novotroitske just before the closure. According to them, such a delay on NGCA was caused by a thorough search of personal belongings (cosmetics bags, underwear, first aid kits, etc.), to the point that some people were forced to undress to their underwear for manual inspection.
‘Crossing the contact line’, May, 2021 (REPORT)
  • Reconstruction at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP has begun. It is planned to update the infrastructure of the EECP on the model of Novotroitske EECP (Administrative Service Center, sheds, etc.). In this regard, people face inconveniences: private laboratories were moved closer to the roadway, the benches near the laboratories were removed, there were no sheds and the sidewalk road was broken. The repair work will last until the end of the summer.
‘Crossing the contact line’, May, 2021 (REPORT)
  • During May, 4,392 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.
  •  R2P facilitated 203 requests for crossing through the fast-track procedure and assisted about 1800 persons with installing the “Vdoma” app.
R2P LOGO ENGLISH

The report is available in English

and Ukrainian

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10.06.21

Due to the restrictions on crossing the contact line, thousands of people are blocked from accessing their permanent residence, visits, or care for family members, collecting social benefits or pensions to which they are entitled, obtaining birth and death certificates amongst other essential needs.

Going around the contact line. Information on movements of NGCA residents through the Russian Federation (NOTE)

As a result, many NGCA residents decide to go to GCA through the Russian Federation and cross the Russian-Ukrainian International Border Crossing Points in Milove and Hoptivka. This trip necessarily takes much longer than crossing the contact line, and incurs additional expenses, for transportation, and, in many cases, the payment of a fine for illegally crossing the border.

The team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) has prepared the note “Going around the contact line. Information on movements of NGCA residents through the Russian Federation”. This note is based on information collected by R2P at the two border points, through interviews with State Border Guard Service of Ukraine staff, people crossing the border points, and observation, during monitoring visits in April and May 2021.

The Note is available

in English and Ukrainian.

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09.06.21

From March 29 to April 30 of this year, the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) researched the access to services provided in the Administrative Service Centres (hereinafter – ASC). Monitors of our organization interviewed 863 people who crossed the contact line in both directions through the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (hereinafter – EECP) “Stanytsia Luhanska” in the Luhansk region and “Novotroitske” in the Donetsk region.

The research was conducted to obtain information on the following aspects of the work of the ASCs:

1) Experience in receiving the administrative services within the 60 years old age group, as persons of this vulnerable group cross the contact line most often.

2) Experience in applying for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the form of a card upon reaching the age of 14 (for the first time). In addition to the research on the quality of these services, we have also studied the difficulties in collecting the documents required for the application. The passport confirms the citizenship of Ukraine, and hence the legal relationship between the individual and Ukraine.

3) Sources of information about the state administrative services to improve overall informing about the above-mentioned services.

 4) Experience of applying to the ASCs stationed at the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) and to the mobile ASCs.

5) The impact of COVID-19 on access to administrative services.

Research of Access to Administrative Services in ASCs

“For a long time we have been researching the freedom of movement across the contact line, and it is pervasive for the Right to Protection Charitable Foundation. The issue of access to administrative services at the EECPs in the Administrative Service Centres (ASCs) is a relatively new topic, as the ASCs have appeared only recently at some checkpoints.

At the same time, our study is very timely, as the Decree of the President of Ukraine “On the implementation of the Decision of the National Security and Defense Council on some issues of intensifying the process of peaceful settlement of the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” 

The first paragraph of the Decree instructs the Cabinet of Ministers to complete the arrangement of the EECPs towards the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts within three months, complete the development of their infrastructure, establish the provision of humanitarian, logistical, postal, and other services near each checkpoint. In this context, the research prepared by the R2P experts comes in handy, as it points to problematic issues that can be addressed in the process of setting up new Entry-Exit Checkpoints. “ 

– says the Advocacy Coordinator at R2P Elina Shyshkina

According to the results of the research, we were able to find out that people are mostly satisfied with the quality of administrative services provided in the ASC, but it is important to raise public awareness about administrative services, and the procedure for receiving such services. 

At the same time, the lack of an administrative procedure that would facilitate the quick and easy registration of the children born at the Non-Government Controlled Areas, as well as the renewal of birth certificates issued before the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, is a matter of concern. In addition, the administrative procedure for registering internally displaced persons needs to be simplified. Such changes will improve access to obtaining the first passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the form of a card at the age of 14.

Research of Access to Administrative Services in ASCs

Respondents from Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts need the creation, proper functioning, and content of ASC websites (in particular, those operating near the EECPs and mobile ASC); information stands with handouts. 

Also, people expressed that they would like to receive the following services at Administrative Service Centres: 

  • registration of residence, vehicles, and real estate; 
  • issuance of a passport, ID card, and driver’s license; registration of subsidies.

ASCs at the EECPs provide mainly informational rather than administrative services. As a result, respondents are sometimes dissatisfied with the quality of administrative services provided to them.

Research of Access to Administrative Services in ASCs

The biggest problem of the respondents who tried to cross the contact line through the EECPs after receiving service at the ASCs is the presence of restrictions on crossing the contact line through the EECPs.

According to the results of the study, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) recommends that the Government of Ukraine needs to:

  • Establish an out-of-court procedure that would facilitate the registration of births of children born at the Non-Government Controlled Areas, as well as simplify the renewal of birth certificates issued before the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, and simplify the procedure for registering internally displaced persons.
  • Ensure proper access to administrative services for persons crossing the Entry-Exit Checkpoints in the direction of the Government-Controlled Areas. In particular, to continue the opening of ASCs at EECPs and mobile ASCs in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
  • Ensure the provision of primarily administrative, rather than informational services at the ASC near the EECPs.
  • Create Administrative Service Centres websites, in particular, those EECPs near the contact line and for mobile ASC, as well as set up information stands filled with handouts.

The full results of the research, conclusions, and recommendations of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) can be found in the report. 

The report is available in 

English and Ukrainian.

