‘Center of legal aid in Zhytomir
A public reception office ‘Center of legal aid, which grants free juridical consultations and other legal aid, was opened in Zhytomir in November 2000. The Center was created on the base of the Zhytomir oblast branch of ‘International society of human rights, and is sponsored by the international foundation ‘Vidrodjennia.
Up to now the lawyers of the Center have already received more than 300 clients, who got legal aid: juridical consultations, assistance in compiling suits and complaints to various state organs, consultations about the current laws.
The more frequent problem, with which people come to the Center, is violation of the law on the wages by managers enterprises of all forms of property. Many complaints of this class are about the court executive service that practically executes nothing. Court decisions on pay arrears on wages, compensations and other payments have not been executed during 2 – 3 years.
Many people complain about law-enforcing and court organs. They more often complain about bureaucracy and ill-grounded decisions of these organs. Thus, citizens rights for just court are massively abused.
The clients came to the Center from almost all districts of the oblast, although the Center exists not for a long time.
Complainers from rural districts turn about the violations or misuse of the land legislation made during privatization of land. They complain about absence or shortage of the official information on the procedure of privatization and on their rights as owners of land shares that, in its turn enable the officials to distribute the land unjustly.
Almost 70% of clients do know their rights, when they turn to state organs, and the duties of the authorities.
To sum up, it is possible to single out several spheres, where the citizens rights are abused most often: labor laws, law-enforcing and court defense, social protection and privatization of land.
Under such circumstances ‘Center of legal aid proved that it is a necessary and useful structure. In the situation that is formed in Ukraine, poor people cannot afford qualified legal aid, because the legal aid is rather expensive.