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15.01.21

When submitting an application for recognition as a refugee to the Migration Service of Ukraine, you need to provide evidence in support of your fears for your life and that you are being persecuted in your country of origin. However, we advise you to indicate these evidence in your application as attachments so that they are not lost. In addition, it can be useful if the Migration Service refuses to recognize you as a refugee so in the future you will be able to confirm that you have tried to prove the existence of conventional grounds.

The main evidence in court will be protocol of your interview with the Migration Service. Therefore, you need to make sure that all explanations you provide during the interview are recorded clearly and in detail.

Evidence that you can submit to the Migration Service or to the court:

  • Country of Origin Information (COI);
  • Written evidence (letters from human rights organizations, characteristics, testimonies, etc.);
  • Photographs;
  • Video, audio recordings of rallies, demonstrations, radio recordings;
  • Video reports from journalists, bloggers, etc.;
  • Screenshots of pages from social networks;
  • Testimony of witnesses;
  • Other evidence, which you have.

Country of Origin Information (COI) is a very important part. COI is the information, which covers the situation in the applicant’s country of origin. It must be relevant; reliable, balanced; precise and up-to-date.

What might COI include?

  • Reports of international human rights organizations;
  • Reports of governmental and non-governmental organizations;
  • National legislation of the applicant’s country of origin;
  • Media;
  • Scientific articles.

Where to find information on the Country of Origin?


Read more on the Refugee Helper chatbot page on Facebook

15.01.21

Today we publish the report ‘Crossing the contact line’ for December 2020, prepared by ‘Right to Protection’. It 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

HIGHLIGHTS:   

  • During the 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.
  • In December, about 443 people were authorized to cross to the government-controlled areas (GCA) at the Novotroitske EECP and about 893 people crossed the contact line to nongovernment-controlled areas (NGCA). At Stanytsia Luhanska EECP over 21,000 people crossed the contact line to GCA and over 25,000 people to NGCA.
  • On 25 November, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted Resolution No. 1161 with the aim of legally regulating the procedure for crossing the contact line through temporarily closed EECP for cases of humanitarian nature. Such grounds are recognized as: return to the place of residence; family reunification; serious illness; the death of close relatives; the need to provide medicines or undergo treatment; departure from NGCA for permanent or temporary residence in another state; crossing the EECP by a child accompanied by one of the parents; crossing the EECP for the purpose of visiting an educational institution for training; the need to ensure the protection of national interests or in connection with the fulfillment of international obligations by foreign diplomats; acceptance of inheritance. No change in the crossing process was observed on the ground following the release of the resolution.
  • During the month of December, 8,222 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by the NGO “Proliska” e-vehicle.

The document 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.

14.01.21

On 14 January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) accepted for consideration [1] the inter-State application lodged by Ukraine against Russia concerning human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea, declaring it partly admissible. In Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea),the Government of Ukraine provided evidence of repetitive violations of a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Russian Federation, alongside with Russian official tolerance towards it. This decision is of utmost importance for Ukraine, as the complaints’ admissibility is a prerequisite for the Court to pursue the consideration of the case on the merits.

Here are the main aspects of yesterday’s decision.

