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Cherkasy Human Rights Center shares effective mechanisms of comprehensive assistance to displaced persons

Publication date: October 25, 2022

The Cherkasy Human Rights Center has been helping displaced people for a long time and has developed algorithms that effectively and efficiently help people solve problematic issues. These mechanisms relate primarily to interaction with local authorities. The experience of the Center will be useful to organizations that provide legal assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various regions of Ukraine.

The head of the Cherkasy Human Rights Center, lawyer Taras Shcherbatiuk, spoke about the organization’s achievements and the trend of providing legal assistance to displaced persons in the “Hospitable Cherkasy” TV program.

Photo: Taras Shcherbatiuk, head of the Cherkasy Human Rights Center during the broadcast of the “Hospitable Cherkasy” TV program. Photo: Facebook.

The nature of appeals has changed since the beginning of the war

Based on their experience in the field of protection of civilians who suffered from russian aggression in Ukraine, the Center’s lawyers note that today it is already possible to single out the categories of appeals that have been received for more than six months since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian federation.

  • “If in the first three months people mainly applied for registration as an IDP, receiving certain social services, labor, and family law, traveling abroad, then from June-July other issues became more relevant. Now the most urgent thing is housing. How to get in line to receive temporary housing, and how to ensure the implementation of this right of IDPs. Such appeals to our organization now probably account for 80% of the total number”, says Taras Shcherbatiuk.

Problems should be solved systematically

From the very beginning of the full-scale war, lawyers of the organization, communicating both with territorial communities and with displaced persons, are trying to develop systemic mechanisms for solving these issues.

  • “When we visit territorial communities and talk with their leaders, we no longer ask (that time has passed), but demand to pay attention to the issue of adopting local targeted programs for the integration of IDPs, so that there is a comprehensive approach to solving all these issues of immigrants”, Taras Shcherbatiuk notes.

In particular, lawyers draw the authorities’ attention to the fact that communities need to:

  • adopt local target programs for the integration of IDPs,
  • create temporary housing funds,
  • conduct a wider information campaign so that resettled people have complete and reliable information about the basic list of services and entities that provide these services.

Well-developed interaction algorithms

At the same time, lawyers have a lot of well-developed algorithms for the interaction of IDPs with the authorities.

  • “It depends on the question the person is asking. For example, if we are talking about housing, we have contacts in the territorial community and direct people to these structural units of executive bodies of local self-government. So that people have the opportunity to quickly solve the problem”, explains Taras Shcherbatiuk.

Quite a lot of questions now, according to the lawyer, also arise regarding non-payment of housing allowance to IDPs. In such cases, for the sake of maximum efficiency, the organization contacts the social protection bodies of the population, various structural subdivisions of the executive bodies, and the centers for the provision of administrative services.

  • “That is, the presence of such algorithms gives us the opportunity to effectively help people. We do not tell a person that “there is a certain structural unit of the local government, go there and they will tell you everything and solve it.” No, we don’t do that. We usually analyze the legislative framework at both the national and local levels to understand the essence of a specific problem. And we are trying to legally sort out the question that the person asked. And then we work directly with the entity that provides services or, on the contrary, refuses to provide them to these people”, says the lawyer.

And he adds that, unfortunately, there are a lot of complaints that local governments do not respond to people’s appeals. For example, in some territorial communities, they do not accept applications from people to be placed in the queue for receiving temporary housing. Lawyers record these complaints and prepare lawsuits for them to the central authorities.

Also read:

Temporary housing for displaced people: an algorithm for obtaining (+audio). In Ukrainian

About 40 people could end up on the street: human rights defenders from Cherkasy prevented the illegal eviction of displaced persons

Cherkasy Human Rights Center: a worthy example of a combination of legal and humanitarian assistance

P. S. More relevant information on legal and humanitarian issues – is in the special section #StandWithUkraine. It accumulates materials that may be useful to those who suffer, whose rights are violated as a result of the war between russia and Ukraine.

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