07 Sep 2022

ENNHRI calls for sustainable and human rights-based solutions to support those fleeing Ukraine

In its new statement, ENNHRI highlights the need for long-term, human rights-based solutions and regional solidarity to support those fleeing Ukraine. Such an approach towards migration and people seeking refuge from war and persecution is not only possible, but necessary. National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) will continue to be key actors in ensuring that responses to the displacement from Ukraine are rooted in respect for human rights. 

Significant efforts have been made across Europe to respond to the immediate needs of those fleeing Ukraine. NHRIs have identified pressing human rights concerns and used their broad human rights mandate to respond to these. For instance, they monitor reception conditions, issue recommendations, provide information on individuals’ rights, and submit opinions to national authorities on relevant legal and policy proposals.  

Through ENNHRI, European NHRIs have worked together to respond to new human rights concerns to emerge after the armed attack on Ukraine, including through statements, peer exchange and delegation visits. Indeed, regional solidarity is vital to ensure the appropriate protection and inclusion of people fleeing Ukraine. 

In its statement, ENNHRI puts forward recommendations for addressing urgent human rights concerns; responding to long-term needs and challenges; and building on the current responses to forced migration from Ukraine to revise the future European approach on asylum and migration.  

Namely, ENNHRI calls on: 

  • National authorities to tackle urgent concerns relating to the human rights protection of all individuals fleeing Ukraine and to develop and implement human rights-based long-term strategies for their integration.  
  • European states to ensure that all those fleeing Ukraine, regardless of their nationality, race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic can seek protection and access relevant services and procedures. 
  • Public authorities to devise and implement more sustainable responses, ensure financial support to civil society organisations and other relevant actors, and provide stronger guidelines on public policy and legislation that will ensure the long-term protection of the human rights and inclusion of those fleeing Ukraine. 
  • National authorities to anticipate emerging human rights issues in this context and to be proactive in preventing and addressing those that risk worsening in the medium- and long-term. 
  • All actors to support the work of NHRIs, in particular the Ukrainian NHRI and NHRIs in neighbouring countries, and to work with them constructively in this field. 
  • European states to sustain and expand their commitment to granting international protection, implementing programmes for inclusion and social protection of migrants, and promoting solidarity for those fleeing conflict and persecution. 

NHRIs and ENNHRI stand ready to support national and regional bodies in building human rights-based and sustainable responses for the protection and inclusion of individuals fleeing Ukraine. This may be achieved by engaging in more structured collaborations, regular exchanges, and consultations on draft laws with European NHRIs. 

Discover how European NHRIs have responded to the human rights challenges to emerge from the conflict in Ukraine. 
Learn more about the key role NHRIs play in protecting and promoting human rights in (post-) conflict situation.