The representatives of the EU Member States, Eastern Partnership countries, academia and international organizations gathered in Kyiv to compare their practices and approaches to solving the issues of internally displaced persons (IDPs), including their registration and integration. The two-day ad-hoc meeting of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum took place on 4-5 June 2015 and was co-hosted by Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
Challenges, faced by internally displaced persons and the states having to address IDPs’ needs, are a relevant issue for many Eastern Partnership countries, since last year including Ukraine as well.
The experts with different backgrounds had a dynamic and open discussion about timely and flexible responses to the challenges of internal displacement. The meeting sessions covered legal concepts and policy frameworks related to the IDPs, current developments with internal displacement in Ukraine, and international approaches to registration of internally displaced and mobile populations. Registration and integration of internally displaced persons remains a challenge.
UNHCR compared approaches to the definitions of the IDPs and related concepts, highlighting the need of the comprehensive international policy on the subject. The European Commission guided through the EU action directed at IDPs and overall support to Ukraine.
The Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine and the representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development revealed the progress in terms of finding resources for accommodation of the IDPs, renovation of the destroyed buildings in conflict areas, as well as challenges with registration of IDPs faced by local administrations and solutions they come up with. Ukrainian officials expressed openness to the recommendations of the countries that experienced similar problems. Representatives of the NGO “Krym SOS” added on the capacity of the NGOs, who started provision of support to IDPs before governmental and international programmes began their operation.
Poland showed how current situation in Ukraine caused an increase in asylum applications and migrants looking for other options to legalize their stay in the country.
Ms. Marta Jaroszewich from the Center for Eastern Studies elaborated on the practices of addressing IDPs issues in South Caucasus where some lessons can be learnt for Ukraine.
IOM presented its activities focused mainly on IDPs’ recovery and integration needs, as well as promotion of social stabilization through social cohesion in displacement areas, improved livelihoods and access to information. It is also important to pay attention to the most vulnerable persons i.e. elderly and the children.
Finally, Georgia shared best practices in developing legal framework on IDPs, durable housing solutions, social protection and registration systems.