Category Archives: Project News

Law enforcers detained a group of illegal migrants from Sri Lanka


Recently, in Sumy region, the staff of operational-search units of the State Border Guard Service once again eliminated the channel of unlawful movement of illegal migrants across the Ukrainian-Russian state border.

Late in the evening the SBGS staff together with the employees of the Investigation Department in Sumy region detained a group of illegal migrants from Sri Lanka and Ukrainian, who transported them by car.

During operative and searching activities the law enforcers stopped the AUDI car of the Ukrainian registration driven by the citizen of Ukraine. There were three citizens of Sri Lanka inside the vehicle.

It is previously established that the foreigners were illegally transported across the border from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of Ukraine outside the established checkpoints in one of the areas of the border in Krasnopilsky district.

Currently, the detained foreigners and citizens of Ukraine are delivered to Sumy Police Department. The investigative actions proceed.


Border guards detected three trespassers in Transcarapathia


picBorder guards of Chop Border Detachment detained three men intending to cross illegally the state border and get to the countries of European Union. In the course of planned measures realization border guards discovered and detained two persons. They attempted to get to Slovakia. The violators did not have any document, however, explained that they were the citizens of Ukraine, 1975 and 1963 DOB, residing in Donetsk region.

One more violator was apprehended by the border guards of BS “Palad Komarovtsy”. Receiving information from Slovakian colleagues about unfamiliar person moving towards the border, they immediately started the operation in closing state border line. In a result, a citizen of Moldova was detained 10 m before the state border. The man had national passport, however, he refused to provide any explanations.

So far, all detainees are delivered to Temporary Detention Centre of Chop Border Detachment aiming to establish circumstances of the infringement and drawing up corresponding procedural documents.


Growth in number of asylum applications is noticed in Hungary


7-80796857463524As it was reported in the interview by the Director General of Immigration Service of Hungary to the Public Channel М1, Zhuzhanna Veg (Végh Zsuzsanna), in the course of the last three months of 2015 Immigration Service has received more than 33 000 application on asylum granting.

The growth in the number of the applications has first started in 2013 and this tendency will continue this year. Basing on this fact “…we expect a difficult year”, – she said.

According to the words of Zhuzhanna Veg, the migrants escape from the areas of war actions along the world to Europe, including Hungary. In average, 150 to 200 persons submit the asylum applications every day.

According to data given in the interview during the program, during the last three years the number of applications on refugee status granting has increased in twenty times.

Just only last year, 42 000 asylum applications were submitted in comparison with the year 2012, when there were 2000.


Spouses from Syria were detained in the lorry among the goods boxes


Two illegal migrants from Syria were detained in Bukovyn by the border guards of Chernivtsi Detachment. The car arrived to the check point “Porubne” was driven by 48-year-old Belarusian. Yet, in the beginning of the examination of the lorry making its way to Turkey from Russian Federation, the service dog felt something.  The border detail initiated the additional inspection and together with customs officers they examined the car. Two unfamiliar persons were detected there. The man and woman of about 30 were hiding in the trailer among the load of the car. As it was learned later, the “travelers” were the spouses from Syria. They reported that they intended to get to one of EU countries aiming a improving their life conditions.

So far, the detainees are at the detention centre, the further destiny of the husband and wife will be defined by the court. Law enforcement agents conduct verification action as to illegal transportation of persons through the state border of Ukraine.


Two Lithuanians travelled with forged documents


Two citizens of Lithuania travelling with forged driving documents were detained recently by the border guards if BS “Girsk” of Chernihiv Detachment together with the workers of the customs. During the check of the cars making their way from Ukraine through auto mobile check point “Senkivka” joint inspection group detected evident signs of forgery in the driver’s documents. Two cars were confiscated from the travellers.


PRESS-RELEASE: UNHCR concerned about gaps in Draft Law aimed at harmonization of legislation on protection of refugees

The UNHCR Regional Representation welcomes registration of the Draft Law on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Refugees and Persons in Need of Complementary or Temporary Protection in the Parliament on 3 May 2012.

The Draft Law aims to harmonize the national legislation on refugees and persons in need of complementary or temporary protection with the standards in the field of socio-economic rights according to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees ratified by Ukraine in 2002 and the relevant EU standards specified in the requirements of the National Plan to implement Action Plan on liberalization of EU visa regime for Ukraine





Woman with a child from Somalia was detained at Uzhgorod railway station


Border guards of BS “Uzhgorod” detected three illegal migrants just in one day. In the frames of operative-prevention measures on counteraction of illegal migration the district inspector of Border Service together with policemen detained one citizen of Georgia without documents. The man was in a controlled border area without documents identifying him and confirming the legality of his stay on the territory of Ukraine.

The same day another border detail of the same BS together with workers of AMOI apprehended a citizen of Somalia with under age child at the railway station. The woman had only a document on appeal to the court, the term of which expired in July of the current year, i.e. this person by her actions violated the order of PKMU № 1074 dated from 29.05.1995.

The citizen of Georgia and citizen of Somalia were detained in accordance with Item 1 Article 203 of CCU, namely inobservance of determined order of stay on the territory of Ukraine by foreign citizens.


