The history of mankind is a history of rights asserted by individuals and communities of people.
It is also the history of migration and displacement. This process cannot be stopped by any restrictions and prohibitions; not only because a desire for a better life and freedom from oppression and persecution is natural to everyone, but also because the right to freedom of movement is an inalienable right of every human being. However, not all people voluntarily change their place of residence — a lot of people have to do this because they fear for their lives
Today, many politicians in different countries of Europe try to depict migrants and refugees as a threat to order and “stability”. However, we know from history that stirring up hate and intolerance leads to mass tragedies, and anyone can find themselves in the position of being a persecuted person.
The work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants is - along with work with disabled persons - the principal activity of the Committee.
We provide refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with expert legal advice and legal support on the following issues:
Why do we do this?
If you do not know or understand human rights, it is impossible to protect them — neither for yourself nor for others. In a society, where the rights of even one are violated — no one is protected.
Strategic court cases in the field of migration and human rights protection are very important and the priority for the Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattia. We believe they are important not only to protect the rights of our customers. Such cases have a long-term impact on the society and its people; they contribute to the rule of law.
The Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattia has been pleading the case of the rights protection of a newborn child of our client Y. for two years. The social security authorities denied her childbirth assistance, citing her lack of refugee status, subsidiary protection, or permanent residence. The parents of this newborn child have been in the process of determining refugee status in Ukraine for 5 years.
This refusal was challenged in court with the help of a Committee’s lawyer. The case went through the three courts. The Mukachevo City District Court ruled in favor of our client and defended the rights of the child, while the Lviv Administrative Court of Appeal overturned that decision. The point in this case was set by the Administrative Court of Cassation of the Supreme Court. Guided by the principle of the best interests of the child, it ruled that childbirth allowance is intended for the child; it is the property of the child and is paid to the child and not to the parents. Refusal to assign and pay assistance to a child – a citizen of Ukraine on the grounds of lack of a certain status of parents – is illegal, because all children in Ukraine are equal. However the Law of Ukraine “On State Assistance to Families with Children” links the possibility of receiving such assistance by the applicant to the status of a refugee, subsidiary protection or permanent residence.
Why this decision is important?
First, it provides an effective mechanism for judicial protection of the rights of migrant children with different legal statuses.
Second, it promotes the rule of law for human rights.
Third, court decisions in such cases signals to the state that changes in legislation are needed.
The court decision is available at this link: http://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/79349998
The Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattia started conducting the case of Ms. A. back in 2015 when A. asked us to help with the passport for her child. Due to the registration of birth according to Part 2 of Article 135 of the Family Code of Ukraine, the child could not receive documents, because it is through such registration of birth that the child should be in a boarding school or foster family. In A.'s case, the situation with identity documents was even worse. When A. came to Ukraine in 1997, she began to live in a civil marriage with a citizen of Ukraine. They had 4 children, and because of this the client did not renew her passport in time, while the old passport expired. The situation was further complicated by the fact that A. did not register with the consulate in Ukraine and was therefore at risk of losing her citizenship. With the help of the Committee's lawyer, A. applied to the embassy in Kyiv to confirm her identity and citizenship. At the same time, she appealed to the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child for assistance in obtaining the child's passport. A. received an answer from the embassy that she would be able to issue a new passport only upon returning to the country of citizenship and paying a huge fine for 18 years of delay (about $ 50 for one year). Our client does not have such an opportunity.
During all these procedures, our client also received a decision from the migration service regarding her forced return to the country of her citizenship. The Committee’s lawyer helped to appeal against that decision in court and conducted the case in court. The court overturned the decision on forced return because it found that the client had not committed any actions on the territory of Ukraine that would be contrary to the interests of Ukraine’s security or protection of public order, health and protection of the rights and interests of Ukrainian citizens; forced return will lead to separation from family and young children.
The Committee's lawyer also helped to issue a passport of a citizen of Ukraine for the child of the client. Thanks to this, the child was able to obtain a certificate of basic secondary education and enter an educational institution.
You can apply for legal assistance directly to the office of the CO "Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattia": Uzhhorod, Koryatovych Square, 2/10, 88000
Working hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: + 38 098 976 69 29
Application procedure for acquiring refugee status or status of a person in need of additional protection in different languages from the Charitable Foundation “Right to Protection”
Sociological research of the CEDOS center "Women's migration to Ukraine: problems of access to the labor market" (2019)