war in ukraine

The Law Clinic has been actively involved in providing legal assistance to refugees affected by the war in Ukraine.

Students on duty will assist the parties in picking up their inquiries and providing legal assistance. Interested parties can contact us from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 12 noon on the mobile phone numbers: 

01/4811 311;

01/4811 320;

01/4811 324;

The address of the Law Clinic is Palmotićeva street 30, 10 000 Zagreb.

In addition, additional activities are planned, such as humanitarian actions, which we will inform all interested parties in a timely manner through the media and social networks.

For any additional information or legal help you can contact us on lawclinic.refugee@gmail.com.

Sexual violence as a weapon of war in Ukraine


"I want to ask Putin, why is this happening?" said Anna, the woman who told us she was raped. "I don't understand. We're not living in the Stone Age, why can't he negotiate? Why is he occupying and killing?"

War’s traditional structure is that men go to fight, while women stay at home and take care of the family. In addition, the battlefield itself is gendered: whilst men are killed, women’s bodies are the spoils of war. History has repeatedly shown that the outbreak of conflict and war increases the exposure of women and girls to war crimes, especially all forms of gender-based violence, arbitrary killings, rape and trafficking. The conflict in Ukraine is sadly no exception to this traditional gendered structure of war.

What research by many NGOs in the field, as well as other scientific sociological, psychological research shows is that the use of rape, violence against women in war is often a means of war itself in multifaceted historical examples. One example is Nigeria, where rape continues to be one of the most prevalent human rights violations. In June 2020 state governors declared a “state of emergency” on rape and gender-based violence. Seeing the horror of the events, the state authorities promised numerous reforms, which unfortunately were not fulfilled even after two years. In Nepal, restrictive statute of limitations on cases of rape and other sexual violence

prevents victims on the path to finding justice. Under the 2017 penal code of Nepal, complaints of rape must be filed within one year from the date of the commission of crime. This is grossly restrictive as it prevents many victims from accessing legal remedy effectively, in particular, victims of child rape.

Unfortunately, there are countless examples. What we can say with certainty is that sexual and gender-based violence is a global threat faced by women across the world, in countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Yemen, South Sudan etc.

These examples of catastrophic acts are also found in our immediate vicinity in the 1990s when there was a war on the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. What research has shown was:

-        rape is massive and we can measure tens of thousands of raped women in the war,

-        there was also agreement on the manner of rape (the same person was typically raped by several different persons),

-        rapes of girls between the ages of 7-14 were also widespread.

The testimonies of numerous witnesses from different parts of the war-affected area in 1990s show that there was great cruelty in the rape of women. Women were raped regardless of age and children were also affected. In addition, the testimonies show that there were borthels with Croat and Muslim women who were regularly raped. After all, those women who survived and got pregnant, Serbian soldiers held in the camps until just before the end of their pregnancy, and then released. This shows how much rape was actually a means of war, a desire for power, control, terrorizing the victim, not a form of lust. Rape was not just a means of war, but a means by which the effectiveness of genocide was ensured. Some researchers conclude that Bosnia was the first case of widespread systematic rape as an organized part of genocide in legal perspective, rape wasn’t considered a genocidal act until International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda prosecuted Jean Paul Akayesu. Before he was prosecuted, he was a teacher and school inspector in Taba. While he was still in power, at least 2000 Tutsis were killed in Taba between April 7 and the end of June, 1994. Not only that, but he knew that the acts of sexual violence, murders and beatings were being committed. At times he was present during their commission.

Of the 127 war crimes verdicts before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, 75 indictees have been convicted of both rape and sexual abuse.

The reasons why men commit conflict related sexual violence vary. Most rapes committed by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, were intended to terrorize civilians to gain control over land and other resources. By contrast, the rape and sexual slavery of Tutsi women during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 was a means of stripping an entire ethnic group of its humanity. In former Yugoslavia, sexual violence by the Serbian authorities was part of a government sanctioned strategy to destroy the lives and reproductive abilities of Bosnian Muslim women and their communities. The underlying motivations for the sexual violence against Ukrainian women and children will eventually become clear.



