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Fleeing Conflict in Ukraine

Julia, 44, her mother-in-law Leana, 58, her son Andrey*, 9, and nieces and nephews from Kharkiv at the Hallo Kijowska reception centre for refugees from Ukraine. Korczowa, Poland.
Julia, 44, her mother-in-law Leana, 58, her son Andrey*, 9, and nieces and nephews from Kharkiv at the Hallo Kijowska reception centre for refugees from Ukraine. Korczowa, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Conflict has forced over 4 million people to flee from their home country of Ukraine. They are arriving with only what they can carry. Right now Oxfam is working with partners in countries bordering Ukraine, including Moldova, Romania and Poland to ensure the changing needs of those who’ve been forced to flee can be met as they seek safety.

Julia fled her home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, with her family. She tells Oxfam they are traveling to Georgia to stay with relatives.
Julia fled her home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, with her family. She tells Oxfam they are traveling to Georgia to stay with relatives. JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Julia

When Julia left Kharkiv, Ukraine, she took one last look at her home. “You look at your house and think about what to take with you, and then you realize you don’t need anything,” she says.

Julia left with her mother-in-law, her 9-year-old son, and nephews and nieces during a break in the bombardments they had endured for days, sheltering in a bunker. Her husband, like all men between 18 and 60, was forbidden by the government from leaving Ukraine.

"Children played jokes and smiled, they did not understand what was happening – they gave us strength to live on."

Tanya, 31, a book keeper from Cherkasy, Ukraine at the Przmeyśl Glówny train station after fleeing to Poland. Przmeyśl, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Tanya

In Ukraine, Tanya 31 was an accountant in a fairly well-known corporation. Tanya and her family left their hometown of Cherkasy on a 18 hours bus journey to travel to Przmeyśl, Poland.

“Everyday there is an air raid siren and missiles fly nearby - it is very scary. I was forced to leave my country in order to ensure the safety of my children.

"I have a friend in Poznań, she is also a refugee. She has recently arrived and has settled down there for a while. She will help us to settle things too.

"It's incredibly scary when military planes fly overhead. Even now in a safe country where the situation is calm, I am frightened by every loud sound."

Ludomira, 74, from Kharkiv, Ukraine at the Lodyna transit centre for refugees. She is on her way to Rewal, Poland. Lodyna, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Ludomira

Ludomira 74 left Kharkiv, Ukraine and hopes to return and live back in her home.

"I had a nice apartment with good furniture, a lot of handmade things. The building has lost electricity and is without heating, but it is still standing. My husband's grave is there too. I miss him, and what will happen now? I don’t know where we are going, why are we going.

"All I want is that there be peace as soon as possible, that we return to our homes, to our friends, to our neighbours, and that I can visit my husband's grave."

Liuudmyla, 37, a pharmacist from Sumy, Ukraine, and her daughter Natalia*, 11, at the Przemyésl Gléowny train station on their way to Germany after fleeing their home. Przmeśl, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Liuudmyla

In Ukraine Liuudmyla 37 worked as a pharmacist and her daughter Natalia* was in fifth grade at school who played the piano and participated in competitions. On the 8th March, with thanks to the humanitarian corridor, they left Sumy, north-east Ukraine.

They travelled for 12 hours by bus and then 20 hours on one train, and then another 10 hours by train to get to Poland. Liuudmyla’s husband has stayed in Ukraine. Her sister and her husband’s mother who is 76 years old also stayed behind.

“I felt anxious when I arrived here and realised that my relatives stayed behind as it is now very unsafe there. I am calm for my child because she is here with me in Poland, but I am very worried about my relatives who stayed behind in Ukraine.”

Xenia, 35, from Ukraine and Armel, 38 from Ivory Coast, and their son Gabriel* 3 at the "Tesco" Humanitarian Aid Center for Ukrainian refugees. Przmeyśl, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Xenia and Armel

Xenia 35 and Armel 38 travelled with their son Gabriel* 3 from Kharkiv to Przmeyśl, Poland who are going to stay with a friend in Wroclaw.

“We had a basement and my neighbours and I organised it as a bomb shelter. We hid for a couple of days, then we tried for a long time to get to the station, but it was impossible, there was no public transport, there was not even a taxi. It was just awful.”

