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What is the difference between the asylum seeker and person in need of additional protection? How to appeal the refusal to recognize a person as a refugee? What are the rights of a stateless person? How to confirm the citizenship of Ukraine?

Comprehensive answers to these and other questions can now be found in the handbook “Legal Protection of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Stateless Persons in Ukraine” which was developed by the Right to Protection CF team specifically for lawyers and attorneys who work or have just begun to work with the cases of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons.

Goal of this handbook is to systematize knowledge and skills in the field of protection of the rights of these persons. Each page has valuable and practical information. Handbook consists of two sections with corresponding subsections.

R2P hopes that the collected information will be useful, interesting and helpful to every human rights activist!

Handbook can be viewed or downloaded
following this link (in Ukrainian).


Since 2019, the Right to Protection CF (R2P) with the support of the European Union and together with Ukrainian and international non-governmental organizations (ACTED, IMPACT Initiatives, Danish, Austrian and Ukrainian Red Cross) have been implementing the Reducing Disaster Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine project. Within this project, the Prevent Prepare Protect Consortium (3P) was established.

Please, watch the video to get acquainted with the results of the R2P activities within the project!


As part of the “Reducing Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine” project on January 25 and 26, R2P capacity building team held two educational webinars on Protection Mainstreaming.

civil protection webinars 3p

During the event, special attention was paid to improving the understanding of humanitarian principles and standards of protection of civilians in emergencies among local authorities. The role of international and humanitarian organizations during emergencies was also brought into focus.

Besides, webinar participants shared their professional experience in emergency context. These events were attended by representatives of local authorities, government agencies involved in risk reduction in Volnovakha raion. In particular, employees of the Department for Social Protection of Volnovakha District and Ugledar City Amalgamated Territorial Community, Center for Social Services for Children and Youth, Territorial Center for Social Services, Child Protection Service, Vugledar Police Department. Representatives of Petrovska, Chermalytska, Novoselivska, Novotroitska communities also participated in the events. 

“Reducing Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine” Project is funded by USAID (in particular, by its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, BHA), and has been implemented since 2019 by 3P Consortium led by ACTED.


Today we present the report: “Resolution #767: Challenges and obstacles for participation in the programme”.

This report is mainly based on the results of the survey about intentions, challenges and obstacles encountered during participation in the compensation programme for damaged/destroyed housing objects launched within CMU resolution №767.

In addition, a significant deal of information was gathered during our monitoring visits to plenty of settlements in Donetska and Luhanska oblasts in the period of October-December.  

Overall, our respondents were surveyed on 826 cases, including 325 on destroyed and 501 on damaged housing objects. 

звіт report damaged housing

Our outreach workers and the legal team also took part in some of the commission assessment sessions either as observers or members, thus they had an opportunity to obtain firsthand experience in the implementation of the programme.

By focusing on the perspective of claimants, this report complements a survey conducted by UNHCR in November 2020, which focuses on the functioning of the local assessment commissions, based on observations from R2P and other NGO members or observers in these commissions.  

R2P launched this survey primarily to find out whether this programme is relevant for its target audience, as well as to reveal the pitfalls of the programme from the perspective of participants.

Therefore, we decided to survey our beneficiaries of IDP and conflict-affected background who reportedly had problems with damaged/destroyed housing objects and those potential beneficiaries whom our outreach workers already knew or got to know during field trips.

The survey has been conducted in the period of October-November in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts via phone and face-to-face interviews. Besides, upon the completion of the survey, some cases were directed to R2P legal team for further investigation.

As a result, our team not only conducted research but also promptly provided assistance to those who were willing to participate in the programme but for some reason experienced difficulties with applying for monetary compensation/assistance.

The report is available in

English and Ukrainian

UNHCR Ukraine – Aгентство ООН у справах біженців в Україні

Also read:


Ukraine is a signatory to the Convention on Status of Refugees. Article 33 of this document prohibits extradition of a person to the frontiers of territories where his/her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The same principle is enshrined in the Ukrainian legislation, particularly in the Criminal Procedure Code in the section on extradition.

 It is prohibited in Ukraine:

  • to send;
  • to extradite;
  • to forcibly return not only recognized refugees, but also persons who have applied for international protection (asylum seekers).