It is important to note that even before the war gender-based violence was a serious human rights issue in the Ukraine. Amnesty International research paper on gender-based violence in Ukraine concluded that only four out of 27 cases of domestic violence (which were reported to Amnesty International during research missions) were qualified and have been investigated as administrative offences of domestic violence. In only three of them domestic violence victims were able to obtain an emergency protection order. Besides that, there is a reluctance to even issue emergency protection order and lack of institutional capacity. Amnesty research has found that there is a shortage of police cars in some areas.


3.     THE WAR

It is important to emphasize that tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not a new phenomenon, but something that dates back years. In 2021, Russia began a large gathering of military forces near the border with eastern Ukraine, which caused great concern in Ukraine, Europe and around the world.

After weeks of great tensions, President Vladimir Putin decided on February 21 2022, to recognize areas of the Ukrainian districts (administrative regions) of Donetsk and Luhansk that are not under government control as independent entities and to send Russian troops to those areas. The decision came after the request was approved by the Russian State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) on 15 February.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Since then,

the invasion has received widespread international condemnation and United Nations (UN) says that at least 12 million people have fled their homes.

Right now we can see that:

-        Russian forces have taken over the eastern city of Severodonetsk, giving them control of almost all of the Luhansk region,

-        Russian forces have seen a lot of loss,

-        there are at least 12 million refugees,

-        NATO aims to increase the strength of its rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000 troops.



“Every break between curfew and bombing I was looking for emergency contraception instead of a basic first aid kit,” she said.“ My mother tried to reassure me: ‘This is not a war like that, they don’t exist anymore, they are from old movies.’ I have been a feminist for eight years, and I cried in silence, because all wars are like this.”

Organizations such as La Strada Ukraine and a countrywide network called Feminist Workshop have been working online and with local government to distribute information about medical, legal and psychological support available for victims of sexual assault are trying to find safe shelters for women and girls fleeing both the war and domestic violence.

Pramila Patten, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, recalled her recent visit to Ukraine and outlined the elements of a recently signed Framework of cooperation on the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, which aims to enhance protection and response to conflict-related sexual violence particularly in the context of military operations by Russian Forces in Ukraine.  “Too often have the needs of women and girls in conflict settings been side-lined and treated as an afterthought,” she said, welcoming that the newly signed framework makes them an explicit priority. As of 3 June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had received reports of 124 alleged acts of conflict-related sexual violence across Ukraine — mostly against women and girls — and a national hotline had received reports of crimes ranging from gang rape to coercion to watch an act of sexual violence committed against a partner or a child. Against that backdrop, she urged humanitarian actors to prioritize support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence as a life-saving component of their work and warned against waiting to act.  “We do not need hard data for a scaled-up humanitarian response, nor for all parties to put in place preventive measures,” she stressed, detailing the provisions of the recently signed Framework — which seeks to strengthen cooperation between those working to combat and deter sexual violence in Ukraine and reduce the risk posed by human traffickers — and calling for the international community’s steadfast support. In recent years, Ukraine has risen to the top five countries in Europe with the most victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. 

Natalia Karbowska, Co-Founder and Director of Strategic Development, Ukrainian Women’s Fund, said her voice represents those of her organization which has been working on supporting women in Ukraine for 22 years, as well as those of hundreds of other women’s groups working around the clock supporting women, providing food and medicine, healing the trauma and giving them the strength to continue living. The war showed that the women, peace and security agenda is more relevant today than ever before. It has a new meaning:  security of each and every woman is security of the whole country.  No one can feel safe when sexual violence and rape are taking place in their community. Women’s organizations are usually the first ones that women who experienced sexual violence approach. They provide psychological assistance and, together with law enforcement agencies, document the cases and support investigation processes. “Sexual violence in this war is the most hidden crime,” she pointed out, noting that for every girl or woman who is willing to tell her story, there are many others who will be silent for years.  Although the full scale of conflict-related sexual violence is not yet known, human rights activists and law enforcement agencies estimate that hundreds of cases have been committed, not just against women and girls, but also men and boys and people of other gender identities, and of all ages. She asked why the Russian Federation still sits on the Security Council and why it participates in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

