Ukraine crisis

The Equality Forward team have been deeply disturbed by the distressing news of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and the impact on the civilian population.

We are concerned for all damage to the life and wellbeing of all individuals affected, including those who are most vulnerable and may potentially struggle the most to find food and water, stay warm and sheltered, escape injury and threats to their life and access medical services. 

War does not affect all groups equally and can compound vulnerabilities for many communities, including but not limited to women, particularly pregnant women; the LGBTQ community; disabled people and those who require regular or ongoing medical attention; children and the elderly; and racial and ethnic minorities and Roma communities.

As a result, we have decided to donate to the following organisations which are providing much-needed support for those affected vulnerable communities on the ground:  

13 leading UK aid charities, including the Red Cross and Save the Children. This DEC appeal will be match-funded pound-for-pound by the UK Government up to £20 million.) 

A Ukraine-based non-profit that provides civilians with everything from baby food and hygiene products to clothes and household supplies.

A charity that focuses on helping children recover from the psychological trauma of war.

Supporting LGBTQ+ groups and organizations on the ground who are setting up shelters and providing safety for citizens

A Ukraine-based NGO that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in Ukraine, currently focused on protection and safety for those people during the Russian invasion.

Our team is doing, and will continue to do, everything we can to support individuals and grassroots organisations providing relief and protection to vulnerable groups in Ukraine.

Actions

We encourage all organisations to show support and some examples of actions companies can take include:

  1. Take time out to check in with your colleagues at work and offer support.
  2. If you have an employee assistance program remind affected employees that this support is available. Consider what additional support is being offered to support employees with managing their mental and emotional wellbeing.
  3. Consider designating a contact person in each of your country locations, who employees can reach out to for assistance as needed.
  4. Donate to some or all of the organisations listed above
  5. Speak out about the current crisis and do not ignore what is happening.
  6. Champion and support opportunities for colleagues to volunteer their time and skills to aid those fleeing conflict.
  7. Ensure affected employees, have opportunities to take time off work, and manage their mental and emotional wellbeing at this time.
  8. For affected employees consider offering opportunities to relocate and offer to support with the financial costs of this.
  9. Above all make it a practice to check in with affected employees, and make yourself available to help.

For those in the UK write to your MP

As a UK based organisation, we strongly urge the UK Government to relax laws requiring refugees to have arranged their visas prior to arriving in the UK. As such, we have provided the following template for those wishing to write to their MP.

Dear [MP’s Name]

As a constituent of [ENTER WESTMINSTER CONSTITUENCY], I am writing to request that you seek in Parliament the immediate suspension of all visa requirements for all Ukrainian citizens fleeing Ukraine in the wake of the destructive onslaught by the Russian military.

I am asking that the Home Office offer Ukrainian citizens 90 days visa free before being required to regularise their status in the UK. In addition to the imposition of sanctions against the Russian state and individuals, and the provision of financial and lethal support for Ukraine, I believe suspending visa requirements would be both a great act of solidarity and offer Ukrainians fleeing war a desperately needed safe harbour.

Kind regards

[Name]

[ADDRESS]