Refugees from Ukraine feel safer after the implementation of temporary protection in Moldova

October 16, 2023

The establishment of the temporary form of protection has provided a more secure legal status for refugees from Ukraine settled in Moldova and became a key step towards their better inclusion. This is one of the key findings of the study "Implementation of temporary protection granted on the territory of the Republic of Moldova to displaced persons from Ukraine: the situation after six months", prepared by the Law Center of Advocates (CDA) with the financial support from the German Government through the UNDP project "Enhancing access to justice for living in dignity". The findings of the study were made public on 16 October 2023 at a roundtable.

The study analyses the needs of refugees from Ukraine in the process of obtaining temporary protection on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. In particular, it examines the barriers encountered and the experiences of beneficiaries of temporary protection in the process of documentation and the realization of their rights of access to accommodation, freedom of movement, rights to work, social assistance and protection, health care and education.

The experts found that although it was established a year after the start of the war in Ukraine, temporary protection provided a more secure legal status for refugees. "With the granting of temporary protection, the Republic of Moldova has eliminated many formalities and additional administrative measures to ensure immediate access to the labour market. The authorities have also taken and are taking firm action to ensure access to education for minors granted temporary protection under the same conditions as minors who are citizens of the Republic of Moldova," said Oleg Palii, Executive Director of the CDA, one of the authors of the study.

Another finding is that Republic of Moldova has fully met the demand for emergency shelters, through the implementation of two schemes: ensuring the functioning of public or private temporary accommodation centres and providing accommodation by individuals through compensation to landlords.

At the same time, the experts also came up with recommendations to simplify the process of obtaining temporary protection, such as supporting educational institutions in the process of creating the necessary conditions to access of refugee children from Ukraine to the educational system of the Republic of Moldova, forming information networks for each community and diversifying the forms of information dissemination, reviewing the basis for the termination of temporary protection that limits the right to free movement, etc.

The study is based on a research conducted from 7 – 23 August 2023 on a sample of 1139 refugees from Ukraine. Discussions were also held with eight CDA legal advisers who provide support to refugees from Ukraine.

Also today, the network of Ukrainian refugee community leaders in Moldova was launched. They talked about their experience in the context of temporary protection, the most common problems faced by refugees in Ukraine and possible legal solutions to them. Representatives of the Ukrainian community will be trained and assisted by CDA and its NGO partners to help other refugees overcome legal and integration problems in the Republic of Moldova. 

”Through the network of Ukrainian refugee community leaders launched today, which will involve mentoring and community-building activities, we will contribute to strengthening social cohesion within host communities and to ensuring a better understanding of the temporary protection mechanism and tools for protecting and claiming rights as well as undertaking responsibilities,” mentioned Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Moldova.

With the support of UNDP and its partners, more than 1000 refugees from both sides of the Nistru have received legal counseling. At the same time, 150 paralegals and social workers have been trained to respond to the needs of refugees.