“We have had several calls to our emergency hotline from women and girls seeking assistance, but in most cases it’s been impossible to help them physically. We haven’t been able to reach them because of the fighting,” said Kateryna Cherepakha, the president of La Strada Ukraine, a charity that supports survivors of trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. “Rape is an underreported crime and stigmatised issue even in peaceful times. I am worried that what we learn about is just going to be the tip of the iceberg.”

Many women arriving in bordering countries as refugees are reporting being raped by Russian soldiers. Whether rape survivors remain in Ukraine or flee the country, their access to appropriate healthcare is limited, and health risks are significant for rape victims. They have high risk of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, pregnancy, and internal physical injuries to their reproductive organs, all of which require specialized medical assistance, which may not be available in the conflict or refugee context. However, for those girls and women who have crossed borders, safety is not guaranteed. Women are first at high risk of rape and sexual exploitation in the transit process as they flee conflict. With millions of refugees seeking shelter and safety, the risk of being trafficked is high, as women look for help for themselves and their children. Traffickers offer transport, work or accommodation to try to lure women to leave with them. Sexual exploitation also occurs in these situations, when women are forced to trade sex for shelter, transport and/or safety. The risk of rape is also high; rape in refugee populations is not uncommon, as safety and security is difficult to assure in such large, desperate populations. The risk also exists of sexual assault by aid workers, or those posing as aid workers.



Sadly, sexual and gender-based violence is a widespread global threat faced by women across the world, both during peace and during war. One of the most recent examples is rape during the Bosnian War (between 1992 and 1995) which was a policy of mass systemic violence targeted against women.

Rape and sexual assault are considered war crimes and a breach of international humanitarian law and both Ukraine’s prosecutor general and the international Criminal Court have said they will open investigations into reported sexual violence.

All parties to the armed conflict in Ukraine are obligated to abide by international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, and customary international law. Belligerent armed forces that have effective control of an area are subject to the international law of occupation. International human rights law, which is applicable at all times, also applies. The laws of war prohibit willful killing, rape and other sexual violence, torture, and inhumane treatment of captured combatants and civilians in custody. Pillage and looting are also prohibited. Anyone who orders or deliberately commits such acts, or aids and abets them, is responsible for war crimes. Commanders of forces who knew or had reason to know about such crimes but did not attempt to stop them or punish those responsible are criminally liable for war crimes as a matter of command responsibility.

The disproportionate and specific impact of armed conflicts on women was recognized for the first time in the National action plan on implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, and related resolutions. It remains a powerful instrument, however there is a need to create new tools that will make it work properly at different levels, and most importantly, for women on the ground. The United Nations Security Council should develop such instruments, keep pressure with sanctions, and continue providing military and humanitarian support.



European countries and the EU since the beginning showed solidarity to the Ukraine with the number of measures and sactions towards Russia. The EU adopted a package of sanctions in response to Russia recognising the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine and its decision to send troops into the region and president of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen strongly condemned Russia's aggression. Since the beginning of the conflict 30 countries have offered their assistance and over 40,000 tonnes of in-kind assistance has been shipped to Ukraine. The Commission comprehended the list of key areas of support which include:

-        support for border management,

-        support for health systems,

-        protection of children,

-        access to education,

-        access to accommodation and housing,

-        access to jobs.

