Home Corruption Double standards in Ukraine: bureaucratic machine against 25-year-old IDPs

Double standards in Ukraine: bureaucratic machine against 25-year-old IDPs

Photo from http://itsk.deviantart.com/art/Bureaucracy-188622872

According to the paragraph 8 of the ruling “About the passport of Ukrainian citizen”, when the citizen turns 25 and 45 years old, new photos corresponding the actual age must be added to the ID. Passport, not containing these pictures when you reach the mentioned age, will be considered invalid.

To add a photo, a citizen needs to contact the public authorities (Migration Service, utilities, passport office or the center of administrative services) of his residence. But what to do in case you are a resident of a temporarily occupied territory? At home, such people have no opportunity to use the service. TKT tried to find out all the peculiarities of the issue experimentally.

27082015-02It turned out that in order to paste a picture, for example, in Kharkiv, an IDP (internally displaced person) must have a “migration certificate”. Here starts all the fun. TKT talked with a few 25-year-olds, who tried to add a new photo within last six months. We were really surprised to find out that the rules constantly changed almost every month, and they are even different for various state institutions.

For example in Ordzhonikidze district the center of administrative services refused to paste a photo in the passport of a resident of Lugansk Oksana without the migrant card, but the officials happily agreed to do it in the central office of Kharkiv (Kiev district).

“I am happy that I have done everything without the migrant card, it just was a lucky period, I guess. I’m working, so I do not have enough time to attend many official offices. Two of my friends prompted me to address to the Kiev district administrative office, because they had previously done there without any issues,” told us Oksana.

Even more interesting story happened to Kate, who is also registered in the city of Lugansk. After war started in her native city, she moved to Crimea. In order not to violate the laws of Ukraine, by reaching the age of 25 she went to Kharkiv, where her friends lived, to add photos, because in the occupied Crimea, it is not possible. It turned out that even the central office at this time required the migrant card. For this, the officials wanted the original tax code (the irony is that even for getting an international passport, a copy of the tax code is enough). It turned out that the girl left the original tax document in Crimea, so she had to contact the local fiscal office to get a duplicate of a tax code. This procedure could take up to a week or more. After that she needed to go (again!) to the Social Protection office and also (according to the new rules) to the migration service.

In total for an easy photo adding process an IDP had to apply to four authorities:

1) Social Protection district authority in the place of temporary registration in the city of Kharkiv

2) Migration Service

3) District fiscal office

4) The center of administrative services

As you understand, the whole process could take more than two weeks, especially taking into account the fact that the days-off in different government bodies may vary. Unfortunately, Kate could not afford herself such a long visit. She had to contact a private law firm. They promised to make all the documents in three days, but the cost of this service, according to Kate, was over 1200 UAH. However, it was enough to refer only to one state structure, whose members were very glad to solve the “problem”. Recall that inserting a photo in the passport for Ukrainian citizens is free of charge.

Queue in front of Ordzhonikidze Social Protection office
Queue in front of Ordzhonikidze Social Protection office

The queues in the Social protection offices are really huge. The situation does not change within the past months. The social office representative shared with us that the the flow of refugees does not seem to dry out and seems the same even after simplification of rules.

Note also that the citizens with residence in other cities of Ukraine can use the service without any additional documents: it is sufficient to provide a passport and two photographs of the correct format.

By the way, it is worth recalling the Ukrainian Constitution, namely Article 24 “Citizens have even constitutional rights and freedoms and are even before a law”:

It can not be privileges or limitations after the signs of race, color of skin, political, religious and other persuasions, floor, ethnic and social origin, property state, place of residence, after linguistic or other signs.

The question is: why Ukrainian citizens from the occupied territories face with “special” requirements and the bureaucratic machine is so ruthless?

PS: By the way, the author pasted the photo in the passport without reference to the migration service, as this rule was canceled – Petro Poroshenko signed the according law on January 6, 2016.

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