Legal support and better communication - how to make Ukrainian citizens feel better and safer in the Lodzkie Region?

P13: Lodzkie Region (PL)

 

This Pilot Action responds to the needs of Ukrainian citizens who live in the Lodzkie Region. We will assist them in solving legal problems. They will be supported by a group of officials from Labor Offices who will learn the Ukrainian language. Pilot Action consists of two parallel initiatives.

1/ 264 items of individual legal consulting for Ukrainian citizens.

2/ Ukrainian languages course for 24-40 employees of labor offices.

The result of the action will be a FAQ Manual with a description of the most common cases from meetings between a lawyer and migrants and materials for learning the Ukrainian language. The materials will be available on the project's website, Lodzkie Region site and on the websites of labor offices in the province.


RELEVANCE FOR THE TERRITORY

The Lodzkie Region stands out among the project partners. We represent the largest group of people - our region has almost 2.5 million inhabitants, which is more than the population of the whole Slovenia. The activity of our office concerns the scale of the whole province, e.g. every company from the region can benefit from the services of business support units, and social assistance can reach every resident. For a long time we have been looking for a solution that would also meet the requirements of the project in urban-rural areas, i.e. outside a large center - the administrative center of the region. The starting point for our pilot action is the migration situation. The Lodzkie Region does not receive a lot of migrants from the Middle East, but at the same time it welcomes a big number of immigrants from Ex-USSR in general and from Ukraine specifically. Eastern Slavs blend easily into our society as we have similar customs and cultural norms, our languages are closely related. Religious differences are of no importance. This migration can be divided into 3 groups: the people who came here in the 1990s to study, who have taken root and are now active citizens; the young people who are studying and will continue to study in the EU today and the economic migrants. The last group is the largest, with some thousands of people. They often work a lot, don't have enough time to look for contacts with native inhabitants, but as everybody else they face everyday problems. Out of the issues immigrants in Poland are dealing with, the most prominent are the longing for family, for home, language difficulties and problems with finding themselves within the Polish bureaucracy. Our idea about the need to learn Ukrainian by representatives of the public sphere were positively met in a survey among labor offices. Similarly, we verified the need for legal consulting. Our Pilot Action is not intended to solve all problems of Ukrainian citizens in the Lodzkie Region. Though we want to show that by reducing the language barrier through the learning of the basics of Ukrainian language by the employees of public sector we can improve the quality of public services and facilitate contacts. From our point of view these actions will be able to raise the awareness about foreign cultures and create a respect for the culture of a geographically close but nevertheless unknown country. Legal consulting close to the place of work and residence is a way to solve the issues of the migrants in situ. Additionally, these consultations also help to raise the awareness of the public institution at the commune and district level about the issue the citizens of Ukraine have to deal with. We want our Pilot Action to help people get to know each other better.  


INNOVATIVE ELEMENTS

While some larger cities with richer local governments can create and launch a public service for Ukrainians, smaller units, communes and districts, have an issue with this. First of all, they have fewer financial resources and employ smaller amount of people. So what is innovative in our language courses and legal consulting? The course is going to take place online and can be taken by participants from different parts of the region. The custom-made course’s program takes into account the communication situations in which an official and a citizen of Ukraine come into contact with each other. Finally, the high quality legal consulting provided by active attorneys and counsellors will relocate to the smallest labor offices in the region -while a good lawyer can easily be found in a large city, in smaller centers - such a service is not easy to achieve.


INVOLVED STAKEHOLDERS: