Is Eric van der Burg ignoring these 6 critical factors that could change everything for Derdelanders? We’re third country nationals whose temporary protection directive is currently threatened. Our protection is coming to an end on September 4, and also subjected to be evicted from our shelters.
As the State Secretary for Security and Justice, understanding the multifaceted complexities of the refugee crisis is essential. Considering every angle, especially, when human lives are directly impacted, which is a factor that should not be overlooked.
Here are some 6 key factors ought to have been considered by Eric van der Burg, before making the decision to end the protection of the non-Ukrainian nationals who fled the Ukraine war:
1. Historical Precedence
Throughout history, humanity has faced numerous crises where nationality took a back seat to the urgency of human welfare. From the Jewish refugees during World War II to the Rwandan genocide, countries have often opened their borders to provide protection. Prioritizing human welfare over nationality is not just an act of charity but a recognition of a collective responsibility we share as global citizens. Straying from this time-tested precedent would be a deviation that undermines the ethical and humane principles that have guided international relations and human rights law for decades.
2. Factual Analysis
The 2,900 non-Ukrainian nationals are not just statistical outliers; we are people who have experienced extreme hardships due to the conflict in Ukraine. Whether we were in Ukraine for work, study, or other reasons becomes immaterial when we’re caught in the crossfire of war. Our lives are equally affected by the bombings, food shortages, and overall instability as those of Ukrainian nationals. To dismiss our experiences on the grounds of our non-Ukrainian status is to ignore the harrowing realities we have faced.
3. EU Legal Framework
Directive 2001/55/EC is a European Union law specifically aimed at providing protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons. This directive emphasizes that protection should be equitable and free from overly technical distinctions that could dilute its primary purpose: safeguarding human lives. By excluding non-Ukrainian nationals from the shelters, the Dutch government is arguably in violation of this EU law, which does not make exclusions based on nationality in times of mass displacement. The focus should be on the severity of need rather than bureaucratic labels.
4. Moral Duty
At the core of any humanitarian response is the moral duty to treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of nationality. The story of each everyone of us is a unique tale of hope, struggle, and resilience. It is our collective moral obligation to offer us a chance at security and a life free from immediate danger. Ignoring this duty casts a shadow on our collective conscience and undermines international principles of human rights and dignity.
5. Repercussions of Immediate Shelter Eviction
The Dutch government’s decision to terminate our temporary protection would subject us to a plethora of difficulties, both tangible and psychological. Tangibly, we would face homelessness, inability to work, and loss of access to basic healthcare — turning us into stateless people struggling for survival. Psychologically, the trauma of sudden eviction could have long-lasting impacts on our mental health. Given these complexities, it is imperative to reconsider this decision carefully.
6. Shared Bonds in Ukraine
Many of us, Derdelanders, the non-Ukrainian nationals had formed deep relationships and bonds with Ukrainians during our time in the country. These bonds are often born out of shared experiences, communal hardships, and the human narrative that transcends linguistic or national barriers. Evicting us not only separates the closely knit communities we’ve build together, but also undermines the universality of human experiences that such bonds represent.
We passionately urge Eric van der Burg, to revisit this decision by emphasizing the principles of humanity, empathy, and fairness. The Netherlands has always been a beacon of hope, championing human rights, and we trust in our capacity to continue this legacy even in the face of adversity.
In summary, it’s crucial for the Dutch government and Eric van der Burg to consider these multifaceted complexities when revisiting the decision to terminate the temporary protection status of these non-Ukrainian nationals.