  1. The Court established that it had sufficient evidence to conclude that Russia had exercised effective control over Crimea since 27 February 2014. This means that the responsibility for the violation of human rights in Crimea as from this date will be borne by the Russian Federation, as the State exercising jurisdiction over the peninsula territory. The start date of the exercise of effective control is also important. In fact, the Court refuted Russia’s argument that its jurisdiction over Crimea only began after the so-called “referendum,” i.e. after 18 March 2014. However, yesterday’s decision paves the way for substantiating Russia’s responsibility for human rights violations in Crimea before the illegal referendum.
  • The Court found that there was sufficient prima facia evidence to confirm 1) the repetitiveness of human rights violations and 2) official tolerance thereof by the Russian Federation. The presence of these two components allows alleging an administrative practice of human rights violations by Russia in Crimea. Among the violations allegedly committed by Russia are the following: enforced disappearances and the lack of an effective investigation in respect thereof, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, unlawful detention, lack of a fair trial due to extension of the application of Russian law to Crimea, suppression of non-Russian media, unlawful interference with the freedom of religion, illegal searches of private housings, ban on public gatherings, suppression of the Ukrainian language in schools, expropriation of private property with no compensation provided, illegal restriction of freedom of movement, and numerous cases of discrimination against Crimean Tatars. Having confirmed the admissibility of these complaints, the Court is going to proceed with their examination on the merits.
  • Several Ukrainian complaints were declared inadmissible by the Court, making it impossible to examine them on the merits. These include instances of killings, detention of foreign journalists and the nationalization of Ukrainian soldiers’ property, which have either been found to be isolated, falling out of the scope of administrative practice, or not substantiated by relevant evidence.
  • Finally, the Court decided to notify the Government of the Russian Federation of another Ukrainian application concerning the transfer of Ukrainian prisoners from Crimea to the Russian territory. The Court joined this complaint to Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea) and decided to address its admissibility at a later stage.

Overall, yesterday’s decision of the Court became an expected and remarkable victory of Ukraine on the legal front of the fight against Russia. The first stage has been passed: the way to consider the merits of Ukrainian complaints in Strasbourg is now open.

Yaroslava Yudina, Strategic Lawyer at R2P


Text of the ECtHR decision is available

14.01.21

On January 5, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine updated the rules for terminating the self-isolation of persons who arrived from the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol.

From now on, in addition to the results of PCR tests, the data of rapid tests which are performed after crossing the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) to determine the SARS-CoV–2 antigen will be used for early termination of self-isolation. According to the new rules, testing sites for coronavirus antigen should be set up at each EECP. The Donetsk and Luhansk regional state administrations, together with the “Reintegration and Reconstruction” state enterprise, are responsible for the implementation of these regulations. However, as our colleagues, the monitors of the Right to Protection Charitable Foundation told us, as of January 13, no express testing points were installed at the Entry-Exit Checkpoints.

Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko noted that the rapid testing on Entry-Exit Checkpoints for citizens of Ukraine will be free of charge. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) document (in Ukrainian – ed. note), a batch of 1.8 million rapid tests have already been distributed in the regions.

On January 12, at a meeting of the Ministry of Health with the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine agreed on the organization of testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigen at the Entry-Exit Checkpoints. Stay tuned for new updates on our Facebook page.

We will keep you informed on the process of arrangement of testing points!

13.01.21

Recently we told the story of Mykhailo, who had to flee persecution from Tajikistan. Thanks to the grant from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine he began his own business and integration. Today he is a successful businessman and owns several cafes in Irpin and Bucha (Kyiv Region, Ukraine). His story is an example that nothing is impossible.

If you have a status of refugee, a person with additional protection, or You are an asylum seeker in Ukraine and You also wish to start your own business, we suggest you pay attention to the UNHCR Self-Reliance Grants for 2021.

unhcr-logo-Ukraine 2

Self-reliance grant is a one-time assistance that can be provided to recognized refugees, persons granted complementary protection in Ukraine and asylum seekers in Ukraine who meet UNHCR criteria and have strong will to become self-reliant through starting a small or medium scale business, agricultural activity in rural areas or undergoing vocational training. 

Taking quarantine into the account, most attention will be paid to applicants who have a clear vision and plan to adapt their business to the new conditions and realities caused by COVID-19.

Deadline for applications: 1-st of April 2021

You can learn more about the program and the conditions of participation following the link:

13.01.21

The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories has published a draft law “On the State Policy of Transitional Period” for refinement proposals and review. The document needs to be studied carefully as it is great in size and consists of 100 pages.

In draft the unification of approaches and generalization of existing legislation in the field of occupation and armed conflict in the context of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are declared.

After collecting the proposals, the document will be finalized, additionally published and sent to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for consideration.

Right to Protection within the Coalition of NGOs provides legal assistance to the internally displaced persons, helps them to exercise their rights and overcome the negative effects of an armed conflict. We, the Coalition, are ready to provide opinions and expert comments to journalists and stakeholders concerning this draft law.