The EU has decided that the Ukrainian refugees will have the right to live and work in the EU for at least one year. That period will be automatically extended for a further year. Not only that, but Ukrainian refugees will have access to healthcare, housing and schooling. Regarding Russia, EU has adopted more than six packages of sanctions toward it.

The UN doubled its emergency appeal to $2.25 billion. The United States has announced up to $820 million in additional U.S. arms, equipment, and supplies to reinforce Ukraine’s defenses against Russia’s war of choice.

Croatia also got involved in helping Ukrainian refugees on several fronts from the very beginning. Namely, employees of the Croatian Red Cross and other volunteers have been helping Ukrainian refugees from the moment they started to arrive in Croatia. All available information can be found through the "Croatia for Ukraine" website, which contains all useful information for the reception and care of displaced persons from Ukraine, as well as information for anyone who wants to help the displaced population of Ukraine.

The website describes the rights of persons under temporary protection, on accommodation, social rights, health rights, education, employment and work.

On March 23 2022, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Decision on financing the costs of providing housing for displaced persons from Ukraine in individual accommodation, which stipulates that the Republic of Croatia will pay the costs to owners of housing units who have ceded real estate for use by displaced persons from Ukraine.

In addition, the local government, specifically the city of Zagreb, provided a number of categories of aid. Psychological help lines were opened, help for pets was introduced, free admission to Zagreb City Libraries was introduced, and a great focus was placed on psychological help in general.



In conclusion, what we do know is that sexual violence has long term consequences. Women and girls’ experiences of sexual violence are associated with significant increases in the rate of severe mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Past experiences of sexual violence also increase the likelihood that women and girls will experience other forms of violence later in life, including intimate partner violence, in ways that further exacerbate their poor mental health.

Wartime rape can no longer be dismissed as an inevitable by-product of war. It must be recognized by all parties as a crime that can be prevented and punished,” said Pramila Patten, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative working to end rape in war. Although deeply concerned about what she called “the emboldening effects of impunity”, Ms. Patten said it was “critical that all actors and parties know that the world is watching.”

It's difficult to ask women at this moment to talk about what happened because they are still fighting to survive, they are still in full trauma. At the same time, we need to begin to collect proof from the health center and start to build judicial files for them so they can get justice.

“It's important that people understand they can't do bad things and go unpunished. Women always have a reason to stand up and restart their lives. They are living for their children, their families and to support others. Sometimes men just think about themselves. That's why I think women are very, very strong.”, says Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and advocate against sexual violence in conflict zones like his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At the end of the day, when we summarize our research, the devastating conclusion remains that the states have unfortunately not established ready mechanisms for the suppression and prevention of this problem. Not only that, but in some countries this form of warfare is not even recognized, but remains hidden on the sidelines. The consequences of this inhuman act are enormous. Not only for the victim and his immediate and wider environment, but also for the entire society as a whole. It remains for us to emulate the various activists and brave women who survived this to try to highlight this problem as much as possible and help the victims. Each of us should ask ourselves what we can do in our community and how we can help.


-        https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

-        https://www.un.org/press/en/2022/sc14926.doc.htm

-        https://www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj.o1016

-        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61071243

-        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/03/all-wars-are-like-this-used-as-a-weapon-of-war-in-ukraine

-        https://www.ejiltalk.org/sexual-and-gender-based-violence-against-women-in-the-russia-ukraine-conflict/

-        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/11/nigeria-failure-to-tackle-rape-crisis-emboldens-perpetrators-and-silences-survivors/

-        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/05/nepal-overly-restrictive-statute-of-limitations-on-rape-and-other-sexual-violence-must-be-removed/

-        https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur50/3255/2020/en/

-        https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/33266018.pdf

-        https://www.bbc.com/serbian/lat/balkan-61802086

-        https://www.consilium.europa.eu/hr/policies/eu-response-ukraine-invasion/

-        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60555472

-        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60506682

-        https://www.npr.org/2022/06/27/1107764783/russia-ukraine-war-what-happened-today-june-27?t=1656407475162


