Le 24 février dernier, les soldats russes ont pénétré sur le territoire de l’Ukraine pour commencer la plus grande guerre en Europe depuis le conflit 1939–1945. Selon les données de l’ONU, presque 14 millions de personnes ont été forcées de quitter leurs maisons, dont 8 millions, principalement des femmes, des enfants et des personnes âgées, ont dû fuir le pays.

Comme pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la Russie a organisé des déportations vers la Sibérie, et dans les localités conquises, elle a torturé les élites et les soldats, violé les femmes et perpétré des génocides. Des millions de femmes ont fui devant l’horreur que leur réservaient les militaires russes.…  Seguir leyendo »

The first plane of Ugandan Asian evacuees arrive at Stansted Airport on September 18, 1972.

The plane carrying 193 passengers circled down over London Stansted Airport, where a cluster of journalists were waiting to document its arrival. Stepping onto the tarmac under typically gray English skies, the families clutched their scant possessions in briefcases and boxes, saris flowing in the wind.

Five decades after the first evacuation flight of Ugandan Asians touched down in the United Kingdom on September 18, 1972, their story has been held up as a triumph of British generosity and migratory success.

But the back story is less heroic, as the British government first tried to send them anywhere else.

In early August 1972, Uganda's brutal military dictator Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the country's entire Asian population -- including my grandparents.…  Seguir leyendo »

A 10-Year-Old Refugee Has Met a Million People. How Will New York Welcome Her?

Little Amal, a 10-year-old Syrian girl, left the Syrian-Turkish border in July 2021. She journeyed throughout Europe and met a million people on her quest to find safety and a better life. She was unaccompanied, like so many other refugee children who have lost their parents. She is also a 12-foot-tall puppet.

Too often refugees are forgotten when international attention and resources shift to newer conflicts. Little Amal represents all of the children who have had to leave their home in search of safety. She forces us to see that their plight demands our attention.

We wanted Little Amal to appear human, even given her size.…  Seguir leyendo »

La guerra en Ucrania ha provocado el mayor éxodo en Europa desde hace décadas. Entre las personas que se desplazan, hay menores que viajan sin sus padres, acompañados de otras personas adultas. A su llegada a España, estos menores llegan en ocasiones indocumentados, por lo que no se puede comprobar su identidad y la relación con la persona con la que viajan. Estos menores se considera que están en situación de riesgo, son trasladados junto a la persona adulta con quien viajan a centros de acogida y se comunica su llegada a la Policía y a la Fiscalía, en tanto se obtiene más información.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child at Al Hol camp in Syria, March 2019. Issam Abdallah / Reuters

Three years ago, a global coalition of countries led by the United States retook most of the territory in Iraq and Syria controlled by the Islamic State. Once ISIS was defeated on the battlefield, the world moved on. Left unanswered was the question of what to do about the people, including thousands of children, who had come from abroad, either voluntarily or through coercion, to live under ISIS rule and were now abandoned by their governments.

Many of the women and children, and a small number of men, ended up in two detention camps in the middle of the desert in northeast Syria, where they remain today, with no way out.…  Seguir leyendo »

Vladimir Putin's war is an unimaginable tragedy for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Thousands have been killed, millions displaced and cities, roads and factories are in ruins. The scale of this tragedy—unprecedented in 21st-century Europe—eclipses the fact that, in addition to Ukraine, Mr Putin has also destroyed the livelihoods of many Russians.

There is, of course, no comparison between the suffering of Ukrainians and Russians. Yes, hundreds of thousands of Russians have had to leave Russia, but they did not run away from bombs. Some Russians dared to protest against the war and many thousands were arrested, but they were not killed. Some have seen their businesses and careers finished, but their homes are still intact.…  Seguir leyendo »

A member of the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid carrying a Ukrainian child in Malaga, Spain, April 2022. Jon Nazca / Reuters

In the roughly two months since Russia invaded Ukraine, over five million Ukrainian citizens—more than one-tenth of its pre-invasion population—have fled their homes and sought refuge in other countries. It’s one of the fastest exoduses of refugees recorded in post-World War II history. By comparison, it took four years for five million Syrians to leave their country after civil war broke out in 2011, and more than four years for the same number of Venezuelans to flee after 2014, when their country’s political and socioeconomic crisis deepened. Unfortunately, the number of people running from Ukraine will likely increase as the war grinds on and as many of the Ukrainian men who stayed to fight join their families.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child looks out a train window as people, mainly women and children, pass through Przemysl, Poland, on April 6 after leaving Ukraine. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images) (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since Moscow’s brutal invasion began, the United Nations reported last week. I wonder how many of the children forced from their homes — some escaping by train, others on foot — will see their fathers again? How many will become war orphans, like my mother? How many will go on to raise a child who has a ghost family, like me?

