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Укр / Eng
19.07.21

Lyubov Ivanivna is a pensioner, an internally displaced person, and a fragile woman who had to personally go through all the horrors of 2014.

Back in the days the woman lived in Donetsk, Ukraine. Her home is located near the Donetsk airport. In 2014, after collecting the most necessary things, the woman left for Dnipro, where she lived in a rented apartment until December 2018.

Історія переселення: Любов Іванівна знайшла нову домівку в Жовтих Водах

Then Lyubov Ivanivna moved to a dormitory in Vilnohirsk because the prices for utilities there were more reasonable.  But in February 2021, the residents of the dormitory received a report of eviction due to fire safety problems.

Upon learning about the possible eviction of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the dormitory, the monitors of the R2P provided information on possible options for resettlement within the Dnipropetrovsk region. But people who had already lost their home once and settled in a new place did not want to leave Vilnohirsk. Out of the 16 residents of the dormitory, only Lyubov Ivanivna decided to move to the city of Zhovti Vody. And the new town welcomed her.

Olena Pazenko, monitor of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” accompanied Lyubov Ivanivna in the new city:

“When one comes to another city, it’s always a kind of a stress. And we always try to accompany our beneficiaries to help them visit all the institutions as quickly and productively as possible, as well as to gather all the necessary documents. And thanks to the head of the youth and sports department of Zhovtovodska City Council Olena Lauda and the chief specialist of the department Lyudmila Shkurenko, we managed to do everything in one day: inspect the dormitory, get a residence permit in the hospital and get an IDP certificate.

Some say that it’s not easy to be empathetic when you listen to and address the problems of dozens of people every day, but the employees of Zhovtovodska City Council ruined this myth with their own great example!”

– our colleague said.

Today, Lyubov Ivanivna lives in the dormitory of the Pedagogical College, where the 4th floor was renovated and furnished for the comfortable living of displaced persons.

Маленькі громади з великим серцем. Історія Девладівської ОТГ

“In the end of 2020, during a joint meeting, representatives of the Slovyansk UNHCR office stressed the need to focus efforts on resettlement assistance and housing for IDPs. In our work, we face the fact that many people who receive information about the available housing options need our aid and support. Housing issues are still unresolved for the most vulnerable social groups: those with disabilities, the elderly, single mothers with children. 

During the relocation within the region, we have to meet people at the transport stations in the new cities and accompany them to the amalgamated territorial community departments, Departments of the Social Protection and to the Administrative Service Centres. It is too difficult for people to do all these steps alone, and not everyone can afford to stay and rent a house. This is the situation when our monitors come and help. 

Communities are always interested in joint cooperation to make the lives of people better. And a great example of such cooperation is this particular case with Zhovtovodska Hromada,»

– said Myroslava Sushchenko, head of the Dnipro-Zaporizhzhya office of the Chatitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P).

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08.07.21

In 2015, Yulia and her 5 y.o. twin sons moved from Donetsk to the modular town in Nikopol. This was her second attempt to save herself and her children when it became clear that the war in eastern Ukraine would last a long time.

A year spent under shelling, sleepless nights, and waking up from torn shells now seem a thing of the past, but are not forgotten: Yulia’s children still shudder when they hear explosions of firecrackers or holiday fireworks.

Yulia and her sons are already packing their suitcases to move from the modular town of Nikopol to a two-room apartment in the town of Kamyanske. And, of course, their beautiful black cat Louis will join them in a new home.

Natalia Yukhymenko, the commandant of the modular town of Nikopol, has been taking care of the family since the beginning of their relocation to the city. This is what she thinks of Yulia:

“Yulia is a very bright person and an incredible mother! She does everything for her children. I’m sorry that Yulia is moving to Kamyanske, but at the same time I’m very happy for her because she dreamed so much about her own house!”

Before moving out of Nikopol, Yulia regularly went to the hospital with one of her sons who has disabilities. Monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) Olena Pazenko once met Yulia and told her that Ukrainian Social Investment Fund (USIF) has renovated an apartment building for IDPs in Kamyanske. After learning about this possibility, Yulia decided to move to the city to apply for social housing.

Thanks to the support provided by the monitors of the Dnipro-Zaporizhzhya office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) and the indifferent attitude of the head of the housing commission of the Kamyanske City Council Alyona Skala, the dream of Yulia and her sons became a reality.

The woman can barely hold back tears of joy: 

“Dreams come true! I still can’t believe that my family now has a real apartment! Thanks to USIF, to the caring community of Kamyanske who welcomed us, and to the R2P for making my dream come true!”

