On 28 April 2016, representatives of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, other state bodies and non-governmental organizations together with representatives of EU Member State embassies in Ukraine took part in the seventh monitoring visit to the Migrant Accommodation Centre in Chernihiv Region (Chernihiv MAC).
The Chernihiv MAC accommodates irregular migrants, including persons returned to Ukraine under readmission agreements. Currently, there is a total of 117 adults residing in the Chernihiv MAC, including 110 men and 7 women. On top of this, 13 children live in the MAC with one or both parents. Families and women with children are able to live separately from other migrants.
During the visit to the Chernihiv MAC, the participants toured the facility and monitored the accommodation conditions and services provided to migrants, in particular to minors and families with children, as well as talked to the MAC administration and directly with migrants. Finally, the visit participants discussed the current challenges and ways to address them.
Among the issues, highlighted by migrants, are the limited menu, impossibility to obtain certain medicine free-of-charge, and limited medical services that migrants can receive in the MAC.
The monitoring visit participants learnt about the steps taken by the Chernihiv MAC to address the complaints from migrants, received detailed information about detainees’ nutrition and meals, free medical assistance available to migrants in local hospitals, and also about regular visits to the MAC of representatives of an NGO providing legal support and other assistance to migrants. The participants of the visit found the accommodation conditions in the Chernihiv MAC quite good, and stressed the need to allocate a separate room for religious ceremonies accessible for adherents of various religions, and also to establish regular Internet and cell phone service for migrants.
The visit was conducted under the project “Pilot Initiative to Monitor Readmission in Ukraine and Pakistan (MONITOR)”, funded by the European Union and implemented by IOM.
The Chernihiv MAC is a state institution for the temporary accommodation of irregular migrants in Ukraine for the period up to 12 months. The MAC is administered by the State Migration Service of Ukraine. The Chernihiv MAC is located in Rozsudiv village, Ripkinsky district, Chernihiv Region. The centre was launched on 18 July 2008 and is designed to accommodate up to 208 persons. According to the results of the European Commission’s monitoring conducted in 2008, the Chernihiv MAC was recognized as one of five best centres of its type in Europe.