Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) are gravely concerned by the emerging reports of racial discrimination towards displaced people seeking to leave the Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict.
Over recent days, reports have been received through social media and mainstream channels, that people of Black, Arab, Asian and other minority ethnicities have been restricted and prevented from boarding trains and flights to leave the country. Videos and first-person reports are circulating showing that BAME people have been held back from boarding or crossing the borders to safety, leaving thousands of international students stranded and trapped within the war-torn area far away from their homes and families.
We should all support refugees on humanitarian ground regardless of background. Every person has right to safety and shelter, regardless of ethnicity. We are shocked and saddened by the emerging reports and implore all government agencies, INGOs and charities working in the region to open borders and allow free movement for all those seeking refuge.
We ask the UK Government, the European Union and those of countries neighboring Ukraine, to work proactively to ensure safe and fair passage of people to safety, without discrimination or racism.
We call upon fellow humanitarian partners to join this request and place pressure on these governments to abolish racial profiling, bias and discriminatory practices in the treatment and report of all people seeking refuge from war and persecution.
A copy of the Press Statement is available to download here.