“When my son hears a siren, he says ‘Papa, siren!’ He doesn’t understand what is going on. Before I was so scared for his destiny.”

Elena, 43, a beautician from Gorishnwi Plauni, her son, Petro* 14, daughter, Olga* 9, and their dog Stephanie at the Hallo Kijowska reception center after fleeing Ukraine. Korczowa, Poland. Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Elena

Elena 43 a beautician from Gorishnwi Plauni, with her son, Petro* 14, daughter, Olga* 9, and their dog Stephanie fled Ukraine to Korczowa, Poland.

“At the moment we have everything necessary for life, we are very happy and grateful for the help from the Poles.

"The children continue to study online (post pandemic) and dream of going to school. We do not have a computer for the children, only a smartphone to help in their studies”

Oxfam Response

These stories were gathered Oxfam staff who were in Poland assessing the needs of refugees and identifying partners that can provide services for people fleeing Ukraine. Oxfam is working with partners in countries bordering Ukraine, including Moldova, Romania and Poland. These partners will lead on projects that Oxfam supports.

Our activities with partners currently range from:

  • Sharing information with refugees at border points and providing access to reliable information through hotlines and social media
  • Distributing the resources that people need to survive today, including food parcels and hygiene kits
  • Setting up handwashing stations and toilets, including ones that are accessible for people with disabilities, and showers.
  • Providing psycho-social support and advice to help people to deal with what they are going through.
  • Access to legal aid so that people arriving from Ukraine can receive support and learn about their rights.
  • Focusing on the needs of vulnerable groups and minorities, including Roma, LGBTQIA+, women travelling with young children and people with disabilities
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Over a quarter of a billion more people could fall into extreme poverty this year

Rising global food prices alone could push 65 million more people into extreme poverty, Oxfam estimates

Over a quarter of a billion more people could fall into extreme levels of poverty in 2022, a new brief from Oxfam reveals today. This is as a result of COVID-19, rising global inequality and food price increases supercharged by the war in Ukraine. 

“First Crisis, Then Catastrophe”, published ahead of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC, shows that 860 million people could be living in extreme poverty — on less than €1.75 ($1.90) a day — by the end of this year. This is mirrored in global hunger: the number of people without enough to eat could reach 827 million in 2022.

The World Bank had projected COVID-19 and worsening inequality would add 198 million people to those facing extreme poverty during 2022, reversing two decades of progress. Based on research by the World Bank, Oxfam now estimates that rising global food prices alone will push 65 million more people into extreme poverty, bringing the total to 263 million more this year — equivalent to the populations of the UK, France, Germany and Spain combined.

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland, said: “Without immediate collective action, we could be witnessing the most profound collapse of humanity into extreme poverty and suffering in memory. The triple threat of COVID-19, rising inequality and skyrocketing food prices is having a devasting impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

“As many people now struggle to cope with sharp cost-of-living increases, having to choose between eating or heating or medical bills, the likelihood of mass starvation faces millions of people already locked in severe levels of hunger and poverty across East Africa, the Sahel, Yemen and Syria. One woman from Akobo in South Sudan, told us, “This is just too much. I am tired of living”.

The brief notes that a wave of governments is nearing a debt default and being forced to slash public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel. The world’s poorest countries are due to pay $43 billion in debt repayments in 2022, which could otherwise cover the costs of their food imports. Global food prices hit an all-time high in February, surpassing the peak crisis of 2011. Oil and gas giants are reporting record-breaking profits, with similar trends expected to play out in the food and beverage sector. 

People in poverty are being hit harder by these shocks. Rising food costs account for 17 percent of consumer spending in wealthy countries, but as much as 40 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Even within rich economies, inflation is super-charging inequality: in the US, the poorest 20 percent of families are spending 27 percent of their incomes on food, while the richest 20 percent spend only 7 percent.

In Ireland, we are witnessing the effects of these price shocks not only in people’s protests against fuel prices, but in a wider cost of living crisis that Social Justice Ireland has characterised as forcing people to make “unavoidable trade‐offs” in Reasonable Living Expenses (RLEs).

For most workers around the world, real-term wages continue to stagnate or even fall. The effects of COVID-19 have widened existing gender inequalities too — after suffering greater pandemic-related job losses, women are struggling to get back to work. In 2021, there were 13 million fewer women in employment compared to 2019, while men’s employment has already recovered to 2019 levels.