-     Fairbanks, Bailey (2019) "Rape as an Act of Genocide: Definitions and Prosecutions as Established in Bosnia and Rwanda," Historical Perspectives: Santa Clara University Undergraduate Journal of History, Series II: Vol. 23, Article 13. Available at: https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/historical-perspectives/vol23/iss1/13

-        https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/stronger-europe-world/eu-solidarity-ukraine/eu-assistance-ukraine_en

-        https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/stronger-europe-world/eu-solidarity-ukraine_en

-        https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/0ac66921-c50b-11ec-b6f4-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

-        https://www.state.gov/latest-ukraine-updates/

-        https://hrvatskazaukrajinu.gov.hr/trebate-pomoc/16 

-        https://hrvatskazaukrajinu.gov.hr/propisi-i-odluke/122

-        https://www.zagreb.hr/hrvatski/179238

-        https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/stronger-europe-world/eu-solidarity-ukraine/eu-assistance-ukraine_en

-        https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/05/1117442

-     https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/18/1099537331/fighting-the-horror-of-wartime-rape-nobel-prize-peace-winner-wont-give-up-hope?t=1657129489471

-        https://casebook.icrc.org/case-study/ictr-prosecutor-v-jean-paul-akayesu

Activites of the Law clinic - Panel and humanitarian action

On March 29th 2022, a panel discussion "Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine - What to Expect?" on the current situation in Ukraine took place at our faculty. The panel discussion was organized by student mentors of the Group for Assistance to Asylum Seekers and Foreigners together with professor Goranka Lalić Novak, and the aim of the panel was to inform students about the legal regulation of international protection and protection of refugees in the context of Ukraine and the role of UNHCR in the current as well as potential refugee crisis. Proff. Lalić Novak explained the meaning of temporary protection in the context of Ukrainian refugees. Mitre Georgiev spoke about the role of the UNHCR, explaining the current humanitarian situation and refugee trends from Ukraine. Lana Vučinić spoke about the key role of the Croatian Red Cross in this crisis, and finally our former clinician Josip Stipeljković, as a representative of the Croatian Legal Center, explained how refugee protection in Croatia works from a legal point of view.

Also, the mentors of the Group for Assistance to Asylum Seekers and Foreigners organized a humanitarian action for refugees from Ukraine, which took place from March 28th to April 1st, 2022, while on duty at the premises of the Legal Clinic. The idea was for clinicians, student mentors and student administrators to bring groceries and necessities on duty. The Croatian Red Cross collects material humanitarian aid (food and hygiene), EXCLUSIVELY the following supplies (the list of items is the result of an agreement with the Red Cross from Ukraine and surrounding countries): 

- FOOD: flour, oil, rice, sugar, table salt, pasta, soup in a bag, canned fish, canned meat and jam, baby food porridge and cereals / cereals for children. 

- HYGIENE: hand soap, shower gel, hair shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, disposable razor, sanitary napkins, baby diapers, baby cream, baby shampoo, baby toothpaste, baby toothbrush and hygienic wet wipes for children.

After the collection of these products was completed, the clinicians and mentors took them to the nearest Red Cross Society in Zagreb. We thank everyone who responded to the humanitarian action!

How do refugee children from Ukraine integrate into society?

The war in Ukraine has so far endangered the lives of over 7.5 million children. Humanitarian needs are growing by the minute as the number of children injured and killed increases. Numerous homes, schools, hospitals and other necessary infrastructure such as water supply systems were destroyed and millions of people were left without access to drinking water and health care. According to the latest data, 6,800 refugees have fled to the Republic of Croatia, of which 88% are women and children. From the increased number of refugees, many new questions arise about the readiness of the society regarding their acceptance into the society.