* This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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21.05.21

Today we present the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for April 2021, prepared by the NGO ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2021

HIGHLIGHTS:   

  • This month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. According to Joint Forces Operation data and R2P monitoring, the number of people crossing the contact line was without significant difference in April compared to March: over 53,000 and 52,823 respectively.
  • People crossing from NGCA at Novotroitske EECP in Donetska Oblast can buy a new cell phone if they don’t have one or if theirs does not allow installing “Vdoma” app. In April, a new procedure for this was put in place. Following a purchase order online, a store employee waits with the new phone at the entrance to the EECP. The client is accompanied to the entrance by servicemen and R2P to finalize the purchase. On average, this procedure is used by about 5 people per crossing day.
  • On 22 March, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on quarantine COVID-19 measures that will facilitate the crossing procedure for NGCA residents. Therefore, when the vaccination starts NGCA residents willing to receive COVID-19 vaccines in GCA will be exempted from the mandatory two-week self-isolation (only under the conditions of presenting an invitation to vaccination with a unique identifier). However, the impact of the regulation remains limited given the current lack of access to vaccination.
  • During April, 4,554 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle. Also, NGO “Proliska” with the financial support of UNHCR, installed two bus stops with solar panels and the possibility to charge devices.
  • R2P monitors facilitated 214 requests for crossing through the fast-track procedure and assisted about 1300 persons with installing “Vdoma” app.

The report is available in English and in Ukrainian

R2P LOGO ENGLISH

The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the NGCA and administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of conflict-affected populations within the framework of the project ‘Advocacy, Protection, and Legal Assistance to IDPs’ implemented by R2P, with the support of UNHCR.

The purpose of the survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts.

IDPs 2

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20.05.21

At least 10 million people worldwide are stateless, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) [1]. The organization estimates that approximately 40,000 stateless persons are living in Ukraine. At the same time, no single institution in our country collects accurate data on the number of such people. Who are they and why did the problem of statelessness arise at all? Let’s try to find out. But first, let’s look at the definitions that will help to do it.

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem Проблема безгромадянства в Україні: причини виникнення та масштаби

GLOSSARY

Stateless person (or just “Stateless”) – a person whom no country in the world recognizes as its citizen [2].

A person at the risk of statelessness – a person who has difficulty confirming the fact of belonging to the citizenship of Ukraine or any other state [3].

An unidentified person is an undocumented person whose nationality is unknown.

An undocumented person is a person who, due to certain life circumstances, does not have an identity document.

Identity documents: a passport of a citizen of Ukraine; passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad; diplomatic passport of Ukraine; service passport of Ukraine; seafarer’s identity card; crew member ID; identity card for return to Ukraine; temporary identity card of a citizen of Ukraine; driving license; stateless identity card for travel abroad; permanent residence permit; temporary residence permit; migrant certificate; refugee certificate; refugee travel document; certificate of a person in need of complementary protection [4].

Documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine: a passport of a citizen of Ukraine; passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad; diplomatic passport of Ukraine; service passport of Ukraine;  seafarer’s identity card; crew member ID;  identity card for return to Ukraine; temporary identity card of a citizen of Ukraine [5].

Naturalization – the process of granting a foreigner or a stateless person the citizenship of Ukraine [6].

Certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person – a document issued to a person on the day of submission of the application for recognition as a stateless person for the entire period of its consideration. The certificate confirms the existence of the legal grounds for a temporary stay on the territory of Ukraine and is not a document proving the identity of an applicant [7].

The procedure for recognizing a stateless person is the procedure for granting a person who is not recognized as a citizen by any state the official status of a stateless person. This status makes it possible to document a person (provide an identity document) and ensure his/her rights within the legal stateless person status.

Violation of the rules of stay on the territory of Ukraine – those are the offenses defined by Article 203 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. For example, living without documents that provide with the right to reside in Ukraine; invalid documents or documents that are no longer valid; employment without appropriate permission (if required), etc.

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem Проблема безгромадянства в Україні: причини виникнення та масштаби

THE PROBLEM OF STATELESSNESS IN UKRAINE: CAUSES AND SCALE

As we wrote above, UNHCR states that almost 40,000 stateless persons are living in Ukraine. At the same time, only about 5,000 of them are registered at the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU). However, this list includes only people who have a residence permit – they are recognized as stateless and are documented by other states. The same is true in Ukraine, but only recently they got a chance to obtain official status.

These are people who have no grounds for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship, and the countries of origin do not recognize them as their citizens (in particular, the countries of citizenship of their parents). They have been living in Ukraine for years, deprived of the opportunity to obtain an identity document and allow them to stay legally in the country. 

These people remain invisible to the state and cannot exercise their rights to education and health care, inherit, open a bank account, register a marriage, cross borders freely, and so on.

Among the reasons that led to the loss of citizenship: the collapse of the USSR, loss of documents, migration, loss of parents or limited information about them, ignorance of the order of restoration of documents, other personal circumstances. 

More than half of the persons who receive legal assistance from the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) on issues of registration/confirmation of citizenship were born on the territory of Ukraine or the Ukrainian USSR. 

The vast majority of all those who applied to the R2P (98.5%) were born in the countries of the former USSR. Thus, statelessness in Ukraine is primarily related to the consequences of the collapse of the USSR and the need to obtain citizenship of the successor states of the USSR.

Usually undocumented persons who apply to the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) for citizenship are also socially vulnerable. Those are single elderly people, Roma, persons released from places of detention, internally displaced persons (IDPs). For the most part, they do not have the appropriate education and legal background and therefore cannot change their status without legal aid.

Representatives of the Roma ethnic minority are also in a difficult situation, whose citizenship is difficult to prove due to the lack of identity documents of their parents and the inability to prove contact with them.

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem Проблема безгромадянства в Україні: причини виникнення та масштаби

THE INFLUENCE OF AN ARMED CONFLICT

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the formation of illegal armed groups in the uncontrolled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in 2014 caused many problems with documenting the people living in those territories.

In the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the territorial subdivisions of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU), as well as the other governmental bodies, stopped their activities. Therefore, to apply to the SMSU in the Government-Controlled Areas (GCA) for registration of a passport, persons residing in the NGCA must cover long distances and cross the “contact line” through Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs). The actual process of crossing the Checkpoints is difficult and physically exhausting, accompanied by several hours in an open-air with different weather conditions.