If another state applies to Ukraine with an official request for extradition, then an extradition check is mandatory.  It must be established whether there are circumstances that prevent the extradition of a person.

If a person applied to the State Migration Service of Ukraine with an application for refugee status or appealing a negative decision on his/her application, then this fact must be established during the extradition checking. In this case, the migration procedure will be the main argument for non extradition of a person.

The extradition procedure consists of the several stages:

  • another state makes an official appeal to Ukraine;
  • extradition checking;
  • decision on the extradition request (which can be appealed in court);
  • extradition.

The complexity of the procedure requires qualified legal assistance.

If you are a protection seeker and you are concerned that extradition may be initiated against you, be sure to inform your lawyer about that. In case extradition begins, legal assistance is essential.

More on this topic:

Check out Refugee Helper chatbot page on Facebook for more useful information

UNHCR Ukraine – Aгентство ООН у справах біженців в Україні


On December 23, 2020, the Government amended the Procedure for Provision of Temporary Use of Housing from Housing Funds for Temporary Accommodation of Internally Displaced Persons, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 582 of June 26, 2019 (hereinafter referred to as the “Procedure”). Changes came into force on December 30, 2020.

The team of the CF “Right to Protection” has analyzed the document. So, what are the main changes?

1. Abolition of Requirements on the Term of a Person’s Registration in the Unified Information Database on Internally Displaced Persons 

The abolition of requirements on the term of a person’s registration in the Unified Information Database on Internally Displaced Persons (hereinafter – the “Information Base”) with a certain social protection authority, as a precondition to providing residence for temporary accommodation, may be viewed as one of the most important amendments to the Procedure.

According to the previous version of clause 6 of the Procedure, an internally displaced person had to apply for registration as a citizen in need of housing from the housing funds for temporary accommodation (the “Registration”) to an authorized body within the area of service of a certain social protection authority, where such person has been registered in the Information Base during a year

Similarly, as set out in the previous version of the second paragraph of clause 1 of the Procedure, the internally displaced persons and their family members were provided with accommodation at a place of actual residence / stay within the service area of ​​the relevant authorities where they have been registered in the Information Database during a year.

Currently, the IDPs are no longer required to be registered in the Information Base by a certain social protection authority for a period of one year in order to start the process of Registration and obtaining accommodation for temporary residence.

Are there any changes to the accommodation location rules? 

No, the rules governing the place of application for Registration and the territory where the temporary accommodation is granted have not been amended.

As previously, according to clause 6 of the Procedure, the application shall be submitted “to the relevant administrative services center or the relevant local self-government body, and in their absence – to the relevant civil-military administration (hereinafter – the authorized bodies) within the service area of ​​the social protection authority where they are registered in the Unified Information Database on Internally Displaced Persons.

Similarly, the second paragraph of clause 1 of the Procedure sets out that the residence premises are provided to the internally displaced persons “at the place of actual residence / stay within the service area of ​​the district, district in the city state administrations in Kyiv, executive bodies of city councils, in which the said persons and their family members are registered in the Unified Information Database on Internally Displaced Persons.”

In addition, under clause 2 of the Procedure on the Formation of Housing Funds for Temporary Residence of the Internally Displaced Persons, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 582 of 26.06.2019, which has not been further amended, “residence premises from the funds must comply with the sanitary and technical  requirements and be located within an administrative-territorial unit (district, city, district in the city, town, village) at the place of actual residence / stay of an internally displaced person.”

Therefore, in view of the above, the territory where the temporary accommodation may be granted still remains limited and directly depends on the service area of the authorities in which the internally displaced persons are registered in the Information Base. Providing them with possibility to obtain residential premises anywhere in Ukraine, where such premises are available, will require further amendments to the legislation.

2. Extending the Term for Resolving on Registration

The term for the authorized bodies to resolve on Registration / refusal in Registration of an internally displaced person, set out in clause 18 of the Procedure, has been extended.  Previously this period constituted 10 days. Now the relevant decision must be approved by the authorized body within 30 calendar days from the date the housing commission on registration of the internally displaced persons and granting residential premises to internally displaced persons for temporary accommodation (hereinafter – the “Commission”) provides its conclusion in respect of a person.

