BLOG: What can we learn from welcoming Ukrainians in the UK?

What lessons can we learn from the UK’s Ukraine welcome effort to date? And what are the implications for wider refugee policy and practice?

Migration Exchange

In March 2023, Migration Exchange held a briefing to mark a year since the start of the war on Ukraine. The briefing, part of our ‘Welcome and safety’ series, aimed to look at the UK’s welcome effort for Ukrainians to date, and the implications it has for refugee welcome practice more broadly. The briefing was attended by both funders and NGOs in the UK refugee and migration sector.

We invited speakers from across the sector, working both in welcome efforts and in policy:

Panel one: Infrastructure & practice experience
Hanya Dezyk, Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB)
Dmitri Macmillen, Work Rights Centre
Kate Brown, Reset

 Panel two: The wider impact
Jacqui Broadhead, Global Exchange on Migration & Diversity, COMPAS
Sara Trewhitt, City of Sanctuary
Sunder Katwala, British Future

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Existing community networks are crucial for rapid crisis response.
  • Political will can create safe and legal routes.
  • Uncertainty about the future and bureaucratic barriers persist.
  • The time is right for a joined up, properly funded, permanent welcome approach.