Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, many Belarusians, repressed in their homeland and moved to Ukraine, have found it impossible to leave Ukraine for lack of documents. But now, they can do so thanks to the coordinated work of “Our House” and its partners.
Political refugees from Belarus are many Belarusian families who have chosen Poland as a country of safe emigration. These refugees have applied for humanitarian visas at the consulates of the Republic of Poland in Ukraine for future emigration to Poland. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, these people were urgently forced to flee to the Ukrainian-Polish border, but without their passports, which remained in Polish consulates because of the visa applications submitted.
There is also a second group of Belarusian citizens who have applied for refugee status in Ukraine. As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they were forced to flee further into Poland for fear of possible reprisals from the Russian occupier. In this case, a big problem arose because Ukrainian border guards did not want to let them through the Ukrainian-Polish border without passports, which they naturally did not have in connection with their refugee claims.
The International Centre for Civil Initiatives “Our House” has appealed to the governments and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Poland. So far, several problematic cases have been realised, and Belarusians have been able to find themselves in Poland!
At the moment, three organisations are dealing with this issue:
- International Centre for Civil Initiatives “Our House” is a Belarusian human rights organisation founded in December 2005. Since January 2014, it has been registered in Vilnius (Lithuania). One of its directions is practical assistance, aimed at the legal rights and freedoms protection. The main focus is the protection of the rights of the most vulnerable groups of citizens.
- “Dapamoga” helps Belarusians provide security and adapt to life on Lithuanian territory.
- “Freedom House” is a non-profit organisation that researches and promotes democracy, political freedom and human rights. It is based on the belief that freedom thrives in democracies where governments are accountable to their people.
The citizens of Belarus, who find themselves in a difficult situation, are one of the priority groups that need help and support right now. It is significant to react urgently to such cases and inform governments that can influence the resolution of the problem. Only joint work of Belarusians and different situations helps to help Belarusians quickly and effectively! While many Belarusians are helping Ukrainians now, like “Our House”, “Dapamoha”, the DAR initiative!