Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Oksana Zholnovych took part in a joint consultation meeting of European Commission representatives led by EC President Ursula von der Leyen with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and members of the Government of Ukraine.
In her speech, the Minister expressed gratitude to the EU representatives for prompt extension of protection regime under the Temporary Protection Directive for two years. This allowed to provide protection and a full range of social support to many Ukrainian women and children who were forced to flee the war abroad.
Thanks to this, they gained access to housing, education, employment and medical care in the EU. The work of the EU-Ukraine solidarity platform played a special role in this process, allowing for quick online resolution of problematic issues.
The Head of the Ministry called the protection of the rights of Ukrainian children who were not accompanied by their parents abroad one of the most important issues. She noted that it was necessary to establish an exchange of data on such children to ensure restoration of family ties with relatives in Ukraine.
At the same time, active changes are being introduced in the field of social support to facilitate future return of Ukrainian citizens home and their reintegration.
“To make it easier for Ukrainian citizens to get out of poverty while saving financial resources, we have already started working on a new social code. We also want social support to be more targeted and aimed at helping people in difficult life circumstances become economically independent. We are actively working on development of family-based forms of upbringing, which is also important for the future return of Ukrainian children deprived of parental care from abroad,” explained Oksana Zholnovych.
The changes will also affect the rehabilitation system, which is especially important because of the war. Given the increasing number of young people with disabilities, new approaches closer to European ones are needed. The first multidisciplinary teams consisting of medical and social workers, as well as prosthetics and orthotics specialists, have already started working in hospitals.
The Parliament is also considering a draft law 5344, which expands the support program for the employment of people with disabilities and offers businesses European approaches to social responsibility.
All these steps taken together, according to the Minister of Social Policy, will bring our social standards closer to the world standards and provide targeted and effective social support to Ukrainian citizens.