*Please sign to support our note on action to take for our Kyiv colleagues* The war on Ukraine by the Russian Federation, which started on Thursday 24 February, will have a dramatic impact on the lives of our colleagues employed in Ukraine. We know that the EEAS formed a crisis-management working group for the emergency evacuation from Kabul in 2021. Generation 2004 would like to enquire whether similar arrangements have been put in place in Ukraine, if not, we strongly recommend to do it.
*Update 26.02.2022 Some concrete action to take in the short term:
- provide a contact point so that colleagues can communicate their needs;
- set up emergency funding so that colleagues can be assist for payment of health expenditure, accommodation when they travel away from Kyiv, and other ad hoc needs;
- put administrative procedures in order (extended special leave or allow teleworking from anywhere); Salary advance should only be provided in a means via which Local Agents (LAs) can access the money.
Now and in the longer term: we need to have a thorough assessment on the duty of care for Local agents on the ground and have it resolved once and for all – the lessons learnt from Turkey Coup, Kabul and Ukraine should not be wasted lessons for the EEAS to be prepared for future challenges. This should be the last for local agents to be subject to such chaotic and disordered crisis management (or lack of management) planning.*
We are aware that non-essential non-local colleagues are mostly teleworking from abroad and that LAs are teleworking from home, however we were informed that there is no contingency planning yet announced to LAs and their families, which is quite distressing for our colleagues in Kyiv. Generation 2004 believes that EEAS and Delegation management are those best positioned to understand the needs of colleagues on the ground. Therefore we request that the EEAS be ready to support them and, if necessary, to arrange:
- Safe evacuation of LAs
- If applicable, safe shelter with food and living supplies for those who wish to remain in the country.
This is yet another moment for the EEAS to demonstrate that it can respond quickly and effectively to military conflicts. We request that the EEAS act now! LAs in delegations around the world are attentively watching the EEAS reaction in Kyiv.
In this difficult time, we stand firmly with all colleagues in Ukraine. We also ask the EEAS to analyse the situation in Belarus and the Russian Federation as well, where other colleagues, especially the LAs, might find themselves in danger.
*Apologies for using the pre-2012 name ‘Kiev’ in this article originally and thanks to those who got in touch to correct our oversight!
- EU shuts down airspace to Russians (28.02.2022)
- European Council condemns Russia’s ‘unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine’ (25.02.2022)