Red Cross boss condemns double standards for welcoming refugees from Ukraine

The president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has criticized European countries for alleged double standards in the treatment of Ukrainian refugees compared to other asylum seekers.

President Francesco Rocca said European countries had shown a “double standard” regarding Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers from elsewhere, such as migrants fleeing Africa and the Middle East.

“Those fleeing violence, those seeking protection should be treated equally,” Rocca said, claiming there was no difference between someone fleeing the Ukrainian conflict or someone fleeing extremist groups such as Boko Haram. in Nigeria, reports Ekathimerini newspaper.

“We hoped that the Ukrainian crisis would have been a turning point in European migration policy,” Roccad said, adding: “But unfortunately this was not the case.”

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, some six million Ukrainians have fled their country, more than half of them, 3.3 million, arriving in Poland alone, while hundreds of thousands of others fled to neighboring and nearby countries.

“In Europe there is a big heart and soul, because the community in Europe was able to open their arms and receive millions of Ukrainians within a few days,” Rocca stated, claiming that countries are “lying” about the dangers of illegal migrants , claiming “it involves a few thousand people.”

Several recent serious incidents have been linked to illegal immigration, including the October 2020 terror attack in Nice in which a Tunisian illegal immigrant arriving to Italy by boat across the Mediterranean killed three people in a Nice basilica during a terrorist attack.

“Ethnicity and nationality should not be a deciding factor in saving lives,” Rocca said, adding: “There is a double standard.”

“This is obvious. It is in our view, and we cannot deny it when it comes to seeking protection,” he said.

Similar accusations of double standards have been leveled by other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including aid organizations in northern France, which criticized the local government in Calais for its approach to Ukrainians compared to migrants elsewhere.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at: @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

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