According to the International and Temporary Protection Act (NN 70/2015, 127/2017; hereinafter: AITP), vulnerable groups include, but are not limited to, children and unaccompanied children. (Art. 4 para. 1 item 4 AITP). So far, almost 90% of refugees belonging to vulnerable groups have entered the Republic of Croatia. In order for an internally displaced person from the territory of Ukraine to be able to exercise his or her rights as effectively as possible, it is necessary to apply for international protection. The request for approval of international protection is submitted directly to the Shelter orally on the record, which initiates the procedure for approval of international protection (Art. 34 AITP). The intention for the child is expressed by the legal representative and the child's request is included in the request of his / her legal representative (Art.16 para. 1 and 2 AITP). A child who is over 16 years of age and is married may independently participate in the procedure for granting international protection (Art. 16 para. 3 AITP). An unaccompanied child, who expresses an intention, is appointed by the body in charge of social welfare as a special guardian trained to work with children who is not in a conflict of interest with the child (Article 17 para. 1 AITP).

The applicant is entitled to:


freedom of movement in the Republic of Croatia,

ensuring appropriate material reception conditions,

health care,

primary and secondary education,


legal advice and free legal aid,

freedom of religion,


documents (Art. 52 para. 1 AITP).

Most of these rights are not directly influenced by the child, but indirectly because he or she exercises them through his legal representative or guardian. The right to primary and secondary education is an exception because it requires active participation and the exercise of this right directly from the child.

According to the Ordinanceon the manner of conduct of the program and testing the knowledge of asylum seekers, aliens under temporary protection and aliens under subsidiary protection, in order to access the education system of the Republic of Croatia (NN 89/2008, 70/2015; further: the Ordinance) to a minor, asylum seekers, aliens under temporary protection and aliens under subsidiary protection (hereinafter: applicants) will be provided in accordance with the regulations governing pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education, under the same conditions as Croatian citizens. in accordance with this Ordinance (Art. 2 para. 1 of the Ordinance). To be included in the education system, applicants are required to have:

certificate of status in the Republic of Croatia,

certificate of residence in the Republic of Croatia,

identification document (birth certificate, identification card, passport or appropriate document of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia),

a document on previous education (Art. 3 para. 1 of the Ordinance).

Learning of the Croatian language, history and culture of the Republic of Croatia will be organized for an asylum seeker who is a minor, an asylum seeker, an alien under temporary protection and an alien under subsidiary protection (Art. 5 para. 1 of the Ordinance).

The Ministry of Science and Education issued a Decision (CLASS: 016-01 / 22-01 / 00061, REGISTRATION NUMBER: 533-07-22-0001) in order to facilitate access to education for children from Ukraine during the aggression, bearing in mind that it is approaching end of the school year. The decision states that it is necessary to ensure in primary and secondary schools:

participation in preparatory classes of the Croatian language without testing;

simultaneous involvement in educational work in classrooms in all subjects according to their abilities and capabilities;

at the end of the school or school year, final grades and a certificate.

According to The Status of Displaced Persons and Refugees Act (NN 96/1993, 29/1999, 39/1995, 128/1999, 50/2000, 51A / 2013, 98/2019; further: SDPRA), in proceedings on submitted requests for determination of status the rights of refugees, displaced persons and returnees in accordance with the provisions of this Act are decided in the first instance by the administrative bodies of the county, ie the City of Zagreb (Art. 5 para. 1 SDPRA). The Government of the Republic of Croatia prescribes the conditions for determining status and loss of status and the content, scope and manner of exercising the rights of persons whose status has been determined as refugee, displaced or returnee, as well as the audit procedure (Art. 8 para. 1 SDPRA).

Nakon utvrđivanja izbjegličkog statusa od strane nadležnih tijela, škole u suradnji s upravnim odjelima za obrazovanje u županijama tj. Gradskim uredom za obrazovanje Grada Zagreba donose odluku o potrebi uključivanja u osnovne i srednje škole na njihovom području. Učenik se, u pravilu, upisuje u onu osnovnu školu kojoj pripada prema upisnom području. 

