News - 04.03.2024

Protection of displaced people from Ukraine

The EU must provide future-proof solutions for people displaced from Ukraine

With temporary protection set to expire on 4 March 2025, EU leadership is urgently needed to ensure millions of people displaced from Ukraine have continued access to rights and inclusion in Europe. As 131 civil society organisations, we call on the EU to propose timely, coordinated, collective and future-proof options for the transition out of temporary protection. Without a common European approach, millions of people risk becoming undocumented and losing access to rights, protection and other essential services, national authorities will likely be overwhelmed, and much of the inclusion work of governments, municipalities, NGOs and volunteers risks being undone.

Act now to prevent hardship later

With less than one year of protection remaining, people are now left with the practical and emotional impacts of an uncertain future. Some face the prospect of registering children for school without knowing if they can complete the school year, others struggle to secure work or housing as their permits expire in March 2025. This uncertainty may trigger premature returns to Ukraine – where many people lack access to essential services and face daily safety risks. It could also result in mass applications for asylum and other residence permits, leading to backlogs and delayed access to protection.

  • The EU must ACT NOW to plan and coordinate the transition out of temporary protection, in order to prevent unsafe returns, loss of residence status, or unnecessary pressure on migration systems, and to allow authorities, civil society and displaced people to prepare.
  • Displaced people must be informed and consulted on the options available to them.

Pursue a united EU response

If temporary protection ends without a collective European response, access to rights for people who fled Ukraine may vary drastically across Member States. Migration ministers noted in January that “adopting 27 different national legislations on this topic would be counterproductive, result in secondary movements, and cause uncertainty.” Without common standards, there is a risk of a race to the bottom on rights and services. In many countries there are no or few appropriate permits available. This could particularly disadvantage individuals in vulnerable situations – such as stateless persons, refugees and asylum seekers who fled Ukraine, Roma, people with care-giving responsibilities, and older people – who risk losing their current access to rights, being redirected to ill-fitting residence permits, or becoming undocumented.

  • The EU should prioritise a COMMON and COORDINATED approach to prevent people from becoming undocumented or switching to permits with fewer or different rights.
  • In parallel, Member states should ensure access to residence permits on various grounds, including asylum, work, the principle of non-refoulement and private life.

Look to the future

If the above measures cannot be taken in time, a further extension of temporary protection – as is currently under discussion – would be a vital stopgap to ensure continued access to residence status and rights. However, piecemeal, yearly extensions of temporary protection risk perpetuating a state of insecurity that hinders displaced people from planning for their future, whether in Ukraine or in the EU. The EU has a range of options for more durable solutions that should be explored in parallel to any extension.

  • The EU should pursue FUTURE-PROOF solutions that offer at least the same standard of rights as temporary protection, and which protect at least the same groups of people.
  • Solutions should be developed that can benefit other temporary protection holders in future.
  • These solutions should be informed by the needs and experiences of displaced people as well as civil society and other stakeholders assisting them.

List of signatories:

European and international organisations
  • ADRA Europe
  • AMERA International
  • Amnesty International
  • Asociatia Sprijin Pentru Comunitatea Ucraineana
  • CARE International
  • Caritas Europa
  • Child Circle
  • Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME)
  • Danish Refugee Council
  • EuroMed Rights
  • European Evangelical Alliance
  • European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL)
  • European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
  • European Network on Statelessness
  • HIAS Europe
  • Housing Europe
  • International Rescue Committee
  • La Strada International
  • Médecins Du Monde – International Network
  • Methoria
  • Migration Policy Group
  • Missing Children Europe
  • OpenEmbassy
  • Oxfam
  • PICUM – Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants
  • Social Platform
  • SOS Children’s Villages International
  • The European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe)
  • Vitsche e.V.
National organisations
  • Aditus Foundation
  • ANAIS Association
  • ARSIS Association for the Social Support of Youth
  • Association for Integration and Migration, SIMI
  • Association for intercultural work
  • Association for Legal Intervention
  • Better Days Greece
  • CARUSEL Romania
  • Centre for Peace Studies
  • Centrum pro integraci cizinců, o. p. s.
  • Clare Immigrant Support Centre
  • CoMensha
  • Community Law & Mediation
  • Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic
  • CSO “La Strada-Ukraine”
  • Defence for Children – The Netherlands
  • Diakonie ČCE-SCPS
  • Doras
  • Dutch Council for Refugees
  • Equilibrium NGO (Громадська організація “Точка рівноваги”)
  • FairWork
  • Feminist Lodge
  • Finnish Refugee Advice Centre
  • Forum réfugiés
  • Fundatia Inima de Copil
  • Foundation for Access to Rights – FAR
  • Foundation for Migrants “Dobry Start” in Memory of A. G. Farah
  • Fundacja HelpNowHub ГО Позитивні жінки Херсон
  • Fundacja Imago
  • Greek Council for Refugees
  • Greek Forum of Migrants
  • Helping Irish Hosts
  • Humanitarna organizacija Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Immigrant Council of Ireland
  • Initiative for Social Change ARSIS
  • Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Malta
  • Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Romania
  • Jewish Representative Council of Ireland (Ukraine Support Programme)
  • Kalyna – Komunitní uprchlické centrum, z. s.
  • Kerk in Actie
  • KISA (Cyprus)
  • Kopin (Malta)
  • Kuchnia Konfliktu / Conflict Kitchen
  • LGBT Ireland
  • MigAid (A Segítők Egyesület)
  • Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
  • Migration Consortium
  • Most pro o.p.s.
  • Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL)
  • NewBees
  • NGO Bilozerka center for regional development (Ukraine)
  • NGO Zhiva-Ya
  • Nordic Ukraine Forum
  • OPORA Foundation
  • Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU)
  • PA International Center “La Strada” Moldova
  • PATCHWORK Association for Immigrant Families of Persons with Disabilities
  • People in Need
  • Right to Protection
  • SOFT tulip Foundation
  • SolidarityNow
  • Spark 15
  • Stichting voor Vluchtelingen-Studenten UAF
  • Swedish Refugee Law Center
  • The Federation of Nongovernmental Organisations for Social Services – FONSS
  • The Human Rights League
  • The Open Doors Initiative
  • United For Changes
  • Vatra Psycho Social Center
  • WA Sphere (ГО “ХЖО “Сфера”)
  • Willi Eichler Akademie e.V.
  • Women in Media NGO
  • ГО “Зв’язок “
  • ГС “ІМД “Відкрите суспільство”
  • Жіночий Центр “Підтримка, Захист та Трубота”
  • Когорта
  • Національна Рада Жінок України
  • Хмельницька обласна ГО Подільський центр “Гендерна рада”
  • Школа Рівних Можливостей
Local and community groups
  • ABBA Student Association
  • BIPoC Ukraine and friends in Germany
  • Blue Door Education
  • Cairde
  • Chief Rabbinate of Poland
  • Cultur Migrant Centre
  • CUSBU: CommUnities Support for BIPoC Refugees from Ukraine
  • Diakonie ČCE – středisko Západní Čechy
  • Jewish Community of Łódź
  • Migrant Women Associations Malta
  • Migrationsrat Berlin e.V.
  • NestingPlay
  • Romodrom, o.p.s.
  • South Kerry Development Partnership CLG
  • Waterford Area Partnership
  • Women for Integration and Wellbeing
  • Yoga and Sport with Refugees



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