The report also shows that entire countries are being forced deeper into poverty. COVID-19 has stretched all governments’ coffers but the economic challenges facing developing countries are greater, having been denied equitable access to vaccines and now being forced into austerity measures.

Despite COVID-19 costs piling up and billionaire wealth rising more since COVID-19 than in the previous 14 years combined, governments — with few exceptions — have failed to increase taxes on the richest. An annual wealth tax on millionaires starting at just 2 percent, and 5 percent on billionaires, could generate $2.52 trillion a year —enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the world, and deliver universal healthcare and social protection for everyone living in low- and lower middle-income countries.

In Ireland, Oxfam has proposed an even more modest wealth tax to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare, at rates of 1.5% and 2% levied only on net wealth held above EUR 4.3 million, which could bring in revenues of over €4 billion.

Clarken said: “We reject any notion that governments do not have the money or means to lift all people out of poverty and hunger and ensure their health and welfare. We only see the absence of economic imagination and political will to actually do so.

“Now more than ever, with such scale of human suffering and inequality laid bare and deepened by multiple global crises, that lack of will is inexcusable. The G20, World Bank and IMF must immediately cancel debts and increase aid to poorer countries, and together act to protect ordinary people from an avoidable catastrophe. The world is watching”.

Oxfam is calling for urgent action to tackle the extreme inequality crisis threatening to undermine the progress made in tackling poverty during the last quarter of a century:

  • Introduce a fair and sustainable rate of wealth tax in Ireland to fund the recovery from this economic crisis and a just transition to carbon neutrality. Argentina adopted a one-off special levy dubbed the ‘millionaire’s tax’ that has brought in around $2.4 billion to pay for pandemic recovery.
  • End crisis profiteering by introducing excess profit taxes to capture the windfall profits of big corporations across all industries. Oxfam estimated that such a tax on just 32 super-profitable multinational companies could have generated $104 billion in revenue in 2020.

  • Cancel all debt payments for developing countries that need urgent help now. Cancelling debt would free up more than $30 billion in vital funds in 2022 alone for 33 countries already in or at high risk of debt distress.

  • Boost aid and pay for Ukrainian assistance and the costs of hosting refugees with new funding, rather than shift aid funds earmarked for other crises in poorer countries.

  • Reallocate at least $100 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), without burdening countries with new debt or imposing austerity measures. The G20 promised to deliver $100 billion in recycled SDRs but only $36 billion has been committed to date. A new SDR issuance should also be considered and distributed based on needs rather than countries’ quota shares at the IMF.

  • Act to protect people from rising food prices, and create a Global Fund for Social Protection to help the poorest countries provide essential income security for their populations, and maintain these services in times of severe crisis.

ENDS

CONTACT: Alice Dawson-Lyons | alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org | +353 83 198 1869

Notes to editors

Download Oxfam’s briefing “First Crisis, Then Catastrophe”.

Download Oxfam Ireland’s submission to the Commission on Welfare and Taxation.

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Why is Clean Water Important?

Oxfam built a water desalination system powered by wind and solar energy on the west coast of Yemen to help families get clean water.
Oxfam built a water desalination system powered by wind and solar energy on the west coast of Yemen to help families get clean water. Pablo Tosco / Oxfam Intermon

Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene save lives during emergencies and in the long-term struggle against poverty.

When a sustained drought in southern Ethiopia in 2017 killed all of Amina Ibrahim’s sheep, goats, and camels, it was an economic crisis for her family. Then the lack of safe drinking water became an even bigger threat. People in her village started drinking whatever water they could find, got sick (most likely from cholera, but Ibrahim could not say for sure), and started dying.

“I thought I would die also,” the 50-year-old mother of 12 said later. She and her family fled to a nearby town where Oxfam and the Ethiopian government provided clean water, decent latrines, and cash-for-work projects so she could buy some food.

Like Ibrahim, more than 2 billion people in the world lack a source of safe water at home, and as many as 4.5 billion don’t have a safe sanitation system either, according to the UN. It’s a crisis during emergencies, especially the current COVID-19 pandemic. But the long-term effects of unequal access to clean water and decent sanitation in people’s day-to-day lives are also a major contributor to poverty. That’s why water, sanitation, and hygiene are priorities for Oxfam’s work--which supporters like you make possible.