Until 2017, when the Unified State Demographic Register became operational, the Migration Service did not have a single electronic database of issued passports. Therefore, there is currently no information on Ukrainian passports issued before 2014 in Donbas. At the same time, the law requires that each person needs to be identified to be issued a passport.

The procedure for processing the documents for persons from Non-Government Controlled Areas is discriminatory in comparison with the rest of the population of the country due to the complex and lengthy identification procedure. This often hinders the issuance of a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, leaving a person in an uncertain legal status. For example, in order to simply paste a photo into a passport at the age of 25 and 45, a person usually has to go through the lengthy procedure of establishing a person in the territorial division of the State Migration Service. The same applies to the exchange in case of loss or damage of a passport issued before 2014 in the now NGCA of the Donbas region.

According to UNHCR, almost 65,000 children born in Non-Government Controlled Areas have not received Ukrainian birth certificates yet. Due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they may have difficulty obtaining a passport when they will turn 14 years old.

Birth certificates issued by the so-called “authorities” at the NGCA from the second half of 2014 are not valid. In 2018, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a law according to which documents confirming the fact of a child’s birth at the Non-Government Controlled Areas are now taken into account when registering the birth in Ukraine.

However, an administrative procedure for registering the birth of a child born in the Temporarily Occupied Territories (TOT) has not yet been introduced. The procedure for registering such a child is quite complex and requires: obtaining a written refusal from the State Registrar of Civil Status Acts (SRCSA) department in the territory controlled by the government of Ukraine; appeal to the court with a statement to establish the fact of the birth of a child; re-application to the SRCSA department with a court decision to obtain a birth certificate of the state standard.

Given the complexity of this procedure, it should be simplified, in particular, by introducing an administrative procedure for registering the birth of children (submission of documents to the department of SRCSA) [8].

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem Проблема безгромадянства в Україні: причини виникнення та масштаби

LEGISLATIVE BASIS THE STATUS OF STATELESS PERSONS

The Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that human rights and freedoms and their guarantees determine the content and direction of state activity. The state is accountable to its citizens. The promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms is the main duty of the state. Also, current international agreements, approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are part of the national legislation of Ukraine.

In 2013, Ukraine acceded to the 1954 UN Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and adopted the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons, which established the international definition of a stateless person. The documents oblige all the signatory sides (states) to ensure certain civil, economic, property, social, and other rights of stateless persons in their territories and also require compliance with certain requirements to reduce their number in their territories.

On June 16, 2020, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Recognition as a Stateless Person”, which entered into force in July of the same year. The law brings the definition of a stateless person into line with the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Namely: “A stateless person is a person who is not considered a citizen of any state under its law” (instead of “following its legislation”). Such clarification of the definition of a stateless person will prevent the exclusion from this category of persons whose state of origin is required by law to consider them their citizens, but in practice denies citizenship.

In addition, this law defines the procedure for recognizing a person as a stateless person, which will give thousands of stateless living in Ukraine for many years or for their whole lifetime possibility to finally obtain an identity document and become full members of society and exercise their rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine to all citizens without exception.

The procedure for consideration of applications for recognition as stateless persons is determined by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 317 of 24.03.2021 “Some issues of recognition as a stateless person”.

ОБГ особи без громадянства / stateless persons

STATELESS DETERMINATION PROCEDURE IN UKRAINE

Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 317, which approves the “Procedure for consideration of applications for recognition as a stateless person” (hereinafter – the Procedure), entered into force on April 16, 2021. From now on, people who are undocumented due to the lack of citizenship have the opportunity to apply to territorial divisions and territorial bodies of the State Migration Service of Ukraine with a statement for recognition as a stateless person.

The law protects the vulnerable undocumented persons from requirements that cannot be met:

  • a person may apply for Stateless Determination Procedure regardless of the existence of legal grounds for residence in Ukraine;
  • the burden of proving that a person is not a citizen of any of the countries is imposed on the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) and not on the person (it is almost impossible to collect the necessary evidence for a person who does not have an identity document);
  • if necessary, the applicant will be provided with an interpreter, his/her documents will be translated;
  • a person whose application for recognition as a stateless person will be considered by the SMSU unit, or who will appeal the refusal to be recognized will be able to work officially at this time, but with the permission of the employment center;
  • during the procedure, the applicant has the right to an interview with a Migration Service employee.

At the same time, both the law and the Procedure establish a number of important responsibilities for persons applying for a stateless status:

  • the applicant is obliged to appear for interviews or to inform in advance about the need to postpone the date of the interview (there may be several); 
  • provide evidence available to him to confirm his/her words; 
  • if during the procedure the applicant has a new document that is essential for the procedure of recognition as a stateless person, he/she is obliged to provide it to the Migration Service within 10 working days from the date of receipt; 
  • after receiving the decision on recognition as a stateless person, the applicant is obliged within ten days to apply to the SMSU for a temporary residence permit; if a person has been recognized as stateless, and after that he/she has acquired the citizenship of a foreign state, such a person is obliged to notify the Migration Service in writing within 30 days from the date of registration of citizenship.

The procedure distributes the powers of the State Migration Service of Ukraine regarding the procedure for recognizing stateless persons between its territorial bodies, territorial divisions, responsible structural units, employees, and the responsible authorized persons (officials) of the Service.

According to the Procedure, a person may apply at the place of residence to the territorial division/territorial body of the SMSU (regional branches, the list of which is available on the official website of the Migration Service). On the day of receiving the application, the Service issues a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person to the applicant, which is valid for 6 months from the date of application and confirms that the person is temporarily on the territory of Ukraine on legal grounds.

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) has prepared detailed instructions on how to apply for recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine, where you can learn more about:

  • the preparation for applying;
  • what is the Recognition Act and why the Migration Service will interview the applicant’s neighbors, relatives, or acquaintances;
  • what is an interview; 
  • in which case the applicant may be denied and how to appeal the illegal refusal to accept the application for recognition as a stateless person.

You can also watch a short video on the procedure for recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine.

