Brussels, 28 May 2014. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), a Brussels based NGO, has released a report documenting the challenges and experiences of those who have fled Crimea in reaction to Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.
The fifteen page report is based on a series of in-depth interviews with displaced individuals currently residing in Kiev and Lviv. It examines the reasons for their flight, the conditions of their reception, the response of the Ukrainian government and the challenges they continue to face.
The report finds the general instability and insecurity in the region to be the principle impetus for flight, however several respondents also pointed to instances of targeted physical and verbal abuse. Other factors that spurred displacement were the inability to freely express certain political positions, the inability of Muslim believers to freely practice their religion and various legislative and administrative obstacles.
The report finds that the most fundamental humanitarian needs of IDPs are largely being met thanks to the combined response of the Ukrainian government and private individuals who have offered temporary housing and basic provisions. Nevertheless, finding long-term solutions to the challenges facing the displaced population will require a coordinated effort and commitment from Ukrainian authorities and humanitarian organizations. The report warns that any delays or mismanagement of the situation can escalate social tensions and hamper the integration of the new arrivals in their current locations. The report thus recommends that the Ukrainian government promptly enacts comprehensive legislation providing guarantees for the displaced and ensuring the allocation of sufficient resources to meet their needs.
IPHR is a Brussels- based NGO that works with civil society groups from various countries to raise human rights concerns at the international level and promote respect for the rights of vulnerable communities. The report is the result of a fact-finding mission coordinated by IPHR and conducted by representatives of several Civic Solidarity Platform member organizations.
The report is available here.