Twenty-three NGOs are jointly urging the EU and European countries to work together to put into action their refugee response commitments in light of the crisis in Ukraine. This call comes ahead of the EU justice and home affairs ministers meeting to discuss the EU’s support for people fleeing the crisis in Ukraine.
The statement calls on the EU and EU countries to coordinate effective responsibility-sharing which incorporates lessons learned from the EU’s previous migration response. This comes against the backdrop of more than 3.7 million people fleeing Ukraine most of whom are in neighboring countries such as Poland, Moldova, and Romania. Many of these countries are reaching their limit in how many people they can receive.
EU countries now need to rapidly increase their resources and step up swift, safe and orderly transfers across the EU to make sure people do not see a repeat of people spending prolonged periods in refugee camps, unable to access their rights such as going to a doctor and vulnerable to many risks such as trafficking.
Stephanie Pope, Oxfam EU migration expert, said: “The speed at which the EU and EU countries worked together to adopt new rules, giving Ukrainian people the right to live and work in the EU for three years, coupled with the overwhelming support from European people, is commendable. It marks a turning point in the EU’s migration response. It is now time for the EU and EU countries to work together to put into practice their commitments. People fleeing Ukraine must be able to reach European countries in a safe way. Europe must step up the coordination and facilitation of swift, safe and orderly transfers of people from neighboring countries, including non-EU states such as Moldova, to EU countries. This, together with ensuring the provision of an adequate and dignified reception response will allow all people fleeing Ukraine, be they Ukrainian nationals or not, to access their rights and live in safety.”