It is impossible to estimate exactly how many people in Ukraine will be able to access the procedure. However, it will be available to at least 10% of the total number of beneficiaries of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem Проблема безгромадянства в Україні: причини виникнення та масштаби

PROBLEMS WITH THE PROCEDURE FOR CONFIRMATION OF UKRAINIAN CITIZENSHIP

Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship” defines the range of persons who are automatically recognized as the citizens of Ukraine. Confirmation of belonging to the citizenship of Ukraine is regulated by the “Procedure for Proceedings on Applications and Submissions on Citizenship of Ukraine and the Execution of Adopted Decisions”, approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine on March 27, 2001, № 215.

If a person does not have sufficient documents to prove his / her citizenship in Ukraine, he/she must apply to the court to establish the fact (facts) that have legal significance. In particular, to establish the fact of residence on the territory of Ukraine as of 1991, to establish the identity of the applicant and/or belonging to the citizenship of the former USSR as of 1991.

A person must collect information about studying at school, college, university; about official employment for a certain period; living in a particular location; “Form 1” – an application for the issuance of a passport of a citizen of the former USSR; other information that can help establish the fact (facts) that have legal significance.

Collecting documents for an undocumented person is extremely problematic: without an identity document, authorities and institutions do not issue certificates. The success of such a case depends on the persistence of the person and the presence of a lawyer who can request the necessary information. Often the documents have to be translated (for example, a birth certificate issued by a foreign state) into Ukrainian at the expense of the applicant, and more than once.

It is extremely difficult to confirm the citizenship of Ukraine by a person who has lived and obtained a passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the now Non-Government Controlled Areas. Since internal (non-biometric) passports of Ukrainian citizens issued before 2016 are available only in paper variants, their authenticity can be confirmed only by comparing them with the data of the archival card in the archives of the territorial body where they were issued. 

However, passports issued in the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and at the NGCA of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts cannot be verified. In case of loss of this document, a person must establish not only his / her identity, but also the belonging to the citizenship of Ukraine.

Identification of a person and establishment of the citizenship of Ukraine in such cases is carried out in the manner prescribed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 289 of June 4, 2014 “On approval of the Procedure for issuing documents confirming citizenship of Ukraine, identity or special status of the citizens in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” and the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On approval of the sample form, technical description and the Procedure for registration, issuance, exchange, transfer, withdrawal, return to the state, invalidation, and destruction of Ukrainian passport” № 302 of March 25, 2015.

Based on the experience of our lawyers, who provide legal assistance in such complex cases, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) has prepared a brochure on the legal protection of stateless persons, asylum seekers, and refugees. It outlines in detail the algorithms for confirming citizenship of Ukraine, identification, registration of the birth of a child, and other required procedures. Unfortunately, some individuals fail to prove their citizenship in Ukraine and become stateless or at the risk of statelessness.

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem паспорт щоб побачити рідних passport to see family

HOW R2P HELP STATELESS PERSONS?

Lawyers and attorneys of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) have been providing free legal assistance to people living in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts since 2017 in proving their citizenship of Ukraine or a foreign state, passing identification, confirmation of the fact of birth and in the collection of the documents required for recognition as a stateless person.

R2P unites the efforts of partner organizations in solving systemic problems that lead to regular violations of the rights of stateless persons. In particular, in 2020, in order to monitor compliance with Ukraine’s international obligations, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), Charitable Foundation “ROKADA”, NGO “The Tenth of April” (“DESYATE KVITNYA”) and the International Fund for Public Health and Environment “Carpathian Region” NEEKA prepared the UPR Alternative Interim ReportState of Observance of the Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Stateless Persons in Ukraine”.

A coalition of partner organizations that protect the rights of refugees, displaced, migrants, and other vulnerable people has prepared and submitted a joint position to the relevant committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the Bill №3475 “On Administrative Procedure”. The coalition’s comments in 2021 were partially taken into account. After the introduction of the administrative procedure in Ukraine it will support the other legal acts which regulate these issues.

The Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) team actively supported the need to establish a procedure for recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine after the ratification of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. The Foundation’s experts were actively involved in the process of drafting amendments to a number of laws of Ukraine on recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine. The Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Recognition as a Stateless Person” was adopted on June 16, 2020, and entered into force on July 18, 2020. Read more about these changes following this link.

In the process of implementation of the procedure for recognition as a stateless person, Fund facilitates the work of the State Migration Service of Ukraine by disseminating the information about the requirements for the procedure, as well as through providing free legal aid and support to stateless persons. At the same time, the R2P team monitors compliance with the legislation of Ukraine. We protect the rights of stateless persons wherever they are violated or restricted, in particular – in the court.

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) reviews the legislation and provides recommendations to the authorities on improving the laws and by-laws of Ukraine. The organization was actively involved in the development of the new Human Rights Strategy and the draft Action Plan to the Strategy. The new Strategy in the field of human rights does not bypass the problem of statelessness in Ukraine, including in the context of creating a new procedure for recognition as a stateless person. Overview of the Strategy can be viewed following this link.

Тендер на закупівлю канцелярських, санітарно-гігієнічних та господарських товарів

REAL-LIFE STORIES

How Svitlana found herself without both

the citizenships of Ukraine and Russia

Svitlana was born in Kharkiv, USSR and lived in the Soviet Russia from 1979 to 1989, and then returned to Svitlodarsk, Ukraine (Donetsk region), where she met her future husband. From the beginning of their life together, the woman lived at the address of registration of her future husband in Svitlodarsk. In 2013, Svitlana lost her USSR passport and applied to the Debaltseve State Migration Service territorial unit in the Donetsk region to obtain citizenship.

However, she did not have confirmation of registration in Ukraine as of 24 August 1991, so the woman was denied Ukrainian citizenship – she had to prove her residence in Ukraine at the time of the declaration of independence. 

Unfortunately, due to lack of evidence, the court also refused to establish Svitlana’s residence in Svitlodarsk at the time of Ukraine’s declaration of independence on August 24, 1991, and at the time of the adoption of the Law of Ukraine on Citizenship of Ukraine on November 13, 1991.

