Human rights group warns Poland about security of Ukrainian refugees


Poland should “urgently” strengthen its prevention and surveillance measures to guard Ukrainian refugees on its soil, significantly ladies, victims of trafficking, violence and rape. 

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That is the warning from Human Rights Watch, which launched a new report on Friday concerning the scenario. 

The organisation highlights “inadequate and inconsistent” measures to regulate personal lodging or transport in automobiles supplied to refugees who’ve arrived from Ukraine of their lots of of hundreds to neighbouring Poland.

HRW says the dearth of checks can “improve the dangers of trafficking, exploitation and gender-based violence.” 

The brand new report additionally contains testimonies from ladies about what occurred to them since they arrived in Poland. 

One 29-year-old Ukrainian lady claimed the managers of a membership the place she had accepted a job as a dancer had tried to drive her into prostitution. 

4 different ladies interviewed additionally mentioned that their employers had needed them to work with out pay. The report additionally recollects the arrest of a Pole accused of raping a 19-year-old Ukrainian lady he was sheltering.

Though there may be reward for Poland for opening its borders to an estimated 2.9 million Ukrainians, HRW additionally notes that a lot of the help supplied to refugees has been advert hoc and reliant on public goodwill fairly than being formally and absolutely coordinated by officers.

“Poland’s acceptance of these fleeing the conflict in Ukraine is a optimistic shift from its response to different crises, however the lack of fundamental safety measures dangers exposing refugees to severe abuse,” mentioned Hillary Margolis, senior ladies’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Abdicating this function to volunteers and activists places the burden of refugees’ security on well-meaning however largely untrained folks with out the wanted programs or assist.”

Report notes lack of presidency coordination

The brand new Human Rights Watch report discovered inconsistent safety measures in place and an absence of presidency coordination which amplify the dangers of abuse, particularly for ladies and ladies. 

Volunteers, representatives of non-governmental organisations and UN companies, and a deputy police chief raised issues with HRW concerning the lack of systematic safety measures or means to establish, forestall, or reply to gender-based violence, together with trafficking, sexual exploitation, and rape.

Inconsistent checks are finished on individuals who volunteered lodging for Ukrainian refugees, with officers in Warsaw too overwhelmed with hundreds of residences to go to. 

“The longer refugees from Ukraine stay in Poland with diminishing sources, particularly ladies and ladies, the higher the chance they are going to be pressured into exploitative or abusive conditions,” mentioned HRW’s Hillary Margolis.

“Poland’s authorities ought to embrace its duty for the protection and safety of individuals fleeing conflict in Ukraine, and take motion now to make housing, transportation, and employment as secure as attainable.”


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