Ukraine Adopts New Migration Strategy Developed with IOM Support

14 July 2017

On Wednesday, 12 July, the Government of Ukraine adopted a new State Migration Strategy, which will steer the national migration policy for the next eight years. The new document was developed to substitute Ukraine’s 2011 State Migration Concept, which needed to be updated due to the latest global and local developments. Among them, the unprecedented forced migration from the Middle East, Ukraine’s approximation to the European Union and introduction of the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the majority of the EU Member States, as well as large-scale internal displacement in the country, with about 1.6 million people officially registered as internally displaced persons.

IOM contributed to the development of Ukraine’s Migration Strategy, upon Ukrainian Government request and with the support of the EU, mainly by fostering adaptation of best international practices to the Ukrainian context. With IOM’s involvement, the latest migration strategies of seven EU and Eastern Partnership countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, and Slovakia – were taken into consideration when drafting Ukraine’s Migration Strategy.

The Head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine, Maksym Sokoliuk, thanked the EU Delegation to Ukraine and IOM for their support in the document development. “The State Migration Strategy is a road map which will further facilitate reforming the migration system and enhancing migration management in Ukraine,” said Mr. Sokoliuk.

The Strategy introduces new elements to the migration policy, for the benefit of citizens, Ukrainians abroad, and foreigners in Ukraine. It suggests reintegration programmes for returning Ukrainian migrants, activities promoting repatriation, and cooperation with Ukrainian diaspora worldwide, which is up to 20 mln people, according to the estimates. Considering the needs and rights of foreigners, the Strategy envisages, inter alia, facilitation of regular migration to Ukraine, retention of highly qualified foreign specialists, and regularization of irregular migrants who have families or work in Ukraine.

The document also stresses the need to further develop the migration management information and communication systems, which will support identification of persons and document security, simplify the provision of administrative services, and ensure effective information exchange with Interpol and European databases of authentic and false documents (PRADO and FADO).

For proper implementation of the Strategy, Ukraine will need to draft specific legislative acts and action plans. “IOM stands ready to support Ukraine in further enhancing its migration policy framework, for the benefit of both migrants and the State,” said IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission, Manfred Profazi.