Kyiv, February 16, 2016. First ever Ukraine’s parliamentary hearings on problems of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and on the temporary occupied areas are to take place on February 17 at 15:00. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy 6,5 million people were residing in Donbas before the conflict started. Over 1,5 million IDPs are registered as of today, it roughly constitutes a million families. Over 15 thousand persons turned for help to the NGO Vostok SOS over the last year. NGO Crimea SOS rendered help to 160 thousand displaced from Crimea as well as provided consultations on various issues to over 80 thousand persons, said spokesman of the UCMC pilot project “Spokesperson of peaceful life” Valentyn Pugachov speaking at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC).
According to Viktoria Savchuk, advocacy expert at Crimea SOS the organization has been collecting and processing proposals of civil society. The proposals are to lay ground for recommendations to be approved by a parliamentary resolution. A total of 700 partners – non-governmental organizations from across Ukraine took part in drafting the proposals for the document. Savchuk is convinced that a consolidated state strategy needs to be worked out and a consolidated managing body needs to be established to deal with the IDP issues and those pertinent to temporarily occupied territories.
The expert of Crimea SOS noted that they would like to emphasize the upcoming event to draw attention to the problems of IDPs and to a series of daunting problems the IDPs are facing daily. “We have to realize that IDPs are not a problem but a resource. They are socially and politically active citizens. The state has to seek ways to secure rights and freedoms of these people,” explained Savchuk.