Ukraine has the needed conditions to erase indirect discrimination of internally displaced persons in an election process. We have conditions, inaccessible to other countries facing internal displacement, like well-managed State Voter Register, no wide-scale problems with documents of citizens, and densely populated isolated settlements. Civil Network OPORA's analyst Oleksandr Kliuzhev made this statement on a roundtable “Political participation of internally displaced persons”, held in Jordan on October 18.

Event was organized by the Global Protection Cluster, office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Carter Center in the city of Amman (Jordan).

Ukraine was represented by OPORA's Analyst Oleksandr Kliuzhev and Harald Jepsen from International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

OPORA's Analyst presented an overview of the situation with political rights of internally displaced persons in Ukraine, and drew attention of discussion participants to opportunities for and obstacles to full realization of electoral rights of IDPs in Ukraine.

“The situation with rights of internally displaced persons drastically differs from country to country. Having thoroughly discussed the issue with experts from different countries, I've got an understanding that there are no major obstacles for overcoming the pro with political rights of Ukrainian citizens, displaced from operational areas. I drew attention in my speech to violation of standards and constitutional regulations concerning the rights of internally displaced persons in Ukraine. However, Ukraine has managed to avoid isolated communities, which could have appeared as a result of internal displacement, like in many other countries,” – Mr. Kliuzhev said.

Other discussion participants referred to Ukrainian situation with IDPs both in positive and negative aspects. We have learned on the roundtable that international community is actively watching the situation with guaranteeing IDPs' rights in Ukraine.

Oleksandr Kliuzhev had also presented draft law #6240 aimed to guarantee voting rights of internally displaced persons and migrant workers

“We agreed to continue sharing approaches and ideas concerning electoral rights of IDPs, as long as colleagues were very interested in Ukraine's experience,” – he added.

According to him, OPORA had emphasized that governments should be urged to register internally displaced persons properly. The absence of a complete and reliable statistics on the number of IPDs is a popular political excuse for inaction of state officials. Besides that, it was recommended to clearly divide a formal IDP status from citizens of temporarily occupied territories or territories involved in military conflict, to identify problems and interests of these groups.

Harald Jepsen from IFES Ukraine emphasized in his speech the importance of participation of IDPs in elections, to guarantee their marginalization as a social group.

“We need political voice of internally displaced persons to make governments more sensitive and accountable, including in the matters of IDPs. Guaranteeing electoral rights of IDPs at their origin location and current residence is a key to a long-term solution in internal displacement. Realization of such rights in practice is difficult and politically sensitive process, which requires systematic approach and competence from a state,” – he said.

Representatives of OPORA and IFEs had also presented the participants of a global roundtable information and awareness videos concerning rights of IDPs, created by a partner organization Hrupa Vplyvu Civil Holding NGO.

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