Strengthening Access to Services for Ukrainian Refugees through Legal Aid

Project completed

As a right and a precondition for the enjoyment of all human rights, legal aid promotes peaceful and inclusive societies. The project enhances the access to legal services for Ukrainian refugees through a regional approach building local capacities and enhancing cross-border collaboration. The project opens an avenue for Switzerland to contribute to durable solutions and to channel advocacy messages at national and regional level on the protection of the rights of forcibly displaced populations. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Protection, access & security
Material relief assistance
15.11.2022 - 14.11.2023
CHF  800’000

Since the military aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, millions of people have been displaced within and outside Ukrainian borders. The uncertainty about the future and the end of hostilities impacts the abilities of displaced people to make decisions and secure longerterm plans, thus affecting the number of cross-border movement between Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. The forced displacement dynamics will remain fluid for the immediate future as people continue to leave Ukraine. In the context of displacement, accessing information and legal assistance is a key for securing rights and receiving services. However, the access to information remains challenging for refugees from Ukraine due to the lack of centralised sources of information and inefficient informal information channels. 

Norwegian Refugee Council has identified the need to provide information, counselling and legal assistance and urban displacements and out-ofcamp services focusing on border crossing, transit centres, collective shelters and hard to-reach areas. The project especially focuses on strengthening the local capacities to provide information and legal assistance in a refugee crisis, thus it contributes to the sustainability of local knowledge and continuation of service provision. The project has a regional approach - project activities are planned in Moldova, Romania and Poland.

Objectives Conflict and forced displacement affected populations are able to pursue their rights and access essential humanitarian services to protect and deliver legal assistance based on enhanced regional trend analysis, evidence-base, information sharing and strengthened coordination across borders.
Target groups

Direct beneficiaries:

-    11’825 forced displacement affected individuals (Ukrainians and TCNs). 75% of the beneficiaries are women

-    100 staff members of nine CSOs (six CSOs in Moldavia, two in Romania and one in Poland).

Indirect beneficiaries are a larger group of refugees and forced displacement affected individuals as well as local service providers and host communities that will benefit from increased CSO capacity, evidence-based assessments and programming, and enhanced coordination.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Targeted national Civil Society Organisations provide quality information, counselling and legal assistance benefitting from regional trend analysis and evidence-base.  

Outcome 2: Refugees have improved  access to rights and services through enhanced regional collaboration, information sharing and advocacy. 


Expected results:  

Output 1.1)    Use online and digital tools for the provision of information, counselling, and legal assistance to Ukrainian refugees and Third Country Nationals (Romania and Moldova)

Output 1.2)    Capacity building initiatives are enhanced for national CSOs on the assistance in legal issues specific to the Ukrainian crisis (Moldova)

Output 1.3)    National CSOs in the Republic of Moldova are supported in addressing legal needs specific to the Ukrainian refugees with disabilities (Moldova)

Output 2.1)    Information, case-specific counselling and assistance to the refugees and host communities provided by ICLA and UDOC partners and through  direct implementation (Romania, Moldova, Poland)

Output 2.2)    Referrals through Mobile Outreach, Neighbourhood Committees and the ‘referral desks’ at UDOC Offices are provided by CSOs.

Output 2.3)    The housing polices for refugees in Poland, Romania and the Republic of Moldova as well as the capacities of local authorities, CSOs, and other actors to mitigate and address tensions between the refugees and local communities generated by  Housing, Land and Property disputes (Romania, Moldova, Poland) are assessed.

Output 2.4)    Briefing Note on legal protection needs of the refugees from Ukraine and host communities in Poland, Romania and the Republic of Moldova is available (Romania, Moldova, Poland)

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Norwegian Refugee Council

Other partners
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) 
Coordination with other projects and actors

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

United Nations and Government provided coordination mechanism

Civil Society

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    800’000
Project phases

Phase 1 15.11.2022 - 14.11.2023   (Completed)