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08.10.21

Natalia was only 39. In early 2021 she was diagnosed with cancer, yet due to the lack of identity documents, she could not receive vital treatment: she could have neither undergo chemotherapy nor surgery.

Undocumented persons and even people who have applied for the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP) are not entitled to free medical treatment under the medical guarantee program. Natalia was hospitalized several times in critical conditions, but she did not receive proper treatment, despite the fact that in August 2021, with the help of a lawyer from the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), she applied for an SDP.

In the spring, Volodymyr Kohan died at the age of 69. This happened before the SDP was established. The lawyer of the R2P has been assisting the man in obtaining Ukrainian citizenship since 2018, but it has not been possible to confirm his citizenship – the legal connection with the Ukrainian state has been lost. The man suffered for many years due to vision loss and other diseases. He did not receive treatment due to a lack of a passport, as well as did not have money to be able to undergo treatment. The man made an appointment to apply for the Stateless Determination Procedure, but unfortunately, he was never able to obtain this document…

Recently, a 59-year-old woman, a beneficiary of the Fund, died. For more than 20 years, she struggled and waited for the introduction of the Stateless Determination Procedure to be adopted, all that while living without any documents, because no country recognized her as a citizen. For a long time, the woman suffered from diabetes, but could not receive medical care and proper examination due to a lack of identity documents. In May 2021, the woman already had the necessary package of documents to apply for an SDP but was never able to apply for the long-awaited procedure.

Due to the lack of citizenship, thousands of people living in Ukraine also do not have identity documents.

Since April 2021, Ukraine has introduced the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP). Finally, undocumented persons got a chance to change their lives for the better and live without any obstacles.

According to the survey, conducted by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in 2020, 17% of undocumented and/or stateless persons have serious chronic diseases or disabilities. These people are not entitled to free treatment, free examinations, disability, vaccinations, or any other free medical services under the medical guarantee program.

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

 Why can’t stateless applicants be treated free of charge?

Only citizens of Ukraine, foreigners, and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine, as well as the refugees and persons in need of complementary protection, can receive free medical care within the framework of the medical guarantee program.

This applies to the following types of medical care:

  •  emergency care;
  •  primary care;
  •  secondary (specialized) medical care;
  •  tertiary (highly specialized) medical care;
  •  palliative care;
  •  medical rehabilitation;
  •  medical care for children under 16;
  •  medical care in connection with pregnancy and childbirth.

Persons with uncertain legal status and/or citizenship, without any identity documents, do not have access to free medical care. Such people can count only on emergency medical care with the subsequent reimbursement of the cost of the provided services. The same applies to people who have applied for an SDP, as well as to the officially recognized stateless persons without a temporary residence permit.

According to the results of the study referred to in the report “Socio-economic rights of a person recognized as stateless in Ukraine and a person who has applied to be recognized as stateless under the statelessness determination procedure”, the R2P concluded that Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine “On the state financial guarantees of medical care” should be amended in order to ensure full costs coverage of the necessary medical services, care, and medicines provided to the persons who are officially recognized as stateless and to those who have applied for the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP).

In the context of the implementation of an SDP, it should be noted that the Human Rights Strategy aims to ensure that persons who have applied for the Procedure have the right to work, health care, and social protection. The implementation of this task is impossible without making the required changes in the legislation on financial guarantees of medical care. However, the relevant measures proposed by the public, unfortunately, were not included in the Action Plan of the National Strategy for Human Rights for 2021-2023.

Under the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the Contracting States shall provide the stateless persons with the same status as nationals within their territories. This includes the same rights in the following areas: social protection, employment, job rights, occupational diseases, maternity, illness, disability, age of retirement, death, unemployment, family responsibilities, and other cases that, in accordance with domestic laws or other regulations, fall within the scope of the social security system.

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) has repeatedly expressed its position on the vulnerability of the undocumented persons who have difficulty proving citizenship or whose citizenship is uncertain. In particular, we have informed the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the National Health Service of Ukraine about the status of these categories of persons and asked for an appropriate dialogue on that matter. Yet, the issue of legislative provision of access to medical services for these groups still remains unresolved.

