We Became the Family Lawyers for the Roma Family

Human Rights Fund Progress

Every day, a large number of Roma apply for support to our Human Rights Fund “Progress”. Everyone has their own problems, their own history. But for almost the entire 5-year time of the Fund existence for the first time there was a case when legal aid should be provided almost to all large Roma family. And everyone has their own unique issue.

The lawyers of the Fund met with family Forkosh-Brynzachka in early 2012. The father of the large family, Forkosh Iurii, who in age of 25 had no identifying documents, turned for legal aid (the family with 10 children). Almost one and a half years (!) was the process of obtaining a birth certificate, and later a passport.

After understanding the whole lamentable situation, seeing an adult who is invisible to the state: without the right to education, health care, employment and decent treatment by others, the lawyers of the Fund decided to simplify the procedure for obtaining identifying documents and eliminate the legal discrepancies in their issuance. The case of Mr. Forkosh became one of the strategic cases of proposals on legislative amendments which were first presented in late 2013 at the Secretariat of Parliament Commissioner on Human Rights. The second time, they were presented last year.

The wife of Mr. Forkosh – Catherine Brynzachka – applied in our office with the next problem, not less interesting. She cannot bring her child to school, because he had maiden name. At birth, in medical certificate were stated: “boy”. In issuing birth certificates, the registry office made a mistake, which is absolutely unbelievable. If you still can assume a typo in one letter, then change the gender and name and patronymic – it is simply absurd.

Lawyers of the Fund have helped to change the name and surname of the child, and the boy went to school.

Currently, Ms. Brynzachka asked to help in solving the issuance of a certificate of birth for her two children (as she gave birth at home and hadn’t help from medical institution). Our lawyers have prepared an application to the court to establish legal fact of birth.

As we pointed out, the Roma family is large. And this case will not be the last one. However, after providing legal aid, we know that all children receive their tickets in life as full citizens of Ukraine.

The press center of the Human Rights Fund “Progress”