Clean water saves lives

Any conflict or emergency that drives people from their homes and forces them to gather in places with no safe drinking water or sanitation systems creates conditions that are ripe for water-borne diseases.

Cholera is one of the most severe diseases: When about a million Rwandans fled violence to eastern Congo in 1994, there were as many as 60,000 (some estimate 80,000) cases of cholera. Within about a month, more than 40,000 people died. In Yemen, more than six years of conflict has so severely damaged water systems that the country has endured a multi-year cholera epidemic that has killed thousands.

Oxfam helps reduce the threat of diseases in emergencies by providing clean water. With partners, we treat local water sources, or bring water to areas hosting refugees and displaced people by truck, store it in tanks and bladders, and set up pipes and taps to dispense it. We dig and repair wells, and train people to maintain them, so that after the emergency passes communities have a safe source of water.

Oxfam works with engineers to repair municipal water systems damaged in conflicts and earthquakes. After bombings in the Gaza Strip damaged water desalination plants in 2020, for example, Oxfam provided the chemicals needed to get them up and running. We also build systems to purify water where needed.

After air strikes damaged municipal water systems in northern Gaza in May 2021, Oxfam helped rebuild the sanitation system in Beit Lahia.
After air strikes damaged municipal water systems in northern Gaza in May 2021, Oxfam helped rebuild the sanitation system in Beit Lahia. Hosam Salem/Oxfam

Promoting good hygiene is also essential, especially during a pandemic. Oxfam partners train community leaders to encourage handwashing at critical moments. We provide hygiene kits with soap, water purification tablets, and other necessities that help people displaced by emergencies keep clean and avoid cholera outbreaks and COVID-19.

Safe sanitation is also crucial. Oxfam helps install latrines where people need them and ensures they are sited appropriately for women to access safely (installing solar lights if needed). Oxfam helped build about 8,000 latrines in the months following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. After more than 800,000 Rohingya people fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in 2017, Oxfam worked with the UN and people seeking refuge in camps to build a massive sewage treatment plant that processes waste from 150,000 people.

Clean water fights poverty

The lack of clean water kills people every day, and water-borne diseases and parasites are a significant hardship . Children under 5 are the most vulnerable. Diarrheal diseases are among the most common causes of mortality for children under 5, and can be easily prevented with clean water, decent sanitation, basic hygiene, and nutritious food.

A convenient source of water can also be a major improvement in the lives of women and girls, who are frequently tasked with carrying water home many times per day. Many girls and young women are deprived an education, just to carry water. This relegates them to an early marriage and limits their prospects of employment.

By helping communities improve their access to clean water and basic sanitation, and promoting good hygiene, Oxfam and the many organizations we partner with make an important contribution to fighting inequality, eliminating at least some of the time women have to spend carrying water, reducing health care costs, and improving the educational prospects of their daughters.

Water for livestock and growing food

Water is becoming more and more scarce in some parts of the world due to climate change. For example, in Central America’s Dry Corridor, an arid zone cutting across five countries, farmers are struggling to grow enough food to survive. In 2019, Oxfam provided cash and food aid to communities in Guatemala’s southern Chiquimula region at a time when farmers had not seen any consistent rain for four years.

Lucas Aldana used the cash to plant corn and beans, and says “I bought a hose to improve my mini-irrigation system so that the plants … don’t dry up.”

Oxfam has helped communities around the world with irrigation systems for farmers, water reservoirs to support livestock herders, and training to help communities manage their watersheds and forests to reduce erosion, improve soil quality, and replenish ground water.

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East Africa hunger crisis affecting 28 million

A woman walks past the bodies of dead livestock in Wajir county, Kenya, an area experiencing severe drought. Khadija Farah / Oxfam

Climate-induced drought, conflict, and global food prices are all creating a humanitarian emergency.

In previous years in Wajir county, in northeast Kenya, Ahmed Mohamud Omar says the land was green, they could water their animals at nearby wells, and “our life was prosperous, we had milk and meat.”

“Now that the drought has hit, the animals have died,” he says. The 70 year old says he fears for the children of his community, and these days thinks mostly about what to eat, and where to get water.

“There is no happiness now,” he says.