According to The Primary and Secondary Education Act (NN 87/2008, 86/2009, 92/2010, 105/2010, 90/2011, 5/2012, 16/2012, 86/2012, 94/2013, 152 / 2014, 7/2017, 68/2018, 98/2019, 64/2020, 133/2020; further: PSEA), the enrollment area is an integral part of the network of school institutions (Art. 16 para. 1 PSEA). The enrollment area for primary schools is the spatial area from which students enroll in a certain primary school on the basis of residence, ie registered residence, and is determined in accordance with the State Pedagogical Standard. The Republic of Croatia is considered to be the enrollment area from which students enroll in secondary school (Art. 16 para. 2 and 6 PSEA).


1. https://www.unicef.hr/ukrajina/

2. https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/u-zemlju-ih-je-uslo-6800-90-ih-je-u-privatnom-smjestaju-kako-mogu-ostvariti-svoja-prava-15171712 

3. https://mzo.gov.hr/vijesti/ukljucivanje-djece-i-ucenika-izbjeglica-iz-ukrajine-u-odgojno-obrazovni-sustav-republike-hrvatske/4816 

4. International and Temporary Protection Act (NN 70/2015, 127/2017)

5. The Ordinance on the manner of implementing the program and testing the knowledge of asylum seekers, aliens under temporary protection and aliens under subsidiary protection, in order to access the education system of the Republic of Croatia (NN 89/2008, 70/2015) 

6. The Status of Displaced Persons and Refugees Act (NN 96/1993, 29/1999, 39/1995, 128/1999, 50/2000, 51A/2013, 98/2019)

7. The Primary and Secondary Education Act (NN 87/2008, 86/2009, 92/2010, 105/2010, 90/2011, 5/2012, 16/2012, 86/2012, 94/2013, 152/2014, 7/2017, 68/2018, 98/2019, 64/2020, 133/2020)

What is the possibility of employing persons under temporary protection?

Should a person under temporary protection have a work permit in the Republic of Croatia?

According to the Act on International and Temporary Protection (NN 70/15, 127/17; hereinafter: AITP), an alien under temporary protection may work in the Republic of Croatia without a residence and work permit or a certificate of registration of work (Article 86., paragraph 1.  of the AITP). No additional permits are required for entry into the labor market, except for the identity card of an alien under temporary protection. According to the Ordinance on Forms and Data Collections in the Procedure of Granting International and Temporary Protection (NN 85/16; hereinafter: the Ordinance), the alien's card under temporary protection is issued by the police administration or police station, according to the alien's place of residence. ). Also, the request can be submitted online via the application at the link https://croatia4ukraine.mup.hr/Pages/Zahtjev. An alien under temporary protection is issued a card for a period of one year and can be extended (Article 85., paragraph 1. of the AITP).

How to join the labor market in the Republic of Croatia?

All persons under temporary protection should first regulate their stay in the Republic of Croatia. They need a personal identification number (hereinafter: PIN) which according to the Personal Identification Number Act (NN 60/08; hereinafter: PINA) is determined and assigned on the basis of data from competent authorities and legal entities on the reason for monitoring a foreign person in the Republic of Croatia Article 8, paragraph 4 of the). According to the Ordinance on personal identification number (OG 1/09, 117/10, 125/13, 31/15, 1/17, 6/20, 44/21; hereinafter: Ordinance on PIN), the obligor of the number submits a request by personal delivery form to the locally competent branch office of the Tax Administration (Article 14, paragraph 1 of the Ordinance on PIN). The locally competent branch office of the Tax Administration for a foreign natural person is considered to be the branch office of the Tax Administration competent according to the place where the reason for monitoring arose (Article 8, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance on PIN). The request for the issuance of the OIB can be found at this link https://www.porezna-uprava.hr/HR_OIB/Documents/zahtjev.After that, persons should contact the Croatian Employment Service (hereinafter: CES) and register in the register of unemployed persons.

