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The experts of the Right to Protection with the support of the UNHCR conducted a two-days training for the employees of the Ombudsman’s Office concerning the rights of stateless persons, asylum seekers and refugees on June 25 and 26 in Kyiv. 

The violation of the rights of the people we work with forces us to look for different ways of solving this problem. One of the ways to do it is to appeal to the Ombudsman. That is why the purpose of such a training is not only to inform about the problems faced by refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons, but also to work together for solving them and preventing the emergence of new ones.

The training was attended by fifteen employees of the Secretariat and the regional offices of the Ukrainian Ombudsman. For better assimilation of the acquired knowledge, our employees prepared practical tasks for the participants.

The first day of training was dedicated to the issues of refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine. In particular, we talked about the difficulties these people are facing. Among them there are difficulties with access to the procedure of application for protection, violation of the procedure of forced return and deportation, crossing the border, etc. In addition, our experts together with UNHCR representatives explained the basic provisions of Ukraine’s international obligations in the international protection area.

Svitlana Butenko, Programme Manager of the R2P project “Legal Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers” said:

“During a full-scale invasion, those people who are seeking protection in Ukraine became even more vulnerable. Martial law presented new challenges both to them and to us as their defenders. Currently, an appeal to the Ombudsman should become an effective tool for restoring the violated rights of protection seekers. That was the main reason for us to conduct such a training”.

The second day of the training was dedicated to the issue of statelessness in Ukraine, discussing its consequences and the experience of eradicating statelessness. Our experts also shared international practices for identifying such persons.

“The procedure for recognizing a stateless person in Ukraine is still quite new and requires a lot of attention from state authorities, human rights organizations and the Ombudsman office. It is also worth noting that stateless persons cannot be deprived of their right to official recognition and regulation of their status because of the war”, – added Sofia Kordonets, Legal Assistance to Stateless Population Program Manager of R2P.

Training participants repeatedly noted the high level of preparation of both theoretical issues and practical tasks. The speakers also noted the activity of the participants during the training.

We hope that such meetings will help to solve the problems faced by refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons in Ukraine much faster and more effectively.