Collaboration of IDPs to solve common problems

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Participants of the Forum Together For the Result discussed ways to address critical issues related to the IDPs and people residing in the conflict-affected areas.

Participants of the Together For the Result Forum of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and those residing in the conflict-affected areas have discussed the most acute problems – housing, employment, electoral rights and pensions, and have developed recommendations for state authorities to elaborate state policy and adopt laws aimed at solving these problems. The organizers proposed to establish an open platform The Union of IDPs for the coordination of joint actions of civil society organizations and members of parliament (MPs).

About 150 people attended the Together For the Result Forum held in Kyiv on October 30, 2018 initiated by NGO Ukrainian Institute of Human Rights with the support of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). IDPs from Luhansk, Donetsk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea currently residing in different regions of Ukraine, as well as MPs and various partner organizations took part in Forum. The representatives of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Donbass-SOS, Public Holding GROUP OF INFLUENCE, Advisers on IDP-related issues, Crimea SOS, Norwegian Refugee Council, Ukrainian Freelancers Association, Active Community, Egida Center gave speeches and facilitated working groups sessions.

“In accordance with the Principles on Internal Displacement, IDPs, on the basis of full equality, enjoy the same rights and freedoms as other persons in their country. The purpose of the Forum is to jointly develop a plan and vision on how citizens, activists and legislators can work together to improve the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons and those residing in the conflict-affected areas, – said Noel Kalhoun, Deputy Representative of the UN Refugee Agency in Ukraine.

During the Forum, representatives of civil society presented the current situation with the IDPs rights of and discussed the necessary steps to be taken by the state on implementation of the political rights of IDPs, freedom of movement and the right to social protection.

During the panel discussion “Are there prospects for a common result?”, The representatives of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union have presented an analytical review of legislative initiatives registered in the Parliament concerning the rights of IDPs and those affected by the conflict.

MPs Mustafa Nayem, Nataliya Korolevska and Olena Sotnyk, who attended the Forum, expressed their position on finding ways to ensure the implementation of IDP rights at a proper level.

Representatives of civil society (Hrystyna Shostyro, project manager of the Ukrainian Association of Freelancers, Yana Lyubymova, co-founder of the “Active Community” NGO, Larysa Sydorenko, NGO “Egida Center” and internally displaced persons (Nataliya Malyugina, director of the general library of the Donetsk Law Institute) shared best practices of IDPs integration and adaptation to host communities.

During the second part of the Forum, the participants worked in small groups on specific areas, such as “Advocacy on Elections Rights of IDPs”, “Advocacy and Communication at the Level of Territorial Communities”, “Pensions and Social Payments of IDP”, “Protecting the Rights of IDPs in national judicial authorities”.

The group work resulted in development of recommendations presented at the final session of the Forum. All recommendations will be summarized and submitted to MPs, as well as members of the Inter-faction Deputy Association “Human Rights Coalition”.

The NGO “Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights”, summed up the work of the Forum as a whole, and expressed hope that the open platform The Union of IDPs will be a successful initiative which will further unite and coordination actions of representatives of the civil society organizations and MPs.