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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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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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27.09.21

On September 21, Sofiia Kordonets, Oksana Zhelanova, Dmytro Hanych, and Kseniia Karagyaur met with the representatives of bodies and subdivisions of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Region as a part of a thematic round table. During the event, participants had the opportunity to exchange experiences in submitting / accepting applications for recognition as stateless person and discussed the ways to cooperate in this area.

In a favorable working atmosphere, participants spoke about:

  • The main categories of persons applying for recognition as a stateless person;
  • Challenges when submitting / accepting applications from stateless persons;
  • Ways to facilitate the submission of an application for recognition as a stateless person in non-standard cases.

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.

Due to effective cooperation with the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region, some of these applications were submitted in Kharkiv and in the region.

In connection with the implementation of the Stateless Determination Procedure in Ukraine, the R2P is conducting and plans to continue to hold events with the representatives of public authorities and other institutions in order to establish effective cooperation in this area.

Our team is sincerely grateful to all the participants for their interest in the topic and activity during the round table!

USEFUL THEMATIC MATERIALS:

Statelessness in Ukraine: scope and causes of the problem

Про правовий статус особи, яку визнано ОБГ та про статус заявника

Legal status of a person recognized as a stateless in Ukraine and the status of a person who applies for a statelessness determination procedure (SDP)

Statelessness: Ukraine became the 21st country in the world and the 15th in Europe to establish a separate Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP)

Instruction: How to apply for a stateless person status? 


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)

24.09.21

Today, September 24, is the second day of an international conference on “Statelessness and the right to citizenship in Europe: progress, challenges and opportunities”, organized by the UNHCR and the Council of Europe. The conference in Strasbourg is attended by more than 120 people, including representatives of government agencies, international and non-governmental organizations, academia representatives, and stateless persons.

During the conference, the participants discussed issues related to the establishment, implementation and access to the stateless determination procedure (SDP), access to citizenship, and obstacles that arise during the confirmation/acquisition of citizenship. Attention was also paid to the issue of statelessness among children and possibilities to prevent new cases of statelessness. Everyone had the opportunity to speak, share their experiences, the challenges they had to face, as well as to tell their recommendations for overcoming obstacles when working with stateless persons.

Міжнародна конференція: «Безгромадянство та право на громадянство в Європі: прогрес, виклики та можливості»

Sofiia Kordonets, Manager of the Project “Legal assistance to stateless persons” represents Ukraine at this conference. Today our colleague will tell about the experiences of the R2P team, about cooperation with the State Migration Service of Ukraine and other government agencies in the context of assistance to undocumented persons, as well as about the first achievements and challenges in implementing SDP in Ukraine.

Other speakers have repeatedly mentioned Ukraine due to the recent introduction of a statelessness determination procedure. Experts have noted that Ukrainian legislation in this area is one of the best in Europe.

Ukraine is a signatory to the two UN Conventions –  the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, as well as committed to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, which also includes the goals connected to elimination of statelessness. In Ukraine, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is implementing the Global #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness.

Statelessness is a problem that is relevant in every corner of the globe, although the right to citizenship is enshrined in several international conventions and treaties. Citizenship is the first condition for access to social and economic human rights.

There are different causes of statelessness, including, for example, complexities of conflicts in nationality laws, state succession, forced displacement, historical and contemporary migration, structural birth registration problems, access to nationality, and related administrative practices.

Statelessness: Ukraine became the 21st country in the world and the 15th in Europe to establish a separate Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP) Без громадянства: Україна cтала 21-ю країною в світі і 15-ю — в Європі, яка має окрему процедуру визнання ОБГ

“This conference is a unique opportunity to meet the best experts and colleagues in the field of overcoming statelessness in Europe, as well as to have the opportunity to share experiences on ways to solve problematic cases and to discuss the further steps in ending statelessness in all countries. This discussion is incredibly inspiring, gives a lot of ideas and useful information for further work. One of the participants of the conference, who is a stateless person, said very important words: “If you are stateless, you have to run, run, run, while others walk to achieve even the slightest thing”. I believe that we all have to run together, and only then we will achieve our common goal.”

