On 14-16 November, a meeting of the Expert Committee on the Affairs of Roma and Travelers of the Council of Europe (CAHROM) took place in Tirana, Albania. The theme of the meeting was to discuss the practices and experience of addressing the Roma community’s access to identity documents in the Balkan countries, Italy and Ukraine.
Among the main problems that lead to complications in obtaining identification documents by representatives of the Roma community is the complexity of obtaining birth certificates and documents proving belonging to the citizenship of Ukraine. Also, sometimes there are complications with identification, because a person can be documented in Ukraine only if his or her person is established in accordance with the current legislation.
Effective cooperation and joint efforts of the Migration Service, the Ministry of Justice, local authorities, Roma mediators, representatives of non-governmental and international organizations, have led to a steady increase in the number of cases of successful documentation of Roma in recent years. Only in the last three years in Ukraine about 8.5 thousand Roma have received a passport of a citizen of Ukraine.
A man without documents is a person without rights and responsibilities, invisible to the state. Lack of identification documents leads to human rights violations and the growth of crime. That is why the documentation of Roma should be one of the main priorities of not only the Migration Service and other authorities, but also the local communities where Roma are compactly located.
The State Migration Service cooperates with mediators, human rights defenders and representatives of non-governmental organizations in the framework of implementation of the Government’s Action Plan on the implementation of the Strategy for the Protection and Integration of the Ukrainian Society of Roma National Minorities for the period up to 2020.