UNHCR is concerned Ukrainian draft legislation may affect the rights of displaced persons from Crimea


UNHCR is concerned that draft legislation currently under consideration by the Ukrainian Parliament may exacerbate the risk of displacement from Crimea, and may undermine the rights of internally displaced persons. 

While UNHCR welcomes the efforts of the Parliament to address the specific needs of persons displaced from Crimea, UNHCR is concerned about the economic, property transaction and freedom of movement restrictions included in the draft legislation, which are not in line with international legal standards.


One particular aspect of the draft law that is of concern to UNHCR are restrictions on freedom of movement that may make it difficult or virtually impossible for some people to re-join family members, seek medical attention or take care of their property back in Crimea. International standards require that displaced people should enjoy freedom of movement, as is also the norm under Ukrainian law.

Vincent Cochetel, Director of UNHCR?s Bureau for Europe, noted that restrictions on economic activities proposed in the law and accompanying criminal sanctions  ?would possibly confront the people of Crimea with an impossible dilemma: to stay and run against Ukrainian law, or leave.  Many may reluctantly take the decision to leave their homes, families and communities.  National laws or local regulations should not force people into such hard choices.?

UNHCR is concerned that the legislation may be passed in an accelerated manner without adequate consultation taking into account of the perspectives of various sectors of civil society, relevant organizations and members of the international community. UNHCR  urges the Ukrainian Parliament to seek collaboration with key partners and people who would be affected by the legislation. UNHCR stands ready to provide technical advice and support.

Further details regarding UNHCR?s analysis of the draft legislation are available here.