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 The kids at school often ask me what my dad does, and when I tell them he works in the construction industry, their comment is, “But of course, another navvy”. Most people in the Czech Republic think that everyone from the Ukraine is automatically a labourer with no education and working on the black market. Which is total bullshit. My dad is a university graduate who only works as a labourer because he can’t find any qualified work, like loads of his colleagues.

I’ve even encountered taunts along the lines of “don’t worry, there’s always prostitution”. It depresses me when I hear these kinds of comments from certain people, because life in another country is no bed of roses.

I reckon that the generally negative opinion people have of Ukrainians is the result of the mass media, which presents Ukrainian women as prostitutes and the men as labourers, taking work from other people. We’ve got a similar reputation to Roma people, just that there is more talk of them and at least some people are trying to do something to remedy the situation.

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