Caritas Ukraine initiates legislative changes on inclusiveness of Ukrainian migrants in social and political life of the country


22.11.13, Ukraine
Round-table and presentation of the initiative concerning changes in legislation was recently held in Kyiv. The initiative will favor the inclusiveness of Ukrainian migrants in social and political life of the country and intermediation of their interests in Verkhovna Rada by means of full implementation of electoral law for country’s citizens that are temporarily living abroad (video). Grygoriy Seleshchuk, Director of Migration Service of Caritas Ukraine, actively took part in the event. He focused attention of the audience on the importance of personalized approach that means putting migrant and his/her needs on the first place.

Among the round-table organizers were Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, Committee of Voters in Ukraine, the UGCC Commission on migrants’ affairs, people’s deputies Oleg Kanivets, Oles Doniy, Andriy Shevchenko. Earlier deputies stated their intention to provide Ukrainians, who temporarily live abroad, with right to choose majority deputies. Nevertheless, real changes in legislation on this occasion haven’t happened yet.

“According to the sociological data nowadays 3 to 4,5 million (some experts say it is 15 millions of Ukrainians) of our compatriots work abroad, out of them only 12-15% (nearly 500 thousands) are listed on the register in foreign  voting districts. This situation resulted from difficulties in the registration process. Therefore, Ukrainian authorities should afford on-line registration for county’s citizens abroad in order to cope with this pГригорій Селещукroblem,” adds Grygoriy Seleshchuk.

For the last 10 years Caritas Ukraine has been working with problems of Ukrainian migrants. Programs of repatriation on return and reintegration of Ukrainian labour migrants are being implemented; there is a network of consultation centers on combating human trafficking; help to human trafficking victims is provided; work with children of migrants is being carried; there are studies of migration process involving external experts in sociology, legal affairs and psychology; lobbying of legislative changes targeted at protection of rights and interests of Ukrainian migrants is implemented – thousands Ukrainians get assistance and support.

Today this field of concern receives a new institutional frame in the form of separate substructure – Migration Service of Caritas Ukraine. It is designated to favor better coordination of efforts in the migration sphere and move to the higher level of cooperation with partners.

We remind you that nowadays labour migrants can choose people’s deputies only according to party lists; legislation discourages them in right to choose deputies in the majority election districts. It is a direct violation of their constitutional rights. It is really evident that only some Ukrainian citizens abroad will be able to took part in presidential elections.

Labour migrants are important investors in our economy, that’s why social injustice regarding their rights is absolutely strange. These Ukrainian citizens can actively participate in life of the country. Moreover, renewal of labour migrants’ electoral rights should become an issue for consideration in the context of Ukrainian integration in community of democratic European countries.” points out Oleg Kanivets.

“All these factors push labour migrants on margins, beyond the sphere of social and political life. That’s why nobody in state authorities reflects interests and needs of this quantitative category of Ukrainian citizens. It is complicated for us to find interested partners for the implementation of charitable projects. Law on social services that is lying on the shelves collecting dust for 10 years is an outstanding example” retells Grygoriy Seleshchuk.


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