Amendments to the Legislation on Simplification of Procedures for Issuance of Personal Documents to the Roma were Presented in the Secretariat of Commissioner on the Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada
On the 18th of November, the representatives of the Charitable fund “Progress” introduced amendments to the Law “On state registration of acts of civil status” at the Secretariat of Commissioner on the Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada. They started to develop the amendments as early as 2012, and presented the result at the expert meeting “Improving and simplifying the procedures for obtaining personal documents by representatives of the Roma national minority” in Kiev.
Ignoring the legal conflicts that arose in the issuance of personal documents to representatives for the Roma national minority was the result of a complex procedure of issuance of the personal documents. Without court hearings, it was almost unreal to get personal documents. The lawyer of the Charitable fund “Progress” Iryna Lysnychka explains: “Yes, in accordance with the law, in the case of state registration of the birth of a child, who reaches the age of sixteen, it can be carried out according to their personal application with the presentation of a passport of citizen of Ukraine. Thus, the order of registration and issuance of a passport of citizen of Ukraine specifies: for processing of the document, it is necessary to present a birth certificate. For many – it’s a vicious circle”
Without leaving the idea to realize the changes in the law, the lawyers of the Charitable fund “Progress” re-addressed to the Secretariat of the Commissioner, and initiated new meetings and discussions with the Ministry of Justice.
There have been positive changes in the part of public authorities, which can make changes to the bill. The Ministry of Justice is ready to consider three amendments to the legislation proposed by the lawyers of the Charitable fund “Progress”, in particular to Art. 13 and 18 of the Law of Ukraine “On state registration of acts of civil status”.
All parties came to a consensus that the reference of the place of registration is clearly needed in order to give the child’s birth certificate. Oksana Nedashkivska said about the positive changes in the Ministry of Justice: “The Verkhovna Rada registered a draft of the law with amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine in the sphere of state registration of civil status acts, and they will be brought into one line with European standards. This bill amends the Art. 13 on the registration of birth of a child, namely, that the registration of birth of a child, who has reached one year of age don’t need the reference to the place of residence, but it needs the documents of birth and residence of the child under the supervision of a medical institution”
The project coordinator Nataliia Kozyr introduced the initiative of lawyers of the Charitable fund “Progress”, which aims to reduce the list of documents required for registration of the child.
“Article 13 of the Law of Ukraine “On state registration of acts of civil state” offers to register the birth of a child who has reached the age of one year in the presence of a medical or a birth certificate or a medical certificate of the child staying under the supervision of medical institutions”, – Iryna Lysnychka says.
She explained this by the fact that usually, Roma women find it difficult to collect all documents, because often, they have no medical record. The representative of the Ministry of Justice – Oksana Nedashkivska – supported this initiative and expressed her readiness to consider the amendment to the law. However, the participators came to the conclusion that it is necessary to involve the representatives of the Ministry of Health for consulting, as they determined the order of the existence of these types of documents (certificates).
“We propose to make the following change to Article 13 of the same Act. We suggest that children under 16 years of age, with the document from medical institution confirming the fact of birth, should be recorded on their personal statement, without a passport”, – the lawyer of the Fund “Progress” voiced the latest proposed amendment.
The Head of the Department on discrimination in the Secretariat of the Commissioner on Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada in Ukraine – Sergiy Ponomarev summed up the position, which was expressed by the representative of the Ministry of Justice and employees of the Charitable fund “Progress”:
“We must find a balance. On the one hand, we should not set high requirements. On the other – we cannot jeopardize the life and health of the child. That is why, we need to know that parents, at least, do not register a dead child. It is necessary to find out if social services or guardianship can come and check, if the child is alive”
The lawyers of the Charitable fund “Progress” will express these proposals to the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice for bill 3272 and add these changes as the civil initiative.
The press center of the Charitable fund “Progress”
P.S. “The campaign of public advocacy for elimination of discrepancies in the issuance of identification documents to representatives of the Roma national minority” is implemented by the Charitable fund “Progress” with the financial support of the European Roma Rights Centre (Budapest, Hungary)