R2P LOGO ENGLISH

«For years the undocumented and stateless persons have been suffering due to a complete lack of access to the medical services. A person is not entitled to free medical care even after filling the Stateless Determination Procedure application and even after being recognized as such and until the moment of obtaining a permanent residence permit. For Ukraine in order to comply with its international obligations, lawmakers need to review legislation on financial health care guarantees and provide people with adequate protection.»

notes Kseniia Karahiaur, legal analyst at R2P.

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07.10.21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

R2P LOGO ENGLISH

Yaroslava Zvolinska,

Strategic Lawyer 

CF “Right to Protection” (R2P)


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06.10.21

Stateless and undocumented persons require special protection, equal rights, and freedoms, as well as to, of course, to be able to exercise those rights. Now, this finally became possible with the recently introduced Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP) in Ukraine.

That’s why our colleagues, in cooperation with the State Migration Service of Ukraine, continue to hold thematic discussions on the implementation of this procedure in Ukraine. Today’s round table took place in Sloviansk. In a mixed offline-online format participants exchanged their experiences in submitting / accepting applications for recognition as a stateless person and talked about possible ways of cooperation in this area.

The event was joined by our colleagues Sofiia Kordonets, Kseniia Karahiaur, Nataliia Tolbatova and Nataliia Ishchenko, as well as by the representatives of the bodies and departments of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) in the Donetsk region.

In particular, the participants discussed the most complex cases of undocumented persons and the ways to solve them, peculiarities of accompanying undocumented minors, as well as outlined the ways on informing such persons of the new possibility to receive legal status. Such a format contributes to the establishment of effective dialogue and the development of working relations.

This round table is the second one held by the R2P jointly with the representatives of the SMSU. The previous event took place in Kharkiv with the representatives of the regional units. And tomorrow in Severodonetsk colleagues will meet with representatives of bodies and divisions of the SMSU in the Luhansk region.

CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) sincerely thanks all participants for a wonderful discussion and active participation! We hope that such events will not only take place more often but will also bring fruitful results and will finally give the undocumented and stateless persons a chance to become legally recognized!


Since April 2021, the Stateless Determination Procedure is available to everyone in Ukraine, now stateless persons can apply to the State Migration Service for recognition. So far, being accompanied by the lawyers and attorneys of the team of the CF “Right to Protection” Project “Legal Assistance to Stateless Persons in Ukraine”, 59 persons were able to submit their applications for recognition as stateless persons.

USEFUL THEMATIC MATERIALS:

Project “Legal assistance to stateless persons in Ukraine” is implemented by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

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06.10.21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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05.10.21

Like the most of other people who lived in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Lydia was forced to leave her native Horlivka in 2014 due to the start of hostilities. Being hundreds of kilometers away from her home is not an easy challenge, especially for a person over 60.

For the first time, the woman settled in a modular town in Kryvyi Rih. Due to difficult living conditions (summer temperatures exceeded 38 degrees), the woman was forced to look for a new home again. That’s how she got acquainted with the local team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

In 2016, the monitoring specialist of the R2P Olena Pazenko helped Lydia move to a dormitory in Sofiyivka. The woman lived there for the next three years. But a modest pension which she received was not enough to pay the high cost of utilities. Lydia was forced to return to the modular town. Subsequently, the woman tried to find housing in the cities of Pokrov and Zhovti Vody, but all these attempts were in vain.

However, Lydia did not despair, and once our colleague offered to apply for temporary housing in a dormitory in Kryvyi Rih. The first floor of the building was reconstructed thanks to the efforts of the Ukrainian Social Investment Fund (USIF) and local authorities.

There is one week left before the opening of this compact residence place. The woman still had to collect a package of documents, while many other IDPs had already handed them in. At first, it seemed that there was nothing to hope for. However, with the help of our colleagues, all the necessary documents were collected and submitted within one day.

