Welcome for Ukrainians fleeing war in stark contrast with Warsaw’s treatment of other migrants and refugees, UN special rapporteur says.
(Al Jazeera) – Polish authorities must stop locking up migrants near the Belarus border and put an end to the “very different” treatment of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian refugees, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on migrants’ rights has said.
Felipe Gonzalez Morales on Thursday praised the actions of Polish authorities and citizens who have given protection and assistance to more than two million Ukrainian refugees and lodged them in their homes since the start of Russia’s invasion in February.
But non-Ukrainian nationals fleeing that country have faced difficulties obtaining residence permits and proper shelter and have not enjoyed the same legal protections, he said.
📢@UNSR_Migration 🙏#Poland for warm welcome of #Ukraine #refugees, but access to residence and shelter for #migrants from other countries is starkly different. To avoid loss of life, #EU, #Poland & #Belarus must stop #pushbacks & protect human rights 👉https://t.co/wJ1StvI15W pic.twitter.com/QIuVdq6I1a
— UN Special Procedures (@UN_SPExperts) July 28, 2022
Some people fleeing the war have been from third countries, often in the Middle East, Asia or Africa, who had been studying or working in Ukraine at the time of the invasion.
“I note with concern that this double standard approach has led to feelings of being discriminated among third country nationals,” Morales said in a statement following a trip to Poland and Belarus on July 12-25.