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UHHRU lawyers in Sumy helped a large family to get the status of internally displaced persons

Human rights defenders in Sumy help IDPs to overcome bureaucratic obstacles.

Mr. T. applied to the UHHRU public reception in Sumy. His wife moved to Sumy Oblast from Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, in 2014, just at the beginning of warfare. Two young children left the area with her. At the new place, she gave birth to another baby. Now she is busy with taking care of a large family. Unfortunately, the social security authorities denied granting the status of internally displaced persons to the woman and her children. This problem has been solved only after the intervention of human rights defenders.

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According to officials, the obstacle in granting the family the status of IDPs and appropriate financial assistance was that there was no reason for such status. In the women’s passport, there was a stamp of de-registration in the previous place of residence in the Horlivka City. The date of the stamp was May 30, 2014. According to the general requirements for obtaining the status of an internally displaced person, the documents should contain information about the registration of residence in the administrative-territorial unit. A person moves out due to well-known circumstances with these documents  (to avoid the negative effects of the armed conflict, the temporary occupation, widespread violence, human rights violations).

In the case of the absence of the stamp of the registration on the temporarily uncontrolled territories, persons may provide some evidence to support the fact of their residence the abandoned place, in order to get the status of IDPs.

Moreover, paragraph 7, part 4 of the Law “On ensuring the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons” №1706-VII of 20.10.2014 envisages that in the absence of document that identifies a person and proves Ukrainian citizenship or temporary certificate that identifies the citizen of Ukraine or his/her special status, a stamp that proves residence at the territory of abandoned administrative-territorial unit takes place from due to the circumstances set out in Article 1 of the Law “On ensuring the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons” № 1706-VII of 20.10.2014, applicants may provide evidence confirming the residence in the abandoned administrative-territorial unit by the day of circumstances that led to internal displacement. That is, in the absence of a registration stamp on the temporarily uncontrolled territories and in order to get the status of IDP, persons may provide some evidence to support the fact of their residence in the abandoned administrative unit.

To such the evidence, the legislator considers, in particular, military service records with information about military service, employment record with the records of the employment, a document confirming ownership of movable or immovable property, certificate of secondary education, certificate of secondary education, documents on vocational education, a certificate of higher education (academic degree), certificate from the District Administration, Kyiv District Administration or Sevastopol State Administration, the executive body of the city or district in the city council to place the child for the childcare facility in foster care, family-type orphanage, guardianship or care, medical records, photos, videos and more. Unfortunately, social security agencies are not very willing to take a decision on registration of IDPs on the basis of such evidence. Numerous similar cases of slow consideration of applications to social security agencies “On ensuring the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons» №1706-VII of 10.20.2014 that were observed recently.

But Mr. T. applied to the UHHRU public reception in Sumy.  The lawyer of the public reception helped to write his family a reasoned written request to the proper management of social protection with a complete set of all the circumstances of the situation. To support the proof of residence in Horlivka – the territory of the antiterrorist operation, i.e. at the time of the circumstances in which the family was forced to move to the current place of residence, have been collected and submitted documents that showed their actual residence is in Donetsk Oblast long before the start of the ATO, and directly on the day of the official announcement of the antiterrorist operation in the east of the country.

In addition, in the case of rejection, human rights defenders were ready to assist the large family of IDPs in the court and challenge the decision of local social protection. But, at this stage, they managed to achieve a positive result.

After reviewing the reasoned application, the woman and her children were put on the record and received the certificate confirming that they were internally displaced persons. At the same time, they also received monthly-targeted assistance to cover living expenses, including housing and utility services for all large families. Now small children- IDPs receive their social benefits. The man left the woman to take care of small children and came to the UHHRU public reception with words of sincere gratitude.

Prepared by Nataliia Yesina

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