3. De-registration of the Internally Displaced Persons

Introducing the grounds for De-registration of an internally displaced person (i.e., excluding a person from the list of citizens in need of housing from the housing funds for temporary accommodation) is one of the most crucial novelties included in the Procedure.

According to clause 20 of the Procedure, the grounds for De-registration are as follows:

  • application of an internally displaced person for De-registration;
  • change of the place of residence by a person;
  • cancellation of the certificate on registration of a person as an internally displaced person on grounds set out in part 1 of Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of the Internally Displaced Persons”;
  • failure to receive a move-in permission (housing order), without a valid reason, within 30 calendar days, or a failure to notify, within the same term, about the valid reasons preventing them from receiving a move-in permission;
  • submission of deliberately false information that formed the grounds for Registration.

Particular attention in this case should be paid to the matters of untimely obtaining the move-in permission, as well as the failure to timely notify the authorized bodies on the valid reasons preventing a person from receiving it.

According to the Procedure, the decision on De-registration must indicate its grounds and may be challenged in court.

However, the question of notification of the internally displaced person on his / her De-registration remain unclear. Unlike the provisions of clause 19 of the Procedure, which directly define the term and manner of notifying the IDPs on their Registration / refusal in Registration, the Procedure does not establish the manner and terms for notifying a person on his/her De-registration.  Resolving this matter will require approval of further amendments to the Procedure.

4. Move-in Permission Obtaining Issues

Amendments to clause 30 of the Procedure providing for extension of the list of people entitled to receive the move-in permission will have a positive impact. 

Previously the Procedure permitted its obtaining only by the person, to whom it was issued. However, now it may also be received by the authorized representative of an internally displaced person based on a written power of attorney certified in the manner set forth by law.

New rules introduced by clause 30 of the Procedure also establish that “when an internally displaced person or his/her authorized representative has not received a move-in permission within 30 calendar days, without a valid reason, or has not notified, within the same period of time, about the valid reasons preventing them from receiving the move-in permission, they shall be deprived of the right to obtain the property move-in permission, and the internally displaced person shall be deprived of the right to move in the premises, which shall not deprive the internally displaced person of the right to re-apply for registration.” This also forms grounds for holding a meeting of the Commission in order to resolve on allocation the relevant premises to other internally displaced persons.

According to the Procedure, reasons that do not depend on the will of the internally displaced person or his/her authorized representative are considered valid.

5. Priority Criteria for the Allocation of Premises to the IDPs

The priority of providing housing to internally displaced persons is determined based on the number of points scored by the relevant person / family, in accordance with the scoring system established by the Procedure.

As previously established, the points are accrued according to the criteria stipulated by the Procedure. They include (i) the priority criteria, according to which the points are scored to a family with the highest indicator (e.g., families with two children – 26 points; families with one child – 25 points; families including expectant mothers – 24 points), and (ii) general criteria, according to which the points are scored in case there are relevant grounds (e.g., large families – 2 points per family; families with incapable persons – 2 points per family; persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government from among the internally displaced persons – 3 points per person).

However, the amendments to clause 25 of the Procedure stipulate that the authorized body may approve a list of additional general criteria, the total number of points for which may not exceed 20 points per family.

Thus, it is necessary to note that additionally establishing various general criteria by some of the authorized bodies may potentially result in the loss of equality in treating the internally displaced persons in Ukraine and providing more favorable treatment to certain categories of IDPs. 

6. Extension of Term of the Premises Use

As previously, clause 32 of the Procedure sets out that the residential premises are provided to the internally displaced persons in temporary use for the period of up to one year, which may be extended for the next period in case their status does not change and unless they acquire another place of residence.

For this purpose, a person must file an application (the name of the application was changed to the “application for extension of the term of granting the residential premises from the housing funds for the temporary accommodation of the internally displaced persons”), together with the documents set out in clause 8 of the Procedure, with the authorized body.

The deadline for submitting the application has been changed.  Currently, it must be submitted to the authorized body not later than 60 calendar days prior to the expiration of the premises use agreement (previously it had to be filed not later than 30 calendar days prior to the agreement expiration date).

