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Refugees: One of New Social Factors for Ukrainians

Nicolas studies social events in holistic manner. He is interested in the unity of genetic and environmental factors for understanding it

The Black Swan in Donbas


A New Notion for Ukraine - Internally Placed Persons

We considered interior social factors. Moreover, there is a problem nowadays common for all Ukraine. It says about the problem of refugees, named internally placed persons in our country. This term unites two definitions such as “migrant” and “refugee”. A refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted. There are for reasons of race, religion, nationality. We may add membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Also, it is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear. He is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”.

The Main Criteria

    • No doubt, it is a dense paragraph of text. In contrast, demands of anyone about the protection have the following criteria:
      a high risk of serious harm if they went back to their country:

      because of either their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion

      and that there would be no state protection for them

      And that they could not move within their country.

Forced Migrants

IDPs who flee from an armed conflict are an interesting research category. They differ from those who are displaced due to the reconstruction or natural disaster. Moreover, the conflict often serves as a trigger for the ethnic identity reconstruction. The problem of internally displaced people started being raised by scholars and policy makers in late 1980s. Only in the 1990s, this category became a part of an international agenda (Cohen, 2004; Brun, 2005; Mooney, 2005). The need of such recognition derived from the growing number of IDPs as a result of conflicts, disasters, and development programs. So, the main purpose of such recognition was to address IDPs’ needs and develop necessary responsive policies. Even though the term internally displaced people became quite prominent during last decades, there are still debates about its definition. IDPs are often perceived as those who have been forced to flee in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of human rights, natural disasters. In contrast, who did not cross an internationally recognition.Besides, it is not always clear what are internationally recognized borders. Since there are cases when the divided in civic conflicts territories can be recognized by some states . Moreover, they are ignored by others (e.g Abkhazia in Georgia). Some scholars (Mooney, 2003a; Brun, 2005; Van Hear, 2000) believe that the growing numbers of IDPs resulted from restrictive migration policies. It means potential destination countries. Furthermore, “forced to flee” does not exclude the element of choice. The choice is always present in IDPs decisions. As van Hear (2000) argued, economic and forced migrants have in their choices both freedom of choice and compulsion. Still, we can still argue that so-called “forced migrants” have narrower range of possibilities.

How to Identify Themselves

According to Amnesty 13 international7 , in Ukraine, openly identifying oneself as being Ukrainian in the conflict are as has become a life-threatening practice, while people are being forced to engage in identifying themselves with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. As for the Colombian situation, Velez and Ibanez (2008) assumed that one of the reasons of such discrepancies in decision-making process can be caused by the effect of violence on different groups, especially if the conflict has presumably civic character as can be seen from the described example. They also mentioned that if there are police and army forces protecting the territory, the number of those willing to migrate can decrease. From the described above, we can see that internal displacement due to the conflict creates a special case in mobility/migration studies. Moreover, considering Ukrainian case, we can see that in the beginning, the conflict had presumably civic character and shortly after – it grew into the international one. Conflict is usually shaping migration decisions of people who appeared to be in the epicenter of it. The effects of the conflict can also include the changes in how people view themselves, in case of civic and international conflict how they identify themselves in ethnic terms.

Massive Internal Displacement

the IDPs are the ones who migrate internally. More precisely as those who stay under the jurisdiction of the state of origin. As already was mentioned, there can be different causes of massive internal displacement. There are such as natural and human-made disasters, planned developments (mines, dams), and armed conflicts. The focus of this article is on the displacement as an outcome of armed conflicts. According to Muggah (2003), there is a clear difference between internal displacement as an outcome of planned development projects and conflicts. First of all, displacement is a result of the conflict. Usually it is much more spontaneous and unpredictable. Contrastingly, the development caused displacement is usually better “planned”. In many cases it is perceived as temporary by both migrants and policy makers (Muggah, 2003). To illustrate the specifications of the conflict caused displacement empirically, I will present findings of Velez & Ibanez (2008) who described Columbian displacement. The authors showed that violence in the place of origin modifies the migration incentives of education, social capital, and location assets. If we turn back to the Muggah’s (2003) notion of “spontaneous” displacement, we can argue these “spontaneous movements” were to some extent derived from violence. The process of displacement is not a mere movement from A to B. Moreover, it can include initial location, relocation, return, and even international migration (see also van Hear, 2000). So, in the armed conflicts the spontaneous movements can represent the initial location. Migrants might perceive themselves as temporary, and develop further plans for relocation and return. Even though the violence can influence the decisions of migrants, it does not determine them. Velez & Ibanez (2008) and van Hear (2000) argued that even in acute violent episodes there were people who preferred to stay rather than migrate. Moreover, in some cases the conflict brought especially acute danger for one group and was less damaging for another.


Cohen, Sheldon.(2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 59(8), Pages 676-684.

https//doi, org/10.1037/0003-060×59.8.67

Mooney, Erin.(2005). The Concept of Internal Displacement and the Case for Internally Displaced Persons as a Category of Concern. Refugee Survey Quaterly, Volume 24, issue 3, 2005, Pages 9-26.

https//doi.org /10.1093/rsq/hdi049

Van Hear, Nicholas.(2010). Locating internally displaced people in the field of forced migration. Pages 90-95


Muggah, Robert.(2008)The Crisis of Refugee Militarization in Africa. London: Zed Books, 2006. Journal of Refugee Studies. Volume 21, issue 2, June 2008, Pages 253-254.

https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fen 019

Ibáñez, Ana; Velez, Carlos.(2008). Civil conflicts and Forced Migration: The Micro Determinants and Welfare Losses of Displacement in Colombia. World Development, 2008, volume 36, issue 4, Pages 659-676.

https:// www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/SO305-750×(07)00226-4