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School of Politics and International Relations

What responses to Ukrainian refugees in Europe? Perspectives from the EU, the UK and the UNODC

When: Friday, April 8, 2022, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: 9 rue de Constantine 75007 Paris, Centre for European Research

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has led to unprecedented refugees flows in Europe: in addition to the 6.48 millions of internally displaced people, the UNHCR estimated on 28 March 2022 that 3.9 millions of persons had fled their home and crossed borders.

This event gathers high-level experts to analyse the answers provided to these massive flows of refugees. It will focus on three different individual and collective actors with distinctive roles and reactions:


1. The European Union. The member states of the EU are at the forefront of the flows of Ukrainian refugees and the EU itself has been very vocal about the imperative to welcome them. Indeed, to alleviate the pressure on national asylum systems, the EU has adopted the Temporary Protection Directive which enables Ukrainians in Europe to live, work and study in the European Union, for up to three years, and with varying implementation in EU member states. What explains the adoption of this emergeny mechanism now and not during the so-called Syran migration crisis? What are the other instruments at the disposal of the EU? How can we critically assess the reaction of the EU?

2. The United Kingdom. While the government has taken a strong stance against the invasion of Ukraine, it has been criticized for not offering refugee status: why is the UK pursuing such a restrictive policy? How is it perceived nationally and internationally? Is any change possible?

3. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The UNODC has shown in 2018 that “inside a conflict-affected country, the vulnerabilities of girls, boys, women and men to trafficking arise from the conflict itself”. Following the publication of a March 2022 report on key evidence on risks in trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the current conflict, what is the extent of human trafficking and of migrant smuggling in Ukraine? Who are the most vulnerable groups and individuals? What solutions does the UNODC recommend?


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