War in Ukraine: where are the refugees going?

War in Ukraine: where are the refugees going?

March 2022. Just three weeks into the conflict. 3.2 million Ukrainians have left their country. Today nearly eight million refugees travel around the world fleeing wars. That’s almost 20% of the country’s population.

With half of the refugees admitted, the countries bordering Ukraine take in the most. Russia first with 2.8 million refugees. Several reasons explain this. The attacks focused on the predominantly Russian-speaking regions of Zaporizhia, Lugansk and Donetsk and the strong presence of Russian-Ukrainian families there.

However, the majority of Ukrainian refugees are turning to Western countries. AT Once war is declared, the European Union will issue a measure allowing Ukrainian refugees not to be subject to the migration rules of the Berlin Decrees. This measure allows them to enjoy a different situation from other refugees and benefit from a temporary protection status. More than 4.8 million Ukrainians will benefit from it in March 2023.

Among Western countries, Poland hosts 1.5 million people, followed by Germany with more than a million and Czechoslovakia with 500,000. In terms of population, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Poland received the most funds. France is far behind, with 120,000 Ukrainian refugees on its territory.

A majority of women and minors

A large proportion of the refugees are minors, a third according to Liberation. According to the same source, half of them would be adult women and the rest would be adult men. The low proportion of men is easy to explain, 78% of the members of the Ukrainian army are. The general mobilization decreed on February 24, prohibiting men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the territory, contributed significantly to this observation.

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The proportions are not the same in all countries. In France, for example, almost 80% of the refugees are women. The large presence of minors and women poses a risk. According to the Reuters news agency, the number of rapes of Ukrainian women has increased by 260% since the beginning of the war. Human trafficking mainly affects women. Their relative economic insecurity weakens them. A chance for criminal groups or unscrupulous entrepreneurs. The special status of Ukrainian refugees certainly gives them the right to work, but according to Suzanne Hoff of the International Cooperation Platform for Undocumented Migrants, “some people find themselves in an informal circle”, increasing the risk of abuse and exploitation of these populations.

…by Oscar Berlioz