– says Sofiia Kordonets, Manager of the R2P Project.

The participants summarized the results of the conference and identified further steps and priorities in overcoming statelessness in Europe and agreed upon:

  • continuing to disseminate the information on stateless persons, their status, and opportunities to resolve the situation;
  • further work with public authorities to enable access to the stateless determination procedure;
  • further work with legislation to remove barriers to access to citizenship 
  • advocating for newly recognized stateless people to have access to basic social and economic rights.

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17.08.21

Ilya was born in 1955 in the village of Krasni Chetai. There he spent all his childhood, went to school, and finished the 10th grade. After graduating, Ilya served in the army for 2 years in Severomorsk. The man received a secondary special education after graduating from an agricultural vocational school in Yadrin, Chuvash Republic.

In 1976, Ilya received a passport of a citizen of the USSR for the first time. His return from the army was awaited by a girl who later became his wife. The family then had two boys born. For most of his life the man worked hard and was never ashamed of his job: for almost 17 years he was a seasonal worker. He worked as a logger for 4-6 months a year in Yaiva, Perm region, in order to be able to feed his family.

In 1988, the family moved to the Republic of Moldova, where they lived until 1998. Then they decided to come to Ukraine, where the man’s sisters lived. On the way to Ukraine Ilya’s bag with all the documents was stolen. As a result, the man was left with only a birth certificate.

Therefore, when Ilya came to Ukraine in 1998, he had only a birth certificate, which he keeps to this day because this is the only document he has now. The man has been living in the village of Zelenodolsk in the Apostolivskyy district of the Dnipropetrovsk region for more than 20 years. He repeatedly tried to recover the lost documents, as due to their absence he was not able to work officially, receive proper medical care, and earn a pension. Unfortunately, the man is homeless now and has to live in the basement of the house of his neighbors. As a sign of respect and gratitude, he uses his masterful skills to repair or restore household items.

Thanks to the help of Zelenodolsk City Council and with the participation of the social issues specialist of the I category Fandyushyna Tetiana, in February 2021 this man finally got a chance for a new life: our colleague Olena Pazenko, monitor of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) told them his story and then quickly transferred the case to the R2P Kharkiv office, where lawyer Dmytro Hanych then began working on the case.

In August 2021, thanks to the joint efforts of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P), Zelenodolsk City Council, and the Apostolivskyy District Sector of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ilya was finally able to apply for recognition as a stateless person.

Not just the stolen documents, but a stolen normal life. Story of Ilya Вкрали документи, а разом з ними й звичне життя. Історія Іллі

At the time of consideration of the application, he received a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person: how happy he was at that time is difficult to describe in text, because this certificate gave him the right to temporarily stay in Ukraine on the legal grounds. But his dream was not just to get the right to stay legally in Ukraine, but also to become a citizen because he gave more than 20 years of his life to this country.

Yes, these are just the first steps and the first document. After twenty years of waiting, Ilya is still optimistic about the future and hopes that Ukraine will finally recognize it.

Team R2P expresses our sincere gratitude for the cooperation to help this lonely man to the staff of the Apostolivskyy district sector of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Zelenodolsk City Council, and to the social issues specialist of the I category Fandyushyna Tetiana!

Not just the stolen documents, but a stolen normal life. Story of Ilya Вкрали документи, а разом з ними й звичне життя. Історія Іллі

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12.08.21

Svitlana was born in Ukraine in the 1960s and lived here almost all her life. For several years in the 80s, she lived in Russian SFSR, but since 1990 the woman has permanently settled in Ukraine. Svitlana had a passport of a former USSR. Since then it has been lost.

After the collapse of the USSR, Svitlana repeatedly tried to obtain a Ukrainian passport, but she failed to do so on her own, due to the impossibility to confirm her citizenship.