Маленькі громади з великим серцем. Історія Девладівської ОТГ

«IDP’s applications for temporary housing are being considered by a Commission with the use of a priority-based scoring system. Ms. Lydia received approval of the Commission and was settled in a 1-room apartment in an apartment-type dormitory. Therefore, we emphasize that every internally displaced person has the right to submit documents and stand in line for temporary housing, even if the number of people in the queue exceeds the number of apartments available,»,

– said Myroslava Sushchenko, the head of the Dnieper-Zaporizhia office of the R2P.

Our colleague Olena Pazenko warmly tells about the recent meeting with Lydia:

«Recently, during a monitoring visit to the compact residence place, we talked to Ms. Lydia about her impeccable Ukrainian language and it turned out that her daughters graduated from the Faculty of Ukrainian Philology, and Ms. Lydia’s older brother is a famous Ukrainian poet Leonid Talalai, whose works are studied in schools. Mrs. Lydia is a bright person and very modest! I am so glad that our efforts were not in vain, I am glad to see her eyes shining with happiness – such moments give hope that in the future every person who was forced to leave home will definitely find it!»

Today Lydia is finally happy and gets used to living in her new home.

We are sincerely glad that this story turned out to be a success. We wish Lydia to never feel any discomfort in her life again and to only feel warmth, coziness, joy, and happiness. We also thank the city authorities of Kryvyi Rih and the Ukrainian Social Investment Fund for their help in realizing Lydia’s dream.

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04.10.21

Because of the restrictions on crossing the ‘contact line’ through the Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs), thousands of people have been deprived of their basic needs: pensions and social benefits, birth and death certificates, ability to visit and communicating with family members, access to their own property or to their permanent residence at all.

As a result, many residents of the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) decide to go to Government-Controlled Areas (GCA) through the Russian Federation and cross the Russian-Ukrainian International Border Crossing Points (IBCP) 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.

contact line звіт

The team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) jointly with the UNHCR prepared a 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 IBCP, SBGS statistic and observation, during monitoring visits from June till August 2021.

Note is available for viewing and download

In English and in Ukrainian.

UNHCR and the NGO Right to Protection (R2P) are grateful for the generous support provided by donors, including the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO); the Govern-
ments of Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (DFID), the United States of America (PRM) as well as private citizens who are contributing funds through different UNHCR private associations such as España con ACNUR of Spain and the UNO Flüchtlingshilfe of Germany.

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01.10.21

This report provides the results of observation at all seven Entry-Exit Checkpoints (EECPs) and the survey conducted at two of them (Novotroitske EECP in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska EECP in Luhanska Oblast) in the first half of 2021. Additionally, the report also contains some preliminary observations at International-Border Checkpoints (IBCPs) from April to June of 2021.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The flow of crossing people continued to decline in 2021. According to the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) statistics, there were 6,589,000 crossings in the first half of 2019 and 2,656,000 crossings in the corresponding period of 2020, while only 274,000 crossings have taken place in the first half of 2021.
  • In the first half of 2019 and 2020 receiving state benefits and other cash-related issues were the most commonly cited reasons given for NGCA residents to cross the contact line, whereas in 2021 visiting relatives was their most common reason listed. Before the introduction of quarantine restrictions, long lines were a major concern at all EECPs. When crossings were allowed through two EECPs, possible issues with permits were most commonly cited by respondents in 2021 as reasons for their concern.
  • In the first half of 2021, UNHCR supported services facilitating the crossing of the EECPs. For example, at least 6,500 people were provided with help from R2P monitors with installing and running the mobile phone application Vdoma, and about 1,200 people were assisted by R2P in getting permissions for crossing from the Coordination Group. Also, 29,918 vulnerable elderly persons were provided with transport support at Stanytsia Luhanska EECP by NGO Proliska’s electric vehicle.
  • In line with R2P advocacy, on 22 March 2021, amendments were made to Resolution #1236 on COVID‑19 measures that greatly facilitated the crossing procedure for foreigners. Foreigners who have permanent residence in Ukraine are no longer required to have insurance when crossing the contact line to GCA.
  • R2P monitors reported one fatality at zero checkpoint of Stanytsia Luhanska EECP in 2021. The primary cause of death was related to heart problems.
  • Сrossing the contact line remained possible only through two EECPs: Novotroitske in Donetska Oblast and Stanytsia Luhanska in Luhanska Oblast (see the table in section 8. Observations at EECPs)
  • More – in the full Report below.

