Ukraine: Covid-19 Rules Blocked Access to Pensions
Restrictions That Pushed People into Poverty Lifted, But More Reform Needed
Wednesday 16 September 2020
(Kyiv, August 3, 2020) – Ukraine has lifted travel restrictions on residents of non-government areas in the east that had largely prevented them from accessing their pensions and pushed them further into poverty, Human Rights Watch said today. The restrictions, imposed in March 2020 in response to Covid-19, meant that for over four months, pensioners had to cut back dramatically on food, medication, and necessary hygiene products.
Lifting the restrictions was an important step. However, the Ukrainian government did not amend other rules that impose undue hardship on older people, who must still cross into government-held territory every 60 days to collect their pensions rather than being allowed to appoint an authorized representative to receive it for them. Significant Covid-related travel restrictions also remain in place on the non-government side.