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Svitlana was born in Russia in 1991 during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The events of that time had a long impact on her life. When she was 2 years old, her mother transported her to Ukraine and left her alone. Another woman took care of Svitlana and in fact became her grandmother.  Unfortunately, she failed to officially certify guardianship. This was one of the reasons for the beginning of troubles in which Svitlana got into at the age of 16.

Svitlana was denied a Ukrainian passport. For almost 15 years, the girl fought for her right to be a part of this world, for the right to have an education, to be able to work, become a wife, a mother. During this time, she repeatedly applied to the Migration Service to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. Instead, she only received oral and written refusals, requests to wait, come later, numerous excuses or responses that they are not competent in this issue.

During all these years, Svitlana got unofficially married and gave birth to 2 wonderful children.  Due to her lack of documents, she and her husband were forced to prove paternity in court.

In 2020, Svitlana turned to the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) for help. The woman and our lawyer were waiting for several months of appeals, complaints, and constant negotiations. Yet, in the spring of 2021, Svitlana was able to apply for stateless status after the introduction of the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP) in Ukraine.

 Still, this is only the beginning – explanations, challenges, and inquiries are ahead. However, this is a big step towards a bright future for a kind woman and her family. A future where the country that became a home for Svitlana will finally notice her, as well as other stateless people.