The spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Shabia Mantoo, has criticised the double standards applied by some Western countries against refugees.
In a press statement on Tuesday, Mantoo explained that open racist statements by some Western politicians and journalists have caused discrimination against refugees.
She added that the use of the terms “like whites and Europeans” in reference to Ukrainian refugees, and abusive expressions in relation to Syrian and Afghan refugees, have caused a wave of widespread criticism.
“It doesn’t matter what their (refugees’) identity is or where they come from. Let’s be a little more humane and compassionate,” she said.
“We don’t need this kind of rhetoric. This situation is very tragic for refugees from Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. Nobody wants to be a refugee,” she added.
During a live broadcast of the events in Ukraine, an NBC correspondent, Kelly Cobiella, said: “Frankly, these are not refugees from Syria. These are refugees from Ukraine. These are Christians. They are white. They are very similar to people who live in Poland,” which sparked a wave of criticism on social media.
Earlier, the United Nations announced that 660,000 Ukrainian refugees had crossed into neighbouring countries after the Russian attack, adding that more than 470,000 citizens of other countries were still stranded in Ukraine.
Last Thursday, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.