On 6 September 2022, Mr Steen Nørlov, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, and Ms Valeria Kolomiets, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, as part of a working meeting, visited the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War (CHTPW) and the Consultation Center for Internally Displaced Persons in the Podil District of Kyiv.
Mr Serhii Marushchenko, Representative of the Council of Europe Project "Internal Displacement in Ukraine: Building Solutions. Phase II", and Ms Olena Mankivska, Deputy Director of the Right Bank Kyiv Local Center for the Provision of Free Secondary Legal Aid, also took part in the meetings.
During the visit to the Coordination Headquarters, Mr Steen Nørlov got acquainted with the work of the Headquarters, in particular, the public reception. The public reception of the CHTPW provides consultations on social, legal and procedural issues related to the soldier's stay in captivity, including state social obligations guaranteed in the event of capture. It includes, among other specialists, a lawyer from the Right Bank Kyiv Local Center for the Provision of Free Secondary Legal Aid, who advises on legal issues for family members of prisoners of war, killed and missing defenders.
During a visit to the Consultation Center for Internally Displaced Persons in the Podilsky District of Kyiv, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine talked with the Center's management and specialists, and informed them about the work of the Council of Europe project "Internal Displacement in Ukraine: Building Solutions. Phase II".
The parties discussed challenges and opportunities in the field of protection of the rights of internally displaced persons and victims of war under the standards of the Council of Europe, including the provision of free legal aid.
At the end of the visits, Mr Steen Nørlov, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, emphasized: "Free legal aid is an important element for the upholding of human rights and fair and effective justice, which is based on the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Access to justice within the right to a fair trial is enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Council of Europe, within the framework of the implementation of its projects, is ready to continue to help Ukraine in improving the system of providing free legal aid in Ukraine, in particular through the improvement of legislation."