New report of the UHHRU. “LOST IN PAPERS: Observing Social Rights of Internally Displaced Persons”

The publication presents complex analysis of the issue of observing social rights of internally displaced persons as a result of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. International and legal responsibilities of states are characterized in terms of protecting social rights and freedoms of people. The analysis of open sources and the survey conducted by UHHRU experts was used to define the status and to highlight the issues regarding the protection of social rights of internally displaced persons.

Safe existence and provision for the needs of vulnerable categories of people in the areas of labor, social provision and health care in accordance with the law is possible through the realization of their social rights. Due to the situation of armed conflict, the importance of protecting social rights is growing even more. This problem is also relevant for Ukraine. At the same time, as the research results demonstrated, it is unknown how many people are currently displaced because of the Crimea annexation and armed conflict in Donetsk and Lugansk regions: due to the fact that accounting the data vary for different state bodies. Thus, according to the data of the departments of social protection of the population of Kyiv city state administration and Kyiv regional state administration as of July 24, 2017, 1,580,646 migrants or 1,270,372 families from Donbas and Crimea were registered . The data of local departments of the State Emergency Service on the number of IDPs, located in the region, differ from this number. This gives grounds to talk about two groups of IDPs: 1) the registered persons with the IDP status who receive state aid or are entitled to receive it; 2) the persons who moved from the ARC, Donetsk or Lugansk regions but do not have the IDP status аnd do not claim any state aid. The results of the survey carried out as a part of the research demonstrated that 7% of IDPs reported that none of their relatives is registered in the social security authorities. In other cases, there are mostly 1 or 2 family members (48%) registered in the social security authorities, since only the persons who are entitled to receive certain social benefits or services can register. The focus of the research is the analysis of normative acts, covering social rights at the international, regional and national levels, as well as the study of the state of protection of the social rights of internally displaced persons as a result of the armed conflict in Еastern Ukraine. The research materials prove that the most common problems of IDPs are: – the arrears in payments to IDPs (pensions, targeted aid); – аssistance in solving housing issues (providing housing, concluding a rental contract, etc.); – defining of аctual residence; – subsidy registration; – housing and communal services payments; – annulment of the IDP certificate due to the verification. Based on the findings, the specific recommendations aimed at improving the protection of social rights of internally displaced persons are proposed.

The publication in English may be found here.

This publication was prepared and issued within the «Human Rights First» Project, implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) and funded by the Global Affairs Canada.

Translation of this publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program being implemented by UHHRU. For additional information about USAID programs in Ukraine, please visit or Facebook page at

Opinions, conclusions and recommendations presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect views of the Global Affairs Canada or the Government of Canada, as well as views of USAID or the United States Government. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and UHHRU.

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