Svitlana appealed to the Russian consulate, but she was also told that she was not a Russian citizen. Thus, the woman was left stateless in both of the countries to which she was related, and none of these countries wanted to document her with a passport. She is forced to live in Ukraine without an identity document, without legal personality, freedom of movement, and normal life.

The woman is looking forward to the opportunity to apply for recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine, to obtain official status, get a job and receive social protection.

The story of a man who wanted to prove that he was Ukrainian

In 2019, a man who had no passport for 32 years turned to R2P for help in obtaining a passport of a citizen of Ukraine.

The problem was that he and his parents had lived in Antratsyt in the Luhansk region since 1989, and due to the life circumstances could not obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine at the age of 16 (he was sentenced to long-term imprisonment as a minor). After his release in 2014 in the Government-Controlled Area of Ukraine, the man was unable to return home.

Beneficiary applied to various bodies and subdivisions of the State Migration Service of Ukraine to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, but this ended in refusals, as there was no documentary evidence of his citizenship in Ukraine. The man tried to gather evidence to prove his citizenship on his own, but the city of Antratsyt, Luhansk Oblast, remained in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. It was already obvious that his case required professional legal assistance.

Our lawyer collected the necessary evidence that the beneficiary belonged to the citizenship of Ukraine and filed a lawsuit to establish the fact of residence as a minor in Ukraine as of 24.08.1991 and the decision of the district court of Luhansk region satisfied the requirements.

After the court decision came into force, the beneficiary applied to the district department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine for citizenship of Ukraine. However, he later received a refusal based on the fact that the man had not submitted identity documents with the application.

It is possible to establish a person under such conditions only in court. The lawyer filed a lawsuit again to establish the identity of the man. However, the court refused to open proceedings, stating that the court could not consider cases of identification.

This decision is controversial and is currently being appealed. However, the lawyer’s prognosis is positive – with the court decision it will be possible to identify a person and move to the next stage in obtaining citizenship.

[1] https://www.unhcr.org/ibelong/statelessness-around-the-world/ 

[2] The Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons” contains the following definition: “a person who is not considered a citizen of any state under its law.” It passed into Ukrainian law from the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (also known in Ukraine as the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons).

[3] These primarily relate to the persons who were documented with a passport before 1991 and did not replace the passport after the collapse of the USSR. The lion’s share of stateless persons and at risk of statelessness is the Roma population, which due to gaps in the legislation lived in Ukraine for several generations without being documented and without the possibility to obtain any documents.

[4] According to the Law of Ukraine “On the Unified State Demographic Register and documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine, identity or special status”

[5] Only there

[6] Conditions for admission to Ukrainian citizenship are defined by Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship of Ukraine”. For example recognition of laws and the Constitution of Ukraine, knowledge of the state language, continuous residence in Ukraine for a certain period, termination of foreign citizenship, and others.

[7] The certificate is valid for 6 months and can be extended if the term of consideration of the application for recognition as a stateless person was being extended.

[8] Review of the UPR Alternative Interim Report “State of Observance of the Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Stateless Persons in Ukraine”: https://r2p.org.ua/en/upr-alternative-interim-report-review/ 

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30.04.21

Under Article 1 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, a Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise become a stateless person. 

Citizenship is granted:

(a) at birth, under the law or

(b) in the event of a breach before the competent authority of the application by or on behalf of the person concerned following the procedure laid down by national law. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, no such request may be rejected.

According to Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child must be registered immediately after birth, have the right to a name and a nationality, as well as, as far as possible, the right to know his or her parents and their custody. States (the Parties who signed up for the Convention) shall ensure that these rights are exercised in accordance with their national law and that their obligations under relevant international instruments in this field are fulfilled, in particular where the child would not otherwise be national.

Ukraine has acceded and ratified both treaties, yet the families of asylum seekers or even families who have received the statuses of additional protection in Ukraine cannot obtain Ukrainian citizenship for their children born in Ukraine, which puts them at risk of statelessness. Dozens of children born in the families of asylum seekers who received legal assistance from the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) have undetermined citizenship.

Stateless Children in Ukraine. Why and How? Як в Україні народжуються діти без громадянства?

Legislation of Ukraine and the position of the State Migration Service

Existing international treaties, ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are part of the national legislation of Ukraine. However, notwithstanding the provisions of both of the above-mentioned Conventions, the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship of Ukraine” does not provide for the possibility of a child born on the territory of Ukraine from foreigners or stateless persons (hereinafter – stateless).

Therefore, the problem affects all seekers of protection in Ukraine, because the application for protection can be considered with further appeal in court for years. During all this time, people stay on the territory of Ukraine on legal grounds, which fundamentally distinguishes their legal status from those foreigners and stateless who are legally living in Ukraine and have all the relevant documents.

The only legal possibility to acquire the citizenship of Ukraine for a child of an asylum seeker, who was born on the territory of Ukraine, is currently left by Article 8 of the Law (on the territorial origin). At the same time, the practice of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) is such that units of the State Migration Service deny the applications of the parents of a child born in Ukraine, citing formal grounds. The refusal is motivated, for example, by the failure to submit an identity document by the applicant, although such a document may be kept in another territorial body of the Migration Service.

Thus, instead of efforts aimed at the actual prevention of statelessness among children, we see a tendency to narrow the possibility of acquiring Ukrainian citizenship by a child when there is a threat of statelessness.

For example, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is currently considering Bill № 2590 on Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine on Citizenship which proposes to make a similar requirement to Article 7 of the Law on the legality of residence of parents in Ukraine before the procedure for acquiring citizenship by the territorial origin of a child who would otherwise remain stateless [1] (Article 8 of the Law).

Stateless Children in Ukraine. Why and How? Як в Україні народжуються діти без громадянства?

Position of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Back in 2011, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that Ukraine amend its legislation to legally and in practice guarantee the child’s right to citizenship and the right not to be deprived of it on any grounds and regardless of the status of the child’s parents. In 2020, Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) within the coalition of NGOs [2] reported to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the state of observance of children’s rights in Ukraine since 2011. 

