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Does Europe have a double standard for refugees?

Does Europe treat Ukrainian refugees better than non-white asylum seekers?

Three months after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the world reels from a conflict that has seen over 11 million Ukrainians fleeing their homes and over 3,500 people killed and rising. European countries have swiftly reacted to offer support, aid and refuge for affected Ukrainians, which has led commentators to point out the stark difference in response to similarly displaced people from other parts of the world. Reports of discrimination against international students from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East as they attempted to leave Ukraine, biased reporting by some Western reporters, and the unified welcome of Ukrainian refugees versus nonwhite asylum seekers have led to conversations about Europe’s double standard for refugees.

We spoke to Patricia Daley, a co-founder of Black Women For Black Lives (BW4BL), an organization which has raised funds to help black people leave Ukraine, and Gilbert Martin, founder of We are South Africans, an NGO assisting students caught in the conflict, for an on-the-ground perspective on the treatment of international students. We also posed questions to immigration expert Loren Landau and European Commission spokesperson on home affairs, migration and internal security, Anitta Hipper, for a broader look at migration trends and policies.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.