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14.07.23

Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine – From June 21st to June 23rd, The Right to Protection’s MHPSS Program, with the support of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), organized a three-day offline forum aimed at sharing experiences among practitioners involved in psychological humanitarian response during wartime. The event provided a friendly space for reflection and an opportunity to appropriate the experiences gained during the challenging period of a 1.5-year full-scale invasion.

The event gathered 25 psychological services working tirelessly during the war, allowing participants to engage in facilitated sessions and find answers through dialogue. The focus was on collecting the experiences of these services, highlighting superior practices and addressing the most common topics encountered. The forum provided a platform to discuss the trends and dynamics of psychological service provision 1.5 years after the full-scale invasion, as well as the latest news from the field and the often unseen difficulties faced by service providers.

Participating experts included professional associations, representatives from international humanitarian organizations, NGOs, charitable foundations, psychologists, psychiatrists, military psychologists, and professionals working with veterans, military families, adults, children, and adolescents.

Anna Shiychuk, the coordinator of the MHPSS Program of the Right to Protection, emphasized the value of the discussion process in her reflections on the event. She stated, “In my opinion, the discussion process is even more valuable than the conclusions we reach. After all, this is a place where you can reflect on your work and find points of feedback in the words of other colleagues.”

The event aimed to enhance communication between services, facilitate the exchange of experiences in different areas of psychological services, and foster collaboration among a wide range of experts. The goal was to capitalize on the uniqueness of Ukrainian specialists’ experiences as mental health service providers in overcoming the consequences of one of the largest wars of our time.

Following the forum’s conclusion, the R2P’s psychologists made a meeting to present the main tendencies, trends, developments, and vectors of development discussed during the event. This meeting gave an opportunity to share the valuable insights gained and chart a path forward in addressing the mental health challenges caused by the ongoing war.

The offline event organized by the Right to Protection and IRC served as an important platform for professionals to share their experiences, learn from one another, and strengthen their collective efforts in providing much-needed psychological assistance to individuals affected by the devastating consequences of war.

14.07.23

In June R2P, as the implementer of the pilot project “Emergency aid Ukraine/Chernihiv: Resilience assistance to social service institutions in Chernihiv oblast”, with the assistance of the German organization AWO International and financial support from Aktion Deutschland Hilft, completed the following repairs:

Bomb Shelter in Pryluky Special School

This boarding school educates 82 children with intellectual disabilities (including 45 children with disabilities, 13 orphans and children deprived of parental care). Before the start of this school year, the issue of arranging a bomb shelter where children and school staff could feel relatively safe during air raids.

The school has a basement that was used to store vegetables before the introduction of martial law. However, the space needed to be repaired. The basement had high humidity, poor lighting, there was no air ventilation or heating, the walls and floor needed considerable repair work.

The Right to Protection began repair work on the shelter and purchased the necessary furniture for the children to stay comfortably during the alarms.

Repair and technical equipment of the “Social Laundry” on the premises of the Territorial Center of Social Services of the Nizhyn City Council

Everything in the old premises was redone: from the floor, walls, ceiling, replacement of windows, ventilation to the installation of washing and drying machines, an ironing press, a sewing machine and furniture. 

Social workers provide laundry and repair services for people in difficult life circumstances who are unable to do laundry at home. These services are also available to IDPs living in the Nizhyn Territorial Community.

14.07.23

For the first time in Lviv, we held a large-scale legal Forum “Legal Challenges to Protecting the Rights of IDPs in the Context of War in Ukraine”. Almost 100 participants from all over Ukraine – lawyers, attorneys, human rights defenders, representatives of international organizations and the public – gathered to discuss ways to help IDPs in Ukraine.

At the opening of the Forum, Nadiya Kovalchuk, R2P Program Director, noted that the Foundation has been working in the field of human rights protection for 10 years and provides legal assistance to IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers, stateless persons and all those affected by the war.

“The Legal Forum is an opportunity for us to become a place of exchange of views and partnerships. We believe that one organization can solve something, but together we can really move certain problems forward”, – added Nadiya Kovalchuk.