Myroslava Sushchenko, head of the Dnipro-Zaporizhzhya office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) says:

“Sincere words of gratitude from our beneficiaries are very valuable for us, as this is how we feel and understand our involvement in the realization of their dreams. This is exactly the feeling which gives meaning to our work!”

On the photo – Yulia and Olena Pazenko, monitoring specialist of the R2P

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06.07.21
 

On 2 July, a round table was held on the topic of responding to the challenges of internal displacement in the context of transitional justice. The event was organized jointly by the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) and the Consortium Legal Aid Georgia (LAG), with the support of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (ODIHR / OSCE).

The participants discussed the practices used in Ukraine and Georgia regarding compensations for human rights violations caused by the armed conflict. In particular, during the discussions, the experts paid special attention to the consideration of successful and unsuccessful practices of ensuring the implementation of IDPs’ rights within the framework of transitional justice processes in Ukraine and Georgia.

Georgian colleagues shared their experience in implementing long-term solutions for IDPs, including those aimed at addressing housing issues and providing social protection.

In turn, Ukrainian colleagues outlined the issue of settling reparations in the draft and current regulations in the field of transitional justice, as well as shared the practice of introducing mechanisms for compensation for damage caused by the armed conflict in Ukraine.

“The legal framework for the transitional justice process in Ukraine continues to take shape. In this context, Georgia’s experience in compensating for human rights violations can be valuable both for the development and for the effective implementation of national transitional justice mechanisms. ” – notes Yaroslava Yudina, strategic lawyer of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)

 – notes Yaroslava Yudina, strategic lawyer of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)
Круглий стіл «Відповіді на виклики у сфері внутрішнього переміщення в рамках процесу перехідного правосуддя: порівняльне дослідження Грузії та України»

In recent years, the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) has been assisting the IDPs and the victims of an armed conflict in obtaining compensations for violations of their rights. As of June 2021, the lawyers of the R2P helped the beneficiaries receive UAH 1,574,000 in compensation for the destruction of housing as a result of hostilities.

This event is a part of the project of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (ODIHR / OSCE) “Promoting the human dimension of security in Ukraine”. The joint project will result in the development of mutual recommendations that will help strengthen the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the transitional justice process in Ukraine, as well as prevent violations of IDPs’ rights in Georgia.

Recording of the event is available (in Ukrainian)

Transitional Justice Response to Internal Displacement and Implementation of IDPs’ rights: Comparative Study of Georgia and Ukraine

💬 Круглий стіл на тему «Відповіді на виклики у сфері внутрішнього переміщення в рамках процесу перехідного правосуддя: порівняльне дослідження Грузії та України»

Posted by Право на захист on Friday, July 2, 2021

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02.07.21

Residents of one of the settlements of Volnovakha Civil-Military Administration (CMA) contacted the social workers of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) and reported about a man of a respectable age without a permanent place of residence living in their settlement for almost 2 years, periodically in apartment basements and on the street.

Cooperation for help Допомога спільними зусиллями

Our colleagues immediately headed to the settlement, where they searched for this man and found out that now he temporarily lives in the country house with an acquaintance. The country house has no access to heating, water supply, drainage, and other conditions for permanent residence. In addition, it was found that the man is not officially employed, does not receive pension benefits, and needs a medical examination due to a stroke he had recently.

R2P Employees sent a request to the head of the Volnovakha City CMA for social protection of the homeless, paid a joint visit to the man together with the employees of the Center for Social Services and the Territorial Social Service Center of the Volnovakha City CMA.

Допомога спільними зусиллями

As a result of the joint work, our beneficiary was registered as homeless and was issued a certificate to start receiving an old-age pension and/or a social pension, referrals were issued to the Pension Fund of Ukraine Office in Volnovakha District and the Volnovakha District State Administration.

The man was also offered accommodation in a charity rehabilitation center, but he declined the offer. It is also possible to accompany him to the hospital and provide humanitarian assistance.

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23.06.21

NGOs Open Letter regarding the abolition of fines at EECPs when leaving the NGCA through the Russian Federation

To the Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights, Deoccupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the City of Sevastopol, National Minorities and International Relations

Dmytro Lubinets

Dear Dmytro Valeriyovych!

We, The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict, ask you to support the draft law №5478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II “Final Provisions” of the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”.

Since March 2020, the occupation administrations, under the guise of fighting COVID-19, have imposed artificial restrictions on the crossing of the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) through the contact line in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as across the administrative border of Kherson oblast and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

As a result, Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories have lost the opportunity to maintain regular contact with the Ukrainian Government Controlled Areas. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the number of crossings through the checkpoints has decreased 35 times compared to the indicators before the introduction of the quarantine measures by the occupational administrations.

