The Silent Hunt on Ukrainians - A Crisis of Discrimination in the EU

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak - the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and the Minister of National Defence

It is crucial to acknowledge the differential treatment between various national groups. Notably, while Poland and Lithuania have pledged to assist in the repatriation of Ukrainian men subject to military draft, thereby recognizing their vulnerable status, the broader policies enacted by the EU fail to protect these same individuals under the established norms of international refugee law. This selective enforcement contravenes Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution, as well as the non-refoulement principle enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Moreover, the contrasting responses of the European Union to the restrictive measures imposed by Belarus on its citizens and its passive acceptance of similar constraints on Ukrainians underscore a disconcerting inconsistency. We must recognize that while the European Commission vehemently opposed Belarus’s actions, deeming them a violation of basic human rights, it simultaneously dismissed or ignored parallel actions when they affected Ukrainian nationals.

This selective silence and inaction embody a clear breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which stipulates that all individuals are equal before the law and are entitled to non-discriminatory treatment irrespective of nationality. The failure to uphold these fundamental principles not only undermines the credibility of the EU’s commitment to human rights but also sets a dangerous precedent of selective legal enforcement based on nationality and gender.

Therefore, we urge to recognize these actions as discriminatory and contrary to the spirit and letter of both international law and European Union directives. We seek a ruling that acknowledges these violations and compels the involved states to rectify their policies to ensure fair and equal treatment of all individuals, particularly those affected by conflict and displacement.




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