The Commission must consider the application not later than 50 calendar days prior to the expiration of the premises use agreement and notify the applicant in writing on its conclusion. The authorized body will resolve on extension of the term of granting premises for the temporary accommodation, based on the Commission’s conclusion, not later than the expiration date of the relevant agreement (the restriction “within two working days from the date of receipt of the conclusion of the commission” was excluded from the Procedure).

7. New Grounds for the Pre-Term Termination of the Agreement on Granting Residential Premises

The list of grounds for the Commission to resolve on the pre-term termination of granting the premises to IDPs for temporary accommodation, set out in clause 45 of the Procedure, was extended and now includes the following: 

  – in case an IDPdoes not reside in the premisescontinuously for more than a half of the term for which the premises use agreement was made. This fact shall be evidenced by the information  provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, National Police, as well from other executive bodies, on the return of the relevant person to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, other communities where the state authorities of Ukraine do not temporarily exercise their powers, or relocation of the person abroad.

Earlier we told that our colleagues from the Severodonetsk office participated in the Work meeting on the amendments to the resolution on housing for IDPs.


20 million UAH in 2020 and 114 million UAH in 2021 were included in the state budget to pay compensation to people whose property was destroyed as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Among those who have been compensated are nine clients of the Right to Protection CF.

Decisions on the compensation payments are made by specially created commissions. They include representatives of the regional state administration and non-governmental organizations. Eight meetings of such commissions took place in December: three in Luhansk oblast and five in Donetsk oblast. According to the results of these meetings, compensation was approved in 33 cases in Luhansk region and 47 in Donetsk region.

The biggest obstacle to obtain compensation was the problem with ownership documents. Many people required legal consultation on this matter. In addition, in order to receive compensation, a person must relinquish ownership of the destroyed housing, while victims often did not want to do so due to their distrust of state institutions, which resulted in refusal to participate in the compensation procedure.

In order to monitor the work of local commissions, collect and transmit data to the regional housing and community services department and to the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, control bodies are established at the level of district councils, such as the Volnovakha Regional State Administration. District commissions provide assistance to regional and national authorities only if the latter do not have the opportunity to apply to local commissions.

For security reasons, the commissions were unable to visit some districts of Pivdenny, Marinka, Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, Opytne, Vodyany, Pisky, Taramchuk and Berezovo, Donetsk region, as well as some districts of Zolote-4, Luhansk region, to inspect the destroyed housing. In some cases, such as Marinka, the Joint Forces Operations (JFO) management refused to allow the inspection, while in other cases, such as Berezovo, a decision by the Joint Forces Commander is still awaited.

In December, lawyers of the Right to Protection CF worked on 49 court cases concerning access to adequate housing, land, and property. 7 cases were positively resolved by the courts of first instance and one case – negatively, 7 positive decisions came into force. In one (previously negative – ed. note) case, after successful review in the Court of Appeal it also entered into force. Another 36 cases are still being heard in the courts of first instance, 4 cases – in the courts of appeal.

compensation housing destroyed

In addition to this, in December 2020, the team of R2P accompanied 54 strategic lawsuits: 39 cases of compensation for destroyed and damaged housing in national courts, 14 cases in the ECtHR and one case for compensation for a house that was destroyed in fires.

33 cases were heard in the courts of first instance and one decision was in favor of our beneficiary. Courts of first instance considered two more cases on enforcement of decisions by the Court of Appeal on the compensation for destroyed housing. Three cases were heard in the Courts of Appeal, and two of them were upheld. 2 cases are being considered by the Supreme Court. Another 14 cases are considered in the European Court of Human Rights. In nine of them, the complaints were based on the fact that the partial compensation (UAH 30,000 – 100,000) awarded by the Supreme Court was inadequate and that the domestic courts had not protected the plaintiff’s property rights. Three cases were initiated regarding the lack of access to property in the temporarily occupied territory.


We always try to hope for the rule of law and justice in courts, but, unfortunately, this does not always happen. When our beneficiary reached the Entry-Exit Checkpoint all his money was confiscated. Two court instances, numerous petitions and almost six months of court battles – and all of this to help people return their funds for cancer treatment…

Our beneficiary is a man, a citizen of Ukraine.  He lives with his wife and 4 children in Khartsyzsk, which is in the temporarily occupied territory. Man was shocked to learn that his wife was diagnosed with cancer. At first she was operated in Donetsk and then she went for further treatment to Azerbaijan. After discharge from the hospital, the woman was advised to undergo therapeutic radiological treatment in the city of Dnipro as there were no conditions or equipment for further treatment in the temporarily occupied territories.

