The project of 4 NGOs from V4 countries, the Human Rights League (Slovakia), as a leading partner, in partnership with Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre (Poland), Subjective Values Foundation - Szubjektiv Ertekek Alapitvany (Hungary) and Organisation for Assistance to Refugees (Czech Republic), will look into and analyse how migration flows to countries of V4 from Ukraine have been affected by the current crisis in Ukraine, with special focus on Ukrainian citizens.
Project will assess recent migration flows from Ukraine, specifically of Ukrainians. Analysis will tackle upon arrivals of Ukrainians in the context of their applications for international protection (asylum), as well as their arrivals outside of asylum systems. In general, we do recognise preference of Ukrainians to apply for residence permits including statuses of „foreign nationals of V4 countries living abroad“, resorting to asylum application only as a last option.
The analysis will also deal with all the particularities of the response of V4 authorities and of reception or rejection of Ukrainians in our region (eg. access to Polish visa, unlike in Czech republic, is an easy one for Ukrainians on the other hand it is connected with the high rate of secondary movements from Poland). A lot of Ukrainians report difficulties in obtaining documents from necessary for application for visa or residence permits, limited legal ways how to apply for residence from Ukraine and reluctance of V4 embassies in Ukraine to accept visa applications. The option of lawful arrival for purpose of asylum application is almost impossible.
On the other hand, the Czech government organised medical evacuation and offered repatriation of Ukrainians with Czech origin back to Czech Republic. Slovak government only offered recreation for children from Ukraine for summer vacation in Slovakia so far.
The project activities would include:
- Kick off meeting in Bratislava, where precise scope and structure of the analysis and the content of the final report and position paper shall be agreed upon,
- Monitoring visits to the area of external borders with Ukraine and to Ukraine with the aim of cross- border exchange of information), meetings with authorities and NGOs
- Collection of statistical data and qualitative information from NGOs and authorities in V4 countries and in Ukraine about Ukrainians leaving Ukraine and trying to settle in the V4 countries since the beginning of the conflict (both in and out of the asylum framework);
- Analysis of asylum (and residence, visa, other) decision-making practices in cases of Ukrainians since the beginning of the conflict in the context of migration from Ukraine,
- Overview of the legal possibilities these people have for arrival and settlement in V4 countries (e.g. access to asylum procedures, access to territories of V4 countries, access to visa (national, Schengen), access to naturalisation, access to residence permits, facilitated programmes for nationals living abroad (Czechs, Hungarians, Polish or Slovaks living in Ukraine);
- Description of any specific preparatory measures by states (to an eventual larger influx) with the aim of increasing security measures and protections of borders, any initiatives to facilitate arrivals from Ukraine (also by NGOs or others), such as facilitated programmes, temporary or more permanent resettlement solutions for persons affected by the conflict
- National report – drafting of conclusions and recommendations for the final report
- Final project report – summary analysis, gaps and recommendations and position paper which deals with main gaps, recommendations
- Translations of position paper and final project report to national languages
- V4 final conference in Bratislava including press conference
The project supports the idea of cooperation of V4 countries by means of coordinated response to Ukrainian crisis and to its impact on increasing numbers of arrivals of Ukrainian citizens to our countries. Organisations participating in the project are all the leading NGOs in the national context, assisting refugees and foreigners in all countries of V4. They have several experiences from working jointly on interesting partial topics related to migration and refugee protection in this region.
The Human Rights League as a leading a partner for the project, has its seat in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. Slovakia is currently the presiding country over V4 group and situation in Ukraine and response to its humanitarian consequences shall be considered its priority indeed.
At the moment, the current dramatic situation in Ukraine, affects also its neighbouring countries which tend to strengthen security measures and protection of its external borders. All V4 countries, except for Czech Republic, have external borders with Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukrainians present significant immigrant population in all V4 countries including Czech Republic.
Organisations participating in this project believe that the response to the humanitarian situation in the regions affected by the conflict in Ukraine requires also increased and coordinated efforts of solidarity on the side of the V4 governments. By means of the project we would like to contribute to analysis and exchange of information on migration flows from Ukraine and to advocate for proactive responses by means of for temporary or more permanent settlement solutions for Ukrainians affected by the conflict.
This project has been co-financed by the International Visegrad Fund within the Standard Grants Scheme.