PACE proposes measures to alleviate the humanitarian consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) invites the governments of the member countries of the Council of Europe to take a number of measures to alleviate the humanitarian consequences of Russia’s war of conquest against Ukraine.

The PACE adopted the relevant resolution after a general debate on three reports – on humanitarian consequences, internal and external displacement, protection and care for unaccompanied migrant children, justice and security for women, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

The document notes that PACE is extremely concerned about the humanitarian consequences caused by Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.

PACE calls on the member states of the Council of Europe to support the long-term commitments of the Organization to Ukraine, which were included in the amended Action Plan for Ukraine (2018-2022), which contains a number of urgent measures to overcome the direct consequences of the aggression committed by Russia.

PACE invites all national parliaments, including the parliaments of states that are not members of the European Union and have not yet activated the Temporary Protection Directives, to introduce at least the equivalent of such protection and extend it to third-country nationals. This may include, in particular, the lifting of visa restrictions, if any.

Read also: PACE President urged not to get used to the war in Ukraine

The Assembly is aware that the humanitarian consequences of the aggression will not be resolved in the short term, “it is therefore important to ensure continued, long-term and coordinated support from the member states of the Council of Europe, so that displaced persons and refugees from Ukraine receive all the necessary assistance to be able to lead a decent and promising life “.

PACE also calls on the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to resume the exchange of prisoners of war and return them to their territories in accordance with the rules of the Geneva Conventions through the International Committee of the Red Cross and international humanitarian organizations.

The resolution notes that now it is necessary to think about the restoration of Ukraine. She welcomes the pledges made at the donors’ conference in Warsaw on May 5, 2022.

“This international assistance will need to be carefully directed and coordinated to meet all the needs of Ukrainian society. In addition, the Council of Europe will work to promote and ensure a global accountability system for the aggressive war against Ukraine and gross violations of human rights by institutionalizing compensation for Ukraine,” says in the document.

Among other things, PACE calls on the European Union to urgently provide a clear legal clarification regarding the rights of persons receiving temporary protection who, after having lived in the European Union for more than 90 days within 180 days, returned to Ukraine and wish to re-enter the territory of the EU.

Read also: PACE President again called on Russia to immediately stop the war

In order to prevent human trafficking, PACE advocates the creation of a transnational tracing system that would help the border police more easily identify potential victims.

The resolution stresses the importance of beneficiary accountability and transparency, as well as the distribution of international assistance and funding to meet the urgent needs of displaced people.

Among other things, PACE emphasizes the need to provide safe and regular security routes for all people, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity and religion, including stateless persons and undocumented Roma.

The Assembly also recalls the need to guarantee the rights of all without discrimination, and in this context calls on all Member States to pay attention to the situation of LGBTI people still in Ukraine or fleeing the war.

In addition, referring to the relevant resolutions and recommendations of the Council of Europe, PACE recalls that the situation of children requires specific measures based on the principle of the best interests of the child.

It is noted that as early as possible and no later than the end of the school year under the Ukrainian program, at the beginning of the school year 2022, children should be encouraged to enroll in schools in the country where they are located.

“It is necessary to systematically use the tools of language education and linguistic integration of children developed by the Council of Europe. After returning to Ukraine, the acquired knowledge should be recognized by the Ukrainian school system,” the document says.

Access to pre-school facilities is also important for many women arriving with young children, for whom the lack of this type of childcare will further complicate their integration and access to the labor market.

PACE welcomes the efforts already made to develop the capacity of recognition officers to facilitate the efficient, professional and fair processing of Ukrainian qualifications. It is noted that the European qualification passport can help refugees and governments of countries to accept them in the near future. Already 16 European countries have joined this project of the Council of Europe, and the Assembly encourages others to do so even if the person does not have a complete documentation package.

Read also: PACE approves recommendations to assist Ukraine in investigating Russian crimes

PACE also welcomes the creation of a platform with the support of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities “Cities4Cities” as a place of coordination for a synchronous response to the requests and needs of Ukrainian cities and regions. She encourages this initiative to become a full-fledged European twinning platform.

In addition, PACE notes that member states that do not have a common border with Ukraine should invest more in coordinating and supporting huge efforts in neighboring countries. The Assembly calls on central, regional and local authorities to facilitate the domestic and international transportation of displaced persons, in particular by providing additional means of transport as well as related services.

The Assembly also recommends the creation of a single platform for information and the purchase of railway tickets at the European level.

In addition, PACE expresses its concern about the mining of the territory of Ukraine by Russia and calls for greater efforts to help Ukraine speed up the process of demining its territories.

As reported, on June 20-24, the PACE summer session is being held in Stasburg.

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