During the two days of the Forum, representatives of international partners, all-Ukrainian civil society organizations, and government agencies dealing with human rights protection discussed the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations in the context of providing assistance to the affected population since 2014, as well as changes to the procedure for making payments to internally displaced persons. Vitaliy Chornenkyi, R2P Coordinator of the IDP legal aid program, emphasized that the Forum is a communication platform where there is an opportunity to discuss the challenges that human rights organizations are currently facing.

“Senior lawyers of the R2P regional offices reviewed the critical points of certain legislative norms. This is important because it is our lawyers who are the carriers of this practice, and sometimes they create this practice. Our lawyers can already predict in which areas people will need legal assistance in the near future”, – said Vitaliy Chornenkyy.

During their speeches, R2P Senior lawyers shared their experience in the issues that concern Ukrainians the most, namely:

  • receiving compensation for damaged/destroyed property;
  • pension provision for IDPs;
  • ensuring the rights of children during martial law in Ukraine;
  • receiving compensation for lost health, death of civilians as a result of hostilities.

“Ukraine Protection Consortium, with which our Foundation has been working for a year already, has become a powerful partner in organizing and holding the Forum. I am glad that other partners in the Consortium are here with us, with whom we are constantly exchanging experience, because the Consortium is a collaboration of capacities and opportunities to help vulnerable populations”, – said Kateryna Zadoenko, R2P Project manager in the Ukraine Protection Consortium.

We thank all partners who were able to join the discussion. We are glad that in the current conditions we have the opportunity to exchange experience, because only in this way can we help everyone affected by the war in Ukraine even better!

The legal Forum was held within the framework of the project “Protecting lives with Integrated Multi-sector Assistance (UPC-PRIMA)” implemented by “Right to Protection” Charitable Foundation as a partner of the Ukraine Protection Consortium coordinated by Save the Children. The program is implemented with the financial support of the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

14.07.23

The National Round table “Porcelain Childhood: Ways to Happiness for Little Ukrainians” was held by our advocacy colleagues in Kyiv. This event was a continuation of the discussions initiated by the R2P in Lviv, Chernivtsi, Vinnytsia and Dnipro regions since the beginning of the year.


The roundtable brought together the representatives of the scientific, judicial, lawyer, and deputy communities, representatives of national and international organizations, as well as officials of state and local authorities.
Oleksandr Galkin, R2P President, noted that the topic of children has been and remains the most sensitive, and that the R2P team continues its efforts to help those in need.


Kateryna Zadoenko, R2P manager of the Ukraine Protection Consortium project, emphasized that work in the field of child protection is not limited to the advocacy component, but includes the comprehensive work of lawyers, social workers and psychologists:


The geography of our work is gradually changing, we will move to the East and South. From September of this year, we will help women and children in Kharkivska, Mykolaivska, Khersonska, Zaporizska oblasts, and will continue our work in Dnipropetrovska oblast. We will develop a new activity for us – creating safe spaces for women and children. We must do everything to ensure that Ukrainian children remain safe and have opportunities for development”.


The discussion at the event was organized in three main areas:
1) prospects for the development of national legislation in the field of child protection;
2) development of family forms of upbringing and childcare;
3) “military” challenges in the field of child protection.


“The current legislation in the field of child protection is not characterized by systematic, and sometimes it is not devoid of Soviet approaches. To build a high-quality child-centered legislative framework, there is a need for its systematic, not fragmentary, updating by adopting a separate code – the Code on the Rights of the Child”, – said Maryna Us, R2P legal analyst.


Lyudmyla Volynets, a well-known expert in the field of child protection, emphasized that the update of legislation should be preceded by the development and consolidation of a unified state policy in the field of child protection.


Pavlo Sushko, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, emphasized the imbalance of the child protection system at the national level and the need to establish a centralized state body as soon as possible.


Moderating the panel discussion, Kseniia Gedz, R2P Advocacy coordinator, drew attention to the importance of introducing an administrative procedure for registering births that occurred in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in order to ensure equal access to registration and documents for all children born in Ukraine.


