Free legal aid brings clarity to Ukrainians amidst mounting wartime needs

Posted May 6, 2022

Printed materials aim to help people to better understand legislative changes and resolve their legal issues during the war

A woman stands near her shelling-damaged house in the village of Novoselivka, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine. Photo credit: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP UkrainePhoto credit: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 6 May 2022 – New laws, new clients, and new legal needs have put pressure on a system in a state of high demand amidst the war in Ukraine, but thanks to a new public information service, navigating the legal system has become a little easier. 

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision produced a series of informational publications on legal aid during the war. 

From advice on accessing compensation to understanding ones’ rights, the series of booklets and leaflets provide millions of Ukrainians with vital up-to-the-minute legal information, both in print and digitally, and also provides connections for people in need to access free legal aid. 

Oleksandr Baranov, interim Head of the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision, said that the war had significantly increased the number and complexity of the legal issues that Ukrainians are facing. 

“They have questions on how to recover the documents, get social benefits and compensations, and protect labour rights. The free legal aid system provides clarifications on how to resolve legal issues,” Baranov said.  

“It is highly important for people to have information about the steps to tackle the most prevalent issues, like what documents they need to have and where to address for assistance. This information is provided in the leaflets. We are grateful to our partners, who supported development of informational materials for Ukrainians on how to protect their rights.”

Providing digital solutions, each booklet has a QR code with a link to a consultation page on the website of the free legal aid service. In addition, the materials contain links to all free legal aid services and the phone number of the free legal aid service’s call centre 0800 213 103. If necessary, a person can apply for legal assistance regarding other legal issues.

Manal Fouani, interim UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine said that it was of vital importance that people make decisions based on reliable and timely information.

“During war, access to free legal aid, advice, and information becomes even more important to ensure people know where to go for access to justice, especially for those who are most vulnerable in society – the elderly, the internally displaced, refugees, people with disabilities, and those living in poverty,” Fouani said. “The information touches upon the most relevant legal issues during the wartime, including how to receive state compensation for destroyed housing or any other assets, how to apply for social assistance, how to protect your labour rights, or apply for a refugee status abroad,” she said. 

“Knowing where to turn in these times of crisis is crucial especially in this complex, high-pressure time, so this new public information campaign will help untangle a complex but vital system.”

All the materials developed by the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision can be found here.

If you are in need of legal advice in Ukraine or require legal aid, address the free legal aid system for more information.

Media inquiries

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP in Ukraine, Yuliia.Samus@undp.org