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For the 8-th year in a row the territories of Ukraine are occupied. Since then most internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been living in the new amalgamated territorial communities. These people have finally won the right to vote in local elections, but the state still treats them as the “temporary phenomenon” and continues to apply special rules and orders to them where the general ones must have long been applied.

This includes the restrictions on the choice of a bank to receive social and pension benefits (as of today, IDPs can receive above mentioned benefits only to the “Oschadbank” cards – ed.note), numerous checks on those who receive these benefits, and so on. It is time to acknowledge that the “temporality” of this situation has dragged on, so changes in legislation are needed to enable IDPs to integrate into the local communities.

Such changes should be provided by the recently registered Bill №4487 «On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons». After the Verkhovna Rada approval the Bill will deal with many issues, such as housing and IDP certificates, as well as and many other equally important issues.

But, in my opinion, one of the most important elements is the norm according to which the presence or absence of a certificate of registration of an internally displaced person cannot be a ground for restricting the exercise of the rights and freedoms provided by the Constitution, laws or international treaties of Ukraine with the exception of the cases when the IDP certificate guarantees additional benefits or guarantees, for example, receiving targeted assistance, free meals for children in educational institutions, annual rehabilitation, etc.

These changes should be the first step in resolving the problems of the internally displaced. Then, in order to comply with the adopted law, amendments to a number of bylaws must be also adopted. After all, it is necessary to finally give IDPs the right to choose the bank where they wish to receive benefits (“Oschadbank” is not the only state bank), it is necessary to cancel the resolution №365 and the so-called “home inspections”, which are not carried out now due to quarantine, but we know that after the end of the quarantine these restrictions may get back.

IDP Oschadbank card issue карта ощадбанка для ВПО
Oschadbank – the only bank which IDPs can use to receive their hard-earned pensions or social benefits

The state always talks about unifying approaches, but in fact does little to implement it, especially when it comes to the internally displaced persons. It is time to erase those artificial lines between “ours” and “theirs”, because we are all the People of Ukraine, the country to which the war came. It should unite us, not divide.


IDPs IDP Анастасія Одінцова: про менторський досвід, навчання інших та маленькі кроки для великих змін Anastasia Odintsova tells about her mentoring experience, teaching others and small steps for big changes

Anastasia Odintsova,

Advocacy Lawyer

Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P)

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