Statement of ADEPT on the apparent inhumane treatment of African citizens fleeing Ukraine

2 March 2022

The Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) is closely following the devastating conflict unfolding on Ukrainian territory and expresses its solidarity towards all the people affected. Simultaneously, ADEPT, as a representative platform of the African Diaspora in Europe, is dismayed by the disturbing reports coming from African citizens on Ukrainian side being denied the right to cross the border safely.  

ADEPT echoes the statement of the African Union published on 28 February 2022, that all people have the right to cross international borders during conflict. It urges all EU countries to respect and implement the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and more specifically article 20, 21 and 23. In such a critical situation, where human lives are at stake, it is appalling to witness people being obstructed from receiving humane treatment due to blatant and violent racial profiling. ADEPT calls on all entities involved to assume their responsibility and amend this unacceptable situation that would be, if continued, a clear breach of international and humanitarian law. 

In the series of actions undertaken, ADEPT commends the role of African embassies, civil society organisations and humanitarian NGOs for the help they are providing in this perilous condition. Moreover, ADEPT applauds the sense of commitment and swift logistical reaction of African Diaspora organisations and networks in order to help these stranded and distressed citizens. It reiterates the importance and value of these diaspora interventions and encourages African embassies, ‘traditional’ humanitarian agencies and NGOs to reinforce their collaboration with Diaspora organisations and networks. This collaboration can only be beneficial to all parties involved. 

In conclusion, ADEPT emphasizes that less than ten days after the Africa-EU summit, a challenge occurred that urges this partnership to transform from words into action. A coordinated cooperation between political, diplomatic and humanitarian entities from both sides is unequivocally demanded. One that will result in a legal, safe and dignified travel for African people from Ukraine to EU countries.  

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