13 professionals from different regions of Ukraine made great efforts to address statelessness and its risks in Ukraine in 2019.
UNHCR in Ukraine awarded 13 professionals from different regions of Ukraine who made great efforts to address statelessness and its risks in Ukraine in 2019.
The awarding was held in the frame of the 5th anniversary of the 10-year-long #IBelong campaign launched by UNHCR in November 2014 to address statelessness, a problem that often affects the most vulnerable and stigmatized people.
UNHCR estimates that at least 10 million people worldwide are stateless. About a third of them are children. In Ukraine, according to the UN Refugee Agency, about 35,000 are stateless or undefined, including people whose citizenship remained undetermined after the collapse of the Soviet Union and who still have Soviet passports, and other undocumented persons for various reasons, they have difficulty proving their ties with Ukraine. In addition, many Ukrainian citizens do not have birth certificates and passports, which puts them at risk of statelessness in the future. These include children born in a temporary government-controlled territory, as well as Roma who have never received a passport.
From June 2017 to September 2019, UNHCR and its non-governmental partner organizations identified and provided legal assistance to 2,064 undocumented persons in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Zakarpattya, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. In a total of 28 months, 304 persons received passports (36 of them from other countries); 101 people received birth certificates; 326 people received duplicate birth certificates due to their loss.
The UNHCR welcomes the improvements in addressing statelessness at the local level, in particular, which have been implemented in five regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Zakarpatska, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa regions. At a ceremony in Kiev on November 4, 2019, thirteen staff from the State Migration Service and the Ministry of Justice (DRACS) were rewarded by UNHCR for their active involvement and hard work in addressing statelessness: