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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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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

This week our colleagues had the opportunity to talk to refugees from the different parts of the globe.  As a part of the new project to support and create independent refugee communities, the team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Kharkiv joined a meeting, conducted in a very interesting and interactive format.

This week our colleagues had the opportunity to talk to refugees from the different parts of the globe.  As a part of the new project to support and create independent refugee communities, the team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) in Kharkiv joined a meeting, conducted in a very interesting and interactive format.

In our opinion, an informal atmosphere, interesting master class, and delicious food can become the perfect mixture to unite a small group of people and involve them in the next activities in the future.

So what did we do? Lawyers of the R2P have met with a women’s refugee community, and jointly attended a clay molding master class in Kharkiv, and then ate a delicious pizza nearby. The aim of the master class was to show the women that serious issues related to building their own communities, preparing projects, and solving collective problems can (and should!) be discussed during a friendly meeting and casual communication.

Неформальна комунікація – ключ до нових ідей. Як Фонд допомагає біженським спільнотам знайти себе в Україні

During such moments when, for example, you show each other ready-made ceramic products that you made with your own hands, or when you enjoy a delicious slice of pizza, the greatest ideas come to mind!

Неформальна комунікація – ключ до нових ідей. Як Фонд допомагає біженським спільнотам знайти себе в Україні

And this meeting was not an exception. The women, the refugees from different countries, realized that they would like to continue such a communication format and unite for a common goal. Next time, they will organize a similar meeting on their own, without the help of the R2P, and will come up with new cool ideas that will bring their community closer to the implementation of a small, yet very important project.

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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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14.09.21

Recently, the team of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) held a series of webinars on CV creation and job search.

E-event was attended by 7 beneficiaries from the 6 cities of the Sea of Azov region – Primorsk, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Mariupol, Mangush, Tokmak.

During the webinar, the R2P career counselors shared the secrets of creating a truly effective CV (resume) with the most accurate information about candidates’ skills, as well as one that will increase seekers’ chances of getting a job. In addition, colleagues spoke about the most popular job search sites in Ukraine. Participants had the opportunity to talk to speakers and ask important questions. In particular, the practical part of the educational event was the creation of key sections of the resume and individual consultations.

The webinars were organized with the support of the federal company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German government within the framework of the project “Increasing self-reliance and employability of vulnerable persons in the Azov Sea region of Ukraine.”

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31.08.21

In April 2016, the village of Zaitsevo in the Donetsk region came under fire.  The houses of the locals were damaged or even destroyed.  The owner of one of the destroyed houses in Zaitseve applied to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) for legal assistance.

According to Resolution № 767 of 02.09.2020, the owners of housing destroyed as a result of hostilities have the right to receive monetary compensation. One of the conditions for receiving such compensation is the presence of registered property ownership, recorded in the State Register of Property Rights to Immovable Property.

Despite the availability of documents for the house, the beneficiary was denied state registration of ownership.  All because the initial registration was carried out by the Bureau of Technical Inventorization in the city of Horlivka.

The case was initiated by the legal team of the R2P office in the city of Bakhmut, which, in particular, provides free legal aid and judicial representation of beneficiaries in cases of protection of property rights.

On April 1, the decision of the Artemivskyi City District Court recognized the ownership of the house “vul. Leskova” (this name of the street was defined in the title documents).  However, the beneficiary failed to register the property right according to the court decision, as the name of the street is indicated in the State Register as “vul. Leskova N.S”.

Назва вулиці – важлива. Історія як БФ «Право на захист» допоміг бенефіціару відстояти право власності та отримати компенсацію за зруйноване житло

The beneficiary’s lawyer appealed to the Information Systems State Enterprise and found out that the reason for making changes to the name of the street was the relevant decision of the local self-government body. 

As Leskova Street is located in Zaitseve village on the territory of Civil-military Administration (CMA), lawyer of the Fund addressed the head of CMA who signed the order «On renaming of the streets of the Zaitseve village, Bakhmut district, Donetsk region», that in result changed the name of the street from “vul. Leskova N.S.” to “vul. Leskova”.

Now the name of the street is listed in the State Register of Property Rights to Immovable Property as “vul. Leskova”, which allows the beneficiary to register ownership and receive compensation for the destroyed house.

The best in this story is that it is not a success for just one person, but for all the people who live on this street in Zaitseve: now they will finally be able to properly carry out registration actions for their property.

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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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