The Special Act, i.e. the law regulating the situation of Ukrainian citizens in the context of the Russian invasion, shows how to respond to humanitarian crises and related migrations. However, this is not a perfect law.
Every day, while providing legal support to refugees, we identify new loopholes in the law. We see which people and which situations escape the system. Although together with other social organizations we tried from the beginning to alert politicians about the necessary changes, our comments remained unanswered.
Despite the initial slight interest on the part of those responsible for creating the law, we do not give up. This week, together with the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, we again presented our comments to the government on the Special Act. The issues we have raised include:
- extending the provisions of the Act also to third-country nationals who, like Ukrainians, fled from war-torn territory,
- extending the record of minors to also include children with actual guardians who are not their parents (e.g. a child who came to Poland with his aunt, and the parents stayed in Ukraine),
- unclear legal situation of family members in which children and/or parents have different nationalities, e.g. children have Ukrainian citizenship, and parents (or one of the parents) have Belarusian or Russian citizenship. Currently, children of Ukrainians with other citizenship are not covered by the special act,
- non-compliance of the special act with the EU provisions on temporary protection,
- protracted and complicated procedures for recognizing Ukrainian disability certificates,
- improving the situation of people with disabilities who go for rehabilitation or treatment outside Poland for a longer period of time by introducing solutions preventing the loss of their status due to (temporary) departure from our country,
- lack of an effective remedy against a refusal to grant temporary protection or to use the family reunification procedure.
The full list of amendments proposed by us along with the justification can be found HERE.