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Rimma was born in Horlivka in 1996. She knows neither her mom, nor dad. Immediately after the birth, Rimma’s mother left her without any documents to a grandmother. And since then it was the granny who became the girl’s dearest person.

Why can’t Rimma get a passport?

As of today, Horlivka is under occupation. Grandmother had a passport of a citizen of Ukraine and the address of residence registration. Rimma repeatedly applied to the Migration Service for a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, as she lived in Ukraine all the time from when she was born. In response, the girl heard only refusals, as her citizenship was being unconfirmed. To obtain citizenship, she must confirm in court the fact that her grandmother lived on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR until 1990, but all the documents that can confirm this remained in the uncontrolled territory of Ukraine.

Rimma is a stateless person, but it is impossible to obtain an official certificate which confirms this fact, as well as an identity document. In Ukraine, there is no clear procedure for processing documents from stateless people. Rimma first received her birth certificate at the age of 21. And now she needs to get a passport, without which she cannot exercise any civil rights. She has a family – two children and a husband with whom she even cannot  marry due to lack of a passport.

For now, living with rights is a big dream for Rimma. She can’t enroll her children in kindergarten, she can’t sign a declaration with a doctor to receive medical services for her family, she can’t work at the official job, she can’t get a bank card. In fact, without documents Rimma can’t do anything.

In support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Campaign to Combat Statelessness #IBelong (#Яісную) The Right to Protection CF tells stories of 5 different people who have faced the problem of statelessness in Ukraine. In fact, there are thousands of such stories across the country. And they all bring together completely different people who, under certain circumstances, live without documents. We want to address this issue and help solve it!