Once again, the problem of undocumented applicants for protection, the impossibility of their children to acquire Ukrainian citizenship due to the status of parents was also mentioned. In 2017 and 2020, with the participation and coordination of the R2P, reports were prepared and submitted within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UN instrument), where the situation of children seeking protection in the context of the threat of statelessness was analyzed as well [3].

In September 2020, during the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expert consultations with the public, the issue of the threat of statelessness among children seeking protection in Ukraine was also raised. The Committee was interested in the number of children of asylum seekers born in Ukraine who do not have citizenship. The CF “Right to Protection” representatives noted that there is no official data on that matter, though there are many families with children among the beneficiaries of the R2P whose citizenship has not been determined or they are at risk of statelessness.

In October the Committee raised several questions based in particular on information from the public and international organizations to the Government of Ukraine [4], including the need to reiterate the measures to prevent the statelessness among the children of undocumented persons and asylum seekers, stating that every child must receive the identity documents. So the dialogue on this issue can now be considered open, still, the problem is not solved yet.

Stateless Children in Ukraine. Why and How? Як в Україні народжуються діти без громадянства?

So, how should it be?

Let’s return to the conventional provisions. It is stipulated that the State grants its citizenship to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be a stateless person.

According to General Comment №17 of the UN Human Rights Committee [5], States are obliged to take all the appropriate measures, both internally and in cooperation with other States, to ensure that any child is granted citizenship at birth.

And the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Statelessness Guidelines [6] prescribe that the phrase “would otherwise be stateless” means the child will become stateless if only the state where he or she was born will not give this child citizenship.

It is further stated that in order to determine if a child would otherwise be stateless, it is necessary to determine whether the child has acquired the citizenship of another state – the citizenship of the parent state (jus sanguinis principle) or the state in which he/she was born (jus soli principle). There is no one-size-fits-all standard for evaluating evidence if a child will otherwise become stateless, but a child may be stateless as a result of a wrong conclusion.

On the one hand, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness does not oblige the State to automatically grant citizenship to all children born in its territory. On the other hand, in each individual case, the competent authority must determine whether the child will become stateless in the event of a refusal to grant him or her the nationality of the State concerned.

This conclusion provides an answer to the question of why stateless children are born in Ukraine: before denying the applicant (s) the right to acquire citizenship by a child born to foreigners and stateless in Ukraine, the risk of statelessness for this child is not investigated by the competent authority. Children with uncertain citizenship born on the territory of Ukraine to foreigners, stateless or undocumented persons are not registered.

To reduce the number of stateless children in Ukraine, it is also advisable to exclude the dependence between the legal status of a child’s parents and the acquisition of citizenship by the birth of a stateless child (Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship of Ukraine”) and of course to prevent the introduction of such a requirement to Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship of Ukraine”.

Stateless Children in Ukraine. Why and How? Як в Україні народжуються діти без громадянства?

Links:

  1. Although the draft was not submitted by the Government and was not prepared by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Migration Service (SMSU), the SMSU provided an official position to the relevant Parliamentary Committee, in which no comments were submitted against the amendments proposed to Article 8.
  2. Items 59, 60 of the report.  The report is available on the OHCHR website at https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/UKR/INT_CRC_NGO_UKR_43236_E.docx 
  3. Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council at the 28th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (Third Cycle, 6-17 November 2017) ”- https://index.statelessness.eu/sites/default/files/Joint%20Submission%20to%20the%20Human%20Rights%20Council%20at%20UPR28%20-%20Ukraine%20%28Mar%202017%29.pdf  State of Observance of the Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Stateless Persons in Ukraine https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wzb9oYJduyjbOZ33LUY9fCAm8mHT5m4H/view
  4. List of the questions of the Committee on Human Rights is available on the OHCHR official website https://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=6QkG1d%2fPPRiCAqhKb7yhskqYO9zSBmqrbZ%2fIIWaof%2fzNUOu18KHiy9vURvq824l8QE9pdGuUTfjLxzP8rW3CE3oXSq4SqYeQrjAX5YTMW8pSkdK1Ot3W2yULNpL46jlD 
  5. Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx 
  6.  Available at https://www.refworld.org/docid/50d460c72.html 

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23.04.21

We are glad to present 2020 Annual Report ‘Crossing the contact line’. The report is based on data collected by NGO ‘Right to Protection’ during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2020.

HIGHLIGHTS:   

✅ On March 12, The Ukrainian Government adopted a number of measures aimed at COVID-19 prevention. Starting 22 March, EECP operation was suspended in the GCA, while the same happened at the NGCA a day before. Rapid developments put many people who were coming to EECPs into a difficult position; some even did not have enough means for temporary accommodation. In particular, forty people travelling to the NGCA got stuck at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP.

✅ Introduction of quarantine measures caused a drastic decrease in the number of crossings. Thousands of people were deprived of the possibility to receive social payments, pensions, birth and death certificates, to visit relatives or property. Some were cut off from their permanent place of residence.

✅ In July, 83 persons were compelled to remain in the buffer zone at Novotroitske EECP for several days, having no possibility to return to the GCA or proceed to the NGCA.

✅ Daily in August-September, up to ten persons had to stay overnight in the shed in the buffer zone at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP as they were not allowed to return to the NGCA due to inability to confirm residence registration.

✅ Similar to 2019, visiting relatives was the most widespread reason to cross in both directions. Receiving pensions or social payments and withdrawing cash were more common among people travelling from the NGCA.

Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», лютий 2021 року Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, February 2021

✅ Before the introduction of quarantine restrictions, long lines were the main concern of the respondents at all EECPs. But in the fourth quarter of 2020, the majority became distressed with issues with permissions to cross, as it was possible only through two EECPs by a complicated procedure (52 percent compared to 8 in the first quarter).

✅ Also, in 2020, at least 3,000 people were provided with help from R2P monitors with installing and running the app «Vdoma». Moreover, R2P monitors have assisted about 800 people in getting permissions for crossing from the Coordination Group.

The report is available in English and in Ukrainian

Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», лютий 2021 року Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, February 2021

The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the NGCA and administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of conflict-affected populations within the framework of the project ‘Advocacy, Protection, and Legal Assistance to IDPs’ implemented by R2P, with the support of UNHCR.

The purpose of the survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts.