My mother fled Kharkiv in 1943 at age 9. Caught between the Germans to the west and the Russians to the east, she and her older sister, Galina, escaped first in a Nazi officer’s car and then on foot.…  Seguir leyendo »

We knew the war was coming. But we did not expect it to become a full-scale conflict, displacing millions of people, in just a month. We did not anticipate so much tragedy and destruction. In our worst nightmares we did not expect to witness atrocities not seen in this part of Europe since the second world war.

Millions of people have fled Ukraine and 2.5m have arrived in Poland alone. We estimate that more than half a million refugees have passed through Warsaw, Poland’s capital. Another 300,000 have chosen to stay in the city and its suburbs. In just a month the population of Warsaw has increased by 17%.…  Seguir leyendo »

No es la primera crisis de refugiados en Europa pero sí es diferente. No hay duda de que es el éxodo más rápido desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial: 10 millones de desplazados en un mes, de los cuales más de tres millones están fuera del país. Esta velocidad en la huida no es solo por la violencia de la guerra. Tiene que ver también con la proximidad geográfica, unos medios de transporte relativamente buenos, el acceso de los ciudadanos ucranios a la UE sin necesidad de visado y la existencia de una red de apoyo al otro lado de la frontera.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bandera de Ucrania con mensaje escrito “Aceptad refugiados”. Foto: Matt Brown


La llegada a la UE de varios millones de refugiados ucranianos plantea desafíos de gestión, financiación e integración, pero cuenta con un apoyo político sin precedentes.


La UE ha activado por primera vez la Directiva de Protección Temporal para acoger a los millones de refugiados que están abandonando Ucrania tras la invasión rusa. Esta llegada ha encontrado un ambiente de completa aceptación por parte de la sociedad europea, incluso desde los partidos xenófobos. A corto plazo la oleada de refugiados plantea desafíos de financiación, coordinación y gestión, y a largo plazo retos para la integración, en un contexto de incertidumbre sobre la duración de la guerra y el volumen de refugiados que va a producir.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘While many states are welcoming displaced Ukrainians, this is a far cry from how those states typically treat refugees.’ Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP/Getty Images

Global migration policy has started to move in a more humane direction in response to the invasion of Ukraine. While many states are welcoming displaced Ukrainians, this is a far cry from how those states typically treat refugees. Activists and scholars have lamented the lack of similar response to people displaced from south Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The uneven global response to migration on display sets a chilling precedent for the displacement that is likely to come with the climate crisis.

Race plays a defining role in how states think about their borders and who gets let in. In the 19th century, racial politics shaped the formation of international law – including how we understand concepts like sovereignty – and legitimized exclusionary policies whose impacts reverberate today.…  Seguir leyendo »

Little Amal, a giant puppet depicting a Syrian refugee girl creating awareness on the urgent needs of young refugees, with a European Union flag at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images.

One month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) already faces its largest refugee crisis since World War Two, with more than ten million people having fled their homes – 6.5 million displaced within Ukraine and 3.9 million escaping to neighbouring countries.

Acting quickly and decisively, European governments have opened borders and European citizens have opened their homes in an unprecedented showing of solidarity towards refugees. But, with all eyes on Ukraine, the Greek coastguard continues to illegally push back asylum-seekers crossing from Turkey while Spanish police forcefully repel those who dare to jump the fence in Melilla.

