Jamaica should protest student treatment in Ukraine
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Anthony Hylton has suggested that the Jamaica Government protest the alleged discriminatory student treatment when fleeing the war in Ukraine.
“We have heard all kinds of stories, some of them cause for concern,” said Hylton, claiming that Jamaicans were subjected to threats by state agencies in Ukraine and Poland.
Hylton quizzed Leslie Campbell, state minister for foreign affairs and foreign trade, on the Government’s response during a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament on Thursday.
The opposition MP asked if the Government would register a complaint to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which protects the rights of people forced to flee wars and persecution.
In his response, Campbell said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade would have dialogue with the 20 students in the coming weeks.
The students arrived on the island on Wednesday.
He said part of the engagement with the students would involve discussions on how they were treated while fleeing Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine.
“I must confess that the tough thing to do last night (Wednesday) was to get into those issues because I noticed that one or two of them became very emotional just being there,” Campbell said.
The state minister also revealed that a university that two of the Jamaican students attended in Ukraine went up in smoke after being hit by rockets from Russia’s army.
Campbell indicated that the Government had sought psychologists and psychiatrists to help the students overcome the trauma.
He said that initial contacts have been made with overseas universities as well as regional tertiary institutions in an attempt to assist the students to complete their studies.
Gov’t told to lodge Ukraine complaint about threats Jamaica Gleaner