In 2021, R2P provided legal assistance to 1,553 refugees and asylum seekers inside Ukraine and supported their social and economic inclusion in Ukrainian society.
In 2022, after the full-scale invasion, R2P continued to deliver aid to the refugees and asylum seekers. The state policy towards this vulnerable category of population was already disagreeable and had significant implementation gaps but over the past year, the situation has worsened.
R2P shed light on the current situation of asylum seekers and refugees in its report Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Ukraine Addressing Protection Risks During Wartime. According to a survey conducted for the report and practice of the R2P lawyers, these persons lack effective access to the asylum procedure inside Ukraine, people unable to apply for protection are faced with fines, deportation, or detention for “irregular stay”; some number of the R2P beneficiaries are unable to leave Ukraine as well as return to Ukraine after they fled to the EU.
In addition, the recently adopted Ukraine Law 2952-IX, passed in February 2023, brings significant changes to the country’s migration and asylum legislation. These amendments primarily focus on areas such as suspending the possibility to apply for asylum at the border.
The attempts of the R2P to conduct a productive dialogue to address the worrying issues have not given meaningful outcomes. The R2P envisages pursuing efforts to bring attention to the hurdles of asylum seekers and refugees using the legal framework, advocacy and support of its national and international partners. Among the priorities are inducing the Ombudsman to file a constitutional complaint against Law 2952-IX.
Therefore, together with other human rights organizations, we have prepared a public statement, which, we hope, can become an effective tool in this direction. You can read more in the document at the link below.