UNHCR welcomes the Parliamentary Hearings and calls to strengthen protection of displaced in Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine, 20 February 2016. UNHCR welcomes the Parliamentary Hearings on the situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ukraine that took place this week. The event brought together representatives of civil society, regional and central authorities, international community and IDPs.
As the crisis in Ukraine is entering in its third year, UNHCR remains concerned by entrenched restrictions on freedom of movement. The UN Refugee Agency advocates for unhindered access of humanitarian organizations to all affected population, and to allow people to move freely to reach safety, access services, and exercise their rights. We welcome the fact that this issue was raised during the Hearings.
Registration and documentation procedures, in particular in non-government controlled areas, should be addressed as a matter of urgency. UNHCR highlights that existing legislative and procedural gaps may eventually result in a growing number of undocumented children, increasing the risk of statelessness.
Due to a protracted nature of the displacement, there is an urgent need for durable solutions for people who cannot return to their homes. In particular, authorities are encouraged to develop long-term and systemic approaches to respond to the housing needs of displaced. The Government should also allocate adequate funding for the implementation of the recently adopted Government Integration Program and the accompanying Action Plan.
UNHCR hopes that the discussions initiated at the Parliamentary Hearings will be taken into consideration by relevant authorities, as well as properly reflected in the legislative framework and implementation of the government policy. The UN Refugee Agency remains ready to support Ukrainian Government and civil society in addressing the needs of IDPs and of those affected populations in need of protection and assistance, wherever they may be.