Back Parliamentary Assembly Committee debates next steps to support the displaced people of Ukraine

Parliamentary Assembly Committee debates next steps to support the displaced people of Ukraine

On Tuesday 16 April, Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge participated with Mr Dmytro Lubinets (online), Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, and Dr Vilde Hernes, Senior Researcher at Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR;  Oslo Metropolitan University) in an exchange of views on the situation of displaced people from Ukraine organised by the Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, chaired by Mr Oleksii Goncharenko. The Deputy Secretary General welcomed the Committee’s ongoing work on a report by Ms Lise Selnes on immediate and long-term policy solutions, as the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve.

Parliamentary Commissioner Lubinets highlighted the support of European member states for Ukrainians, but also important challenges faced in particular regarding housing, education, including the need to ensure the knowledge by Ukrainian children of their language and history as well as the challenges regarding their legal representatives. Dr Vilde Hernes, discussed the main findings in the recent report by the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research “Governance and Policy Changes During Times of High Influxes of Protection Seekers” and the policies pursued by 8 European countries regarding in particular registration, accommodation, reunification, integration or financial assistance.

The Deputy Secretary General outlined some of the Organisation’s initiatives to support Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s full-scale and appalling war of aggression, including putting in place an Action Plan for Resilience, Recovery and Reconstruction and setting up a Register of Damage that became fully operational earlier this month and that has already received more than a thousand claims.

He also commended the work of the Council of Europe Consultation Group on the children of Ukraine and the Special Representative on Migration and Refugees, saying “Since 2022, the work of the Special Representative has prioritised the needs of Ukrainians, notably by helping those countries that have received the highest numbers of refugees. Follow-up action has helped governments to meet the often complex physical and psychological needs of displaced Ukrainians who have arrived.”

Looking forward, the Deputy Secretary General highlighted the “deep and commendable attention” that the Committee is paying to assessing and meeting the needs of displaced Ukrainians both now and beyond the current conflict and noted the need to “work together”.

“Only this way will we be able to help the Ukrainian people - and especially the Ukrainian children in these testing times”, he concluded.

Strasbourg 16 April 2024
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