In this regard, the only way to maintain social ties, apply for administrative, social, medical, and other services for citizens is to move from the temporarily occupied territories through the territory of the Russian Federation, which is currently recognized as an administrative offense under Article 204-2 Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. Thus, for violation of the order of entry into and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, an administrative penalty in the form of a fine of one hundred to three hundred non-taxable minimum incomes (i.e. from 1.7 thousand to 5.1 thousand UAH) is being applied.

Such a situation requires an urgent solution in terms of non-application of measures of administrative coercion to a certain category of persons in the conditions of de-facto movement blockage through the recognized Entry-Exit Checkpoints. The situation is especially critical during the ongoing admission campaign, where children from the temporarily occupied territories travel to the controlled territory in order to enter higher education institutions, and it is extremely important that their first meeting with the Ukrainian state will not be a report on an administrative offense.

The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations Concerning the Protection and Observance of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Victims of the Armed Conflict Supports Bill 475478 of 11.05.2021 “On Amendments to Section II“ Final Provisions ”of the Law of Ukraine“ On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Aimed at Preventing the Outbreak and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and asks to support the text at the next meeting of the Committee and recommend the people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to adopt the bill as a basis and as a whole as soon as possible.

Vostok SOS

ZMINA Human Rights Center

Crimea SOS

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P)

Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services

Donbas SOS

NGO “Public Holding “Group of Influence”

Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)

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23.06.21

The problem of IDP integration does not lose its relevance even despite the significant number of measures taken by the state to ensure their well-being and adaptation. In particular, special social protection programs are being developed at the local level to support people in difficult life circumstances.

БФ «Право на захист» продовжує співпрацювати з громадами для успішної інтеграції ВПО

Problems of IDP integration. The Residence Registration

One of the most striking problems for IDPs is the issue of “registration”. Residence registration still determines access to most of the government services, as well as the ability to participate in the local programs and receive benefits.

Currently, the vast majority of internally displaced persons do not have a registered place of residence in their new community. However, they want to register at a new place of residence. The main reason for the impossibility of changing the “registration” is the lack of housing in which a person could register. And this position is absolutely logical.

Thus, for the most part, IDPs do not change their registered place of residence due to possible difficulties in crossing the contact line and/or selling real estate in the temporarily occupied territories. Also, the unwillingness to change the registration address is associated with the fear of losing social guarantees and benefits. Thus, IDPs without registration at a new place of residence deprive themselves of the opportunity for local social guarantees and the ability to participate in programs. The only thing left is the right to social benefits for IDPs, which are also temporary.

БФ «Право на захист» продовжує співпрацювати з громадами для успішної інтеграції ВПО

Local programs for IDPs integration

Such programs exist, in particular, in the fields of culture, housing, public health, social protection, education support, etc. They are approved by the local government and financed from the local budget.

Of course, housing programs remain the main need of IDPs in the 7th year of conflict in the east of Ukraine. There is also a high level of interest in the field of social protection, health care, education, science, and small business support. Unfortunately, internally displaced persons are often excluded from the process of developing, discussing, and agreeing on the local programs.

At CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), we are working to change approaches to ensuring the inclusion of IDPs in community life, IDP integration, access to local programs, and the use of local democracy tools, as well as to provide several other opportunities.

The main tool that can help solve the problems with IDPs integration is the formation of IDP initiative groups and the subsequent establishment of an IDP Advisory Council. It can act as an advisory body and deal with the implementation of state and local policies in the field of IDP protection, promote their integration and provide support to the local host territorial communities. The approach is based on the model of the Advisory Council created in Zaporizhia, which has been working effectively for the second year in a row.

Exchange of experience and dissemination of successful practices remain one of the important areas of our work. For example, on June 11, specialists of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) organized an online meeting for initiative groups of internally displaced persons from Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Donetsk regions. The central theme of the event was the exchange of experiences on the integration of migrants into community life. The event was joined by 18 initiative IDPs from 15 ATCs.

The purpose of such activities is to exchange experiences and practices on the formation of IDP initiative groups with their further formalization at the local level and the establishment of the IDP Advisory Council. 

During the event on June 11, representatives of the IDP Advisory Council of Zaporizhia shared their experience in creating and implementing activities and successful practices of cooperation between the Council and local self-government bodies. During the event, participants learned about the prerequisites for the establishment of the IDP Advisory Council, the formation of its structure and activities, as well as the ways to motivate council members.

