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Minor sisters will receive status of orphan children

Due to an error in the mother’s death certificate her two daughters couldn't be recognized as orphan children officially. Respectively, minor sisters were deprived of social benefits. Specialists of the Community Law Center at the Zakarpattya regional charity foundation “Romano Lungo Trayo” helped to establish the fact of the family relation in court.

Girls from the Roma settlement of the village of Kholmok in Uzhgorod region lost mother in February, 2015. Angelina* is 17, her sister Lidiya* -is 14. Certifying their mother Maria’s* death, officials made the mistake in spelling of the patronymic name. Owing to one incorrect letter the children automatically lost the fact of the family relations with their mother. Their birth certificates did not correspond to the entry in their mother’s death certificate. The father was not engaged in bring them up - his data were written down into the girls’ birth certificates according to the mother. All these formalities deprived the sisters of opportunity to receive the legal status of orphan children. In addition, the grandmother was ready to become their trustee, but it turned out impossible as well .

Due to the lack of necessary documents in the Roma family the problem had to be solved in court. Full legal support of case was provided by the lawyer of the Community Law Center Marína Varga.

- The situation with this family was rather complicated. The orphan girls actually remained homeless. When we decided to help them, the sisters had no documents that could prove their identities. The birth certificates were registered by our experts, too, - the lawyer adds.

The problem was complicated also with the fact that the mother had no passport. The lawyers managed to find only the extract about the registration of her birth in the State register of civil status act of citizens. Available documents were used in court as evidence, in particular acts, letters, family photos, warranty of title to the apartment, records of house- registers and explanation of witnesses.

As a result the court established that Angelina and Lidiya were really Maria’s own children. It will allow the girls to receive the status of orphan children and respectively the relevant benefits, social payments and possibly a new family.

This example of the help to the Roma families is just one of a number of the events held by CF “Romano Lungo Trayo” in July, 2015. Residents of the villages of Kholmok and Kontsovo and also residents of Uzhgorod are regular visitors of the Community Law Center, as lawyers held consultations both in the village council in Kholmok and in the city. The majority of inquiries are from the Roma people concerning receiving and renewing documents.

- Within July there were about 20 inquiries, mainly from villagers. In particular, five Roma were helped to register their birth certificates, more five persons obtained passports, in particular those who were called up for service in Ukrainian Army, - the head of the Center Gennady Chichak explains. - Also in July we helped a resident of Uzhgorod to provide her house with electricity. Besides, our lawyers filed documents on deprivation of the parental rights of the inhabitant of the village of Kholmok and appointment of the trustee for children. We will provide complete case processing in court.


Employees of the Center help the young Roma mobilized to Ukrainian Army obtain passports. Photo: СF “Romano Lungo Trayo”

In addition, the work with volunteers took place: they were trained to work with the Roma, to prove society the need of exercising their social rights, to explain where and how to ask for free legal aid. To facilitate the process the Center printed brochures to be disseminate by volunteers during field consultations.

Employees of the Community Law Center involved the staff of local Labor Department and the social protection of the population into seminars held during this time. Together with them lawyers and the interpreter of the Center as mediators between the Roma community and authorities studied the specifics of work the Roma.

The opinion of the International Renaissance Foundation cannot coincide with the point of view of authors of publication.

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