[10 Dec. 2022] Supporters demand better access to protection for refugees from Ukraine without Ukrainian citizenship

T. Vicky Germain from CUSBU articulates demands regarding equal rights for all refugees from Ukraine, also those without Ukrainian citizenship, at the conference organised by PxP One Embassy and Erik Marquardt in Berlin on 10 Dec 2022, alongside activists from Asmara’s World, BIPoC Ukraine & friends in germany, Pro Asyl, Flüchtlingsrat Berlin, and politicians Erik Marquardt, Hakan Demir, Miriam Block.

[31 Aug. 2022] Equal rights for ALL refugees from Ukraine – No to the racist triage of refugees!
Video co-created by Together We Are Bremen (Bremen), BIPoC Ukraine (Berlin), Asmara’s World (Hamburg).
All across Germany, BIPoC refugees from Ukraine have been organising together against the federal government’s racist migration policy! Arm in arm with people from civil society and many NGOs, in solidarity, we demand that ALL refugees from Ukraine be given a secure residence status.

[July 2022] From Ukraine to Berlin

Video by Oblique Collective* in collaboration with BIPoC Ukraine & friends in germany

“It’s super depressing that my life is going ways I never planned for it to go. But it’s not fair that everyone fled the same war but we are being treated differently.”
“Ukraine was my home. I grew up there. My adult life was there.”
“Everywhere I went, I was told ‘Sorry, you’re not a Ukrainian’.” 

Half a year after their lives were upended by the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and they were forced to run for their lives to escape the violence of war, Layna (19), Menes (27), Ona (21), and BB (23) still haven’t found stability and safety. The war, compounded by the racism they’ve been experiencing on every step of the way,, is still deeply disrupting their daily lives on an existential level.

As third-country nationals who lived in the Ukraine, all BIPoC and students, they do not get the same protection and welcome in Germany as their former neighbours, Ukrainians who fled the same war.

Ronel, one of the founders of BIPoC Ukraine and friends in Germany, explains:

“We want equal treatment for all refugees fleeing the Russian war in Ukraine – regardless of skin color, background, or passport”

“Section 24 is a temporary protection directive that was created in 2001 by the EU. Section 24 allows easy, quick, and effective assistance to people fleeing a war. It was activated for the first time in march 2022, 21 years after its creation. In Germany, Ukrainian refugees are granted a two-year residence permit. However, third-state nationals from Ukraine do not receive the same treatment. Instead of a two-year resident permit, third-state nationalists face the deadline of the 31st of August and possible deportation after that deadline.
This unequal treatment creates an uncertain situation which makes it almost impossible to apply for jobs, university admission, or vocational training in Germany”

On August 16th, right after this video was completed, the Berlin Senate announced the possibility of a 6-month fictional certificate for people who can prove that they were studying in Ukraine. But the August 31st deadline still holds in many ways:

Those who are unable to provide the necessary documents face the threat of becoming illegalised – and consequently the threat of deportation – after that date. Often they cannot provide the documents based on which Berlin authorities determine eligibility this 6-month fictional certificate, as Ukrainian universities have been refusing to issue transcripts for international students and often holding their original high school diplomas and birth certificates ransom, and/or because documents got lost in the chaos of fleeing the war.

This new Berlin regulation leaves out third-country nationals who were living in Ukraine but were not students there.

And in other German states outside Berlin not even students get this possibility of a 6-month fictional certificate – which either way is far too short to meet the requirements for securing another residency permit (language proficiency, admission at a university or traineeship, over 10.000 euros in a blocked account, …)

This is why we continue to demand equal rights for all refugees and a secure residence permit that provides stability and open perspectives.

Sicherer Aufenthalt für alle!! No to Germany’s racist triage of refugees!

(*Oblique Collective is a Berlin-based filmmaking collective focusing on human rights, environment, and governance)

[12 Aug. 2022] Press conference on the current situation in Germany of third-country nationals who fled the war in Ukraine Friday, Berlin

BIPoC third-country nationals and representatives of the above-mentioned groups presented their perspective and answer your questions on the current issues. We are an alliance of civil society groups and legal experts who, for almost 6 months now, have been providing support for BIPoC* refugees from Ukraine. This support is and remains necessary due to the wide-ranging structural discrimination these refugees have been facing – which did not end after they managed to escape the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, but has continued to determine their experiences in Germany, from the German external borders to the unequal treatment in bureaucratic processes upon arrival. Since the beginning of this flight movement, a system has been developed that, on many levels, triages people who have fled Ukraine into two distinct categories.
On the one hand, Ukrainian citizens, who are automatically entitled to residence, access to work and study permits due to their inclusion in the §24 Residence Act, and on the other hand, a very large number of so-called “third-country nationals”, who fled the same war, but can only receive extremely limited protection status through §24, and are currently only allowed to stay legally in Germany until August 31, 2022.
Third-country nationals and stateless persons from Ukraine are mainly BIPoC* and are already disproportionately affected by discrimination and disadvantage. We are now witnessing a situation in which they are excluded from the labor market, state support and society and can find little support in life after fleeing war.
Our alliance includes CUSBU, International Women* Space e.V., BIPoC Ukraine & friends in germany, Bridges over Borders, Migrationsrat e.V., ISD Bund e.V., DaMOst. e.V., and more.