Due to the impossibility of free crossing of the contact line due to quarantine restrictions, a written invitation was issued by a specialized hospital in Dnipro. In addition, it was stated that the woman would be accompanied by her husband and her brother, as she could not travel on her own. Therefore, permission to cross the contact line was obtained, the money was collected and so it was high time to move for the treatment to Dnipro, Ukraine.

“Stop right there! Cancer will wait…”

On the 10th of August 2020, a family of three left Khartsyzsk and moved in the direction of Novotroitske Entry-Exit Checkpoint to get to the Government Controlled Area. They had the entire amount of money for treatment in the car. The total did not exceed the allowed limit for 3 people.


Since they were traveling together, the money were in the bag of the husband (our beneficiary – ed. note). But then when they arrived at the EECP their car, documents and bags were inspected.  Our beneficiary showed the entire amount of money and documents from the hospital, which confirmed the purpose of the trip. But that didn’t help: an employee of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine drew up a report on an administrative offense for the “illegal transfer of funds in excess of the established limit”. Employee of the SFSU refused an explanation that the amount was for all three people in the car, that the family is going to the Dnipro for complex treatment.

In result, all the money was confiscated. According to the family, they were left with only 250 UAH. They had to urgently borrow money from their acquaintances and then go to Dnipro. Thanks to caring people and friends, they managed to raise the required sum of money.

Monitors of the Right to Protection CF witnessed the family’s story at the EECP and advised them to apply to the organization’s office to protect their rights.

Judicial Battles

Woman and her brother soon visited the office of the Right to Protection CF in Dnipro. They told about the incident in all details and provided the medical documents. Our colleagues have made numerous legal inquiries and collected all the documents necessary to protect their interests in court.

«During the review of the case materials, an important fact was revealed. The control coupon issued at the EECP entrance was corrected.  The number “3”, which indicated the number of people in the car, was corrected to “1”.  Someone deliberately tried to change the fact to make it look as if our beneficiary was trying to enter the Checkpoint on his own. The report on the administrative offense also stated that the client was moving from the temporarily occupied territory in a car alone,»

explained Vyacheslav Stasiuk, lawyer at the Dnipro office of the Right to Protection CF.
Court of Appeal of the Donetsk region in the city of Mariupol

Our lawyer then prepared a written request to close the case due to the lack of corpus delicti, because the client crossed the contact line while being accompanied by his wife and her brother, money was shared among all of them and the amount did not exceed the limit for 3 people.

However, the city court found our beneficiary guilty of violating the provisions of Part 1 of Article 204-3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, imposed a fine and confiscated the family’s confiscated funds.

After reviewing the text of the decision, the lawyer prepared an appeal and stressed that there was clear evidence of the client’s innocence. On January 18, 2021, a regular session of the Court of Appeal of the Donetsk region in the city of Mariupol took place.

Two monitors of the Right to Protection were invited to testify in court, as they have communicated directly with all three family members during their crossing on August 10, 2020.

The fact that there were three people in the car, and not one, as stated in the coupon was proved and taken into account by the judge.

«We went through two court instances, the first one, where a negative decision was made, and the second one – our appeal, which corrected the judicial error of the court of first instance.  The decision of the court of first instance was canceled and the proceedings were closed due to the absence of an administrative offense in the client’s actions,»

– commented Serhiy Halemsky, a lawyer at the Mariupol office of the Right to Protection CF.

The Court of Appeal found that the client had been unjustifiably fined and ordered to return all the confiscated money.


On the 15th of January a work meeting was held to discuss changes in the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on “The procedure for housing provision for the temporary residence of internally displaced persons.”

Specialists of the Civil-Military Administration of Severodonetsk, consultants of the Eastern Regional Representation of the Ukrainian Social Investment Fund (USIF), as well as our colleagues from the Severodonetsk office of the Right to Protection CF took part in the joint work.

During the meeting various issues regarding Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were discussed, such as those regarding the requirements to receive housing.

зустріч discussion work meeting

We thank to all our partners and colleagues for time they invested in such a productive discussion!