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Law changes for IDPs

Internally displaced persons from Crimea and Eastern Ukraine are arriving to different communities of our country. They seek refuge and very often have nowhere to go. This situation has been going on for months. IDPs are hosted by volunteers and ordinary people. In Volyn region, for example, a lot of owners have left their summer houses for IDPs.

More than 1000 IDPs are now being established in Volyn. However, they need not only housing but also legal aid: they do not know how to restore papers, obtain social benefits, provide education for their children etc. They need help because Ukrainian system is solidly based on local residence registration. All administrative issues must be resolved in place of residence. It is of course impossible for people fleeing from war and persecutions.

Lokachyn Community Law Center receives a lot of internally displaced persons who need help. Also, many owners of summer houses ask is it possible to provide residence registration for IDPs living on their territory.

Finally Ukrainian legislation also followed the changes that occurred in Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada voted a new version of the Law of Ukraine “On temporary residence registration”. Now it will be easier for IDPs to be registered at their new place of residence. The status of summer houses also changed to offer the possibility to register people living in them.

Reforms of legislation will continue but public organizations must start acting right now to help internally displaced persons. Community Law Centers can join their efforts and provide specific legal aid to IDPs together with local councils and authorities.

Civil code of Ukraine is also reviewed. The State is trying to simplify life for IDPs but improvements are needed to be implemented very quickly, as the winter is coming soon. Community Law Centers will continue provide all help they can offer for our fellow Ukrainians from Crimea and Donbass region.

Additional information: Community Law Centers are established with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of “Legal Empowerment of the Poor” programme initiative. You can learn more on the Centers network activities, basics and principles of work here: www.legalspace.org

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