Coverage of refugees’ issues in Mass Media in news character, less special articles, – expert


Results on monitoring of the level of tolerant attitude towards the refugees and asylum seekers in Transcarpathian region were presented in Uzhgorod pressclub at the meetingRefugees in Ukraine: populations attitude and Mass Media”.

Maria Medzhul, the project coordinator, president of HRCA (Human Rights Carpathian Agency) “Wested”, reported in details about the investigation conducted in the frames of the project “Realization of educational and informational actions on attention attraction to the situation on refugees and asylum seekers in Transcarpathia”. According to the word of Maria Medzhul, a combined method of qualitative content-analysis with interviewing of target auditorium was applied in the investigation. Classification of severity and danger of “hate speech” was proposed by expert of Russian Investigation Centre “SOVA” A.M. Verkhovskyi.

The subject of migration is actual for Media in Transcarpathian region in the segment of the news. Author processing of the subject is rather insignificant and for the most part, it is limited by the creation of the headlines to new messages of the authorities, – Maria Medzhul marked, – the number of news messages form an impression about a mass migration flow, i.e. asylum seekers and refugees through Transcarpathia. Moreover, it is known, for certain, that in reality there are few migrants in our region. There are single author materials covering the subject in a personified way about some concrete person (like from where, why and how the asylum seeker got here, destiny of his family, what problems does he face, education, search of job, etc.). Instead, we observe the generalization of depersonalized group (asylum seekers and refugees).

As it was remarked by Maria Medzhul, there is “hate speech” in the part of investigated author materials. “Mild” types of hate speech prevail over “medium” ones in accordance with the classification of severity and danger of A.M.Verkhosvkogo. “Generally evaluating the level of tolerance of the authors’ materials, we can affirm that we have signs of hidden (passive) xenophobia in 18 cases, and only in 1 case – active. For the most part (in 35 cases) the authors were indifferent to further development of the subject. And only in 13 cases there was a reflection of an attempt to influence positively upon the public opinion on the subject

Three press tours were conducted to THF in Mukachevo (Transcarpathia) and Zhuravychi (Volyn) in order to show in practice the living condition of the refugees in Ukraine and how it is important to cover this subject in tolerant way, special trainings were conducted for the journalists.

Besides, the participants of the press-conference were demonstrated prepared social short film made by Transcarpathian journalists – about rights of the refugees and situation they are in Ukraine.

The chief expert of Refugee Department of Head Administration of State Migration Service of Ukraine in Transcarpathian region, Viktoriya Kovach reported that 106 citizens have applied to administration with applications to grant refugee status this year. The largest number of them were citizens from Afghanistan, Somalia, then – Sri Lanka, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam, etc. Also migrants from Eritrea appeared this year.

26 applications out of all presented ones were from children, i.e. submitted by their legal representatives.

There were positive decisions (status grant) made as to 2 persons, yet 27 persons were granted subsidiary protection (it means that they have now the same status as Ukrainian citizens). These are those persons who cannot return to the country of their origin because of danger to their life. Twenty-eight persons were rejected.

At the present moment there 38 registered recognized refugees.

In accordance with the words of Viktoriya Kovach, women can face persecution in several countries only because they go in for sports as well as change of religion can cause danger to their life.

Group of Volyn journalists also participated in the meeting, who shared their impressions from communication with refugees staying in Transcarpathia and Volyn.

The action was conducted in the frames of the project HRCA “Wested” and Uzhgorod press club supported by Democracy Assistance Fund of USA Embassy in Ukraine.