Ukraine is experiencing internal displacement for the first time since its independence as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and subsequent political developments on the peninsula, as well as the conflict in its Eastern two oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk. As of early June, 2015 the Ministry of Social Policy had registered more than 1,500,000.
Displaced persons have moved in larger concentrations to the regions abutting the eastern conflict zone and to several cities, especially Kyiv and Odessa, but they are present in every oblast of the country. The registered population of displaced persons includes a significant proportion of women, children, and elderly persons.
IDPs identify access to affordable housing, the need to re-establish their livelihoods and obtaining appropriate legal information and assistance to safeguard their rights as their priority needs. IDPs with specific needs face particular challenges in enjoying their social and economic rights. Particular groups of concern include persons with disabilities, persons living in institutional care, Roma, LGBTI, elderly, and persons with serious medical conditions.
The legislative framework for protection of displaced persons has finally been put into place, including the law on occupied territories and the law on the protection of internally displaced persons. Various ministries have also adopted numerous regulations and instructions. Because the legal framework is developing quickly and without strong central coordination, there remain several gaps in terms of how displaced persons can be registered and access different government services. Furthermore, there are gaps related to implementation of the new legislation and regulations. Persons have concerns about protecting their property rights in the areas not currently controlled by the government.
HRF aims to enhance socio-economic rights protection and plausible integration of internally displaced people in hosting communities and local labor markets of Kirovograd, Zaporozhee, Kharkiv, including liberated territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions.