Kyiv, 20 October 2014 UNHCR welcomes the passage of the “law on the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons” by the Ukrainian parliament in today’s session. UNHCR appreciates the constructive efforts made by parliament, the presidential administration and civil society actors over recent months to draft this legislation in consultation with UNHCR and with reference to international standards and best practices.
“The step taken today in parliament extends protection to the more than 400,000 people who have been internally displaced within Ukraine. Today is a significant milestone in the country’s effort to protect the human rights of all displaced Ukrainians,” commented Oldrich Andrysek, UNHCR Regional Representative for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
This law gives IDPs a specific set of rights – protection against discrimination, forcible return and assistance in voluntary returns. It also simplifies access to different social and economic services, especially residence registration (which is a requirement for accessing banking services and registering a business) and unemployment benefits. Furthermore, the law obliges the government to start developing a policy on integration of internally displaced persons, which is expected to lead to better long-term planning for these individuals.
UNHCR stands ready to assist the Ukrainian authorities regarding the implementation of this and provide further support to see the rights of internally displaced people protected.
The latest statistics on internal displacement is available at www.unhcr.org.ua/maps