Wednesday 8 June 2022

UIC Refugee Task Force releases a guidance on measures to be taken for refugee crises

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Rail is a crucial component of critical infrastructure. During the war, the railway is a target as it plays a key role in the transportation of goods and people. As of 29 May 2022, over 6.8 million people have crossed the Ukrainian border. A large number of refugees took the train. In total, Ukrainian Railways evacuated 2,857,785 people from the country’s central and eastern regions in the first month of the conflict, with 411,572 being transported abroad. Railroad operators in Ukraine’s neighboring countries play an equally important role in the safe movement of refugees.

Since March, the UIC Refugee Task Force has exchanged relevant information on a regular basis in order to support UIC member companies, partner associations, and organisations in tackling the challenges arising from the humanitarian crisis. 100 representatives from 29 countries (from Estonia to Portugal, and from Japan and USA) and 44 entities (38 railway companies and 6 international organisations including UIC) are currently taking part in the Task Force.

The discussions include updates on migration flows, sharing of good practice and know-how on managing such flows, real-time exchange of information between train operators and infrastructure managers in order to welcome Ukrainian refugees in railway stations and trains as effectively as possible, preparation of communications plans, and ways of addressing any security issues.

The task force developed and sent out a questionnaire to task force members to identify what operational and communication measures were adopted by members in response to the refugee crisis in Ukraine. 29 members of the Task Force responded to this questionnaire distributed in March 2022.

Thus, the UIC Refugee Task Force is releasing a guide with suggested measures gathered in February-April 2022 with the goal of assisting railway stakeholders and providing trustworthy information about the specific issues that rail faces when dealing with migratory flows.

The guidance provided in this document is based on the actions taken by the members of the UIC Refugee Task Force in response to military conflict in Ukraine. Similar measures could be used for any refugee crisis or migration flow.

The objectives of this document are therefore two-fold:

  • To collect and share practices from UIC members on actions already in place and
  • To provide potential measures which could be implemented by the railway sector according to the risk level.

The guidance on management of refugee crisis can be found at:

Members are encouraged to share their thoughts, either by writing to the internal UIC Refugee Task Force team or by posting in the UIC Extranet dedicated workspace.

A Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts:

A dedicated webpage of the Refugee Task Force is available on the UIC website:

For any questions or proposals for contributions to the meetings of the Task Force, please email

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