Olena Helen 0

Protect international students in Ukraine from hate crimes

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     The escalation of conflict situation in Luhask in less than three weeks has become a shock for us - international students' community. Protest events, attacks on property and physical violence towards international students of Luhansk universities, as well as on Ukrainians of different ethnic origin in the city are manifestations of intolerant attitude intended to provoke inter-ethnic conflict and further aggravation of the problem.

      Public events and open statements calling all international students to take responsibility for actions of individuals are nothing else but incitement of inter-ethnic hatred, as well as an attempt to disrupt the fragile balance in the local community and among university students in particular.

     We consider this trend as a threat not only to us - international students who study in Luhansk, but also to those who chose other cities of Ukraine for their study programs.  We strongly object to the labeling of international students as “potential criminals”. We are simply young people who come to this country, contributing financially to both the local economy and the education system, and adding to multicultural experience of students in Ukraine. We are open to share our culture, traditions, and values, as well as learn more about the country and respect local values and traditions. Our goal here is to obtain education and valuable experience of inter-cultural communication.

    The lack of an adequate response from the law-enforcement agencies and University administrations to protests against international students and assaults on them provides ground for further provocations. There is also no public message that such incidents are unacceptable in a state with European values. The failure of the authorities to react on racially motivated incidents also results in the underreporting of such cases. Moreover, we do not feel safe when returning to our dormitories and going to our classes. All above mentioned facts have a negative impact on the image of Ukraine abroad and sends a bad message to potential students from abroad. If this tendency continues, it may result for Ukraine being labeled as unsafe place for international students.

 In the view of situation, we the undersigned:

  • ask Ukrainian authorities to publicly condemn manifestations of racial hatred;
  • request the Ministry of Internal Affairs to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of these incidents and to ensure protection of international students in Ukraine;
  • ask the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine to ensure the protection of our rights and to guarantee a safe study environment.


Social Action Centre / No Borders Project


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