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Legal Empowerment of the Poor Initiative digest 4, July 2013

July 2013
Legal aid for active individuals can really make a change in the society
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“Legal Empowerment of the Poor Initiative” digest
4, July 2013

Aid in communities and for communities

A village community of Kherson region is supporting its own “sheriff” for more than 10 years

image001 Viktor Marunyak, Head of Stara Zburyivka village council: “Thanks to the work of our sheriff, we don’t even remember when was the last felony in our community committed” "We call him “sheriff”, but it’s more a fashionable nickname that we use in our village”.
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Social workers were taught how to combat violence in the family

image001 How should social worker act in order not to lose control when a person stained with blood or in tears complains about family violence? Social workers of Bilozersky region (Kherson oblast) have been taught about nuances of behavior, techniques on potential victims’ recognition, methods of negotiations with family tyrants and other skills by psychologists and lawyers from “Youth center of regional development”.
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Free legal aid is now more accessible in Chuguev (Kharkiv region)

image001 Chuguev city council and Chuguev human rights defenders group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sets up a framework of close cooperation in the field of free legal aid services providing. Poor people of Chuguev will be able to receive free legal aid from Community Law Cener’s lawyers, who will provide consultations in the premises of Chuguev city council.
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Community Law Center of Stanichno-Luhanskiy region has signed an agreement of cooperation with government agency

image001 Agreement of cooperation was signed on July 1, 2013 between Community Law Center of Stanichno-Luhanskiy region and regional territorial center of social services. Under the terms of the agreement, Community Law Center will give free primary legal aid to the visitors of the regional territorial center of social services of Stanichno-Luhanskiy region.
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Free legal aid in Sumy region

image001 A working meeting of Sumy regional Association of Ukrainian cities resulted in several recommendations for local city councils: conduct research of legal aid needs in regions, sign Memorandum of agreement with Sumy Community Law Center, create a “free legal aid” page on the city councils’ sites.
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Olena Matviychuk: “Humans rights are being violated daily…”

image001 Not everyone can create a center where poor people can get free and professional legal help. Olena Matviychuk managed to do that. Mainly, because of her great desire and constant search for variants of realization of this useful idea. She understood how important it is for the people who live not only in the city or district, but in the whole region, to feel legally safe, especially when financial opportunities are limited.
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Average people success stories:
those who managed to improve their lives using the law

How can the authorities be forced to mend the road?

05 Yevhen has been living on Komintern Street in Rubizhne for many years. The road in his district has been destroyed for many years. To learn more about algorithm in struggling for authorities’ attention he turned to the local Community Law Center for advice. A month later, maintenance works started at least.
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Car credit fraud busted in Volyn region

06 A man from Turiysk turned to the local Community Law Center operated by the Association of Volyn Youth Right Protection. He explained that he wanted to get a credit and buy a car so he signed a contract with “Avto Prosto”. He made the first monthly payment but the car never arrived. When he decided to end the contract, he couldn’t get his money back.The court ruled in favor of clients who got satisfaction from the fraudulent firm.
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When an aunt becomes a mother

07 Sometimes a child without parents asks relatives for help independently. This story started about 2 years ago in the village of Stara Zburievka (Holoprystanskiy district). A girl named Olya lived there together with her mother. There was no father. Everything happened in one day – mother has become sick.
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Prosecutor forced State representatives and police officers to take a pensioner’s demand into account

08 Thousands of Ukrainian “Children of War” (people who suffered as children during the World War II) are trying to get their special retirement pensions for years without success. Obstacles are everywhere. Even after a positive Court decision, State representatives, responsible for implementing this decision, refuse to perform their duties. A pensioner , after receiving help from the local Community Law Center, filed a complaint and won her case in Court.
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Bank’s services cannot be intrusive

07 Dishonest people take advantage of the fact that most pensioners do not know their rights. That is the reason why old people become the victims of frauds. Regretfully, even those who should be helping the pensioners, sometimes behave very dishonestly to the old people. Ms. Kateryna Lihovid from Snizhne gets her pension from “Oshchadbank” as many other pensioners. When she was filling out an application, bank clerk forced her to open a consumer credit on her pension card. The lawyer of the local Community Law Center helped Ms. Kateryna to file a complaint to the “Oshchadbank” department.
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The story how a retired women with disabilities “robbed” the Nadra Bank

08 A woman S. from Severodonetsk has opened an account in the Nadra Bank on 27 February 2008. She put 50 000 UAH on her bank account. However, one year later, she couldn’t retrieve her money: a moratorium was imposed by the National Bank because of Nadra’s bankruptcy. During this period S. got seriously ill (brain tumor) and had to undertake 3 medical interventions. When the moratorium imposed by the National Bank was suspended, S. addressed her bank in order to get back her money deposit, as she was in dire need of funds. However, she received no reply. Lawyers of a local Community Law center helped her to get her money back.
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Secondary Legal Aid

Quality model standards of free legal aid were elaborated during a working meeting in Ukraine

05
LARN working meeting took place in Kyiv on 24-25 July 2013. Experts worked on the elaboration of quality model standards for attorneys who provide free legal aid in criminal cases in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This meeting was organized by International Renaissance Foundation, Legal Aid Reformers' Network (LARN) and by Open Society Justice Initiative.