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21.04.21

Statelessness Determination Procedure has been developed and approved under Article 6-1 of the Law of Ukraine On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons.

This law stipulates that a person who cannot obtain a passport due to the lack of citizenship of any country has the right to apply to the Migration Service for recognition as a stateless person. Statelessness Determination Procedure is already available and, if you are undocumented and suspect that you do not have citizenship, you already have the right to apply to the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) for the status of a stateless person.

 Why should I apply?

The authority will check whether you actually do not have the citizenship of any country in which you or your parents have been living, born, etc. If this fact gets confirmed you will be granted the official status of a stateless person. This means that you will receive an identity document and will have the legal right to stay in Ukraine.

 How to know if I am a stateless person?

You don’t have to know that for sure. 

The following signs may indicate a lack of citizenship:

 • you have lost your passport long time ago or never had it at all;

 • the consulate of your country of residence refuses to document you;

 • the Migration Service reported that you do not have Ukrainian citizenship;

 • you do not have a birth certificate and/or a passport due to the lack of citizenship of your parents;

 • you are not sure that you do not have citizenship, however, you suspect that you have lost it and have been in Ukraine for a long time without identity documents;

 • other.

Can I apply on my own? Where should I go?

Yes. Although you stay illegally in the territory of Ukraine and have no identity documents, you are still able to apply for recognition as a stateless person. Applications are considered by the bodies and subdivisions of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU).

How to prepare for the application?

1. Collect the documents

The procedure stipulates that if possible, the applicant must provide the following documents:

1). Identity document, OR a document granting the right to enter or leave the country, issued by a foreign state (in other words, a travel document);

 2). A document certifying the fact of non-citizenship of another state, the validity of which has expired (replies of the consulate or embassy of a foreign country), OR the other document which confirms the information contained in the application.

Other documents may be the:

 • ones which confirm the fact of birth;

 • ones which confirm the marriage;

 • ones that confirm the presence of children;

 • ones which confirm the fact of study in an educational institution of Ukraine or another state;

 • passport of a citizen of the former USSR issued since 1974;

 • work documents;

 • ones which confirm the fact of receiving medical services on the territory of Ukraine;

 • documents on the place of residence;

 • documents on housing or other real estate ownership in Ukraine;

 • certificates issued by the state bodies;

 • certificates from the embassies of foreign states or places of previous permanent and long-term residence, as well as from the states where the members of an applicant’s family have the citizenship;

 • other documents confirming the information contained in the application.

!!  The absence of certain documents or even any documents is not a ground for refusing recognition as a stateless person and is not a ground for refusing to accept an application.

!!  The applicant is obliged to provide all available documents during the procedure.

2. Prepare a list of persons who will be interviewed by the Migration Service representatives to confirm the information contained in the application.

According to the Law, in case you do not have the above-mentioned documents, the State Migration Service of Ukraine conducts a survey of relatives, neighbors, or other persons (three at least), which can confirm the facts stated in the application.

According to the Procedure, the interview of the following persons is also carried out with the purpose of identification of the applicant. The survey must be conducted within 14 working days from the date of the submission of an application. People who know you personally will be asked to confirm certain life facts about you through the provision of a written explanation.

Also, your acquaintances will be asked to confirm your identity (that they have known you personally for a certain period) by signing a so-called Identification Act.

Therefore, before applying for statelessness, you need to prepare a list of at least three relatives, neighbors, or acquaintances for such a survey, which will take place within 14 working days after the application. The need to draw up the Identification Act is not mandatory in every case, but at least one of the documents must be completed.

!!  The survey of the list of people you provide to confirm your circumstances is carried out only with your written consent. Consent is given in a written form in a separate column of the Application for recognition as a stateless person.

!!  If you are not ready for your relatives and acquaintances to be interviewed and refuse to give written consent, the Migration Service has the right to refuse to accept your application for further review.

!!  If the Migration Service requires more detailed information about you, they reserve the right to visit you at your place of residence at any time, as well as to interview your neighbors.

3. If you need an interpreter

The State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) can provide you with an interpreter to accept your application, but this issue must be resolved in advance, i.e. before the application is submitted. In this case, the presence of an interpreter must be ensured during the interview.

4. If you are in a healthcare facility

If you are in a healthcare facility due to your health condition and cannot get to the SMSU branch/unit/department on your own, you should inform the representatives of the Migration Service about this fact. They will be able to come to you to accept the application for recognition as a stateless person and documents.

5. If you are under the age of 18 and do not have a parent, grandparent, adult sibling, or any other legal representative, notify the nearest Migration Service branch/unit/department of your intention to apply for statelessness. According to the current Procedure, the SMSU is obliged to immediately resolve the issue of appointing a legal representative from among the specialists of the local guardianship authority or the State Children Affairs Service. The application for recognition as a stateless person will be submitted on your behalf by the legal representative. The legal representative must also be present during the interview.

How the application is processed and accepted

Як звернутися з заявою про визнання особою без громадянства?

You should personally contact the State Migration Service division/body/department at your area of residence. According to the Procedure, territorial divisions of the SMSU (in your district should be at least one of them) accept applications in the same way as territorial bodies (regional offices, their list is available on the official website of the State Migration Service of Ukraine).

The SMSU employee who is entrusted to receive applications for statelessness fills in the application from your words in a special electronic system called “State Migration Service of Ukraine Departmental Information System”. After you provide all the necessary information, the application is printed and issued to you (or your legal representative) for review. After correction of all the errors/inaccuracies, you must sign your statement.

The application form approved by the Government can be found at the link.  

Your biometric data (your digitized fingerprints) will be collected during the application process.

On the day of acceptance of the application, the Migration Service must provide you with a certificate (Dovidka) proving that you currently applied for recognition as a stateless person. The following certificate is valid for 6 months from the date of submission of the application and confirms that you have all the legal grounds to stay in the territory of Ukraine (i.e., for the entire procedure as the term for consideration of the application is 6 months). 

If the Migration Service was unable to collect and analyze all the necessary information to confirm your citizenship within this period, the certificate is prolonged to up to 12 months. In this case, be sure to contact the Migration Service to extend the certificate’s validity a week or two before its expiration.