As a result of the event, it was agreed on further cooperation of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the IDP initiative groups and local self-government bodies. Cooperation is envisaged in the direction of establishing an advisory body and further lobbying the interests of IDPs at the local level, including through the development and ratification of Targeted Local Programs.

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22.06.21

In May, R2P with the support of the UNHCR, began work on the project “Ensuring Access to Social Services in Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs) Along the Contact Line”. Its goal is to support newly formed communities in the process of decentralization, i.e. the creation of the Social passport of the community and the aid in the formation of an effective and functioning system to provide the social services in the newly established amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs/ “Hromadas” in Ukrainian) taking into account their budget, influence of the hostilities and lack of full-fledged local self-government bodies, etc.

Ukraine has completed the process of reforming the administrative-territorial structure in 2020. As a result of a community consolidation, new administrative units were formed: 1469 amalgamated territorial communities and 119 districts in 24 regions (oblasts). Donetsk region (Government-Controlled (GCA) and Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) of Ukraine) has 46 ATCs and 8 districts. Luhansk region (GCA, NGCA) has 28 ATCs and 4 districts.

БФ «Право на захист» розпочав новий проєкт із допомоги ОТГ

In areas affected by the conflict near the contact line, decentralization has taken place with significant obstacles and under unfavorable circumstances. The decision not to include 10 communities in Donetsk and 8 communities in the Luhansk regions in the local elections (November 2020) created a double challenge for these territories.

First of all, for security reasons, they are all run by the civil-military administrations (CMAs), in order to ensure national security and defense, as well as to perform the functions of the local governments. Second, by the end of January 2021, the CMAs did not have the legal authority to perform such basic responsibilities as land management, community or co-ownership, establishment and management of the administrative service centers, implementation of inter-community cooperation agreements, and so on.

This legislative gap has recently been closed, but both the CMAs and the ATCs still need more time and support to adapt to decentralization, while responsibility for the social protection of the most vulnerable is already being transferred to them.

«There are lots of problematic issues in the communities where civil-military administrations have been established by Presidential Decree. In addition to the general problems with the exercise of the rights to social services guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine, each such community has additional difficulties related to the long-term conflict and the lack of qualified professionals. The project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line” will allow CMAs to establish an effective social protection system to provide quality social services in the communities within the timeframe specified by the Law of Ukraine.»

– says Oleh Lyubimov, Decentralization Coordinator at CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)

Work on a new project involves several stages:

  • research of the current situation (questionnaires of local authorities, focus groups, surveys of recipients of social services);
  • providing methodological assistance (development of draft administrative and organizational documents, conducting a set of educational and practical seminars and trainings, providing consultations);

legal and methodological support during the creation of the main units of social protection of local authorities in each community.

In early June, the teams of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) began the process of signing memorandums of cooperation with the Nyzhnyohirska and Teplivska OTGs, as well as with the Marinska and Sartanska CMAs.

«New amalgamated territorial communities must learn to build everything from scratch. Working with them will be difficult but at the same time a very interesting task. For us, areas near the contact line are not something super new and we have a long time of experience in cooperation with the activists and local state representatives here. We know both the problems and the challenges.  So, we hope that our further joint work will be aimed at community development and success. »

– said Olena Grekova, head of the Severodonetsk office of the R2P

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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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14.06.21

More than 180 internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently live in the compact residence unit (CRU) “Holy Mountains” (“Sviati Hory”). Most of them are elderly people, families with children with disabilities, incapacitated bedridden people.  They live at risk of eviction because every year there is a risk of lease non-renewal.

«IDPs are constantly looking for the most comfortable settlement options not to be dependent on external factors and tenant conditions. People are tired of living with the fear that they may be deprived of housing and left in the open. Everyone wants stability and confidence in the future for themselves and their families, »

– shares Natalia Shevchenko, monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)
Консультація щодо всеукраїнських житлових програм для ВПО в МКП «Святі гори»

On June 10 our colleagues from the Sloviansk office of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) held a group consultation on housing programs for internally displaced persons available in Ukraine. During the meeting, participants received information about the “Affordable Housing” program, the opportunity to receive a soft government loan, as well as on the program for social and temporary housing.

«The Sviatohirsk Territorial Community is currently being reorganized, and its leadership is interested in a long-term solution to the housing problems of internally displaced persons. We are confident that this community will be able to create all the conditions for the registration of those who need social and temporary housing. »

– said Iryna Abramova, the monitor of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection (R2P).

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