Temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine. IPN debate

The mechanism of temporary protection offered to displaced person from Ukraine not only in the Republic of Moldova, but all over the European Union ensures the efficient, swift and less bureaucratized solving of many serious problems faced by millions of Ukrainians who fled from the war of aggression that is being waged by the Russian Federation on their homeland. At the same time, the non-solving of the given problems on time creates enormous difficulties to refugees and to the host countries, including the Republic of Moldova. The subject was discussed by experts invited to the public debate: “Temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine: progress, challenges and perspectives” which was staged by IPN News Agency.

Vadim Pistrinciuc, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives, said the provision of temporary protection to displaced persons is a very important subject and the state made huge effort to manage the inflow of refugees, as did society, despite all the existing challenges and problems. It is crucial to follow how this process takes place. It has been a kind of unique effort as Moldova didn’t witness earlier such a larger number of displaced people. It is unique even for the region as, against the size of population, the number of people, who came to Moldova on a temporary basis, who transit the country or remained here is very large. This means that different decisions in a lot of areas will have to be adjusted, including as regards the access to services, passenger transport and others.

“The people fled from their country due to the war. Some left the conflict zone. There are families that leave regions that are probably less affected, but they do it due to the consequences of the war. It is important to discuss as it is a subject in which the state and society invest further. Furthermore, regrettably there are people who do not believe in the impact of the war on the Republic of Moldova. It is also an obligation of Moldova as Moldova signed international conventions and agreements on refugees,” said Vadim Pistrinciuc,

According to Mihai Vodă, head of the General Inspectorate for Migration, the latest statistics show that there are over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and over 45,000 of these are chidlren, while more than 49,000 are grownups, which is a lot.

“However, not all these persons choose to remain here and to obtain the country’s protection. Some persons come for a definite period of time. Other persons leave for an EU member state, while othera return to Ukraine. So far, 24,000 persons asked for temporary protection. Other citizens of Ukraine asked for a permit of stay. It goes to the reunification of the family, when the husband or the wife is a citizen of Ukraine, but also to employment, investment, humanitarian activities, religious activities, etc. This category includes over 6,900 persons. Also, over 2,400 persons, for well-founded reasons, obtained the nationality of the Republic of Moldova. Out of those who asked for temporary protection, more than 10,800 are women, while over 7,000 are men. Most of the displaced persons stopped in Chisinau, which is followed by Cahul, Balti and districts situated close to the border, such as Ștefan Vodă and Căușeni,” stated Mihai Vodă.

Oleg Palii, executive director of the Law Center of Advocates (CDA), said their Center has dealt with refugees since 1998, when it became the legal partner of the UN Refugee Agency. “We have handled cases of Ukrainian refugees since the very first day, since February 24, 2022, when someone from our mates was delegated to work at the Palanca border crossing point. We later expanded and are now present at border crossing points and also at accommodation centers. The CDA keeps in touch with the local authorities and trains and helps them to welcome refugees. We have advisers who work with communities with refugees,” stated Oleg Palii.

The services for displaced persons are provided depending on their legal status. “They are all displaced persons from Ukraine, but someone has a permit of stay and there are 7,000 such persons who enjoy a series of rights. Someone asked for asylum individually and enjoys another set of social services, while others haven’t legalized their stay in the country or are in the period of the 90 day-stay when the Ukrainian citizens don’t need additional permits. There are also persons who have staged longer than 90 days and haven’t yet legalized their stay,” said the CDA director.

The debate entitled “Temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine: progress, challenges and perspectives” was held by IPN News Agency as part of the initiative “Socially responsible administration of external financing” of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives, in partnership with the Independent Think Tank “Expert-Grup, with support from Soros Foundation Moldova.

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