Poles expect Ukrainian refugees to find work during stay in country, polling shows

A survey finds that the majority of Poles demand the new arrivals find work and send their children to Polish schools

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: dorzeczy.pl/rp/pl
Refugees walk after fleeing the war from neighbouring Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

A majority of Poles believe Ukrainian refugees should be fully committed to undertaking paid employment during their time in the country, the latest poll shows.

According to a survey carried out by the IBRIS agency for the Rzeczpospolita newspaper, Poles expect Ukrainians to pay their own way as much as they can while seeking refuge in the country.

When asked what should be demanded of refugees, 70 percent of respondents believed that being ready to undertake paid employment should be a prerequisite for staying in Poland. Meanwhile, 39 percent wanted to see refugees sending their children to Polish schools, and 28 percent felt the new arrivals should be required to learn the Polish language in order to stay in the country.

Almost a quarter (22 percent) of respondents wanted refugees to fulfill all of the above requirements in order to receive social benefits, while 12 percent of Poles believed Ukrainians should have to purchase property in order to stay in the country.

Just 10 percent felt that nothing should be demanded of Ukrainian refugees choosing to remain in Poland.

Research coordinator Dr. Robert Staniszewski believes the research indicates that Poles want to see equality of treatment for refugees and the domestic population. This attitude, the researcher feels, is conditioned by factors such as inflation and strains on public services. This is why he believes that support for giving social assistance to Ukrainians in Poland is likely to fall over the coming months. 

According to data provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there have been 4.1 million border-crossings from Ukraine into neighboring Poland over the duration of the four-month long conflict in Ukraine.

A majority of those who crossed into Poland are still there, even though other research surveys indicate that 90 percent want to return to Ukraine.

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