According to the Labor Market Act (NN118/18, 32/20, 18/22; hereinafter: LMA), the register of unemployed persons is kept by the CES on the basis of the registration of an unemployed person (Article 9 of the LMA). Asylum seekers and foreigners under subsidiary or temporary protection in the Republic of Croatia can apply to the CES, as well as members of their families, who are equal to Croatian citizens in the rights and duties determined by the Labor Market Act (Article 14, paragraph 1 of the LMA). ). You can apply via: e-mail ukrajina@hzz.hr, in person at the reception center to the CES representative or by coming to the CES regional offices (https://www.hzz.hr/adrese-i-kontakt/podrucni.php). When applying, it is necessary to provide basic information: name and surname, date of birth, identity card of the foreigner under temporary protection,  PIN and proof of completed education.

What is the role of counselors in including a person in the labor market?

After registration in the register of unemployed persons under temporary protection, an advisor is assigned who provides support in entering the Croatian labor market. The counselor assists in the preparation of CVs and preparation for job interviews, and there is the possibility of participating in job search preparation workshops in Ukrainian or English.

CES counselors will provide support to persons under temporary protection when registering in the unemployment register, in search of the desired employment / employer, referral to jobs for occupations they want and can work in, and inclusion in active employment policy measures. The CES will organize translation services to make it easier for people under temporary protection to communicate with their employment counselor.

What is the role of counselors in including a person in the labor market?

After registration in the register of unemployed persons under temporary protection, an advisor is assigned who provides support in entering the Croatian labor market. The counselor assists in the preparation of CVs and preparation for job interviews, and there is the possibility of participating in job search preparation workshops in Ukrainian or English.

CES counselors will provide support to persons under temporary protection when registering in the unemployment register, in search of the desired employment / employer, referral to jobs for occupations they want and can work in, and inclusion in active employment policy measures. The CES will organize translation services to make it easier for people under temporary protection to communicate with their employment counselor.

How can the Croatian Employment Service help people under temporary protection during employment?

CES assistance consists of registering unemployed persons, defining work potential and job search plan and joint agreement on occupations for which the counselor will mediate in the labor market, inclusion in workshops for active job search, information on jobs and job opportunities in an occupation in which people can and want to work, financing education for the acquisition of competencies needed in the labor market and the possibility of inclusion in one of the measures of active employment policy.

Active job search workshops serve to help people write resumes, find the best way to present themselves to a potential employer, and highlight important references to themselves. It is a group work, all with a translator and the help of experts.

If people need access to the Internet and a computer, they can use it free of charge in all regional offices and CES offices, as well as in the Center for Career Information and Counseling (hereinafter: CCIC). The list of CCIC centers in the Republic of Croatia is available at the link https://www.hzz.hr/adrese-i-kontakt/cisok-centri.php. CCIC enables people to independently search published job vacancies, collect information on educational and employment opportunities in Croatia and abroad, as well as use various online tools and information and advice on the requirements of certain occupations, adult education opportunities, offers and employment opportunities and a number of other topics related to education and employment.

Where to contact and what other useful contacts are there?

Additional information can be obtained at the following telephone numbers: +385 99 524 8574, +385 99 527 6079. At the e-mail address: ukrajina@hzz.hr and the CES website (https://www.hzz.hr/).


1. Act of International and Temporary Protection (NN 70/15, 127/17)

2. Ordinance on forms and data collections in the procedure of granting international and temporary protection (NN85/16)

3. Personal Identification Number Act (NN60/08)

4. Labor Market Act (NN 118/18, 32/20, 18/22)

5. Employment and work - https://hrvatskazaukrajinu.gov.hr/informacije/zaposljavanje-i-rad/157

6. Request for issuance of PIN-     


7. Ordinance on personal identification number (NN1/09, 117/10, 125/13, 31/15, 1/17, 6/20, 44/21)