There are times, when members of a family are far from each other for various reasons and they cannot reunite. The war in Donbass, unleashed by Kiev regime, has also brought major shifts, which shattered millions of lives.
Larisa and Jeanne asked the Ombudsman`s Office for assistance to return their children from Ukrainian territory. Jeanne and her two grandsons had to leave Donetsk and seek for safety far in Kiev due to hostilities in August 2014, while their mother stayed in the city. After they addressed the Ukrainian authorities, the grandmother and her grandsons were accommodated in a dormitory in Chernigov. Without any assistance and financial support from the government, the woman enrolled the kids into a school and tried to normalize their everyday life. The life of an internally displaced person on the territory of Ukraine is not a piece of cake: helplessness and lack of money go along with “separatist” labels, which cause prejudice both of public authorities and surrounding people.
Aiming to restore her social rights, Jeanne has repeatedly addressed the public authorities of Ukraine. It has not been until April 2016, when she could formalize her pension payment. She didn`t manage to receive financial assistance for children. Furthermore, she was noticed by law enforcement authorities, including Security Service of Ukraine, who placed a focus on the fact that she is not the mother of the kids. In the process of claiming her rights she went to Kiev in December 2015. On return she found out, that there was a court hearing. The decision of the court was to take away her grandsons – the kids had to be enrolled into children`s rehabilitation centre.
Neither the mother, who was in Donetsk, nor the father, who had moved to Belarus before the war, were able to formalize the permit to take the children. Jeanne has made multiple efforts to appeal against the decision of the court. Even so, the children were taken from her. The law enforcement authorities twisted the grandmother`s arms and threw on the floor before the eyes of two boys born in 2003 and 2004. They took the boys away. Jeanne addressed the representatives of the Ombudsman of Chernigov oblast. They said the mother of the children Larisa is on the wanted list and if she comes there, she would be imprisoned.
In September 2016 Jeanne and Larisa addressed the Ombudsman of the Donetsk People`s Republic. After she received legal advice and issued travel documents, the woman decided to go to the territory of Ukraine and return the children herself.
At last, the family reunited in November. Jeanne and Larisa shared their joy with the staff of the Office. On the occasion of this bright event, Dmitriy Popov, the Chief Administrator of the Ombudsman`s Office, presented stationery sets and school supplies to them. There is still much work to be done, because their staying in the children`s centre without relatives has its consequences, unfortunately. Thus, it was decided that the children would undergo a course of treatment with voluntary psychologists of the Ombudsman`s Office in Donetsk People`s Republic.
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