People in the arid lands of northern Kenya, along with neighbouring Somalia and southern parts of Ethiopia, are now enduring an extensive drought due to the effects of climate change. Conflict in northern Ethiopia as well as unpredictable rains and flooding in South Sudan are disrupting agriculture and spreading hunger and suffering.

Oxfam estimates that 13 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia have been displaced in search of water and pasture, just in the first quarter of 2022. Millions of others had to flee their farmlands and homes due to conflicts, especially in northern Ethiopia – where 9.4 million people now need urgent humanitarian aid. East Africa has also suffered from the worst plague of locusts in 70 years. Kenya has suffered a 70 percent drop in crop production and has declared a national disaster with 3.1 million people facing acute hunger. As many as 28 million across the region could face severe hunger if rains do not fall.

Ahmed Mohamud Omar looks for water at a well near his home in Wajir county, Kenya. Oxfam is working with a group of humanitarian organizations in northeast Kenya that is helping communities improve their access to water. Khadija Farah / Oxfam

Global crisis affecting East Africa

“East Africa faces a profoundly alarming hunger crisis,” says Gabriela Bucher, the executive director of Oxfam International who has just concluded a visit to affected areas of Kenya where expected March rains have so far not materialized. She says people in East Africa “are experiencing an unfolding full-scale catastrophe. Even if the rains do arrive this month, full recovery will be near impossible unless urgent action is taken today.”

Bucher says the humanitarian crisis is further complicated by recent hikes in food prices due to the pandemic, but also that there are “repercussions of the Ukrainian conflict on the global food system” affecting millions of people in East Africa (which imports 90 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine), Yemen, and Syria, all coping with massively underfunded humanitarian emergencies. “Rising food prices will make the huge shortfall in aid potentially lethal,” Bucher says.

Severe situation in Kenya and East Africa

The climate crisis is having a dramatic impact on vulnerable communities. Droughts, floods, and disease outbreaks are more frequent and intense, leaving little opportunity for affected communities to recover from these successive shocks. Competition over resources also increases the risk of conflict. The UN is calling this “one of the worst climate-induced emergencies seen in recent history in the Horn of Africa.”

Idris Akhdar works for WASDA, an organisation that has partnered with Oxfam in Kenya for 21 years. He says that in recent visits to Wajir county, “Our team have met desperate people. People who are hungry, who are thirsty, and who are about to lose hope. In the last few days, I have seen across the region -- in the Somali region in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya -- the same hunger and destitution all over.”

What Oxfam is doing to help people in East Africa

Oxfam is working with WASDA and others in Kenya to support 40,000 people, and planning to expand the support to approximately 240,000 people with cash for food and other essential items. Other work includes water, sanitation, and hygiene activities such as repairing water points and wells to provide access to safe drinking water, and hygiene promotion campaigns designed to reduce vulnerability to infectious diseases like cholera and COVID-19.

In Somalia, Oxfam is working with organizations including KAALO Aid and Development to reach 420,000 people this year with lifesaving water, sanitation and health support, including drilling wells, distributing hygiene kits, providing materials to help protect communities from water borne diseases, and distributing cash, seeds, tools, and training farmers in small-scale greenhouse farming. Oxfam will also support livestock treatment and vaccination campaigns together with the Ministry of Livestock, train community protection volunteers on gender-based violence issues, and distribute solar lamps to protect women and girls at night. To date we have reached more than 260,000 people.

In Ethiopia, Oxfam has supported 170,000 people in northern Ethiopia with lifesaving clean water, food, and cash assistance in areas affected by conflict. Oxfam aims to reach an additional 750,000 people in the next year in northern Ethiopia with emergency food packages, livelihoods assistance, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene kits. Together with our partners, we are also scaling up our work in the southern Somali region to respond to the effects of the drought.

In South Sudan, Oxfam has provided support to 400,000 people and aims to reach an additional 240,000 people with safe water, sanitation and hygiene services and promotion, cash grants for families to buy food and other essentials, and livelihood support like seeds, tools, and fishing kits.

Oxfam warns of preferential EU refugee response and calls on Irish Government to ensure equal treatment for all

Friday 1st April 2022

Today, Oxfam Ireland warned that a preferential refugee response is developing across the EU, where some are met with solidarity and others with hostility. The aid agency is calling on the Irish Government to ensure that all refugees arriving in the EU and Ireland receive equal treatment in accordance with European and international law.  

