Call on Russia to abide by humanitarian treatises
Following the events currently developing in Ukraine, REDI – Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative would like to join other members of the Civil Society in expressing concern over the humanitarian toll of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We vehemently condemn Rusia’s action, since it is a flagrant violation of international law and the core principles on which the international rules-based order is built. Russia’s unprovoked attack on a sovereign state constitutes a breach of principles that guarantee the protection of the territorial integrity and independence of all States and is, as such, concerning to all.
REDI would like to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in the making in Ukraine, especially to the particular situation of vulnerable communities. Ukraine is home to many minorities that find themselves caught in the line of fire in the current conflict. An estimated number of 400.000 Roma live in Ukraine, half of which live in the regions directly impacted by the conflict, according to unofficial sources in the third sector. Ten to fifteen percent of Ukrainian Roma (at least 30.000) still lack identification papers. Even if border controls have been simplified to facilitate the flight of Ukrainians in the face of imminent threat, an identity card is still required. Compounded with the endemic poverty that afflicts Roma communities and other vulnerability factors, this severely limits their freedom of movement and chances of living in the country.
REDI joins the Roma Initiatives Office, part of the Open Society Foundations, the Roma Education Fund, ERIAC and Aresel in expressing concern that given their status in the region, Roma will be trapped in war zones and become collateral victims of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. Humanitarian issues caused by the escalation of tensions are likely to impact Roma disproportionately.
We call on Russia to abide by humanitarian treatises and allow safe passage of refugees and free access to humanitarian aid and organizations to assist all persons in need.