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New Law for IDPs: Termless IDPs' certificates and the right to family unity

New Law for IDPs: Termless IDPs' certificates and the right to family unity

The new law on IDPs' rights will come in force in Ukraine on January 13. As it is known, the law was written a long time ago, but it needed amendments and additions.

The new law was registered more than half a year ago: Act #2166 had been going through editing and proof-reading. Its enactment was one of the requirements of the PACE. It was returned for revision by President Petro Poroshenko, and was signed by him on January 6.

The new law reads that the Ukrainian state has to create such conditions for IDPs which will make it possible for them to voluntarily go back home or to get integrated at a new place.

IDPs are not only citizens of Ukraine. A foreigner or an apatrid has the right to be an IDP. A person without papers or ID may get an IDP’s certificate if this person has some papers which prove that this person lived on the territory of a conflict. In this case the decision on issuing the certificate has to be made within 15 days from the moment of applying for it.

IDP's certificate will be termless. In the past, IDPs had to prolong their certificates every half a year at migration service agency confirming their residence. Now it is cancelled as well as it is not required for migration service agencies to check whether IDPs  live at the place where they are registered as IDPs. This innovation is a great advantage of the new Act, according to lawyers, as IDPs have sometimes to changes their accommodation because it is difficult to find a suitable place of accommodation.
However, the provision that IDPs have to inform the state about their movements is preserved — they have to inform local authorities that issued their certificates about that within 3 days, and to inform about their leave 3 days in advance.

Now, IDPs are not only the people who are registered on the occupied territory, but also those who can prove with a written paper that they lived there. For example, student's ID or a record book which fixes payments for utilities.

Local administration bodies shall issue a paper, either the IDP's certificate or denial to issue it with the stated reasons why. Besides, when the denial is issued in writing, it is easier to go to court with it.

If one goes to visit the residence which was left in the ATO zone, the social security bodies should be informed. If the person stays there for more than 90 days, the certificate ceases to be valid. If the person went to the ATO zone and did not inform social security about the visit, the certificate expires in 60 days.

Those IDPs who left the ATO zone and the Crimea and were not able to quit the place of their employment, may submit a respective application to the employment agency at the place of their new residence.

It should be also noted, that the new Act provides for the unity of IDPs’ families. Thus, IDPs have the right to get help from the state and the bodies of local self-administration in searching for family members who they have lost the contact with.

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