Social Services Europe (SSE) on 4 March wrote an Open Letter to express the utmost concern regarding the situation of war in Ukraine and the subsequent crisis in neighbouring countries and its impacts throughout the European Union and to make the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the French Presidency of EU Council aware of the main issues of concern that SSE hears from our colleagues and members in Ukraine and in the bordering countries.
The letter deals with the problems of social service provision for persons in need in Ukraine, with the conditions for humanitarian assistance to all civilians impacted and support to internally displaced persons or (soon to be recognised) refuguees from Ukraine.
Social Services Europe expresses its full and unconditional solidarity to those affected by the war in Ukraine and its bordering countries. We are determined and will continue to advocate for a rapid and peaceful resolution to the conflict and we offer our help, engagement and support to social service provision to all people, in European countries and on the move.
As an EU-level umbrella organisation for social service provider representatives across Europe, SSE urges:
The European Union and its Member States to promote and guarantee that international humanitarian law and human rights are respected and implemented in Ukraine and bordering countries, to ensure the impartial provision of humanitarian aid to all, the safety and freedom of movement of humanitarian workers, the protection of all civilians and refugees, in particular people in the most vulnerable situations.
All decision-makers to consider the situation of the Ukrainian people, in particular those with specific support needs, relying on targeted social services who may be less able to flee. Targeted, actionable, concrete EU measures are needed to ensure that these people have safe passage, for instance, through humanitarian corridors to ensure their safe passage to more secure regions where they can then benefit from the support they need.
The European Union and its Member States to protect and support all people, including the most vulnerable, irrespective of their age, nationality, state of health, or any other similar criteria, to safely flee and find shelter in neighbouring countries and throughout the Union. Discrimination of any form should not be tolerated.
The European Union to offer financial support for humanitarian and medical materials and equipment, and expertise to Ukraine and organisations active in protecting vulnerable people and those with specific support needs.
For access to the full SSE Open Letter click here.