EU agency calls for longer term prospects for Ukrainian refugees

  • 2023-06-08
  • LETA/DPA/TBT Staff

VIENNA - EU governments should make preparations to integrate refugees from Ukraine permanently, according to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

The current aid measures should be better aimed at the women and children who make up the majority of refugees, the agency said in its annual report in Vienna on Thursday.

The call comes as the Kremlin's full-scale war on Ukraine rages on, launched in February 2022. Since then some 8.3 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Of those, some 5.1 million have temporary protection under special arrangements without them having to apply for asylum in the EU, Switzerland and Norway.

The FRA praised the fact that in some EU countries, including Germany, the accommodation of people from Ukraine is centrally regulated by the state or distributed in a balanced way within the country.

"Still, the capacity and suitability of public accommodation is limited by insufficient funding and lack of long-term solutions," it said.

Most refugees work in jobs far below their level of education, the report noted.

The FRA called for improvements in language training and the recognition of Ukrainians' qualifications.

It also said it is important to integrate Ukrainian children into schools and kindergartens, not only to help them develop but also to allow their mothers to find work.

Special, tailored assistance is needed for Ukrainian women who have experienced sexual violence or exploitation, the report noted.

"The EU's rapid activation of the Temporary Protection Directive allowed people fleeing the conflict to quickly settle and to work, travel and access services across the EU," said FRA heads Jim Clarken and Michael O'Flaherty. "But as the war continues, countries need to move from short-term fixes to more durable solutions."