Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the Russian military assault on 24 February, there has been considerable mobilisation in favour of the reception of displaced Ukrainians, particularly at the humanitarian level in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. European Interior Ministers are discussing how to welcome people fleeing armed conflict zones in Ukraine, including by extending automatic temporary legal protection under a 2001 European directive that had never been enforced thus farCouncil Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof .
Amidst this tragedy in Eastern Europe, many non-European nationals living in Ukraine feel abandoned. Thousands of students became trapped in the conflict, including more than 10,000 students from Northern African, Middle Eastern as well as Central and sub-Saharan African countries. Their repatriation has faced multiple obstacles or even been impossible. Many African students have also reported racist behaviours by Ukrainian and Polish law enforcement agents, particularly at the bordershttps://www.brut.media/fr/international/tri-a-la-frontiere-ukraine-pologne-des-etudiants-africains-racontent-06e8a2a1-83a8-4e2f-a0d4-d97a1816495e. Some people have been pushed back several times before entering the European Union.
With regard to this situation, the Presidential Council for Africahttps://www.cpafrique.fr/ in partnership with the Cooperation of African Associations for Education (CAAP Education) has launched a campaign to identify African students living in Ukraine and repatriate them to France, so that they may continue their studies in partnership with French universitieshttps://twitter.com/CPAfrique/status/1498695780181368843 . The Coimbra Group, an alliance of European universities, asked European institutions to include non-European students and staff currently in Ukraine in their solidarity measureshttps://www.coimbra-group.eu/second-coimbra-group-executive-board-statement-on-ukraine/ . In France, the PAUSE programme, meant to welcome researchers in danger, just opened a specific program for Ukraine.
Beyond these first initiatives, the academic community is asking the European Commission and the governments of the Member States to welcome all the students enrolled in study programmes in Ukraine who are being displaced by the conflict, and to facilitate the continuation of their studies in European universities if they wish to do so.
|↑1||Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof|
You can find the call for signatures for an unconditional reception in European universities of people studying in Ukraine below :
The call is available in English, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Arabic.