Created: 2016.09.21 / Updated: 2016.09.28 11:15

Discussion about the refugees held in Ukraine

A public discussion "Refugees, affected by the armed conflict and occupation of the part of Ukraine’s territory, and post-war experience of Eastern Europe" was held on September 16 in Lviv. The Lithuanian and Ukrainian experts on the issues of forced migration participated in the event.

Algis Kašėta, a former member of Lithuanian Parliament, a representative of the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania presented the report on "Struggle of the Lithuanian emigrants for restoration of Independence of Lithuania"."The result of activity of Lithuanian emigrants was the creation of a number of organizations that influenced the decisions, which were adopted at the highest level - the Congress and the House of Representatives of the United States, the European Parliament. Lithuanian communities operated in 18 countries worldwide and made a significant contribution to liberation of Lithuania and renewal of its Independence", - said Algis Kašėta.

Svitlana Zakrevska, the President of the Donetsk NGO "Alliance", journalist Veronika Mironova, political scientist, social activist Stanislav Fedorchuk also presented their reports on the current situation of the displaced people in Ukraine during the public debate.

According to Svitlana Zakrevska, today there is quite a complicated situation in Ukraine with internally displaced people, who continue experiencing manifestations of stigmatization. "The process of integration of IDPs into the local communities is complicated. In most cases, displaced people are perceived not as new opportunities for a region or a city, where they dislocated, but as competitors – for instance, during employment or registration of children in educational establishments. This leads to discrimination against IDPs, slows down and complicates integration into the local communities. The displaced persons found themselves in a vicious circle, which won’t break without political will and desire to really solve the painful problem", - believes the president of NGO "Alliance".

Veronika Mironova instead believes that in order to overcome the stigma and isolation of the displaced people we should speak more about their success stories. "The leading edition of Western Ukraine during June-August published a series of articles about the displaced persons, who have found their true destiny in Lviv or in Drohobych, such as several Crimean Tatar families. Such stories are necessary, because they serve as a landmark and inspire others to changes in life", - said Mironova, who moved from Donetsk in May 2014.

"The Lviv part of the EEC Project this year embraced various aspects of the main theme - the problems of internally displaced people in Ukraine. I am convinced that we should talk about the displaced people as much as possible, and search tools, possibilities that would help IDPs to settle not only the everyday household problems, but also contribute to the formation of groups aimed at creating a political position of power on all matters relating to the issue of the occupied territories of Ukraine. Life goes on, and people have to look forward and feel certain that there is a powerful force, which protects and defends their interests. In addition, we wanted to show that displace people are not a burden for new communities, but new opportunities indeed. Interaction, support will do only good to the hosting community, contribute to the development and acquisition of new positive experiences"- summarized project manager Beatrice Beliavciv.

Project is implemented by NGO Eastern European cooperation, funded by Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.