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Chop Law Community Center: legal and moral support - against social isolation of Roma
Lawyer Valeria Lakatosh (on the left) accompanied client to Law Community Center Photo by Zakarpattya Hungarian Roma Association
Lawyer Valeria Lakatosh (on the left) accompanied client to Law Community Center

The woman with disability lost a lot of important documents, money and personal belongings in the train. The young mother who alone raises two children could not suffer poverty any more. In Chop Law Community Center the Roma women received both free legal aid and moral support.

The 49-year-old local resident Valentyna Roshtash addressed the Law Community Center at Zakarpattya Hungarian Roma Association in Chop of Uzhgorod region. She told that in the train "Hust-Uzhgorod" someone stole her bag with the money, passport, birth certificate, pension certificate, cash card and personal belongings. Valentyna made the record to the police, but understood that they would hardly find her documents. It is necessary to renew them, but how much time and effort it will take, especially for the disabled person!

The lawyer of the Center Valeria Lakatosh explained Valentyna a procedure of renewal of documents and personally accompanied her in the long trip around offices of departments. But at first the lawyer helped her report the bank her card stolen.

The day following after the appeal, on December 21, the lawyer together with Valentyna went to the center for providing administrative services at Chop Executive Committee of the City Council of People's Deputies. Here Roshtash was issued a personal card with the data of the lost passport with which she addressed the regional passport office then.


Lawyer Valeria Lakatosh (on the right) and Valentyna Roshtash. Photo by Zakarpattya Hungarian Roma Association.

“Upon the law to receive the passport of the citizen of Ukraine (instead of lost or stolen) the woman will have to expect up to 30 working days. Therefore, Valentyna will receive the new document only in 2016”, Valeria Lakatosh explained.

One more example of the advantages of such complex help is a recent story with a single mother from Chop. The woman herself raises two children.

“The young mother appeared in a difficult social and economic situation and receiving social benefits for children was her only hope”, Valeria Lakatosh told. “We carried out legal support according to the appeal to department of labor and social security at Chop City Council concerning registration of social aid to lonely mothers”.


The lawyer helped the woman fill in the application form approved by the Ministry of Social Policy (above).

For today this important step was enough to get the young mother convinced: there are people who are ready to help so that further she could cope with her problems herself, to overcome social isolation and get out of poverty.

P.S. Community Law Centers that provide free legal aid to the Roma population work with the support of the Roma Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation. You can learn more about activities of Community Law Center network, basics and principles of work on the website “LegalSpace” in Empowerment of Roma Communities.

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

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