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03.06.20

For better action in the future, it is time to reflect on the achievements of the 3P Consortium, created by ACTED in 2019 to Prevent, Prepare and Protect (3P) communities and infrastructure from risks of industrial and ecological disasters in Eastern Ukraine.

Read more about 3P Consortium achievements since the beginning of 2020 in the Consortium newsletter available here.

01.06.20

Starting from March 22, 2020, quarantine restrictive measures have been introduced in Ukraine to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These restrictions, in particular, provided for the partial suspension for the people to cross through the checkpoints on the contact line and the administrative border with the temporarily occupied territories. The first restrictions on passing came into force on March 7 for the checkpoints located on the contact line with the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. However, on March 16, in accordance with the order of the Commander of the Joint Forces, new restrictions on crossing the contact line were imposed on the checkpoints with the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and on March 22 the crossing of the contact line was stopped in both directions.

Since May 11, a gradual lifting of quarantine measures has started in Ukraine. However, according to the plan announced by the Prime Minister of Ukraine in April, there is no information about opening the EECPs. This situation makes one think that the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are beyond the scope and attention of the Government of Ukraine.

Read the Coalition position on reversal of quarantine restrictions entering and exiting the temporarily occupied territories. The recommendations were developed by experts from non-governmental organizations that are members of the informal Coalition of Organizations Dealing with the Protection of the Rights of Victims of Conflict.

The document is available in English and Ukrainian.

01.06.20

The Alternative report (hereinafter AR) on the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter the UNCRC) is the result of the joint work of public sector experts in the field of the protection of the rights of the child. The document contains up-to-date information on Ukraine’s compliance with the UNCRC for the period since Ukraine received recommendations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child after the consideration by the Committee of the consolidated third and fourth National Report (2011) up to 2018 inclusively.

The report is available in English.

22.05.20

Today we present the digest of the CF ‘Right to Protection’ for January – April 2020. It provides information on the number and subject of citizens’ appeals to our colleagues at the EECPs, hotline, chatbot, as well as on the work of the organization within the project ‘Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons’.

The document is available in English and Ukrainian.

30.04.20

Available on Facebook, the Refugee Helper chatbot from CF Right to Protection is now operational. The online tool aims to simplify the provision of critical legal information for refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine. Additionally, the chatbot will raise awareness around issues related to the rights and responsibilities of refugees and asylum seekers residing in Ukraine, and it aims to help these individuals to integrate into Ukrainian society.

The chatbot was previewed at a testing format in December 2019 during the Access to Justice Hackathon in Kyiv. 

Svetlana Butenko, Senior Attorney at Right to Protection (R2P), says that the idea of providing legal aid online through an automated chatbot originated in the organization some years ago. “It’s important to take into account the individual life circumstances in which our beneficiaries find themselves” Svetlana says. “These are people who may need legal assistance at any time: while they’re crossing the border, or at night during an illegal detention. Many of them don’t speak Ukrainian yet, and so it can be difficult to understand the authorities or the local community. That’s why it’s so important for us—using modern technology—to have an automated helper that can be available from anywhere in the world at any time. Moreover, this advice should offer clear advice in an appropriate language.” 

The Refugee Helper is on Facebook and available 24/7—users can receive legal advice and answers to common questions at any time of day. For example, you can learn how to apply for refugee status, what to do if your application is rejected, what to do when authorities ask to see your documents, where to find housing, how to get a job, and many other useful tips. 

Adapting the information and legal terminology to the average user has been one of the most challenging tasks in developing the program: “Of course, we knew that we had to provide information as simply and clearly as possible so that any person could immediately access and use the critical information” Ms. Butenko says. “This is why we’ve included the ability to download relevant documents, and we’ve added links to institutions, government agencies, and other organizations which can help if someone is in trouble.” 

The chatbot tool is not intended to replace the legal specialists at organizations like R2P; the available information will not be enough to solve all problems. In cases where additional help may be required, R2P has also provided their project hotlines which are available to potential clients:

Kyiv: +38 093 049 52 18; +38 094 905 67 62

Kharkiv: +38 094 811 17 64

Lviv: +38 093 023 08 55

And, in case of emergency, the Viber & WhatsApp Number: +38 093 038 95 62

23.04.20

In 2019 alone, more than 40 deaths were recorded at the entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in Donetsk. In order to address this, it is necessary to urgently review the healthcare system and modify the medical infrastructure to suit the particular necessities of the region. This was discussed during the presentation of the report “Investigating the Conditions of Access to Care at EECPs.” The report was prepared by experts of the Charitable Fund Right to Protection (R2P) based on the monitoring results of the five checkpoints operating on the line of contact. 