The painful contrast exposes the double standards in the EU’s approach to refugees.…  Seguir leyendo »

People who fled the war in Ukraine line up to pick clothes from an aid point by the train station in Krakow, Poland, on March 29. Omar Marques/Getty Images

As more than 3 million refugees flee Russian terror in Ukraine, mostly within the continent, Europe has thrown open its doors, giving housing and support in an unprecedented time frame of mere weeks. Save for the United Kingdom, European countries have admitted large numbers of Ukrainians into their own countries with enthusiasm while supplying those fighting in Ukraine with an equally unprecedented amount of arms. Berlin, in particular, has seemingly reversed its cautious approach to Russia, and the European Union as an entity has not only publicly committed to considering Ukrainian membership but has taken the unprecedented step of directly supporting Ukraine’s military efforts.…  Seguir leyendo »

People, mainly women and children, arrive in Przemysl, Poland on a train from wartorn Ukraine on March 28. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Numbers never tell the full story of a war. Often, however, they offer a good vantage point to look at the bigger picture. The key piece of data that actually tells the story of the future does not feature Ukraine at all—but, at the same time, illustrates the sheer scale of its tragedy. Since the Russian invasion, more than 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border into Poland.

This number in itself might not yet be worrisome. It becomes so, however, when contextualized. According to calculations made by the United Nations refugee agency and the Financial Times, Poland was ranked 101st globally in number of refugees it hosted in 2021.…  Seguir leyendo »

El Departamento de Educación del Gobierno vasco prepara una inmersión total en euskera para los niños ucranianos que huyen de la guerra. Los refugiados de entre nueve y catorce años se van a integrar en un programa de euskaldunización sin una pizca de españolismo. No sabemos si los habrán recibido también con el aurresku. ¡Pobres! Huyen de una guerra para incorporarse a otra. ¡Qué habrán hecho para merecer esto!

Los niños ucranianos se incorporarán en grupos de diez en aulas de aprendizaje intensivo hasta que adquieran una competencia en euskera que les permita entenderse con los vascohablantes, aunque lo que se van a encontrar en la calle son hispanohablantes.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian child fleeing the country, Volytsia, Ukraine, February 2022. Natalie Thomas / Reuters

Russian forces continue to grind through Ukraine, shelling cities and killing civilians in the thousands. Nearly four million Ukrainians have fled for Poland, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries. The speed and scale of the Ukrainian exodus makes it the biggest and fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. And it has upended many assumptions about refugees, including the view that forced displacement is a challenge contained to the “global South”.

Europe now hosts more refugees than any other region in the world. The oft-cited UN figure that 85 percent of the world’s refugees are in low- and middle-income countries no longer holds.…  Seguir leyendo »

Refugee children who fled the Russian war in Ukraine attend a school preparation course last week in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters)

More than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. European countries have welcomed them with open arms. Nations in the European Union upheld European Council activated the 2001 Temporary Protection Directive for the first time, permitting Ukrainians to access social services and the labor market.

It was a different story in 2015, when more than 1 million people from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere crossed into Europe. Countries responded by tightening their borders and quickly negotiating a deal with Turkey to stem arrivals.Since then, European governments have made efforts to deport Syrians, block Afghans and trap sub-Saharan Africans in perilous conditions in Libya.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘War doesn’t just wreck lives, it wrecks education too.’ Ukrainian refugees on a train to Poland. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

With 1.5m refugee children having fled Ukraine, we think about the urgent need for humanitarian relief: food, water, shelter and clothing. But we must ensure children’s education is central to the immediate response to their suffering, because war doesn’t just wreck lives, it wrecks education too.

Pick a humanitarian crisis: Syria, Greece, Afghanistan, Uganda. In every instance, education is the first service children lose. The sad truth is that children who are displaced by conflict remain in that situation for years.

In a time of such suffering and need, why worry about education? Because it provides a sense of normality during upheaval and chaos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces take an oath to defend the country, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 14, 2022. REUTERS / Mykola Tymchenko

More than three million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in the early hours of 24 February. The people fleeing are mostly women, children and the elderly, because Kyiv has forbidden men between the ages of eighteen and 60 to leave. This policy is understandable in the face of the existential threat the invasion poses to the country. But it may make the refugees’ journey into the unknown more dangerous and the task of rebuilding their lives much harder. Nor does it appear yet to have contributed much to Ukraine’s actual fighting capacity, since so many women and men have voluntarily stayed behind, eager to take up arms in their country’s defence.…  Seguir leyendo »