Ukraine Projects

Driven by the aspiration to educate individuals on their fundamental human rights so that their capabilities to claim rights through effective interaction with public authorities are enhanced, RWI together with its Ukrainian and Polish partners thought of the ways their experience and expertise could be used for the benefit of Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. Considering that forced displacement has turned the lives of millions of Ukrainians upside down, making over 5 million people internally displaced and over 6 million refugees , three partners then decided to join forces. The contribution of this collaboration is in strengthening the capacities of civil society as well as other providers of legal assistance such as legal clinics, pro bono initiatives and IDP councils to ensure that they can address the most urgent legal needs of Ukrainian IDPs and refugees in Ukraine, Poland as well as Sweden.

Two projects have then been designed and their implementation incepted in September 2023. Within these two projects, RWI collaborates with the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine (ALCU) and the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation (PLCF).

About the projects

“Strengthening the Rights of Ukrainian IDPs and Refugees through Public Legal Education” targets Ukrainian, Polish, and Swedish civil society organizations (CSOs) working on the provision of public legal education (PLE) to Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. As known, CSOs play critical role of frontline responders in addressing the urgent needs of IDPs and refugees, however their capacity of driving change remains under-valued and under-supported. The project, therefore, endeavours to first map key CSOs providing PLE to Ukrainian IDPs and refugees in three countries, to then bring these actors together and create a sustainable platform for learning exchange and collaboration for the benefit of meeting Ukrainian IDPs’ and refugees’ evolving legal needs. Moreover, the project aims to contribute to an enhanced capacity of CSOs providing PLE to integrate and apply intersectional perspectives as well as human rights-based approach (HRBA) in their work. This project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and thus is linked to the NCM’s Vision 2030.

“Standing with Ukraine by Providing Enhanced Rights Protection for IDPs and Refugees” targets pro bono initiatives, Ukrainian IDP Councils, and legal clinics, where law students gain hands-on experience meanwhile provide free legal assistance to vulnerable individuals. In the ecosystem of legal providers, these three actors are extremely important as they carry out a large share of rights protection work for which governments and international organizations otherwise lack capacity. They are also embedded in local contexts and better suited to respond to urgent legal needs of IDPs and refugees. Therefore, this project aims to contribute to strengthened capacities of pro bono initiatives, IDP Councils, and legal clinics in Ukraine, Poland, and Sweden to meet legal needs of Ukrainian IDPs and refugees. Similarly to project A, key actors will first be mapped and surveyed to then be brought together for learning exchange and training on the integration and applicability of intersectional perspectives and HRBA. The project is funded by the Swedish Institute (SI) under the SI Baltic Sea Neighbourhood Programme.

The synergies between the two projects are critical as they allow to cover the issue of the provision of legal assistance to Ukrainian IDPs and refugees in a holistic way, meaning that the work is not done in silos but rather targets the spectrum of legal assistance providers. As such, both projects will result in evidence-based recommendations on how to address legal needs of Ukrainian IDPs and refugees disseminated among keystakeholders.

About our partners

The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine (ALCU) is a Ukrainian NGO that has been working on the promotion and development of legal clinics in Ukraine since 2006. Today, ALCU unites around 55 legal clinics from all over Ukraine with a mission to contribute to the establishment of the rule of law, improved access to justice as well as raising the level of legal culture in Ukraine.

The Polish Legal Clinics Foundation (PLCF) has been supporting and coordinating a network of 25 legal clinics in Poland since 2002. PLCF’s mission is to promote pro bono engagement of lawyers for the provision of legal assistance to marginalized groups. PLCF assisted the Polish Ministry of Justice in drafting a law on access to free legal assistance.

Partners’ takes on the projects

  1. Why is it vital for your organization to be involved in these two projects?

“The Polish Legal Clinics Foundation is proud to cooperate with the legal clinics network in Ukraine for many years. We have a long-lasting experience of cooperation and in both of our interests is mutual good cooperation. At the same time, we have been involved in helping Ukrainian war refugees since the very beginning of the war and many Polish legal clinics have adopted their activity in order to provide legal assistance to the war migrants. We believe that only through collaboration and joint undertaken efforts we will serve people in need the best possible way. Mapping the support providers will be crucial for better cooperation”.Dr Filip Czernicki, President of the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation


“The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine greatly appreciates the opportunity to extend the horizons of cooperation with colleagues abroad. This time, along with our old and reliable partners form Poland – Polish Legal Clinics Foundation we are happy to work together with Raoul Wallenberg Institute from Sweden. We believe that implementing together these two important projects will contribute significantly to not only strengthening the capacity of legal clinics in our countries, but – upmost the access to justice of Ukrainians who have suffered from war or need protection out of other grounds.”Yuliia Lomzhets, Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine


  1. How does your organization view the synergies between these two projects and their contribution to the enhancement of Ukrainian IDPs’ and refugees’ rights?

We believe that the two projects are compatible and will help all partners to get to know the overall legal aid structure and also find the best model of support and cooperation.” – Dr Filip Czernicki, President of the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation


In our view, conducting diverse and based on human right approach mapping of the providers of legal aid and information services to Ukrainian IDPs’ and refugees will help the latter to better understand and find out who they may address in particular cases. Moreover, if these mapping efforts are successful, the same methodology may be applied in other countries that host Ukrainians fleeing from waMariia Tsypiashchuk, Board Member of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine

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