Ukrainians are treated better than others displaced by war, the Council of Europe says

ECRI says “admirable efforts” have been made to support Ukrainians since the war began in February 2022

Ukrainians who fled their homes to escape Russia’s invasion have received better treatment than those displaced by other ongoing wars and emergencies, Europe’s top human rights organization said on Thursday, calling on member states to treat everyone equally to support.

In its annual report, the Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Committee (ECRI) said “admirable efforts” have been made to support Ukrainians since the war began in February 2022.

But it said the treatment of people from Ukraine varied depending on their ethnicity.

For example, housing conditions offered to Roma with Ukrainian citizenship were of lower quality than those offered to other Ukrainians in the same situation, ECRI said.

Shortly after the start of the war, the African Union said it was alarmed by reports that African citizens in Ukraine were being denied the right to cross borders to reach safety.

Significant differences have also been observed between the quality of reception centers and services provided to Ukrainians compared to refugees and asylum seekers from elsewhere, ECRI said.

“The new normal should be to welcome all people from everywhere, as Ukrainians (were welcomed),” ECRI Executive Secretary Johan Friestedt told a news conference.

Asked whether there was more solidarity with Ukrainians because most of them were white, ECRI President Bertil Cottier said: “When people are more or less like you, it is always easier.”

ECRI said that all displaced persons, regardless of their nationality, color or religion, should be provided with adequate protection and support.

According to ECRI, anti-Ukrainian hate incidents have been reported, but overall the public discourse of solidarity and support remained and hostile narratives, including from politicians, were more prevalent against people from other parts of the world.

There are approximately 6 million displaced Ukrainians across Europe.

The report also states that hate incidents against Muslims have increased following the October 7 attack.

“Muslims were blamed for the attack…based on stereotyping of entire communities and their alleged link to the use of violence,” ECRI said.

Several European countries have also experienced a rise in anti-Semitism, from hate speech, including death threats, and acts of vandalism at Jewish sites to physical attacks on Jews.

“While criticism of Israel cannot necessarily be considered anti-Semitic, calling for the murder of Jews is,” ECRI said.

Related Posts