07 March 2014

In light of recent unrest and violence in Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014, UNHCR has this week called on States to remove Ukraine from their ‘safe country of origin’ lists.

Applicants for international protection from a designated ‘safe country of origin’ may be dealt with in an accelerated procedure with reduced safeguards. For example, such applicants may not be permitted to remain in the country in which they seek protection while their appeal against an initial refusal is determined. UNHCR considers that the accelerated procedure would not currently be appropriate for Ukrainian nationals.

In addition, UNHCR states that some people fleeing Ukraine may qualify for recognition under the Refugee Convention or subsidiary protection under the EU Qualification Directive, in particular those who have been ‘directly or indirectly involved in or affected by the recent unrest and the current situation’.

UNHCR notes that some individuals may be excluded on account of having committed acts so grave as to render them undeserving of international protection. Such acts are defined in Article 1F of the Refugee Convention, and include war crimes, serious non-political crimes, and acts ‘contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations’.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 07 March 2014
You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.