GENEVA (Reuters) – About 470,000 foreign nationals, including students and migrant workers, are stranded in Ukraine and neighbouring countries should grant them refugee if they try to flee, the U.N. migration agency said on Tuesday.
“We appeal to neighbouring countries to ensure that protection and shelter and access to territory is provided to all,” Safa Msehli, a spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), told a briefing.
The IOM has received requests from states in the Middle East, Asia and Africa asking for help for their nationals trying to leave Ukraine and the agency is working on a coordinated response, Msehli said.
So far, 6,000 foreign nationals have managed to flee to Slovakia and Moldova, she added.
The African Union (AU) said on Monday that it was disturbed by reports that African citizens in Ukraine are being refused the right to cross borders to safety as they try to flee the conflict in Ukraine.
Several have shared videos and testimonies on social media, denouncing discrimination at train stations and border posts. Reuters has not been able to authenticate the videos.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Madeline Chambers)