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MRG and partner emphasize disproportionate impact on Roma of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Advocacy statements |

This statement to the UN Human Rights Council was delivered by Yulian Kondur in the name of MRG and Chirikli at the Human Rights Council’s Interactive Dialogue on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, 49th Session, held on Wednesday 30 March 2022.

On behalf of Roma Women Fund Chirikli and Minority Rights Group, we want to draw the attention of the Council, to the disproportionate impact of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, on the Roma, one the most vulnerable communities in Ukraine.

A recent report by UN Women and CARE[1] documented the severe discrimination faced by Roma women in accessing humanitarian aid. Increasing unemployment amongst the whole population put Roma people at particular risk, given the already disproportionately high level of unemployment in the community and discrimination in the job market. This combined with the higher levels of low-income subsistence amongst Roma and their reliance on social assistance, put them at higher risks of poverty and homelessness, with all their associated health risks.

These risks are unfortunately already a reality. We have recently conducted a survey in the Zakarpattia region, showing an increasing number of cases of malnutrition amongst the population. Our survey also demonstrated specific difficulties for Roma IDPs living with disabilities to access disability benefits.

In this context, we urge the government of Ukraine to revisit and revise the recently adopted National Roma Integration Strategy, through consultation with Roma CSOs and to ensure it is effectively adapted to the current context and is used as guidance in development and humanitarian response.

International humanitarian actors should also cooperate with Roma mediators and Roma CSOs to make sure that their activities benefit all persons in need, and that Roma are not excluded again.

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[1] CARE, UN Women, Rapid Gender Analysis of Ukraine, 4 May 2022, accessible at https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/news/2022/05/ukraine-new-un-women-and-care-report-highlights-disproportionate-impact-of-the-war-on-women-and-minorities

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