At Polish-Ukrainian border OSCE parliamentarians and OSCE anti-trafficking Special Representative highlight need for solidarity

150322 border visit photoOSCE PA delegation near the Polish-Ukrainian border, 14 March 2022COPENHAGEN, 15 March 2022 – Several leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE’s Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings visited Polish reception centres for Ukrainian refugees on 13-14 March. The mission was intended to inform policymakers of how best to effectively support those displaced by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and prevent risks of trafficking, and to highlight the exceptional efforts of Polish authorities, citizens, and volunteers, in their response to the wave of refugees.

Hosted by Head of the Polish Delegation to the OSCE PA Barbara Bartuś, the mission included:

  • Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) – OSCE PA President
  • Kristian Vigenin (Bulgaria) – Vice-President and Chair of the OSCE PA Ad Hoc Committee on Migration
  • Sereine Mauborgne (France) – Chair of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions
  • Johan Buser (Sweden) – Rapporteur of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions
  • Gudrun Kugler (Austria) – Rapporteur of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and the Environment
  • Valiant Richey – OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
  • Roberto Montella (Italy) – Secretary General of the OSCE PA
  • Freyja Koçi (Germany) – Advisor to the Secretary General

President Cederfelt commended Polish efforts for a smooth, humane reception of the Ukrainian refugees, who are mainly women and children. She underlined that the whole of Polish society is involved in the response to refugees – NGOs and churches, as well as municipal and state authorities – and stressed the need for European countries to increase their level of preparedness.

In a joint statement the PA delegation underlined that the efforts to support refugees in Poland has been admirable and stressed that the humanitarian crisis is a reminder of the need to urgently end the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We have been very moved by the human suffering of the refugees fleeing Ukraine. With their lives torn apart by the war, they have had to endure trauma and hardships on a journey that has lasted many days,” the delegation said. “The commendable work carried out by the Polish authorities and the volunteers has been a comfort in these extremely difficult times and our delegation applauds the Polish people for their generosity and compassion to the Ukrainian people fleeing the horror of war. Yet, even the most exceptional help cannot substitute one’s home and everyday life or the separation from family members.”

They noted the large number of unaccompanied children on the move and underlined the imperative to meet the special needs of these young people.

The delegation visited the reception point at the Railway Station in Przemyśl and met with representatives of the local government and social organizations. The OSCE officials then visited the Polish-Ukrainian border crossings in Korczowa and Medyka and met with representatives of the Border Guard. The delegation also visited the reception centre for young people in Stalowa Wola, and the Caritas reception center in Bojanów.

Following the mission, the lawmakers will develop a set of policy recommendations to advance legislation in their national parliaments and to promote policies within OSCE participating States to help ameliorate the dire humanitarian situation caused by the Russian Federation’s military operations in Ukraine.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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