Human Security Lab Director, Students Brief State Department on Freedom of Movement in Ukraine
Faculty and student researchers from the UMass Amherst Human Security Lab briefed officials from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Aug. 9 regarding the lab’s recent report on Ukraine’s travel ban imposed on civilian men in the aftermath of the Russian invasion last year.
The report reveals that the ban has produced devastating and unintended effects on the Ukrainian populace including separated families, civilian men vulnerable to gender-selective massacres, trapped college students and limited freedom of movement for transgender women. Nearly 9.5 million men aged 18 to 60 are subject to the ban.
Charli Carpenter, professor of political science and director of the Human Security Lab, says the report provides compelling evidence that the ban should be repealed.
“It’s in the U.S.’s interest for Ukraine to maintain the moral high ground in this war, and emerge from the conflict as a mature democracy with a good human rights record,” Carpenter said after participating in the briefing.
She has spoken to officials at the United Nations, think tanks and nongovernmental organizations as well, and is calling on human rights and humanitarian actors around the world to advocate for all civilians equally, regardless of gender.
Doctoral candidate Jenna Norosky, who is conducting research with Carpenter this summer on refugee and civilian protection issues in Ukraine, also attended the briefing. Norosky has received research grants from the Human Security Lab for her dissertation research on the international community’s approach to conflict-related sexual violence against men.
Former Human Security Lab Assistant Project Manager Camryn Hughes '23 contributed to discussions about the methodology used to analyze survey results from Ukraine. Hughes is now working in legal advocacy for refugees and continues to consult with the Human Security Lab on its nuclear, Ukraine and Afghanistan projects.