On January 4, 2023, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of Veterans Affairs) published on its official website the draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated August 19, 2015 No. 604 https://mva.gov.ua/ua/npa/proyekt-postanovi-kabinetu-ministriv-ukrayini-pro-vnesennya-zmin-do-postanovi-kabinetu-ministriv-ukrayini-vid-19-serpnya-2015-r-604 (hereinafter referred to as the draft resolution) to bring Resolution No. 604 into compliance with the Law of Ukraine dated 08/15/2022 No. 2519-IX “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteering” Regarding Support for Volunteering” (hereinafter referred to as Law No. 2519).
Despite the stated purpose of development, the proposed wording of the Draft Resolution violates the right of injured volunteers and their family members to receive one-time benefit from the state in case of disability or death of a volunteer in combat areas.
The draft resolution proposes to remove from Resolution No. 604 the provision that allows volunteers or their family members to apply for welfare benefit when providing volunteer assistance to ordinary citizens, i.e. civilians in combat zones.
Thus, only volunteers who provide assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military formations and law enforcement agencies will be able to receive welfare benefit.
This approach is inadmissible, because it is a violation of the approach defined in Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteer Activity”, which defines the implementation of volunteer activities in certain areas as the key grounds for receiving a one-time allowance. These areas include the areas of:
- Carrying out an anti-terrorist operation;
- Implementing measures to ensure national security and defense, repel and deter armed aggression of the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions;
- Implementing measures necessary to ensure the defense of Ukraine, the protection of the safety of the population and the interests of the state in connection with the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and/or another country against Ukraine;
- Hostilities and armed conflicts.
Limiting the opportunities for receiving financial assistance for volunteers who provide assistance to citizens in the above-mentioned areas means violating their legally established rights
In addition, one of the areas of volunteer activity, which is defined in Part 3 of Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteer Activity” is “providing volunteer assistance to citizens affected as a result of man-made or natural emergency situation, the effect of a special period, legal regimes of a state of emergency or martial law, conducting an anti-terrorist operation, implementing measures to ensure national security and defense, repelling and deterring the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, implementing measures necessary to ensure the defense of Ukraine, protecting the safety of the population and the interests of the state in connection with the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and/or another country against Ukraine, as a result of social conflicts, accidents, as well as victims of criminal offenses, refugees, internally displaced persons”.
Therefore, the possibility of carrying out the corresponding area of volunteer activity to help citizens and the provisions of Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteer Activity” oblige to determine the procedure for providing financial assistance to volunteers injured when carrying out the legally defined area of activity to help citizens in legally defined areas, provided that legally defined circumstances, namely in case of death or disability of such a volunteer.
It should also be noted that as of the date of publication of this Statement, the deadline for bringing Resolution No. 604 into compliance with Law No. 2519 is more than 3 months overdue. After all, we are talking about providing opportunities for exercising the rights of volunteers who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their lives and health to help Ukraine and Ukrainians in the war zone. Currently, without the necessary changes to Resolution No. 604, volunteers who were injured in Kyiv Region, Chernihiv Region, Kharkiv Region, Kherson Region, and other regions where hostilities were or are taking place cannot exercise the right to receive one-time allowance, as the current version of Resolution No. 604 applies only to the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk Regions.
In view of the above, we appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with a request:
- Prevent the adoption of amendments to Resolution No. 604 in the current version, which provide for restrictions on the ability of volunteers or their family members to receive one-time benefit in the event of death or disability of such a volunteer in the territories of hostilities while providing assistance to citizens.
- Create a working group with the involvement of representatives of civil society organizations and the volunteer community to develop amendments to Resolution No. 604 that will take into account the interests of volunteers and their families as much as possible, and approve the amendments as soon as possible to ensure the applicability of Resolution No. 604.
- Involve CSO representatives who have joined this statement in a working group to develop changes to Resolution No. 604 to reflect the provisions of Law No. 2519.
To sign the Statement on behalf of your organization, please complete this form.
- Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” NGO
- NGO Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law
- NGO Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research
- CO Caritas Ukraine International Charitable Foundation
- NGO ZMINA. Human Rights Center
- Ukrainian Volunteer Service NGO
- NGO “Unity and Development”
- NGO “Magic Runes”
- Development Together NGO
- NGO “Agency for Local Initiatives”
- NGO “Kremin Business Association”
- Kirovohrad Regional Organization of the All-Ukrainian NGO “Association for the Promotion of Self-Organization of the Population”
- NGO My Novopskovshchyna
- NGO “Grateful Paw”
- NGO “Power in Unity”
- Charitable Organization “Network of 100 percent of life Rivne”
- NGO “Unconquered”
- CO “Creative Initiative Foundation”
- NGO “Belozerka Center for Regional Development”
- NGO “Resource Center for Art Therapy Assistance”
- NGO “Space of Ideas”
- NGO “YurShtab”
- NGO “New Generation” Civic Center
- NGO “Ukrainian Union of Maidan Activists “Invincible”
- NGO “Territory of New Changes”
- CO “Pride of the Nation UA” CF
- CO NARADA CF
- NGO “Growth Point: Education and Science”
- NGO “Gender Culture Center”
- NGO “Reliable Power”
- CO “Strong and Free CF”
- CO “Institute of Social Chaplains CF”
- NGO “Rural Development Promotion”