“I still can’t believe it’s all real,”– our beneficiary said when she finally received her dream birthday present – a passport of a citizen of Ukraine.
Liuba is 37 years old. She was born and raised in a large family of Roma ethnicity. The family lived in hardships and often moved from place to place, later settling in a permanent residence in the Novovodolazk district of Kharkiv region. When Lyuba grew up, she was married in accordance with Roma tradition. The woman became stateless because her parents did not deal with the documents issue. Liuba gave birth to five children, but the two older ones were taken away from the woman due to lack of documents.
The woman’s plans for life changed dramatically when her parents’ house suddenly burned down. Unable to withstand such a blow, Liuba’s father died of a heart attack. She was forced to return to the Kharkiv region to be able to support her mother. All this time Liuba tried to get a passport and repeatedly applied to the local “passport office”, but to no success.
Our colleagues learned about Liuba’s story from the partner organization Depol Ukraine Charity Foundation. Their representatives appealed to the Kharkiv office of the Right to Protection Charitable Foundation to help the woman obtain a passport.
Our Foundation lawyer made a number of inquiries to the state institutions to gather all the necessary documents to confirm Liuba’s citizenship. Under the current law, a woman’s nationality depended on the place of residence of her and / or her parents. In order to prove the fact that the family lived in their native village in 1991, a request was made to the village council.
After that, the citizenship of Liuba’s parents was confirmed and it was agreed with the leadership of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region to prove the personality of Liuba with the help of only one witness. And it was the woman’s sister Raya, who came from the Kirovohrad region with a 3 month-old child to help her sister with citizenship. However, discrepancies were found in the sisters’ birth certificates, which the lawyer had to correct. Thanks to the help of employees of the Kholodnohirs’kyy district of the State Register of the Acts of a Civil Status in Kharkiv the documents were processed as soon as possible.
In the end, the State Migration Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv region issued a final positive decision on the identification of Liuba, as well as issued the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for the first time in her life. In fact, on the eve of her 38th birthday, Liuba’s most cherished dream – to receive the passport finally came true.
Now it’s time for the Liuba’s children and her youngest sister (in whose case the Kharkiv Court of Appeal issued a positive decision) to receive the documents. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.