Authorities should identity weak points in management of refugee crisis, APE

The authorities should identify the weak points in the management of the crisis of Ukrainian refugees. This assessment should help to better realize the situation and to develop efficient strategies for assisting the refugees to integrate faster. In this regard, a detailed analysis of the actions taken the past year by the state institutions is needed. Such recommendations were formulated by experts of the Foreign Policy Association (APE) and other representatives of civil society.

In a press club meeting hosted by IPN, APE executive director Natalia Stercul said that Russia stated its cruel war against Ukraine exactly one year ago. The tragic consequences are felt primarily in the neighboring state. Other states were also affected tangentially. These imposed sanctions against Russia, provided financial support, etc. The Republic of Moldova welcomed a large number of Ukrainian refugees who fled from the war. The APE launched a project aimed at engaging civil society in the countering of new hybrid threats in response to the influx of refugees. This involves nongovernmental organizations, representatives of the media, refugees, etc.  

APE expert Sorin Shklyaruk said that communication between the state institutions, civil society and the media should be stepped up so as to coordinate the actions related to the flow of refugees. Better communication between these three players can help to more efficiently manage the situation and to work out better strategies for integrating the refugees into the social life.

According to him, it is very important to inform the population of the Republic of Moldova about the origins of the assistance intended for refugees and to diminish hate speech towards these. New mechanisms should be identified for the social inclusion of refugees, such as simplified access to kindergartens, schools, healthcare, social services, the labor market. “The authorities should take measures to make sure that the refugees have facilitated access to these sectors so that they easier integrate into Moldovan society,” noted Sorin Shklyaruk.

Valentina Caledji-Poghirc, expert of the European Center “Pro-Europa” based in Comrat, spoke about the necessity of collecting and protecting data about the refugees. According to her, this can be done by creating an electronic database to which only stakeholders will have access. The personal data of refugees should be better protected.

The experts also spoke about the importance of combating xenophobe speech with regard to the refugees. Dumitru Pelin, executive director of Nord News, related cases when refugees were discriminated at the market or by representatives of public institutions. According to the journalist, the authorities should devote increased attention to the employees of the system as hate messages often start from state employees who actually should ensure protection. Special attention should also be devoted to church officials as some of them disseminate manipulative message and propaganda.

Vitalie Guțu, executive director of the platform “Security Zone”, said that the authorities in Tiraspol every time keep silent when they are asked about the war waged by Russia. Therefore, it was rather hard for them to see the real situation on the left side of the Nistru during field trips, also because the citizens there inform themselves from Russian TV channels. It was also hard for them to discuss with Ukrainian refugees. Many of these were born in the Transnistrian region and returned to their native villages.

The project “Contribution of Civil Society to Countering New Hybrid Threats as a Response to Refugee Influx: Active Resilience Approach of the Republic of Moldova” is implemented by the APE in partnership with Nord News, the European Center “Pro-Europa” of Comrat and the platform ”Security Zone”, with a grant provided by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, with support from the British Government.

Note: IPN News Agency gives the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements of the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

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