The call comes after EU Home Affairs and Justice Ministers, including Minister for Justice  Helen McEntee met on Monday and issued a 10-Point Plan on stronger European coordination on welcoming people fleeing the war against Ukraine.

Oxfam welcomed the progressive steps included in the plan and are calling on the EU to extend its provisions to everyone seeking refuge in the EU.  

They are calling on the Irish Government to ensure an equal right to refuge for all by:  

  1. Providing sanctuary and protection for all those fleeing Ukraine without discrimination, and 

  2. Preventing a preferential EU refugee response where some are met with solidarity and others with hostility.  

Oxfam is advocating that additional steps need to be taken to ensure all those fleeing the violence in Ukraine can obtain refuge in the EU without discrimination. This follows reports that non-Ukrainian nationals, particularly those from Africa and the Middle East, are being pushed back at the border in what the UN has described as “racialised denial of entry”. Meanwhile, other vulnerable groups, like people with a disability, need extra supports to ensure they can avail of the protection they are entitled to. Oxfam recommends ensuring there are human rights monitors at Ukraine-EU borders so that all possible measures are taken to make sure all individuals can cross and seek refuge safely. They are also urging the Government to arrange direct travel routes to EU member states (including Ireland) free of cost so that people can flee quickly and safely, limiting the risk from trafficking, exploitation and abuse. 

Beyond Ukraine, Oxfam warns that refugees across Europe continue to suffer as a result of inhumane and illegal policies and practice. They are advocating for an end of pushbacks, which are illegal, on all EU borders and a permanent relocation mechanism for all refugees in the EU as well as an improvement of conditions in camps and reception centres, among other asks.  

The aid agency has launched an online petition calling on people across Ireland to sign it and demonstrate the public’s desire for the Government to take these actions.   

Commenting today, Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland, said: “We are heartened to see the unprecedented open arms response to those fleeing Ukraine in Ireland and across Europe as a result of the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country. Such a response shows the best of us and should serve as a blueprint for how we welcome and protect all people fleeing similar situations no matter where they come from. 

“Unfortunately, this is simply not the case at the moment. We have worked with refugees in Europe since 2015, people fleeing conflict, persecution and war, arriving with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their children in their arms. For many, they were not met with solidarity – instead they suffered trauma on top of trauma, including violent pushbacks at EU borders, being denied their right to seek asylum for no good reason and left to languish in inadequate conditions in camps. The stark reality is thousands of people seeking refuge from conflicts around the world continue to die trying to cross into the EU. In 2021, nearly 3,500 people died attempting to enter the EU through land and sea borders. 

“There is a serious danger that we are developing a preferential refugee response across Europe, a two-tier system that differentiates based on which conflict you are fleeing or where you are coming from. This is not who we are – as Irish or European citizens – and it  must end. 

“We are calling on all in Government to use all channels in the EU to end this unfair and harmful stance and support equal treatment of all who are forced to claim their rights to protection under international law. And we’re asking people in Ireland to join us in this call by signing our petition.”  

Oxfam’s Equal Right to Refuge petition can be found here.  

Oxfam’s full policy brief - Equal Right to Refuge – can be found here.  

ENDS

CONTACT: Alice Dawson Lyons, Oxfam Ireland | alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org | +353 (0) 83 198 1869

Notes to Editors:

Full asks to the Irish Government under the Equal Right to Refuge campaign:

Oxfam Ireland calls on the Irish Government to ensure:

  1. Equal access to seek international protection for all fleeing Ukraine.
    1. No discrimination at the borders.
    2. Inclusive of persons with disabilities.
    3. EU institutions and member states coordinate and facilitate safe and orderly transfers to EU member states.
  2. The EU and Member States uphold their commitment to receive and protect refugees and displaced people from all countries and regions seeking protection in the EU without discrimination, including those arriving in other Member States and border areas, fleeing from other crises across the world.
    1. Stop practices and policies that are illegal under international law
      - Pushbacks
      - Denying the right to claim asylum
    2. Improve conditions in camps at hotspots so that they meet basic reception standards and avoid the use of de facto detention.
    3. Promote mandatory responsibility-sharing through a permanent relocation mechanism.
    4. Re-start Search and Rescue at EU’s borders and stop criminalising NGOs and others who help people stranded.
    5. Maintain resettlement pledges.
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