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Community Law Center helps Roma in Kherson

The Center of International public Roma organization “Ketane” provides free legal consultations to Roma. Such projects are very important for Roma community because this is often the last hope for socially vulnerable Roma.

The Center provides aid to Roma on all legal issues. Primarily it helps internally displaced persons of Roma origin, provides free legal consultations, helps Roma to receive identification papers, aids in relationship with law enforcement authorities and state institutions.

Legal aid becomes closer to people

The project started in October 2014. During the first stage, the organizational work with volunteers and participants was conducted. The Council of national minorities of Kherson and Kherson city cooperation of Roma take part in the project. As the result, they decided to pay a visit to regional centers of Kherson oblast – Bilozerks, Vysokopillya, Holoprystan regions, Beryslav and Tsyuryupinsk. They made the list of visits from 14 to 28 November. During the visits organizers tell about the centers, how they can help Roma, distribute leaflets with information on Centers. Center’s specialists have also created a survey, which will show the important for Roma issues, as well as their relationships with local authorities. The representatives of local authorities and media visit such meetings.

As the result, the Center plans to make a list of people who need legal aid in the region. Based on data from official institutions, the document will be prepared on the number of Roma who obtained consultations in different state institutions.

The initiative group of the Center made a list of people who wanted to participate in regional meetings. There were more than 20 people: three of them need help to receive different papers, the other one is a young specialist who cannot find a job, and one more is a person who was detained by police in the past.

- We are sure that such projects are very important for Roma people, - Yuriy Ivanenko, the head of the project “Legal Center for Roma protection” and the head of “Ketane” organization, says. – Such centers lead the community and give hope to people. Roma are very vulnerable. They got used to the fact that people are biased to them – even specialists try not to work with them. In our Center, Yevhen Konstantynov, experienced lawyer, talks to them – he is not Roma, but he has been working in this area for a long time. That is why Roma trust us. Our organization have been providing legal aid to Roma for 6-7 years. Now we are doing this within the project.

As for now, the results of the first stage of the project correspond to expectations because experienced specialists and volunteers work in the project. We also felt the support of local authorities. Private meetings of the International “Renaissance” Foundation’s representative with Kherson’s authorities in September helped to achieve such support.

The address of the Center: 28 Horkoho St., Kherson
Phone: +38 (0552) 49-32-70
Contact person: Yuriy Ivanenko, tel.: +38 (050) 588-05-55, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Information: Community Law Centers which provide free legal aid for Roma people are established with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of “Roma of Ukraine” programme initiative. You can learn more on the Centers network activities, basics and principles of work here: www.legalspace.org

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