Cataluña to offer legal and psychological counselling to Ukrainian refugees

JBouchez, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Generalitat of Cataluña will offer legal and psychological counselling to arriving Ukrainian refugees through the Regional Ministry for Equality and Feminism.

The government of Cataluña has set up a technical committee to coordinate the response to the situation in Ukraine. Refugees arriving in Cataluña from Ukraine will be able to contact the Generalitat via 012 or [email protected]. The Regional Ministry for Equality and Feminism does not know how many refugees will arrive.

So far, 17 Ukrainians in Cataluña have requested accommodation in shelters provided by the Generalitat. Cataluña is already preparing for the “different scenarios” that may arise over the next few days as a result of the war in Ukraine. These scenarios will be dependent on the number of people arriving.

It is unknown how many refugees will arrive in Cataluña from Ukraine over the next few days. “It is expected that they will arrive, but we don’t know how many. It is a very different situation to that of Afghanistan because the first country the Ukrainians find when they cross the border is already a member of the European Union,” said the minister for Equality and Feminism, Tània Verge.

She also stated that the granting of asylum rights depends on the central government, as it is not the responsibility of the autonomous region.

“We believe that the state programme can increase its capacity to receive refugees. But the granting of asylum applications and the location of these places [in the different communities] is a state competence,” said Verge. The Generalitat is calling for this distribution of asylum seekers to be a “co-decision” between the state and the autonomous communities.

Verge defined the current situation as a “very open and very uncertain scenario”. It is unknown how long the war will last (“the longer it lasts, the more refugees will arrive”) but she calls for the EU’s response to be “different” to the one it had to Afghanistan. “We hope there will be more involvement than in Afghanistan,” she said.


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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]