The expert opinion and position on the draft law “On the State Policy of Transitional Period” will be published on the pages of Coalition organizations.

The Coalition consists of:

Right to Protection Charitable Foundation

ZMINA Human Rights Center

Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)

Vostok SOS Charitable Foundation

NGO “Civil holding “GROUP OF INFLUENCE”

NGO “KrymSOS” 

NGO “DonbasSOS”

Stabilization Support Services in Ukraine Charitable Foundation

11.01.21

From birth Leonid lived in Ukraine. In the 1990s, he lost the passport of a citizen of the USSR, the only passport he had at that moment. Due to lack of need, the man never thought about renewing the documents and getting a Ukrainian passport in time.

But one day everything changed. In 2019 Leonid was given a disappointing diagnosis and required urgent surgery and treatment, which are impossible without documents. The man applied to the migration service for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine. In result of the inspection, he was denied on the grounds that his citizenship could not be established. Leonid was advised to apply to the Right to Protection Charitable Foundation for legal assistance.

The lawyer of our Foundation made several inquiries, prepared and submitted an application to the court to establish the fact of Leonid’s residence on the territory of Ukraine from the period of independence. As a result of a difficult trial, the fact of residence was established by the decision of the Leninsky District Court of Kharkiv.  In September 2020. After all the necessary documents were collected the procedure for Leonid’s citizenship of Ukraine was started.

On 1-st of December, Leonid received a certificate of registration as a citizen of Ukraine.  Immediately then, he submitted an application to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine to the Kholodnohirsky Regional Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) in Kharkiv region.

Thanks to the cooperation of the SMSU with the Right to Protection CF, as well as the great job done by the Migration Service staff, Leonid came into the New Year 2021 in a new status of a citizen of Ukraine. Now he can finally receive proper treatment, open his own bank account, exercise his civil and political rights, same as everyone else. 

Паспорт на Новий рік New Year Passport

As Leonid said, this was the best New Year gift for him:

«For a moment I felt completely desperate. I was prepared to live the rest of my life without a passport, although in reality I dreamed of receiving it one day. New Year is a magic time when all dreams come true! I believed in a miracle again!»


Recently we told the story of our another beneficiary Pavlo who was in a similar situation and had to live 27 years without a legal identity.

05.01.21

Back in the days Mykhailo had to flee persecution from Tajikistan. Nowadays he runs a successful business in the cities of Irpin and Bucha (Kyiv Region) – the Mazza_cafe_halal.

These cafes specialize in traditional Eastern cuisine. Here everyone can enjoy pilaf, chebureks, doner kebabs and other famous delicacies.

Mazza_cafe_halal - a successful business

His success in business is the result of hard work and constant development. According to Mykhailo, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) business grant helped him to get a kickstart.

Earlier, Mykhailo joined the Right to Protection CF training for beneficiaries «How to make money and find yourself in Ukraine», where he shared his experience of successful integration and on starting a career in Ukraine. We decided to go to the city of Irpin and visit Mr. Mykhailo’s cafe and talk with him about his life, development, and the path to success.

More – in our video:

31.12.20

In 2020 Together with the partners from 3P Consortium Right to Protection CF worked on several projects aimed on protection mainstreaming in eastern Ukraine. One of the most successful initiatives were webinars, seminars and trainings for local authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In the video below Artem Krenbok, the Project Manager of the Right to Protection CF and Kateryna Budiyanska, the Government Relations Officer at Right to Protection tell how disaster risk reduction (DRR) framework helps to minimize existing and potential hazards.

3 questions. 3 answers on the activities of 3P Consortium in 2020


The 3P Consortium was formed in 2019 by a group of international and Ukrainian NGOs – ACTED, IMPACT Initiatives, Right to Protection CF, the Danish Red Cross, the Austrian Red Cross, and the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. With the full support of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and under the ACTED leadership, the 3P Consortium works to support the reduction of disaster risk vulnerability in eastern Ukraine. 3P partners are united by their desire to Prevent, Prepare and Protect civilian populations and critical service systems in eastern Ukraine against the risks of natural, ecological and industrial disasters.