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Racial discrimination against persons fleeing from the armed conflict in Ukraine

Statement 1 (2022)

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,

Acting under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure,

Endorsing the statement made by United Nations Secretary-General on 24 February 2022 as well as United Nations General Assembly resolution ES-11/1 of 2 March 2022 deploring in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations;

Deeply concerned by the massive impact of the armed conflict on the human rights of people across Ukraine, including those rights protected under the ICERD, and at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine, with an increasing number of internally displaced persons and refugees in need of humanitarian assistance;

Welcoming the actions of many States parties, particularly those neighbouring Ukraine, which have admitted people fleeing the conflict into their territories, and also welcoming the recent decision of the European Union to offer Temporary Protection to refugees fleeing Ukraine;

Alarmed by reports of discriminatory treatment of people attempting to flee Ukraine into neighbouring countries, in particular people of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent;

Deeply concerned also by reports of an increase in discrimination, in particular xenophobic and racist hate speech and violence against people fleeing the conflict, especially against people of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent;

Taking into account General Assembly resolution ES-11/1 of 2 March 2022, Human Rights Council resolution 49/1 of 4 March 2022, and statements by the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedures mandate holders about the situation in Ukraine;

Recalling the international obligations that the parties to the conflict and other States parties have undertaken under the ICERD;

Urges all parties to the conflict to facilitate safe and unfettered passage to destinations within and outside of Ukraine for all persons fleeing the conflict without discrimination on grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin;

Calls upon all States parties to the ICERD, in particular those neighbouring Ukraine, to continue to allow access to their territories to all persons fleeing the conflict without discrimination on grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin and regardless of their immigration status;

Calls on all States parties to the ICERD, in particular those neighbouring Ukraine, to adopt measures to prevent, combat and sanction all forms of racial discrimination, in particular xenophobic and racist violence and hate speech against persons fleeing the conflict, to take resolute action to protect all persons against racist violence and hate speech, including on the internet, and to publicly condemn and distance themselves from racist hate speech, including in the media and by public persons and political actors.

17 March 2022