The Government of Ukraine adopted a new State Migration Strategy Wednesday (12 July), which will inform national migration policy for the next eight years.
The new document was developed to replace Ukraine’s 2011 State Migration Concept, which needed to be updated to reflect the latest global and local developments. Among them, the unprecedented forced migration from the Middle East, Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union, and the introduction of a visa-free regime between Ukraine and most EU Member States. Large scale displacement also continues in the country, with about 1.6 million people officially registered as internally displaced persons.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, contributed to the development of Ukraine’s Migration Strategy, at the Government’s request and with the support of the EU. The latest migration strategies of seven EU and Eastern Partnership countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Slovakia – were examined and discussed when drafting Ukraine’s Migration Strategy.
The Head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, Maksym Sokoliuk, thanked the EU Delegation to Ukraine and IOM for their support in the development of the document. “The State Migration Strategy is a road map which will further facilitate reforming the migration system and enhancing migration management in Ukraine,” Sokoliuk said.
The strategy introduces new elements to the migration policy, for the benefit of citizens, Ukrainians abroad and foreigners in Ukraine. It suggests reintegration programmes for returning Ukrainian migrants, activities promoting repatriation, and cooperation with Ukrainian diaspora worldwide – it is estimated that up to 20 million people of Ukrainian origin live outside the country’s borders. Considering the needs and rights of foreigners, the strategy envisages the facilitation of regular migration to Ukraine, retention of highly qualified foreign specialists, and regularization of irregular migrants who have families or work in Ukraine.
The document also stresses the need to further develop migration management information and communication systems, which will support identification of persons and document security, simplify the provision of administrative services and ensure effective information exchange with Interpol and European databases of authentic and false documents (PRADO and FADO).
“To implement the strategy, Ukraine will need to draft specific legislative acts and action plans,” noted Manfred Profazi, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We are ready to support the Government in further enhancing its migration policy framework for the benefit of all concerned.”