Human Rights

IDPs have to apply for status of aggrieved person – human rights activists

IDPs have to apply for status of aggrieved person – human rights activists

The internally displaced persons (IDPs) should ask the state to grant them a status of aggrieved persons. Fifteen IDPs, including children, have already received such a status.

This was stated by Natalia Tselovalnichenko, the Chairwoman of the NGO "Luhansk Human Rights Initiative", Hromadske Radio reports.

"Not destruction of their property or suffering physical losses has become the reason for declaring them [IDPs] the aggrieved persons for the first time. It was the fact that they were forced to leave their homes," Natalia Tselovalnichenko said.

The human rights activist believes that the Ukrainian authorities should take into account the fact that the IDPs were forced to go to safe Ukrainian cities to save their life, not travelling as tourists.

Natalia Tselovalnichenko explains how the IDPs may benefit from the status of aggrieved person:

"First, it changes the consciousness. It changes the awareness of people of who they are and why has this happened. The IDPs begin to realize that they are not tourists, not a temporary problem of the local authorities. We know that they are often called the burden of social infrastructure. Such a status could become the basis for recovering their rights, respect for them in the society. "

The Law of Ukraine "On Protection of Childhood" was amended in January this year. The fifth section on children in need of special protection was added the provision on support for children affected by the armed conflict. This category includes children who have suffered physical and mental abuse.

"All children, who have lost their right to housing, have lost their common lifestyle. They have definitely suffered physical or mental violence. I am sure that a large number of parents will support me that children have suffered much in terms of physical and psychological health. I see this being a doctor, so the children have every right to get this status," lawyer and IDP Natalia Omelchenko said.

Iryna Malets was the only IDP who managed to participate in the Kyiv local elections on the basis of the court ruling. The woman was first to get the status of aggrieved person due to displacement.

"After the second victory, after receiving the status of the aggrieved person, due to the fact that the news was spread in social networks, the ordinary IDPs began to call me to find out more details. That is, there is a feedback and people are asking for help because they do not want to put up with this situation," the IDP said.

The members of the civil platform "Protection of rights of victims of armed conflict in Ukraine and temporary occupation" call on the IDPs to unite and address them. The activists promise to provide legal and information assistance in getting this status.