Slovakia: Refugees subject to conscription laws should go to Ukraine to fight - Robert Kaliňák

                                               Photo: Jaroslav Novák/TASR

Refugees subject to Ukrainian conscription laws should go to fight in Ukraine. Slovak Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák said this in the V politike talk show. According to the head of defense, there is no need to send NATO soldiers to the territory of Ukraine.

"Of all the refugees we are protecting, (…) there is a group that corresponds to the Ukrainian conscription law," Kaliňák said in the talk show, saying that he thinks it is "the biggest help to the Ukrainian army if it has enough people."


A potential legal violations in the statement suggesting that Ukrainian refugees subject to Ukraine’s conscription laws should participate in military efforts, it would include the following points:

1. Violation of the Non-Refoulement Principle:

The statement implicates a violation of the non-refoulement principle, a fundamental aspect of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Article 33), which prohibits expelling or returning a refugee in any manner to territories where their life or freedom would be threatened. Suggesting that refugees, who have sought safety, should return to a conflict zone contradicts this principle.

2. Infringement of the Right to Asylum:

The right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 14). By proposing that refugees engage in military conflict, the spirit of this right is undermined, as it subjects individuals to the very conditions from which they fled.

3. Breach of European Union Law:

The statement may also breach European Union law, specifically the Qualification Directive (2011/95/EU), which sets out the standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection. Sending refugees to partake in military actions can compromise their status and safety, contrary to the directive’s intent to offer protection.

4. Contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR):

Specifically, Article 3, which prohibits torture and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Forcing or coercing refugees into military conflict could be seen as a violation of this article by subjecting them to severe mental and physical distress.

5. Undermining the Principles of Voluntary Repatriation:

The UNHCR’s guidelines on voluntary repatriation underline the necessity for repatriation to be a voluntary act. Any form of coercion or pressure that compromises the voluntary nature of repatriation, especially for the purpose of military conscription, is in direct contradiction with these guidelines.




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