Upon arriving to the EU, you are entitled to immediate assistance and immediate information about your rights. This includes temporary shelter and the fulfilment of your basic needs such as food and medicine.
You should also be identified as a person with a disability if that is the case, and your reception needs, medical and psychosocial support should be assessed.
When you have a personal interview, please make sure to ask in advance (if possible):
For necessary support in terms of sign language interpretation, information in easy to understand language or alternative ways of communicating.
To be accompanied by a support person to facilitate your communication needs and speed up the procedure
It is not the same. You can lose the benefit of temporary protection if you apply for asylum and the situation may depend on the rules in the Member States in which you are. It is a good idea to have legal advice. Consult also our question about the Temporary Protection Directive.
Please for more information, consult here the EU Commission Information page
As a rule, once you claimed temporary protection in one EU Member State you cannot claim it in another Member State.
The Temporary Protection Directive gives you a residence permit in a EU member state for one to three years. It equally gives you a series of rights, including access to suitable housing, education, employment and self-employment, necessary assistance in terms of social welfare, means of subsistence, disability specific assistance, access to rehabilitation and medical care.
Information for EU citizens wishing to help
Most of the children in Ukraine’s residential institutions are not orphans. Whilst they may be placed temporarily outside Ukraine, it is not appropriate for them to be adopted, as they should be guaranteed the opportunity to be safely reunited with their families whenever possible. A focus on adoption might lead children to be forever separated from their families and to be victim of unscrupulous actors making money from the inappropriate international adoption of children.
What many children evacuated from institutions in Ukraine need is temporary care which might implementservices for the safeguard of children to address gender-based violence, family tracking and reunion mechanisms.
It is also essential to promote foster family care in receiving countries, for example by planning to place children in family environments with priority for Ukrainian or mixed foster family. Because most of the children from Ukrainian institutions have disabilities, it is important that child protection systems recruit and support foster families who can address all the children’s needs and rights.
If you are interested in fostering Ukrainian refugee children, you should contact your country’s child protection department or your local authority to apply. In some countries, foster care associations may also have relevant information.
The OCHA is coordinating the humanitarian response in Ukraine. The Office is divided into different Clusters which deal with different sectors. As organization, you can get in touch with the respective Cluster and figure out what are the best ways to provide support. Please, find here all 2022 Clusters contact information. DPOs can contact the Protection Cluster as it has a specific Age and Disability Working Group (ADTWG).
It is also possible to receive OCHA Situation Reports and to receive invitation to the General Coordination meetings by signing up to the 2022 contact list.
You can write to your government to do all they can to end the war, and to protect people, including children and adults with disabilities. We have at your disposal a model letterfor Heads of State. This can be sent by organisations or individuals.
According to last data, the majority of children in Ukrainian institutions have a disability. However, most of them are not orphans: many children are in institutions because they couldn’t access support services in the community – such as education, healthcare and social protection.
The government and civil society have been working to evacuate as many of these children as possible. Nevertheless, an estimated 10,000 children are not in a position to be safely returned to their own families or placed in foster families.
EDF is working to influence the efforts of the EU, governments and the UN agencies. Our priority is to ensure that all children are accounted for and that the child protection and education systems of receiving countries can provide adequate care, support and inclusion for children with disabilities.
In case of children having high support needs, families have not been able to evacuate with their children and some are not even able to reach the relative safety of bomb-shelters because the situation is dangerous. Local civil society are trying to prioritise the provision of supplies and support to these families, but they are at greater risk of harm than other families.
EDF is currently working to find out as much as possible about adults with disabilities in institutions in Ukraine. In situations of war, children and adults with disabilities often get left behind in institutions. The Ukrainian government is attempting to put in place a plan to prioritise the evacuation of people with the highest support needs. However, resources on the ground are already overstretched. Some personnel working in institutions have resigned so they can evacuate with their own families. This means fewer staff in the institutions, reducing the quality of care and support. As with most Ukrainians, access to food and other essential supplies is interrupted. Local authorities and NGOs are attempting to fill the gaps.
The EU has approved a Temporary Protection Directive, an EU law that grants temporary protection and residence to people fleeing the war from 24th February 2022 on.
The EU and its Member States will provide humanitarian support in and outside of Ukraine, including €120 million in budget support to Ukraine, €1.2 billion euro in emergency loans and €85 million in humanitarian aid. For more information, consult the website of DG HOME and DG ECHO.
We stay in constant direct contact with EDF member organisations in countries neighbouring Ukraine that are coordinating assistance and providing support.
We are working with donors and EDF members on funding support.
We have regular meetings and exchanges with European organisations and UN agencies at the European level to ensure that their humanitarian work and funding are inclusive of persons with disabilities
We collect and disseminate the most updated information on the immediate needs of persons with disabilities in Ukraine and outside its borders.
EDF members in Ukraine, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland have already started this work, or are making plans to do so. Activities for the short to medium term include:
Identify immediate and urgent needs
Support local organisations to set up accessible transit shelters in Lviv and Uzhhorod
Provide accessible information for receiving organisations/ persons with disabilities and their families (website, helpline, information leaflets)
Deliver hygiene products, medicines and food
Ensure the purchase of the necessary aids, including wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, pressure- relieving mattresses, etc.
Provide accessible vehicles to transport refugees with disabilities
Advocate to governments to welcome adults and children with disabilities arriving from Ukraine and provide them with the right support.
Help link people with disabilities with accessible places to stay, with food, medical support and technical equipment they may need
Advocate for disability inclusion in the wider humanitarian response
Work with the media to ensure the situation of persons with disabilities is adequately represented
EDF is also exploring collaboration with members in other countries, and the overall strategy is designed so that this early response will lead into recovery work that builds members’ capacity also longer-term recovery activities in the longer term. For more information, contact EDF’s international cooperation team: email@example.com
Lack of accessible services, including transport, emergency shelter, food and water, safety and security, assistance programmes for adults and children, and facilities, including accessible housing and sanitation; huge delays in crossing borders
Lack of access to medical care and medicine and basic assistive technologies, and other disability-related services such as sign language interpretation
Lack of accessible information about rights and how to claim these rights
Lack of accessible housing, and lack of access to health, education, social protection and livelihoods
Lack of accessible and safe evacuation for those who wish to leave the country
EDF is working with its partners to support people and children with disabilities in Ukraine or who have left the country. If you wish to donate support our members directly here.
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