The lack of exact statistics makes impossible to evaluate the actual scales of the nowadays situation. Is it because the main burden to place persons in Kharkiv region and provide primary care was fallen on public organizations and volunteers. However, they risk not coping if the flow of settlers increases, and the government will not mobilize its forces and resources till that time.
Only last Friday, June 13, for the first time the representatives of government, NGOs, charities, representatives of voluntary initiatives, of Commissioner for Human Rights, and international organizations sat at the negotiating table in Kharkiv. The principal issue of the meeting was how to combine all efforts to organize effective assistance to settlers.
In particular, they agreed to establish a Coordinating Council of representatives of all providing care. Form a single resource centre, where on-line information about the camps, and psychological support, legal support, accounts for fundraising and humanitarian assistance and more will be collected, as well as organize a joint work of those being engaged in issues of taking persons from the “hot spots”. The participants of the meeting hope that this Coordinating Council will work attached to oblast governor.
On the merits, the absence of the dialogue between the government and the representatives of the public is the most painful point for solution of settlers’ problems. Moreover, the public accuses the government of that they “only assist or probably provide help”. The officials report that the matter has been under control yet before the arrival of the first settlers from the Crimea.
One more key problem is absence of wild-scale information campaign about who and where provides with assistance for temporary displaced persons in Kharkiv and the oblast. Olga (the name was changed) from Donetsk said that she found temporary housing via not indifferent people from the social networks. There is no sufficient information in the governmental bodies, Mass Media and the websites of State Administration, municipal authority or at the railway station of Kharkiv.
Thus, there is a movable line on TV with the telephone numbers disappearing quickly – is of low efficiency. Mainly, short news is given on the radio. The newspapers do not publish massively the actual numbers of “hot line”.
“We commenced to place our contacts in the shops, the place of the most confluence of people. “Rumor mill” does not work in such extreme situations.”, – it is mentioned by Anatoliy Zabolotnyi, director of Fund of Rinat Akhmetov, assisting in taking persons from the “hot points’.
“When a person arrives to the railways station, she/he shall know whom to address. Information boards shall be placed everywhere, regulatory messages about the places of the settlers have to be presented on TV and radio”, – it is told by Branka Shesto, the head of regional representation of Monitoring Mission on Human Rights of UNO.
The creation of “transit camp” on the border of Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts would help solving the present and preventing the future considerable problems. It is not said about the filtration of persons. There, the runaways could get the first information, be registered, get the initial medical examination, get psychological and legal aid. For the government it is a chance to form a list of basic needs of the displaced persons.
Volunteers mark that so far many speak of the possibility of providing shelter and food. However, the problem is also in the provision of care to people with disabilities and those who require continuous treatment (such as patients with diabetes, HIV positive, etc.). Almost it is silent about the matter of discrimination of the Roma population. Prior to that, as they say, the government does not have got down to that.
By the way, usually volunteers come to created chaotic camps for the settlers. Officials of Department of Labour and Social Policy of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Office of State Migration Service of Ukraine, Labour Office and other state agencies would have to go there in the first place not only to gather information but also to provide consultancy on the place.
“Despite the lack of human and financial resources, on-site visits have not been cancelled. So you can personally see the problems of those in need. Often people finding themselves in the camps are unable to go out or just do not know where to go “- it was mentioned by Commissioner on Human Rights Valeriya Lutkovska.
Ukraine is rapidly approaching to one more another important issue: when after the temporary accommodation and basic needs the questions of protection of socio-economic rights will necessarily arise (placement to the kindergartens and schools, job search, the issues of pensions and social benefits, etc.).
“It is important that today the majority of displaced persons are dependent on collective aid, which in future may complicate their adaptation to changed living conditions. So, today the government should take care of the development plan of long-term perspective”, – it was said by the deputy of regional representative of Commissioner of UNHCR, Vanno Nupech.
The national deputies and the public have only been elaborating a draft of Law of Ukraine “About forced displaced persons”. However, Elena Lunyova, a representative of the UN Monitoring Mission on Human Rights emphasizes that the law is not a panacea.
“There are really moments that are not regulated, such as a passport receipt only at the place of residence or at a place of further residence, but these questions are not vital,” – Lunyova marks.If in the near future these issues are not solved and a dialogue between the government and the public does not take place, Ukraine will risk losing its citizens pushing them to “turn” from the settlers into refugees, experts say.
(Irina Vyrtosu, Information Center on Human Rights)