According to Anastasia Odintsova, Advocacy Coordinator at R2P, the reason for conducting this complex research was concern about the statistical results obtained from Lugansk and Donetsk regions. For example, in 2018, more than 50 people were killed either by shelling at the EECPs or by health problems exacerbated while crossing the line of contact, and another 38 people died in the first nine months of 2019.

Only one of the above mentioned EECPs is actively involved in the provision of medical assistance to the civilian population through the use of public services. In the other cases, access to medical assistance came entirely from non-governmental and international organizations, as well as volunteers. Thanks to the efforts of groups like these, many tragedies have been avoided. However, this does not solve the systemic problem-one which should come under the responsibility of the state. 

Iryna Pesko, Legal Analyst at R2P, said during the presentation that, of the approximately 130,000 people who cross through the EECPs every month, the majority are over 60 years of age. For many of them, the journey across the contact line is a severe aggravator of health conditions: “Every day, people seek the advice and assistance of monitors and medical tents at the EECPs because this is the only available alternative to public health care…In Ukraine, we have no precedent or previous experiences to draw a standard operating procedure from. This is a problem that needs to be addressed comprehensively-taking into account the particularities of each potential patient, the weaknesses of local government bodies along the line of contact, and the obvious consequences of the destroyed infrastructure of medical facilities in both the government-controlled and non-controlled territories of Ukraine.”

A separate point of discussion was the lack of on-site medical infrastructure and the lack of adequate staffing for emergency medical centers. According to Valery Panteyev, a medical doctor at Première Urgence Internationale (PUI), their specialists have been providing medical assistance to people at the EECPs since 2016. But the lack of essential medical infrastructure is more evident now despite efforts of physicians, and despite the numerous instances when PUI representatives saved lives. This is a problem that can only be addressed at the state level. 

Inna Golovanchuk, Adviser to the Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, stressed the need for a unified approach and for the provision of medical care at all EECPs: “There are already principled decisions being made at the EECPs along the administrative border with [non-government-controlled areas], and we’re in the process of developing a way to provide medical care to the population at the EECPs and along the line of contact.” She emphasized that the state, as a guarantor of the right to access to medical care, should accept the responsibility from the non-governmental and international organizations that have been providing medical assistance at the EECPs in recent years. 

At the same time, in Ms. Golovanchuk’s opinion, given the experience gained by these organizations, it is advisable to consider the possibility of developing a mechanism for the state to contract these organizations to continue their work and define key performance indicators: “A number of formalities-in particular the uncertainty surround the chain of command and the optimal funding of the EECPs–will be eliminated by systematic regulatory work to unify the structure and define the complex of services at the EECPs. This will help meet the needs of the population as soon as possible at the EECPs,” she concluded.

As a result of the presentation and discussion, the participants plan to form a coordination group in the near future with the involvement of representatives of the relevant authorities and, in particular, the Ministry of Health and certain NGOs, to formulate further steps to overcome the identified problems.

The report is available in English and Ukrainian.

The study was carried out under the auspices of the ‘Provision of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to the conflict-affected population of Eastern Ukraine’ project, implemented by Right to Protection and with financial support from the European Commission through the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid’s ACCESS Consortium.

15.04.20

Please find the report ‘Crossing the contact line’. It is based on data collected during visits of our colleagues to the five entry-exit checkpoints (EECPs) in March 2020. More statistical data can be found on the Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • As part of measures aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19, the JFO Headquarters limited EECP operation in two steps. Since 17 March, people could cross only in the direction of their residence registration (“propiska”) – NGCA or GCA. In some cases, the SBGS allowed crossing if a person had an urgent issue (family separation, critical medical condition, etc.). Since 22 March, GCA EECPs fully suspended the passing of people while de-facto authorities did it a day earlier. Therefore, some people passed the GCA EECP but were not allowed to enter on the NGCA side and had to return.
  • Due to the restrictions, some people could not cross the contact line despite having sufficient reasons for crossing and relevant residence registration. As a result, on all EECPs by the end of March people have been stranded for days, in many cases without the financial means for temporary accommodation. The most urgent situation occurred at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP: over 40 people have been waiting on the GCA side, unable to cross the contact line. Meanwhile, people waiting at Maiorske EECP, were provided with accommodation and food by local authorities and NGOs.
  • From the end of February and throughout March due to the threat of the spread of COVID-19 SBGS servicemen had continued to carry out temperature screening of the crossing people at all EECPs before they were closed. All cases of temperature detection of 37.9 or higher and severe acute respiratory syndrome symptoms were recorded by SBGS servicemen, people received reminders about the need for self-isolation.
  • During the period 1-17 of March, 18,077 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transportation support at Stanitsa Luhanska EECP by NGO Proliska electric vehicle. As of 17 March, transportation services were suspended due to imposing the quarantine measures. Most services suspended their work at EECPs since 17-20 March at all EECPs: the Coordination Group representatives, iNGO medical representatives, and transportation, including a social bus at Stanytsia Luhanska.