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Lawyers of the free legal aid system were evaluated by European standards

06
Quality standards of free legal aid were the main focus of a national round table conducted by National Bar Association, International Renaissance Foundation, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation. The peer review methodology, used in a pilot evaluation project in Ukraine, is a common way of evaluating the efficiency of legal aid in Western Europe.

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Taxpayers have the right to get high quality services from the State

06
Ministry of Justice of Ukraine together with the Coordinating Center for legal aid providing supported a pilot project on peer review of lawyers who work in the free secondary legal aid system. The main focus of this evaluation is to ensure quality legal aid accordingly to the Convention on Human Rights.

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Mediation or off-court dispute resolution

Repairing or building something? Respect your neighbors!

image001 Oleksandr turned to the Community Law Center of NGO Luhansk regional organization “Civic platform”. He complained that construction works are being conducted near his house on Lenin Street. The works do not stop on weekends and at night. “We always hear noise, yelling and quarrelling of construction workers. Sleeping or resting is hardly possible”. Center’s lawyer helped t o apply to the municipal executive committee, public prosecution office and sanitation and epidemiological station of Rubizhne. Workers’ behavior changed very quickly.
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Students learnt more about mediation in Kharkiv region (photos)

image001 On 22-25 July 2013 a training was conducted in Zhovtneva School: “Basic knowledge of mediation. School conflict resolution”. This training module was developed by the Ukrainian Center of Understanding.Trainings were conducted by “Initsiativa” public organization together with the Fund of rural communities of Dvorichna in the framework of local Community Law Center activities with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.
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Empowering Roma communities

Mukachevo city council has approved two important projects for the Roma community

image001 “Social and legal integration of Roma people in the public life of Ukraine with the preservation of their ethnic and cultural uniqueness” and “Human rights and intercultural understanding” are two project initiatives of Mukachevo city council and the Charitable foundation “Razvitie”.
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“Abandoned children: what do closed doors of orphanages hide”

image001 The State is not able to provide high-quality education, socialization and rehabilitation of children from orphanages and boarding houses. That is the reason why a lot of graduates of children orphanages and boarding houses cannot adapt to the society and become the potential clients form adult orphanages.
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Uzhgorod human rights defenders fight for Roma children to get proper education

image001 Lack of tolerance, prejudice and social isolation of Roma people create additional obstacles for Roma children when they want to receive a proper education. Several Roma families in Uzhgorod had to face these problems when they wanted to send their kids to school.
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The lawyer of human rights center “Roman Cherhen” has protected Roma from unlawful actions of the police

image001 One summer night, Myroslav Horvat, the head of “Romani Cherhen” organization, has received a phone call. He heard woman’s voice and crying in the phone. A Roma woman told him that her son is being beaten up by the policemen…
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People of Holosievo organized a celebration for Roma children

image001 “We have came here several times. A lot of families live in this settlement. Many children don’t have normal clothes or shoes, they are always dirty. We have already brought them new clothes and now we just wanted to make a little party for the kids.”, said Ludmyla Kharchenko...
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A delegation of officials met Roma in Holosiyevo district

image001 The Ombudsman Representative on the observance of rights of child, nondiscrimination and gender equality Aksana Filipishina stresses the necessity of urgent settlement of Roma social problems.
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Advocacy campaigns

The government together with public organizations are developing a common free legal aid programme

image001 On July 26, 2013 the first working meeting within the advocacy campaign of the project “The development of the Community Law Center to protect rights of the citizens of Dvorichanskiy region of Kharkiv oblast” was held.
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Video

Successful agricultural coop: Europeans share their experiences

05
Experts from Italy, Poland and France will develop methods of cooperation in Ukrainian villages. Income from coop work exceeds profit from individual work.

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Roma Health Mediators: how do they work?

06
A new short movie on the work of Roma Health Mediators is now available.

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How to reform Ukrainian police?

06
A round table on police reform was conducted on 30 July 2013 in “Ukrinform” new agency. During the event, the research “Police status: international standards and legislation” was presented to participants.

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© 2012 Informational resource Center for the “Legal empowerment of the poor”, Initiative was created by Kherson regional Charity and Health Foundation in 2012 with the support of the “Rule of Law” programme (International “Renaissance” Foundation)
Re-printing and publication of materials are permitted with reference to the “Pravoviy prostir” web-portal http://pravo.prostir.ua.
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