Kateryna Rashevska, lawyer of the Regional Human Rights Center, drew attention to the implementation of international standards on repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims of armed conflict into national legislation and law enforcement practice and noted that children are the basis of national security.


Based on the results of the event, the participants will develop conclusions and recommendations on ways to overcome problems in the field of child protection and improve the relevant legislation.


We thank all the participants of the Round table meeting who joined the event. Only through joint efforts can we protect the rights of children in Ukraine!


«The event was held within the framework of the project “Protecting lives with Integrated Multi-sector Assistance (UPC-PRIMA)” implemented by “Right to Protection” Charitable Foundation as a partner of the Ukraine Protection Consortium coordinated by Save the Children. The program is implemented with the financial support of the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)”

14.07.23

For almost 1 month, the R2P`s Emergency Response Team has been working in Kherson and its surroundings, which have suffered many tragedies since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

For the first time, we have equipped mobile teams to work in conditions of increased risk to life. Four mobile teams have been trained to operate in dangerous conditions under daily shelling.  

Our specialists take a holistic approach to the problems of the region’s residents, working with local authorities to better understand people’s needs. They provide a wide range of assistance to victims of flooding and shelling: legal aid, psychological support, social protection, also register for cash assistance. From July the R2P`s Emergency Response Teams provide beneficiaries with dignity kits (hygiene products) and also cleaning kits are planned.

“Most often, people apply for compensation for destroyed homes, financial assistance, restoration of documents, and social services. Especially the elderly find it difficult to understand the intricacies of the law. We explain and advise them. In some cases, we help with transportation and accompaniment to government or medical institutions. Our psychologist also assists the victims. People have lost their homes and are constantly under fire. They are strong, but they need support,” said Oleksandr Matvienko, head of one of the emergency teams.

Despite the difficult conditions, the R2P teams are doing their best to provide assistance to people who desperately need it. 

“The local people are amazing in their resilience. Having survived first the occupation, then the hydroelectric disaster and constant shelling, they never lose their optimism. This inspires us to keep working”, says Anna Paniv, one of the cash assistance enumerator.

Let’s keep working!

12.07.23

Recently in Europe a week dedicated to discussing the rights of refugees and the challenges they face took place. Human rights defenders from different countries shared experiences and worked out new strategies for advocating the rights of those people. Representatives from Ukraine and, in particular, from R2P have been participants in these discussions for a long time, for our Foundation is a member of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

On June 15th Svitlana Butenko, the Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers Programme Manager of R2P, took part in the ECRE Annual General Conference 2023 in Turin. She held a workshop entitled “Implementation of Directives on Temporary Protection Preparing for Long-term Solution Contemporary Analysis in EU Countries”. Svitlana Butenko shared the results of a research concerning  the situation of refugees who have left the territory of Ukraine after the beginning of the invasion and now are living in EU countries. Together with our partner – HIAS, we found that about 40% of our beneficiaries (asylum seekers, refugees, persons in need of complementary protection) could not get temporary protection, or  face significant delays in receiving it in EU countries. Most of these people – refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, CIS countries – went to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France.

“We researched the legislation of the EU countries in this area and found out that the problem, obviously, is connected with documents that these people have or do not have”, – said Svitlana Butenko.

The purpose of her workshop was to draw the attention of our colleagues – human rights defenders in Europe to the problems, and causes that had been identified and to help them to find effective tools to support these people.

Besides, the conference has become a great platform for sharing experiences with partners who also face difficulties advocating for refugee rights. With partners from Poland, it was possible to discuss in detail both the problem of crossing the border for refugees recognized in Ukraine and the ways to overcome the restriction on applying for protection at the borders. Our partners from Hungary shared their formula of advocacy in the absence of support from the state and society. And the partners from Germany commented with interest on our study on access to temporary protection for refugees recognized in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is currently on the path to European integration. The task of human rights organizations is to study international standards and the practice of their application in European countries in order to choose the optimal formula for their implementation in the future. Such conferences are a step towards meeting the EU standards”, – added Svitlana Butenko.