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Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the Special Human Dimension Event on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees
08 July 2015 13:21

Delivered by the Deputy Minister for Social Policy of Ukraine Mr. Serhii Ustymenko, 6 July 2015

Good morning, Mr. Chair, dear ladies and gentleman!

         First of all on behalf of my country, in particular on behalf of the Ministry of social policy of Ukraine I would like to convey my special thanks to the OSCE team for their contribution and kind assistance in organizing this event.

         It was correctly said in the agenda paper that the conflicts across the OSCE area have resulted in massive displacement of people from the places where they used to live. You know well about annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and anti-terrorist operating ongoing on our Eastern territories.

         No need to mention, I guess, why Ukrainians run away from the border with Russia forming huge IDPs flows so I proceed to the currents situation in Ukraine and our experience on dealing with issues related to IDPs.

         Firstly, my country is getting much more skilled in managing IDPs issues, at the beginning we were asking our international partner states and international organization to give us a hand with that. We became stronger now, we are ready to share our experience with those who may suffer or wish to come prepared for a similar scenario.

There are more than 1 million 360 thousand internally displaced persons registered in Ukraine who were forced to leave the territories temporarily occupied by Russia. The Government of Ukraine continues to assist them and makes efforts to improve their social protection.

In cooperation with international organizations the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine promptly created an information database of the registered IDPs.

To provide monthly monetary aid to internally displaced persons the Government of Ukraine has allocated about 3.4 billion hryvnias that enables them paying for rented housing and utility services.

They have been provided with simplified access to their pension money, financial aid, assistance in job search and adaptation to new environment.

To ensure assistance for internally displaced persons the Government of Ukraine has established the Interagency Coordination Office including representatives from 15 ministries and governmental agencies. We have created informational resources, developed and distributed "road maps" for former residents of the Donbas and the Crimea containing the clear sequence of actions that were designed to help IDPs and provide them knowledge regarding their rights and opportunities offered by the state.

In addition to ensure systemic solving of IDP's problems, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine has developed draft Comprehensive State Program for Integration, Social Adaptation, Protection and Reintegration of IDPs for 2015-2016 that is currently re-agreed with central government bodies.

An Action Plan has been prepared for the Program implementation that shall provide possibility:

  • To improve mechanism of interagency and inter-sector coordination;
  • To ensure social, physical, medical, psychical and physiological and financial support to IDPs;
  • To reduce social tensions in our society and ensure non-conflict integration of internally displaced persons into Ukrainian society at the state and local level;
  • To ensure IDPs integration into local communities provided that they decide to stay permanently at their new place of residence;
  • To facilitate voluntary return of IDPs to their former places of residence.

In addition the Ministry of Social Policy with the participation of leading scientists has developed a draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On Approval of Employment Assistance and Vocational Training Program for Internally Displaced Persons for 2015-2016".

The goal of the program is to ensure employment and to improve competitiveness of IDPs in the labor market through vocational training, retraining or skills improvement.

To expand instruments and activities aimed to stimulate employment and integrate various categories of jobseekers in the labor market, it is drafted the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine to Reform Public Administration in the Field of Employment and Social Insurance against Unemployment".

In particular the draft Law envisages promotion of employment in rural areas in the following way:

- to ensure employment of individual farm members by way of their engagement in community works;

- to provide yearly compensation of actual expenditures in the amount of single fee for obligatory state social insurance to employees in case of fulfillment by them the quota of employment for those citizens who are not competitive in the labor market;

- to establish consulting centers for business support on the basis of regional bodies of employment service;

- to provide a voucher to increase competitiveness through confirmation of informal vocational training results for people with worker professions, etc.

From March 01, 2014 to June 26, 2015 the State Employment Service provided its services to 51.936 thousand of internally displaced persons from among the residents of the AR of Crimea, city of Sevastopol, as well as Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

1,066,516 displaced persons have applied for transfer of their pension files needed for paying them pensions to places of their temporary residence in other regions of Ukraine. Among them 1,063,792 persons are from the eastern regions.

Ukrainian social protection system operates a network of residential institutions for seniors, disabled persons, and disabled children as well as series of territorial centers for social servicing and institutions for homeless people.

To ensure social protection to families and children oblast, city and district centers of social services for families, children and youth provide services to 44,021 families of internally displaced persons with 48,917 children.

To decide the issues the families face in their new place of residence, staff of the centers carries out needs assessment and then provides them appropriate social services and aid.

Functioning of foster families and small family-type homes is under permanent control of services for children affairs.

Secondly, we keep close cooperation with international organizations on issues related to international technical assistance and humanitarian aid, such as:

- OSCE;

- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (UNHCR);

- United Nations Development Program in Ukraine (UNDP);

- United Nations Population Fund (UNFP);

- UN Children's Fund (UNICEF);

- The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO);

- The International Organization for Migration in Ukraine (IOM);

- International Committee of the Red Cross;

- The UN World Food Program;

- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC);

- Danish Refugee Council;

- The World Congress of Ukrainians;

- Foundation "Médecins Sans Frontières - Belgium" and other organizations providing humanitarian aid and support for internally displaced persons.

These organizations provide humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (food packages, winter clothes, sanitation and hygiene means, home appliances, vouchers to purchase goods etc. taking into account provisions of Ukrainian legislation and the best international practices) as well as assistance in transportation of the people from the eastern regions and financial aid for internally displaced persons.

What is needed now? Evidently, further humanitarian assistance. But it makes sense to combine it with the projects focused on assistance for creating jobs for IDPs, for their self-employment and private enterprises at the local and regional levels. It's worth mentioning, that we have a decentralization reform in Ukraine...

To ensure social adaptation and social protection for internally displaced persons, attract international donor support, and to create conditions for IDPs voluntary return to their former places of residence is now a priority task for the Government of Ukraine.

Thank you for your attention.

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