What’s an interview?

Як звернутися з заявою про визнання особою без громадянства?

The interview is a formal conversation between the applicant and the State Migration Service employee to clarify all the information provided by the applicant during the application process. Everything said during this meeting is documented and the participants of the interview give their signatures to confirm that all the recorded information is correct. All information is then taken into account when making the final decision. The interview is initiated by the SMSU or by the applicant.

If you want to report new information, describe some facts, or provide new documents that you have just received, initiate an interview with the Migration Service. To do this, you must first apply for an interview to the body or department of the SMSU, where you applied for recognition as a stateless person. The interview must be conducted no later than 10 working days from the date of submission of this application. 

The State Migration Service also has the right to initiate an interview, the date of which must be notified to you no later than three working days before the interview.

 !!  Pay attention! If you can’t attend the interview be sure to let the SMSU know about this via sending them a written notice. And also make sure that the Migration Service has received your notice.

In which case can I be denied an application for recognition as a stateless person?

This is possible in four following cases:

1. If you have the citizenship of Ukraine or a foreign state and it became obvious to the employee of the SMSU at the time of your application. For example, you came with a valid passport of a citizen of a certain country.

2. If you already have the official status of a stateless person. Persons that have an identity document confirming the stateless status do not have the right or need to apply for recognition as a stateless person in Ukraine. The only exception is for the person who has lost his/her stateless status. In this case, you must provide proof of termination of the stateless status received earlier.

3. If you refuse to consent for your neighbors, relatives or other acquaintances to be questioned to confirm the information that you have provided in your application.

!! The absence of such persons is not a ground for refusing to accept the application!

4. If you refused to provide your biometric data (digitized fingerprints).

Only a person who is physically in Ukraine can apply for a stateless status.

What should I do if my application gets rejected?

Як звернутися з заявою про визнання особою без громадянства?

1. Demand the written copy of a refusal to accept the application, which contains the reasons for refusal. If the reason for refusal is different from the reasons listed above, such refusal can be considered illegal.

2. Contact the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) for a free consultation (LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND OUTREACH TO STATELESS PERSONS AND THOSE AT RISK OF STATELESSNESS tab)

3. You can send a copy of the refusal together with your complaint to the State Migration Service of Ukraine (a sample of a complaint). The State Migration Service of Ukraine controls and coordinates the activities of its territorial bodies and subdivisions and, according to the legislation is obliged to consider the citizens’ appeals.

!! You have the right to re-apply for recognition as a stateless person in case the circumstances due to which you were denied were eliminated.

!! If your application for recognition as a stateless person is not accepted, you can file a complaint. The sample complaint is available for download in .docx format following the link (system requirements: Microsoft Office 2010 or newer)

Person’s rights and responsibilities during the application procedure

You have the right to:

1. Initiate an interview with the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) employee to provide the additional information and the other information that was not mentioned at the time of acceptance of the application.

2. Ask for a translator from the SMSU if you do not understand Ukrainian. In such a case it is desirable to apply in written form.

3. To receive a certificate of application (Dovidka) on the day of submission of the application for recognition as a stateless person: the “Dovidka” certificate will confirm the legal grounds for a temporary stay on the territory of Ukraine.

4. Work during the period of the processing of your application, provided that your employer obtains permission from the Employment Center.

You must:

1. Always appear for the interviews with the Migration Service or notify in advance of the need to postpone the date of the interview.

2. Provide all the evidence that you have to support your words. In particular, you are obliged to provide the new document just received (if relevant to the procedure) within 10 working days of receiving it.

3. After receiving the decision on recognition as a stateless person, you are obliged to apply to the Migration Service for a temporary residence permit within 10 days.

4. If you have been recognized as a stateless person and subsequently obtained the citizenship of a foreign state, you are obliged to notify the State Migration Service in written form within 30 days from the date of registration of citizenship.

Annex: sample complaint on the SMSU refusal to accept the application for recognition as a stateless person:

Download in .docx format (system requirements: Microsoft Office 2010 or higher)

Як звернутися з заявою про визнання особою без громадянства?

Also read:

16.04.21

Today R2P presents the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for March 2021, prepared by the NGO ‘Right to Protection’. The report is based on data collected during the monitoring of the situation on EECPs. More statistical data is available on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard: https://www.unhcr.org/ua/en/eecp-monitoring-2021

HIGHLIGHTS:    

  • This month, crossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast, at a level considerably below the pre-COVID period. The number of people crossing the contact line increased in March compared to February by 37%: 52,823 and 33,000 respectively.
  • On 18 March, Stanytsia Luhanska EECP was finally provided with free rapid antigen tests, and a state laboratory point was deployed. The large flow of people exceeded the available capacities, which resulted in long queues. Therefore, many people preferred to take a paid PCR test from either of five different trailers of private laboratories.
  • There were no places in the observation facility in Luhansk Oblast still. In March, in Donetska Oblast, 40 people were sent to the observation facility, all of them either had an inappropriate phone model or no phone at all. Also, 771 persons who crossed to GCA at Novotroiske EECP (81 percent) took the rapid antigen test, and 754 persons at Stanytsia Luhanska (one percent).
  • In line with R2P advocacy, on 22 March, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on quarantine COVID-19 measures that greatly facilitated the crossing procedure for foreigners. Therefore, foreigners who have permanent residence in Ukraine do not need to have insurance when crossing the contact line to GCA.
  • During March, 3,657 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.
Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, March 2021 Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», березень 2021 року

The report is available in 

English and in Ukrainian


The report is based on the results of a survey conducted by R2P at the five EECPs to enter the NGCA and administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of conflict-affected populations within the framework of the project ‘Advocacy, Protection, and Legal Assistance to IDPs’ implemented by R2P, with the support of UNHCR. The purpose of the survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those traveling from the NGCA to the GCA, as well as conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through EECPs. The information collected in the survey helps identify protection needs, gaps, and trends, and provides an evidentiary basis for advocacy efforts.

Report ‘Crossing the contact line’, March 2021 Звіт «Перетин лінії розмежування через КПВВ», березень 2021 року

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