New means of protecting Ukraine’s refugees
30 March 2022
“The biggest refugee situation since the Second World War.” This is how international law scholar Rebecca Thorburn Stern describes the situation precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The provisions of the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive, passed in 2001, are now being applied for the first time to help Ukrainian refugees.
Since 24 February, when the Russian invasion began, a huge number of Ukrainians have been on the move. Within the country, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than six and a half million people have been displaced. Almost all have fled from east to west.
“UNHCR estimates that the number who have left Ukraine is now about three and a half million. They have gone mainly to Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova. Two of these are Schengen countries, which makes it more difficult to find out how many people subsequently move on to other European countries,” Thorburn Stern says.
Scale of refugee crisis much larger
As Professor of Public International Law at Uppsala University, Thorburn Stern specialises in migration and children’s human rights. She sees several major challenges ahead.
“So far, in three weeks, more than 14,000 people fleeing from Ukraine have made their way to Sweden. Compare that figure with the refugee crisis of 2015. Then, in the whole of that year, about 165,000 sought asylum in Sweden, and roughly 1.3 million people in the whole of the EU. So what’s happening now is on a far greater scale. There are several options for obtaining protection. In Ukraine, the state bears responsibility for people forced to leave their homes. Elsewhere, they can seek asylum; and if they meet the requirements for it to be granted, they can get a temporary residence permit according to an individual assessment.”
Activation of Temporary Protection Directive
In addition, the EU Council of Ministers has activated the TPD, also known as the Mass Influx Directive, which came into being after the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, but has never been used before.
“The purpose of the Directive was, first, to enable people to get temporary protection when a huge number are fleeing from a war zone, for example. Second, it was intended to promote solidarity and sharing of responsibility among EU member states in this kind of situation. The Directive affords protection for those who have fled from Ukraine since 24 February this year, and applies to Ukrainian nationals, and people who have been granted asylum in Ukraine, and their family members,” Thorburn Stern explains.
She emphasises, however, that the permits are for temporary stays – initially, one year. At most, the permits can be extended to March 2025, so they are not a long-term solution. Moreover, it can be complicated when a person falls within the scope of the Mass Influx Directive and is also an asylum seeker. It is not yet entirely clear how to deal with this situation, since it is a new one for the EU member states.
Major need of support measures
Thorburn Stern foresees a great need for relief efforts in the future, mainly in Ukraine and neighbouring countries such as Poland, Moldova and Romania.
“There are many internally displaced persons in Ukraine. The question is what happens if they too need to leave the country. Moldova, which borders on Ukraine and has received many people who have fled their homes, is one of Europe’s poorest countries and has limited capacity to receive them. Various organisations, such as the Red Cross and those in civil society, are making tremendous contributions there and in other countries. But the situation isn’t sustainable in the long run.”
She compares the current situation with what happened in 2015, when great willingness to receive refugees prevailed at first but was succeeded, in practice, by closed borders. Many countries in the EU were also opposed to solidarity in refugee policy and member states’ sharing of responsibilities.
“This is the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. There’s great willingness to help but, the question is, what will it look like in the long run?”
More News in English
Children's rights discussed at biomedicine conference
Recently, the Department of Law at Uppsala University arranged a conference on children's rights in the biomedical field, "Children's Rights in Bio...
The Department of Law welcomes new Doctoral students
The Department of Law is pleased to welcome seven new Doctoral students to our popular doctoral education, after having been admitted in the latest...
Distinguished degree thesis in Environmental Law receives award
This year's prize for the best degree project in Environmental Law goes to Lovisa Helmius, who in her degree project based on scientific knowledge,...
Research collaboration on racism and discrimination in schools
This week, Annika Nilsson, associate professor of Public Law and director of the Institute for Educational Law (IfU), presented a current research ...
Children's Rights in Biomedicine Conference on September 12
On September 12, the Department of Law will host its conference “Children's Rights in Biomedicine” to scrutinize scientific risk and uncertainty in...
