The Ombudsperson's Regional Coordinator helps an immigrant single mother restore her rights

Kyiv, 9 November 2015 – The Regional Coordinator of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) took prompt measures to address race-based discrimination against an immigrant woman and helped restore her right to social security.

122The problem of 23-year-old black woman Asi from Sierra Leone became known through the "racist incident" that occurred in July 2015 in Uzhhorod. On the one hand, she fell victim to the xenophobic attitudes of Uzhhorod residents; on the other hand, she experienced derogatory and rude attitudes of the local police that should have protected her from aggressive residents.
Asi came to Ukraine because of the difficult political situation in her country. Now, she and her child are staying at a temporary accommodation centre for refugees (TACR) in Perechyn.
For a long time, the young woman did not know that she had the right to social security. Under the Ukrainian law, foreigners who stay on the territory of Ukraine and require additional protection have rights to education and social protection.
Unfortunately, no social worker or other specialist who works with foreigners helped the young mother, even by providing information. Therefore, Asi with her small son had to go begging for food and money on streets of Uzhhorod.
983The Ombudsperson's Regional Coordinator in Zakarpattia region Oleh Hryhoriev promptly reacted to the situation and contributed to collecting necessary documents to restore the woman's right to child benefit payments from the state. The documents were sent to the Department of Labour and Social Welfare and the State Migration Service in Zakarpattia region. As a result, after six weeks, the young mother was assigned a monthly allowance and paid a lump sum of 20,000 hryvnia. In addition, her 10-month-old son Volodymyr was registered as a Ukrainian citizen and issued the passport for traveling abroad.
For the past two years, UNDP has been supporting the implementation of the system of Ombudsperson's Regional Coordinators in order to tackle regional representation challenge of the Office of the Ombudsperson. Locally-involved civic experts have come to serve as "eyes and ears" of the Ombudsperson for monitoring the human rights situation on the ground. Now, the network of regional coordinators is working in 14 regions of Ukraine.