Report from PRO ASYL and Bor­der Moni­to­ring Pro­ject Ukrai­ne (BMPU) unco­vers sys­te­ma­tic explo­ita­ti­on of asyl­um see­kers
Euro­pean refu­gee poli­cy is respon­si­ble for this, too

Refu­gees who are pas­sing through Ukrai­ne try­ing to reach the Euro­pean Uni­on are not only expo­sed to mas­si­ve human rights vio­la­ti­ons, but also find them­sel­ves expo­sed to a sys­tem of exten­si­ve cor­rup­ti­on. Whe­ther it is release from detenti­on, issuing of papers or a place in an accom­mo­da­ti­on for refu­gees: not­hing of this is avail­ab­le for refu­gees in Ukrai­ne without having to pay bri­bes. Often, even for help from non-govern­men­tal orga­niz­a­ti­ons the pay­ment of bri­bes is necessary.

The­se con­di­ti­ons are docu­men­ted in the 34-pages report publis­hed by PRO ASYL and Bor­der Moni­to­ring Pro­ject Ukrai­ne (BMPU) “You want to be free? You pay money!”. The report is based on rese­arch in Ukrai­ne which has been con­duc­ted over several years and which invol­ved around one hund­red inter­views with refu­gees. The results are alar­ming: reports of cor­rup­ti­on are run­ning like a red thread through almost all bio­gra­phies of asyl­um see­kers who were pas­sing through Ukrai­ne on their escape rou­te to the EU.

This is par­ti­cu­lar­ly scan­da­lous against the back­ground that for years the EU is gran­ting orga­niz­a­tio­nal as well as finan­cial sup­port to Ukrai­ne to build up a migra­ti­on sys­tem which pre­vents refu­gees to reach Euro­pe. For many years, neigh­bo­ring coun­tries such as Hun­ga­ry and Slo­va­kia deport refu­gees back to Ukrai­ne. It is the incre­a­sing exter­na­liz­a­ti­on of the Euro­pean refu­gee pro­tec­tion to neigh­bo­ring third coun­tries which fur­ther rein­for­ces the cor­rup­ti­on docu­men­ted by the report: If coun­tries as the Ukrai­ne – whe­re wages and remu­ne­ra­ti­ons are scar­ce­ly enough to make a living – are stop­ping refu­gees on behalf of the EU, it is not sur­pri­sing, that asyl­um see­kers are expo­sed to cor­rup­ti­on. The­re­fo­re it is not only the Ukrai­ne which has to fight against cor­rup­ti­on in the Ukrai­ni­an Asyl­um System.

PRO ASYL and Bor­der Moni­to­ring Pro­ject Ukrai­ne call on the Ukrai­ni­an inves­ti­ga­ti­ve aut­ho­ri­ties to pro­se­cu­te cases of cor­rup­ti­on wit­hin the asyl­um and detenti­on sys­tem. Fur­ther to this, the Euro­pean Uni­on as a part­ner and pro­mo­ter of the Ukrai­ni­an migra­ti­on and asyl­um sys­tem has to take con­trol mea­su­res against cor­rup­ti­on. The same is to be done by the Inter­na­tio­nal Orga­niz­a­ti­on for Migra­ti­on (IOM), the UNHCR, their Ukrai­ni­an part­ner orga­niz­a­ti­ons and any other orga­niz­a­ti­ons that are invol­ved in the Ukrai­ni­an asyl­um sys­tem. Refu­gees who are vic­tims or wit­nes­ses of cor­rup­ti­on must be given the oppor­tu­ni­ty to press char­ges without fea­ring the reta­lia­ti­on from the offen­ders. The sys­te­ma­tic black mai­ling of asyl­um see­kers in Ukrai­ne must be stop­ped immedia­te­ly. Espe­cial­ly Hun­ga­ry and Slo­va­kia must urgent­ly stop ille­gal depor­ta­ti­ons to Ukraine.

The com­ple­te report in Eng­lish can be found at bit.ly/Corruption-Report_Ukraine as well as on the home­pages of Pro Asyl (www.proasyl.de) and Bor­der Moni­to­ring Pro­ject Ukrai­ne (www.bordermonitoring-ukraine.eu). On demand we will send you an in print ver­si­on of the report. 

On request we are also able to arran­ge the con­ta­cts to some of the refu­gees who in the mean­ti­me are living in Germany. 

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