Readmission not as terrible as the media painted it

The Readmission Agreement between Ukraine and the EU regarding nationals of a third country or stateless persons is already in force. However those working to defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers say that only an isolated few have been readmitted.  They note that the media was full of predictions that hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals with unregulated status would be deported to Ukraine, but that this has not happened. According to Yulia Zelvenksa, Eastern Europe Advisor to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, no more than 30 people have come under the readmission rules which came into effect on 1 January 2010.
According to Ms Zelvenska, the procedure itself is extremely complicated, and any readmission from an EU country must be examined on an individual basis to see whether the person requires international protection. If this is Germany, for example, the case needs to be checked together with the embassy and Ministry of Internal Affairs or other body responsible for readmission.
The Ukrainian Refugee Council stress that in discussing the Readmission Agreement it is important to concentrate on real changes which the Agreement’s implementation will bring, and not merely spread xenophobic attitudes towards foreigners. They are concerned, for example, that asylum seekers could be returned from the EU and have doubts as to Ukraine’s being a safe country for those in need of protection.
From a report by Olha Vesnyanka. 

On the Readmission agreement between Ukraine and EU


In an interview to Oksana Klymonchuk from UNIAN, Deputy Ministry of Internal Affairs Vasyl Marmazov spoke about the agreement on readmission between Ukraine and the EU which is to come into force from 1 January 2010.

Mr Marmazov stressed that the agreement, reached on 18 June 2007, has already been in force with regard to readmission of nationals of the signatories who have infringed legislation. What is new is the part regarding readmission of nationals of a third country or stateless persons.

“I would like to stress that the law enforcement agencies of EU countries will return nationals of a third country or stateless persons to Ukraine only after they provide evidence that the people in question did in fact reach an EU country from Ukraine”.

He goes on to say that the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA], State Border Guard Service, can agree or not agree the procedure for readmission, and that it will not therefore take place automatically.

The relevant EU officials will need to explain why the illegal migrant should be returned to Ukraine, and not their country of origin, if the EU has a readmission agreement with this country. If it does not, and Ukraine agrees to take the person, then the Ukrainian authorities have to take measures to identify the person and his or her nationality, as well as determining his or her fate.

“There are two temporary centres for illegal migrants which were built over the last 2 years, one in the Chernihiv region (oblast), the other in the Volyn region.

These centres were mainly financed by public funding, however also with the support of the EU and International Organization for Migration [IOM].

The two centres are designed for 373 people and at present are only 70% occupied.  The plan in general is to open 5-7 of such centres. Over the next two years, I think three will be built, this depending on the migration flow, as well as on the EU’s fulfilment of its commitments as per the agreement to help Ukraine in developing institutional capacity.

How much did the centres already built cost?

The one in the Volyn region, for example, cost around 36 million UAH.

The EU is planning to allocate a further 30 million EURO, of which 10 will be for the needs of the State Border Guard Service and 20 – the MIA. In our case, we will use the money on building centres.

Without documents

It does happen that illegal migrants themselves destroy their documents, but there are also often cases where those who illegally transport them take their documents away.  It can take up to a year to establish a person’s identity, he says. If the person applies for refugee status, then the procedure may drag on even longer. “If the person is willing, then procedure for voluntary return may be applied, in which case the MIA works closely with the IOM which helps illegal migrants return voluntarily to their country of origin.

Since 2002 there has been separate funding in the Budget for sending migrants returned from Europe home. In 2008-2009 3 million UAH was allocated, this being money to be managed by the MIA. Another million was allocated to the Border Guard Service.

These figures are clearly insufficient and we are therefore actively promoting the implementation of a programme of voluntary return, with funding from the IOM and other NGOs dealing with migration.

The Ukrainian authorities can also use money from the illegal migrant himself, a person supporting him or at the expensive of third countries.

Where do most illegal migrants come from?

The largest number of illegal migrants reach Ukraine from the Russian Federation, some from Moldova and Belarus.

Most often this is people from China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia and other African countries”.  Mr Marmazov points out the EU recently concluded a readmission agreement with Pakistan, which means that even those Pakistani nationals who reach the EU from Ukraine will be returned to their country of origin.

“Clearly, if for various reasons it is impossible to identify a person for a long time, they’ll be held in the relevant centres permanently. In some cases they remain in our country. However this is a very small percentage of the total number of people held in centres for illegal migrants – 1-2 %. In some cases even with this category, there can be legal grounds for their continued presence in Ukraine – marriage, for example, or the birth of a child. With regard to children born on Ukrainian territory, the provisions in legislation are applied which confirm their rights according to birth.

“I try to be an optimist, analyze everything calmly. I don’t quite accept the fears expressed by the mass media. That indicates only lack of information”.

Asked if there was any benefit to Ukraine from the readmission agreement, Mr Marmazov stressed that one could not speak of readmission in isolation from relations with the outside world, and that Ukraine has to somehow achieve liberalization of the visa regime. He considers readmission to be one of the mechanisms for fighting illegal migration, and sees this as being a task for the law enforcement bodies since the phenomenon is often criminalized. “Readmission generates very serious commitments which is an even greater stimulus for us to fight it.

And at the end of the day it is an element of being civilized. It is an objective reality and I would therefore generally avoid judgments, “black” or “white”.”

From an interview at

The articles in this column are translated media articles from various Ukrainian sources. Often, these are based on press statements from the Ministry of Interior (MoI) or State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS). They are mere translations and published here for the purpose of documenting developments in Ukraine. Thus, the articles neither reflect the opinion of the Border Monitoring Project Ukraine nor does the BMP approve the statements made in these articles.