The woman decided to apply to the office of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Slovyansk at the end of 2019. Nataliia Ishchenko, the lawyer of the Fund filed a lawsuit to establish the fact of Svitlana’s permanent residence in Ukraine as of August 24, 1991. The woman also had witnesses who could confirm in court that she had lived in Ukraine since 1990. However, in November 2020, the court refused to establish the relevant fact, despite the availability of all necessary evidence.

Since there had been no Stateless Determination Procedure in Ukraine at the time, Svitlana remained a person with undetermined citizenship, as both the Russian Federation and Ukraine did not recognize her as a citizen.

On April 16, 2021, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on some issues of recognition as a stateless person came into force. Finally, Svitlana had the opportunity to apply to the territorial department of the State Migration Service and apply for recognition as a stateless person.

At the end of July, Svitlana received a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person with the help of a lawyer of the R2P, being accompanied by the organization’s monitoring specialist. From now on, Svitlana has the right to live legally in Ukraine.  In the future, in case of a positive decision, Svitlana will be able to obtain Ukrainian citizenship.

To be born in Ukraine and become stateless.  The story of Svitlana Народитись в Україні та залишитися без громадянства. Історія Світлани

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11.08.21

Recently, a man turned to our colleagues for help. His name is Kostyantyn, he was born in 1968 in Uzbekistan. There he graduated from school, received a passport of a citizen of the USSR and married for the first time. Later he became a father of a son, and in 1989 the family moved to Ukraine, to the Odesa oblast.

Here in the early 2000s, Kostyantyn lost his passport. Unfortunately, he did not apply to the relevant authorities in time to restore the document. In the future, this in turn led to serious consequences. In 2012, the man applied to the Loziv District Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Oblast, where it became clear that it was impossible to determine his citizenship due to the loss of documents.

Since then, Kostyantyn and his family have lived permanently in Ukraine, in the Loziv district of the Kharkiv oblast. He and his wife are raising seven children, including a child with disabilities.

In 2020, after long attempts to solve the problem with the lost documents and citizenship, employees of the Loziv Center for Social Services for Families, Children and Youth (CSSFCY) recommended man to apply to the Kharkiv office of the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P).

After a thorough interview, the lawyer of the R2P began a long and painstaking work. A request was sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan regarding the possible belonging of Kostyantyn to the citizenship of Uzbekistan. Thanks to the quick response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan, it was possible to confirm that the man is not a citizen of this country.

A number of documents from the Odesa oblast were also collected in order to confirm the fact of Kostyantyn’s permanent residence in Ukraine as of August 24, 1991, which made it possible to establish this fact in court.

In October 2020, the above-mentioned court decision came into force, and Kostyantyn now had the legal grounds for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship. All that remained was to wait for changes to the current legislation, which would allow him to obtain the status and a document of a stateless person.

And finally, this day has come. Kostyantyn’s application for recognition as a stateless person was one of the first to be registered by the Loziv District Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Oblast and then sent to the Main Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv Oblast for further processing and consideration. For the period while Kostyantyn’s application is being processed, he was provided with the relevant certificate – the first document which confirmed his identity and a certain status in Ukraine.

Kostyantyn and his wife are well aware that this is only the first step on the difficult path to Ukrainian citizenship. They are smiling because they hope that soon Kostyantyn will receive a passport of a citizen of Ukraine and will be able to get a job and benefit both his large family and the country of which he dreams of becoming a citizen.

We thank the employees of Loziv CSSFCY, Loziv City District Court of Kharkiv region, and employees of Loziv District Department of the SMS of Ukraine in Kharkiv region Rakhima Krasnorutska and Evhenia Pomnikova for high professionalism, incredible sensitivity, and constant willingness to cooperate and help people!

Перший крок до громадянства України. Історія Костянтина

Special thanks to our colleagues for this hard work, which allowed Kostyantyn to get one step closer to Ukrainian citizenship.

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27.07.21

The story began in May 2021. At first, this case seemed so complicated that it could be simply impossible to provide the necessary assistance.