Mid-Year Report is available in

Ukrainian and English

R2P LOGO ENGLISH

The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of rights of the conflict-affected population including internally displaced persons (IDPs) within the framework of the project “Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population of Ukraine” implemented by Charitable Foundation (CF) “Right to Protection” (R2P) in partnership with and with the financial support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The objective of the survey is to explore the motivations and concerns of the civilians travelling between the non-government-controlled areas (NGCA) and the government-controlled areas (GCA), as well as the conditions and risks associated with crossing the contact line through EECPs during the quarantine period. More statistical data are available on the 2021 Eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring Online Dashboard.

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30.09.21

Our colleagues continue to provide legal assistance to the communities in eastern Ukraine within the framework of the project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line”. Recently, they paid working visits to the east of Ukraine, met with the participants of our project, and presented the first developments and results of the joint work.

In the spring of this year we began active work with the amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs) which were formed during the decentralization reform in Ukraine. This is an absolutely new experience for Ukraine, which is, of course, accompanied by the emergence of many problems throughout the country, especially in the east, near the contact line. Therefore, we have started cooperation with five ATCs, three of which (Sartanska, Marinska and Svitlodarska) are from the Donetsk region, and two (Hirska and Nyzhnyoteplivska) from the Luhansk region.

Last week our colleagues proudly presented the Draft of the Community Social Passport and discussed the results of a comprehensive study which the R2P conducted in the summer. With the use of focus groups and questionnaires, we have collected the information on the actual state of affairs in the system of social services in the communities, learned about the needs of people living in abovementioned communities, and so on. Team of the R2P had analyzed the results and announced them during the meetings. In the future, this data will help to create and maintain a working social protection system in every amalgamated territorial community in Ukraine.

Олег Любімов

“These are just the first steps. Next, it is required to create a system of communal institutions which provide social services, as well as to organize the structural units within the Amalgamated Territorial Communities, which not only will be responsible for providing social services to the locals, but also will conduct full monitoring and evaluation of the quality of the already provided services”

– notes Oleg Lyubimov, Decentralization Coordinator at CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

We already have some fruitful results of our common work with the communities. Thus, in addition to the developed community social passports in Hirske, our employees helped to add the recently formed municipal institution of the Hirske City Civil-Military Administration (CMA) to the register of social service providers. In Marinka, our colleagues provided methodological assistance in preparing a project application for participation in the UNHCR grant competition.

Допомога громадам. Як БФ «Право на захист» допомагає ОТГ створювати ефективну систему надання соціальних послуг Helping the communities. How R2P helps ATCs create an effective system for providing the social services

We have also discussed the reorganization of the Bakhmutsky Territorial Center for Social Services, which was transferred to the balance of the Svitlodar City CMA. In Nyzhnyoteplivska ATC, we have discussed the options for providing social services to the community residents both on the basis of inter-municipal cooperation and via creating its own municipal institution, the Center for Social Services.

Lawyers of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) also advised the management of the amalgamated territorial communities on the financial support of the system of social services. Colleagues spoke about the various subventions provided to the local budgets from the state to support the ATCs and their social services system.

Допомога громадам. Як БФ «Право на захист» допомагає ОТГ створювати ефективну систему надання соціальних послуг Helping the communities. How R2P helps ATCs create an effective system for providing the social services

There is still lots of work to be done. Yet we hope that this work will yield fruitful results.

The project “Ensuring access to social services in local communities along the contact line” is implemented by the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ukraine.

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28.09.21

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

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

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

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

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

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