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Date of publication – DeadlineDate of publication – Deadline

9/07/2020 – 14/07/2020

Work placeWork place



The Right to Protection (R2P) is an all-Ukrainian charitable foundation operating in partnership with the global NGO HIAS, that strives for Ukraine to become a country where refugees, stateless, persons at risk of statelessness and displaced persons enjoy dignity and protection. 

One of R2P major objectives is to ensure that stateless population in Ukraine exercise their human rights. To achieve that R2P 1) provide legal aid and counseling in the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk (GCA) regions, 2) build capacity of legal aid providers, government and communities on statelessness prevention and reduction; and 3) develop a comprehensive analysis of the legal framework regarding stateless in Ukraine and advocate for the improvement of government policy, legislation and existing administrative procedures towards stateless persons and persons with undetermined nationality

Title: Expert on Statelessness Status Determination Procedure in Ukraine

Duty Station: Kyiv 

Duration: 15 July-31 August 

Contract Type: Individual  


On 16 June 2020, after several years of UNHCR and partners’ advocacy efforts, the Parliament adopted the draft law #2335. This act regulates the Statelessness Status Determination (SSD) procedure in Ukraine. It has many significant advantages:

– for the first time since the ratification of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons by Ukraine, a procedure to determine a status of a stateless person is established;

– the SSD procedure does not set any pre-conditions for application except for the requirement to be in writing. However, UNHCR is concerned that, in practice, in order to access the procedure, all applicants to the SSD procedure would have to pay fines for violation of the rules of stay in Ukraine because of their irregular stay on the territory;

– applicants are entitled to free legal aid in the application process, for the duration of the procedure and at the stage of appeal;

– the burden of proof is shared between the applicant and the State Migration Service (SMS). 

The act is still to be signed by the President and promulgated in the official gazette. Peculiarities of the procedure are to be regulated by a by-law which has not been prepared by the SMS yet.

At the same time, most of the assistance currently provided by UNHCR through partners has been dedicated to individual legal assistance to persons with undetermined nationality/at risk of statelessness. As, in most cases, persons with undetermined nationality/at risk of statelessness are entitled to the Ukrainian citizenship, they should not apply for a stateless status. On the contrary, procedures for the confirmation of Ukrainian nationality should be simplified. It is therefore important that, for a proper implementation of the new law introducing a SSD procedure, this aspect be examined and mechanisms for transfer from one procedure to the other be developed. For the implementation of the law introducing a SSD procedure, a by-law must be adopted which should include that possibility to refer/transfer applicants entitled to Ukrainian citizenship to the procedure for confirmation of nationality, support with identification of stateless persons will be required, as well as for building the capacity of the authorities. Strong investment and support from UNHCR is expected. 

Currently, UNHCR and partners are the only actors providing legal aid to individuals with undetermined nationality/at risk of statelessness. Because of legal limitations, the support provided by the Free Legal Aid Centers (FLAC) is restricted to primary legal aid (legal counselling provided by legal experts) to a small number of persons. The SSD procedure foresees that applicants should benefit from state-funded free legal aid for the provision of primary and secondary (in administrative and judicial procedures) legal aid. Building the capacity of the FLAC would also require important investments in terms of training.

R2P is seeking for an Expert to support R2P, UNHCR and the relevant governmental bodies of Ukraine in the development of the statelessness determination procedure.

Duties & ResponsibilitiesDuties & Responsibilities

  • Provide technical and legal support on the draft by-law (or any other relevant draft legislation) on the implementation of a fully-fledged SSD procedure in Ukraine to R2P, UNHCR Ukraine and the relevant governmental bodies of Ukraine (in particular, the State Migration Service of Ukraine)
  • Sharing information on good state practices which ensure a clear distinction in the stateless persons and persons with undetermined nationality which should not go through the SSD procedure; Provide technical and legal advice for the implementation of the same approach in Ukraine;  
  • Draft recommendations on the possible way forward (including suggestions for further activities) by R2P, UNHCR and the Government of Ukraine in order to enable effective implementation of the by-law in Ukraine, as well as on general activities to raise awareness about statelessness in Ukraine.
  • Where needed, participate in meetings/working groups to promote action on the importance of the adoption of the above mentioned by-law and encourage action to address statelessness.

Required qualificationsRequired qualifications

  • Advanced university degree in a relevant field, such as public international law or human rights law; 
  • Minimum of six years of experience in a relevant area, particularly in the field of citizenship and statelessness. Experience working for a UN or other international organization in one of these fields (especially, in the European region) is an asset. 
  • Sound knowledge of UNHCR’s statelessness mandate and Guidelines, the two UN statelessness conventions and other relevant international standards; 
  • Highly motivated self-starter;
  • Well-developed organizational capacities, communication skills, high level of responsibility, computer literacy, experience in planning and analysis of fulfilled work;
  • Fluency and excellent drafting and presentation skills in Ukrainian and English are required.

Application processApplication process

Send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with the title ‘Expert on Statelessness Status Determination Procedure’. Responses will be sent only to those individuals who were selected for interview. No phone calls, please.

Applications close date

14 July 2020. If an appropriate candidate is identified, R2P reserves the right to recruit ahead of this deadline.