Katia Cejie special investigator in parliamentary inquiry
The professor of Fiscal Law at the Department of Law, Katia Cejie, has recently started an assignment as a specialist in an investigation on the ef...
Rebecca Thorburn Stern Research Director for Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice
Rebecca Thorburn Stern, Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law, Uppsala University, was recently appointed Research Director o...
Newly started research network on human rights
We want to inform about a newly started multidisciplinary research network, "Uppsala research network on human rights". The network is multidiscipl...
Words of remembrance for Professor Emeritus Gabriel Michanek
Professor Emeritus Gabriel Michanek has left us after a period of illness. Gabriel has worked at Juridicum for almost his entire professional life....
Vladimir Bastidas becomes the new Head of Department of Law
On 1 July, Vladimir Bastidas, Associate Professor of European Law, will take up the position of new Head of the Department of Law at Uppsala Univer...
Professor Katia Cejie new member of the Board for Advanced Tax Rulings
Katia Cejie, Professor of Fiscal Law at the Faculty of Law, has been appointed by the Government as a member of the Board for Advanced Tax Rulings,...
Professor Mattias Dahlberg recipient of the Gustaf Adolf Medal in gold
Four employees and former employees at Uppsala University are awarded the older Gustaf Adolf Medal for significant contributions. The recipient of ...
We participate in Almedalen
In crisis and war, authorities and other public actors, just as under normal conditions, are governed by laws and regulations. The war in Ukraine a...
Erika P. Björkdahl inquiry chair on the new pre-purchase law
Erika P. Björkdahl, Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law in Uppsala, has been appointed by the Government as inquiry chair with the task ...
Erika P Björkdahl new Professor of Private Law
The Vice-Chancellor recently decided to promote Erika P Björkdahl to Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law in Uppsala.
Professor Anna Jonsson Cornell appointed Sweden's representative in CPT
Recently Professor Anna Jonsson Cornell has been appointed by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe as Sweden's representative in the...
Professor Mattias Dahlberg participates in a closing conference on SNS project
SNS, Center for Business and Policy Studies, has during the years 2019-2022 conducted an extensive research project on "Taxes in a globalized world...
- Marc Landeman new Doctor of Law in Private Law
Marc Landeman will defend his dissertation on 14 June
On June 14, Marc Landeman will defend his doctorate in civil law. The main theme of the thesis consists of two questions where he reconstructs the ...
Rebecca Thorburn Stern appointed as an expert in government investigation
The head of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Minister Lena Hallengren, has appointed Rebecca Thorburn Stern as an expert in "The Inquiry into Childr...
Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony takes place on 25 May
On 25 May, a ceremonial conferment ceremony will be held within Uppsala University's nine faculties in the auditorium of the University Main Buildi...
The Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony
On 18 May, 13 Doctor of Laws from the Faculty of Law were confermed together with other doctors at Uppsala University. The solemn procession was ca...
Jonatan Schytzer and Marek Keller awarded a scholarship by the Foundation Insolvency Law Forum
In connection with the establishment of the Insolvency Law Forum, Jonatan Schytzer was awarded a scholarship for his doctoral thesis "The Origin of...
Alumni Day is approaching May 10
On May 10, it is again time for Alumni Day, which includes interesting seminars, reunions and joint rounding at one of the nations.
Our law programme attracts the most people to the university
A total of 87 617 people have signed up for Uppsala University for the autumn semester 2022, where the law programme peaks.
Visby: What does the law council's criticism mean and what can happen now?
Patrik Bremdal explains what the Law Council's criticism of the Cementa legislation means and what its consequences may have in the future.
Apply for a doctoral student position in Environmental Law!
The Faculty of Law at Uppsala University invites applications for a doctoral student position in environmental law with an interdisciplinary focus.
- Appreciated visit by the U.S. Ambassador
Does international law protect us?
