Migration situation in Ukraine The current migration situation in Ukraine was formed under the influence ofdifferent political, socioeconomic, ethnic, internal and external factors. In general, itremains rather difficult and sometimes the difficulties are becoming even more acute.In the beginning of the 1990s Ukraine enjoyed a better, comparing to other CISstates, economic situation. This caused a strong annual increase in the immigrationflows into Ukraine. Since the end of 1993 the tendency took the opposite direction.Since 1994 the unfavourable balance in migration movements in Ukraine increased.In 1995, it constituted 42.5 thousand people with the Baltic states and the CIS statesand 47.7 thousand people with far abroad states. In general, 1992 through 1995 1 233640 people have entered Ukraine for permanent residence and 1 154 554 have leftUkraine. The composition of migration flows is also unfavourable for the social anddemographic situation in the country. For example, ethnic Ukrainians are less than ahalf of those entering Ukraine. At the same time Ukraine is losing highly educatedpeople who are able to work and have children. This negative migration tendencycoupled with a negative demographic tendency might result in dramaticconsequences. To prevent them the state has to do its best to develop appropriatemigration legislation.Foreigners constitute a separate category of migrants in Ukraine. First, to thiscategory belong those who come from the countries of former Soviet Union, escapingfrom armed or interethnic conflicts. Second, there are so called traditional foreigners.The first category is mainly formed by the immigrants from Caucasian states, namelyGeorgians, Azerbajdzans, Armenians and Chechenians. It is necessary to underline,that only a few of them apply for refugee status. For example, in 1995 the totalnumber of these people constituted nearly 160 000.Among them only 5 000 were asylum seekers, including 1 500 asylum seekers fromChechnja. The others use different ways to obtain entry to Ukraine, become engagedin trade, private business, and sometimes in criminal business.During 1995, 6664 traditional foreigners came to Ukraine. In this period the stateauthorities found 55 000 people who violated the rules of settlement in Ukraine. 219
of these were deported from the country. Since 1994, the UNHCR has registered inUkraine 4 500 asylum seekers, who have the intention of obtaining refugee status.All this testifies clearly to the fact of extensive illegal migration in Ukraine. During1995, state authorities arrested 9 421 illegal migrants and found 144 channels ofillegal migration. The respective authorities point to the organized internationalmechanism of migration through Ukraine. Both legal (e.g. tourism, scholarships,commercial activity, transit visas etc.) and illegal way are used for migrationbusiness.Some foreigners who illegally stay in Ukraine are closely linked to trafficking, todrugs, to arms smuggling and to organized crime. They are often also of greatdamage for the health of Ukrainian citizens.Ukraine attracts some illegal immigrants by its geographical situation, as theconvenient point for the further migration westward. Others are attracted mainly bythe social situation in the country. Compared to other countries, they can spendrelatively small amount of currency and have satisfactory living conditions. So, theimproving of the socioeconomic situation might cause the increase of the interest intoUkraine from the side of immigrants, and therefore will increase the immigrationflow into Ukraine, including illegal immigration.The return of formerly deported people makes the migration situation in Ukraineeven more complex. 238 000 Crimean Tatars and 12 000 of Armenians, Bulgarians,Greeks, Germans have already returned to Crimea. According to the predictions ofthe Crimean authorities an additional 200-220 000 Crimean Tatars and several tens ofthousands of people of other nationalities might return to Crimea. The experiencewith this category of immigrants shows that the problems of social (education, job)rehabilitation of these people, as well as revival and developing of the ethnic clustersare complex, long-term and expensive ones. We recognize that serious challenges inthis sphere cannot be met by the limited resources and experience of Ukraine alone,without the support and assistance of international community. It also depends a loton the development of the legislative process, particularly from legal confirmation ofthe obligations of the state to rehabilitate the rights of deported people.
Migration legislation in Ukraine is not appropriate so far for satisfactory regulationand management of migration flows. For example, it is necessary to adopt as soon aspossible the Law of Ukraine About Immigration, as well as make necessaryamendments to the existing acts concerning the legal status of foreigners.An acute problem for Ukraine is the codification of migration legislation. Themigration legislation of Ukraine is constituted by several legislative acts, prepared bydifferent organs, which do not always agree with each other. To our view, alllegislation on migration should be brought into one general Migration Act, as hasbeen done by other states.Several state organs in Ukraine deal with different migration issues: Department inthe Ministry of Interior, Border Guard, Department in the Ministry of ForeignAffairs, Department in the Ministry of Labour, Department in the Ministry forNationalities and Migration, Department in the Ministry of Chernobyl and so on.Each organ covers a definite sphere, but does not at present always work in line withthe activity of the others. So, it is necessary to have appropriate co-ordinating organto bring the activity of each department into conformity with the others.It is also necessary to elaborate a general state programme, dealing with all categoriesof migrants existing in Ukraine, and in line with international norms and standards aswell as relevant international obligations in the field of migration.The last two years have revealed that emigration is another acute problem forUkraine. To some extent different aspects of the emigration processes are in thesphere of activity of the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Statistics and the Ministry ofthe Interior. However, none of the state organs provides a full analysis of emigrationsituation.According to approximate estimates, only 15-16 per cent of the foreigners withindefinite status have the intention of legal settlement in Ukraine, and thus areregistered and supervised by respective state organs.The State organs dealing with migration encounter significant difficulties, inparticular inadequate financial support, lack of trained personnel and so on.Inadequate financial resources coupled with lack of trained personnel delayed theimplementation the Law of Ukraine About Refugees.
Being adopted in December 1993 is implementation started only in January 1996.However, the new legislative, political social, economic and ideological aspects ofthe migration process are leading to a strengthening of the efforts of the state to copewith them, and this is a hopeful sign.Volodymyr B. YevtoukhMinisterMinistry for Nationalities and Migration