What can business do to support people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine?

Businesses can help support the inclusion of Ukrainian refugees in their host countries, and many companies are already stepping up in different ways. ICC and IOM have worked together to provide this guidance on steps companies can take to respond to the conflict and the resulting displacement.

Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, over 5 million people have left Ukraine and crossed into neighbouring countries; as of 25 April, over 7.7 million people have been internally displaced. As the conflict intensifies and the number of displaced people increases, the focus of the global community on short-term humanitarian assistance will be accompanied by longer-term, sustainable assistance aimed at the successful inclusion of displaced people into host communities, including employment and income-generating opportunities.

Under the European Union’s Temporary Protection Directive,  EU Member States are working to provide immediate support and resettlement for Ukrainian refugees. Ukrainians and third country nationals who fulfil the eligibility requirements to benefit from temporary protection have the immediate right to receive one year residency permits (renewable up to three years) in European Union Member States and Switzerland, and by extension the right to employment, housing, healthcare and education. Beneficiaries of temporary protection must first register with the country or municipality where they intend to reside as a pre-condition for accessing socioeconomic rights.

Many companies in different sectors are already stepping up to support displaced Ukrainians in different ways.   This resource provides comprehensive, practical guidance on the immediate and medium-term steps companies can take to respond to the conflict and the resulting displacement.

Topics covered include:

  • Labour Market Inclusion & Employment Protections – For many who are displaced by the war in Ukraine, having a job is vital for economic survival and independence and a crucial step in developing a sense of belonging, which requires the development of social networks that can help newcomers integrate into their host communities. Displaced populations often face a variety of barriers that can directly or indirectly obstruct their integration into the labour market, including lack of documentation attesting to their professional experience and credentials, language barriers and access to information.
  • Health, Well-being & Social Protection – Aspects to be taken into account include assistance to staff within conflict zones, COVID measures, psychosocial support and access to health services in host countries.
  • Community & Social Inclusion – Ukrainians fleeing hostilities are not likely to receive the information they need to facilitate community and social inclusion in their country of destination prior to departure. Here are some steps your business can take to support integration between newcomers, co-workers and communities.
  • Financial Inclusion – It is essential for refugees arriving in a new country to have access to a bank account and means of payment to be able to receive wages and for everyday life. Under the EU Temporary Protection Directive, Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war are granted temporary legal residence which gives rights to open a bank account.
  • Digital Inclusion – Digital connectivity is also a fundamental necessity for accessing basic services in the host country as well as to maintain communications with family and communities in the country of origin. Affordability, access to devices and infrastructure, digital literacy, language, security, and privacy concerns are all possible barriers to digital inclusion of refugees.
  • Enhancing Supply Chain Due Diligence & Integrity – In view of the increased risk of human trafficking to business operations and supply chains across Europe, businesses need to strengthen the integrity of recruitment and hiring practices to prevent fraudulent and unethical recruitment.
  • Raising Awareness, Cooperation & Support – Companies can raise awareness and increase support through individual and joint communication efforts.
  • Useful links, and contact numbers are also provided to help businesses obtain further information.