The director general of IOM Antonio Vitorino has said that discrimination and racism against citizens of third countries fleeing the war in Ukraine must end. He also expressed alarm over “verified credible reports of discrimination, violence and xenophobia” against these people.
The director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Antonio Vitorino, said in a statement published on Thursday (March 3) that discrimination and racism against third country nationals trying to flee the war in Ukraine must end.
“I am alarmed about verified credible reports of discrimination, violence and xenophobia against third country nationals attempting to flee the conflict in Ukraine,” he said in the statement. “Let me be clear, discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality or migration status is unacceptable. I deplore any such acts and call on the States to investigate this issue and address it immediately,” he went on to stress.
Free access to all must be ensured
“Men, women and children from dozens of nationalities, including migrant workers and students living in Ukraine are facing acute challenges as they attempt to leave conflict-affected areas, cross borders into countries and seek life-saving assistance,” said the statement.
“We are receiving reports of discrimination resulting in heightened risk and suffering.”
“Neighboring States need to ensure that all those fleeing Ukraine are granted unhindered access to territory, regardless of status and in accordance with international humanitarian law.
“Protection and immediate assistance must be provided in a non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate manner, in line with the humanitarian imperative, to all conflict-affected people throughout their journey to safety,” stressed the organization.
Proposal to activate Temporary Protection Directive welcomed
“I welcome the European Commission’s proposal to activate the Temporary Protection Directive to assist people fleeing Ukraine and call on member States to ensure the inclusion of third country nationals in such protection measures,” said Vitorino.
“In all cases, IOM is committed and ready to assist its member States and partners to ensure an inclusive response to the humanitarian needs and crisis in Ukraine in line with internationally recognized practices captured by the Guidelines to protect migrants in countries experiencing conflict or natural disaster .”