The Ukrainian Parliament adopted a new Law “On Refugees and Persons in Need of Complementary or Temporary Protection” on 08 June 2011 after EU had shared Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
There are (on paper) some positive innovations in the new law, like:
- adoption of a subsidiary protection
- possibilities of a quick family reunification for members who are not adult
- Refugee passport is valid 5 years instead of 1 year as it was foreseen by the previous Law.
In reality asylum seekers complain about a big bureaucracy while they try to receive refugee status. Ukraine created “State Migration Service” (here and there SMS) on 2011 to have one independent state body for asylum issues. However, in practice SMS is a part of Ministry of Interior and is responsible for developing recommendations for the Ministry of Interior regarding government policy in the areas of migration (emigration and immigration), including combating illegal migration, registration of individuals, refugees and other groups of migrants. It looks that asylum cases have no priority for SMS. There is a department responsible for accepting asylum application in each regional directorate of SMS, but the decisions of the head of this department should be approved by the head of a directorate who is not dealing with asylum cases. The same situation in central office of SMS in Kiev: there is a department that observes cases from the regions and makes decisions on granting or not granting refugee status or subsidiary protection, but again – this decision should be approved by a Head of SMS.
Some refugees complain there are positive decisions on granting subsidiary protection for them, but SMS can’t even issue IDs afterwards, because there are no “blanks” for these documents.
There is no statistic on the amount of applications, detention and appeals for 2013 (nor SMS nor SBGS publishes such statistic) at the moment, but on 2012 SMS received
- 1860 applications on refugees status
- 63 positive decisions on granting refugee status were made
- 89 positive decisions on granting complementary forms of protection.