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The ‘double standards’ reflection on refugees from the Red Cross to Europe

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IFRC General Leader Francesco Rocca said at a press conference that the rapid acceptance of those who had to leave their country due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drew attention to Europe’s “double standard” for refugees.

Pointing out that this rapid acceptance contrasts with the unwelcome reception of people fleeing violence in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, Rocca emphasized that he does not think there is any difference between someone fleeing the Donbas region of Ukraine and someone fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Rocca underlined that it is a “moral obligation” to help those fleeing violence and social turmoil, saying, “Those fleeing violence and seeking protection should be treated equally.”


Rocca pointed out that the political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis shows what is possible when humanity and dignity come first and there is global solidarity.

Noting that he hoped the Ukraine crisis would be a turning point in Europe’s immigration policy, Rocca said that this was not the case at all.

Rocca pointed out that the European Union (EU) still has different approaches to migration.

Referring to the data of the United Nations (UN) that many of the 6 million individuals evacuated from Ukraine went to neighboring countries, Rocca argued that immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers trying to go to Europe died, were abused and faced difficulties in accessing necessary services.

Rocca shared the information that at least 19,000 people have lost their lives on the Central Mediterranean route, which is the gateway to Europe, and said: “Ethnicity and nationality should not be a determining factor in saving lives. There is a dual standard. There is proof. We see it with our eyes and we are protected. When requested, we cannot deny it.” made its assessment.

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