Ukraine crisis: Displaced persons must be protected

When people are forced to flee, as is currently the case in Ukraine, the fundamental right to seek refuge must be safeguarded – fully and without discrimination. We are concerned at reports that people from Africa and from Asia are facing barriers in fleeing to neighbouring countries.

People in Ukraine who are already refugees, including some who have applications for resettlement to Canada in process, are particularly vulnerable at this time of grave crisis. The Canadian government should take urgent measures to help those being resettled here to get to safety, including through issuing Temporary Resident Permits.

Less than a year after the Afghanistan crisis erupted, a new emergency has emerged in Ukraine. In between, the grave situation in Ethiopia has also had devastating impacts on refugees, although less remarked in Western media. We call on the Canadian government to develop a framework for immigration and refugee responses to emergencies, so that we are well-prepared to act quickly and equitably, based on objective criteria and following the needs identified by humanitarian agencies.

March 1, 2022