The honorary doctor of the Faculty of Law, Professor Martti Koskenniemi, discusses international law aspects of the invasion of Ukraine.
New means of protecting Ukraine’s refugees
“The biggest refugee situation since the Second World War.” This is how international law scholar Rebecca Thorburn Stern describes the situation pr...
Attention! New room for Guest lecture with Professor Diego Acosta Arcarazo
From 28 March to 9 April, the faculty will be visited by Dr. Diego Acosta Arcarazo, Professor of European and Migration Law in Bristol.
Carl Henrik Ehrenkrona awarded von Matern's premium
Carl Henrik Ehrenkrona has been awarded von Matern's premium by the Faculty of Law at Uppsala University.
Ukrainian researchers get help from Scholars at Risk
Anna Jonsson Cornell, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law, is currently working intensively with the organisation Sch...
EU project about civil judgments on payment obligations has been completed
The EU project "En4CE - Diversity of Enforcement titles in cross-border debt collection in the EU”, was concluded with an expert meeting 4 - 5 of M...
Jonatan Schytzer named Teacher of the Year for 2021
The Uppsala Law Student Association has named Jonatan Schytzer, Doctor of Laws in Civil Law, as Teacher of the Year for the Law programme in 2021.
Erika P Björkdahl member of the Swedish Estate Inspectorate’s disciplinary committee
Erika P Björkdahl, Associate Professor of Private Law and Director of the Institute for Real Estate Law Research (IFF), has been appointed by the g...
Two new Justices of the Supreme Court with ties to the Faculty of Law in Uppsala
Christine Lager and Jonas Malmberg have just been appointed new Justices of the Supreme Court. Both have ties to Uppsala University and the Faculty...
Law Programme still gets the most applications at Uppsala University
The Law Programme is still at the top as the most sought-after programmes at Uppsala University for the spring round of admissions. A total of 3,86...
- Andreas Kotsios new Doctor of Law in European Law
Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities rewards outstanding researchers and teache
Former doctoral student in Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law in Uppsala, Doctor of Law Mikael Ruotsi, receives a prize and SEK 50,000 from t...
- Lovisa Halje new Doctor of Law in Private Law
Elisabeth Rynning, former Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman and new visiting professor at the Faculty of
On 28 January Elisabeth Rynning, visiting professor in medical law at the Faculty of Law, was awarded H.M. The King’s Medal of the 12th size with t...
Teresa Quintel - winner of the 4th Stefano Rodotà Award
Previous doctoral student at the Faculty of Law in Uppsala Teresa Quintel wins the 4th Stefano Rodotà Award in the “PhD thesis“ category, for her P...
Anna Jonsson Cornell – expert on parliamentary inquiry
Professor of comparative constitutional law at the Faculty of Law Anna Jonsson Cornell has been appointed an expert on the commission of inquiry re...
More research grants to the Faculty of Law
Doctors of Law Gustaf Almkvist, Mikael Ruotsi and Jonatan Schytzer have been awarded research grants for their respective research projects from th...
Procedural law professor Bengt Lindell honoured in connection with emeritus professor appointment
The volume "Processrättsliga studier tillägnade Bengt Lindell" (Studies in procedural law dedicated to Bengt Lindell) was recently presented to Ben...
SEK 6 million to grant recipient Sandra Friberg
Marianne and Marcus Wallenbergs Foundation grants SEK 6 million to the research project "The Artificial Public Servant", led by Sandra Friberg, Ass...
Joint announcement of doctoral student positions at the Department of Law and the Department of Busi
In a collaboration, we are now announcing two doctoral student positions with admission to postgraduate studies at the Department of Law and employ...
- Conference: Rights of non-humans: AI, Robots, Cyborgs, Animals and Nature- Call for papers
A law student from Uppsala University winner of academic paper competition
The Swedish Competition Authority’s 2021 academic paper competition for students of law and students of economics was recently decided. First priz...