However, we made an effort and were able to succeed and help this little family to cope with all the difficulties!

One day Natalia, a 27 years old pregnant woman applied to the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection (R2P) for help. She was in difficult life circumstances since she had no identity documents.

Natalia is an orphan with a disability. Her parents died when she was a little baby. Aunt took her and her sister under guardianship. All of them lived together in one of the settlements near the town of Volnovakha, Donetsk oblast, Ukraine.

According to the woman, the aunt often insulted her. One day, Natalia’s patience ran out: she collected all of her documents and left the house.  For several days she spent nights at bus stops where her documents were stolen. The girl was sheltered by a local resident of Volnovakha, who lived alone with his mother.

The pregnant woman was not registered at the women’s clinic. Natalia understood that the term was already very long and she would give birth soon, but due to the lack of documents, she would not be able to register her baby and get the necessary social assistance.

Being worried about the fate of her unborn child, the woman began to look for all possible ways to restore the documents. One day, Natalia turned for help to the R2P.

Зробити все можливе і неможливе заради власної дитинки. Історія Наталії Trying to do everything possible and impossible for a child. Natalia's story

In May, Natalia gave birth to a daughter. Our colleagues helped her recover the stolen documents. On her birthday, she received a new passport, and a few days later – a duplicate of the taxpayer’s card (TIN).

Without wasting time, a daughter’s birth certificate was issued at the Volnovakha District Department of the State Civil Registry Office.

The Administrative Service Centre of the Volnovakha District State Administration provided state assistance for the birth of a child, aid to a single mother, families with children, and received a newborn starter kit.

Accounts were also opened at the bank to receive state monetary aid. From the Center for Social Services, the mother and baby received diapers and a baby blanket, hygiene products, bed linen, clothes for mother and child, food.

Social workers helped the mother and child to sign a contract with the family doctor. Now the child is under the supervision of a pediatrician.

During a visit to the family, it was also discovered that an elderly woman living in the house with Natalia had a serious illness and needed treatment. Employees of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) urgently transported the woman to the hospital where she was immediately admitted to the surgical department.  Currently, the woman is feeling better and receives qualified medical care.

We are so glad that we were able to help this family. We wish Natalia and her daughter to never get into such a difficult life situation again!

R2P expresses its sincere gratitude for the cooperation in solving the problems of this family to the staff of the Volnovakha District Department of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, the Volnovakha Administrative Services Centre, the Volnovakha State Civil Registry Office, and the Center for Social Services.

#InvestInHumanity #UkraineHumanitarianFund

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15.07.21

Ostap was born in the Luhansk region of Ukraine in 1986. As a child, he moved with his family to the city of Debaltseve in the Donetsk region. There he grew up, studied, and met his future wife. Due to family circumstances, he was able to apply for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine only in 2014. At the moment the document was ready and the only thing needed was to receive it, the war began.

The man and his family fled in hurry and left almost everything they had in the Donetsk region – property, money, some of the documents. He and his wife later moved to the Ternopil region. In 2017, their son was born. Due to the lack of documents, Ostap was not able to officially become a husband and prove paternity. Lack of documents made it almost impossible for him to earn money for the family.

All this time Ostap tried to get a passport of a citizen of Ukraine. After numerous refusals, in 2020 he applied to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).  Since then, there have been endless calls, trips to the State Migration Service (SMS), appeals, applications, and, unfortunately, complaints.

In February 2021, the Migration Service finally agreed to identify our beneficiary. However, citizenship remained unrecognized. In May 2021, after two days of negotiations with the State Migration Service, documents to apply for the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP).

Despite three official and dozens of unofficial refusals to issue a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, when applying for an SDP, Migration Service representatives insisted that these actions do not make sense, because the person is a citizen of Ukraine.

We will learn about the SMS decision later.  In the meantime, regardless of the results of the examination, Ostap will now finally be able to obtain an identity document and open the door to a new life.

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