More information you may find in a document. It’s available in English and 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 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.

25.03.20

The Right to Protection has launched a project aimed at integrating refugees and asylum seekers into Ukrainian society, in particular through their employment. Nowadays, one of the main problems for refugee or complementary protection holders, as well as asylum seekers is the problem of employment. To address this, in March 2020 our project “Innovative Ways to Integrate Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Ukraine” was launched.

For its part, Right to Protection offers and ensures:

  • support in the preparation of the package of documents required for official employment;
  • matching potential employees with employers in accordance with the job requirements;
  • coordination of communication between the potential employer and persons interested in obtaining a job.

Please contact us, if you:

  • are looking for a job;
  • need help in drafting a resume, preparing for an interview, and finding a job;
  • want to receive a TAX ID Number;
  • need assistance in supporting your private enterprise?
  • have a valid passport/other ID document

We can help! Please contact v.mykhalko@r2p.in.ua or write a message to Viber on 063 411 72 92

Project description

Every minute, 20 people around the world are forced to abruptly drop everything, leave their lives behind, and escape violence. According to UNHCR more than 26 million refugees and 3.5 million asylum seekers were forced to flee their homes in 2019. Some of these people end up receiving protective status in Ukraine; the State Migration Service says that as of January 1st, 2019, there were 2,620 refugees and more than 5,500 asylum seekers in the country. 

However, despite being beyond the reach of the violence they fled from, these people still face massive challenges in beginning their lives anew. In particular, it can be extremely difficult for them to find gainful and lawful employment due to employers’ lack of knowledge about their legal circumstances regarding the right to work. 

In March of 2018, in order to address this outstanding challenge, R2P launched the Innovative Ways to Integrate project. The overall goal of the project is to find ways to integrate refugees and asylum seekers within the territories of Ukraine. In particular, the project aims to help refugees and asylum seekers find employment, as well as solutions to everyday challenges (birth and marriage registration, etc.), so that they can begin to live normal, self-sustaining lives. 

Since then, R2P has developed and now manages a database of more than 500 resumés of refugees, complementary protection holders, and asylum seekers in Ukraine. We have also built a network of socially responsible employers who fill their vacancies through our services. This exchange is beneficial for all parties because Ukrainian companies often experience high turnover and staffing shortages, and they are in need of people just like our beneficiaries. 

However, our work is far from done! There are many more individuals in need of work, and there are many more positions that need to be filled. A new phase of this project will focus on addressing the problem of access to employment starting in March 2020.

R2P continues our ongoing outreach to refugee communities and to potential employers. We are keeping our databases updated with skilled people looking for jobs, and we are continuing to conduct outreach and educational seminars to inform Ukrainian businesses about what they need to know when hiring refugees. 

23.03.20

What to do if the duration of «dovidka» has expired during quarantine period COVID-19?

  1. Contact R2P (Right to protection) office and inform about the date when your DOVIDKA has expired (or is going to be expired). 
    Kiev: +38 093 049 52 18; +38 094 905 67 62; +38 044 337 17 62
    Kharkiv: 094-811-1764
    Alternatively, write us on Viber, WhatsApp: +38 093 038 95 62
  2. Make a picture of your DOVIDKA (if it is possible) and to send it to the Viber number of Migration service +38 093-020-95-48
  3. Contact the Viber number of Migration service +38 093-020-95-48 right after the quarantine period and visit the premises of Migration service during 30 days after the quarantine period for DOVIDKA extension without fine.
  4. Be in contact with R2P office as for the difficulties in this issue.
  5. Stay at home and keep low profile.
23.03.20

We have to suspend the reception of citizens in our offices and monitoring visits due to quarantine. However, we stay in touch on our hotline and continue to provide legal aid to anyone in need.

Hotline to IDPs:

+38 (099) 507 50 90
+38 (068) 507 50 90
+38 (093) 507 50 90