The Foundation Towards Dialogue publishes a report titled “They are not refugees, they are travelers”
The Foundation Towards Dialogue, with support from Humanity Now, has published a report on the situation of Ukrainian Roma refugees in Podkarpackie Voivodeship.
The report includes an extensive analysis of the situation of Ukrainian refugees of Roma origin in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, as well as recommendations for systemic support of Roma people.
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, more than 7 million Ukrainian refugees have left for the neighboring countries or farther on, to Western Europe. According to the European Commission’s findings of April 2023, the above number included some 100 000 Roma people. On the very first day, thousands of refugees rushed towards the Polish border. At present, we estimate that there are up to tens of thousands Roma refugees in Poland, the vast majority without sufficient systemic support and, partly or completely, cut off from the support infrastructure.
Apart from unequal treatment, Roma face widespread antigypsyism and the challenges they encounter during their flight are particularly acute. Hence, from the onset of the war, this has taken on a new dimension: sub-standard support at reception points and places of collective accommodation. This report focuses on the border town of Przemyśl in the “transit” Podkarpackie Voivodeship, where this is evident. Other problems identified include: impeded access to accommodation and increased risk of homelessness, discrimination at border checkpoints and in accessing benefits or services (education, translation/interpretation or transport), and an increase in Romaphobic rhetoric on the part of public authorities. For months, a so-called “Roma corridor” was in operation at the main railway station in Przemyśl, and mothers with children slept on the ground despite the presence of international organisations or crisis staff and despite the intervention of the Ombudsman’s Office.
The full report is available under the “Reports” section.
The evidence presented in this report was gathered by the W Stronę Dialogu/Towards Dialogue Foundation team during regular site visits in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, mainly in Przemyśl, between March 2022 and May 2023. The report is based on multi-site qualitative research, correspondence with representatives of the authorities and analysis of existing data in terms of possible human rights violations.
Authors of the report: Paulina Piórkowska, Adam Durjasz, Joanna Talewicz, Olena Vaidalovych, Małgorzata Kołaczek, Sarian Kosma Jarosz