In order to assist the Latvian government in fulfilling its international obligations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) concluded an agreement in 2011 with the Latvian State Border Guard. The aim of the agreement is to support access of asylum-seekers to Latvia and the country’s asylum procedure. It allows UNHCR to monitor activities at the border crossing points and at the international airport in Riga. On behalf of UNHCR, the non-governmental organization Latvian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR), will regularly visit border areas, the airport and detention facilities and will have access to statistics and the case files of asylum-seekers. Specific issues that emerge will be discussed in working group meetings. UNHCR will also provide support and training to the border guards and other stakeholders.
The overall objective of the Project “Strengthening Integration Dialogue Platforms (SIDP)” 2012-2013 is to strengthen the usage of common spaces and activities in which immigrants (incl. third country nationals) interact with the host societies of countries of the Baltic Sea region. The general outcome of the Project is to have increased role of consultative bodies and representation of civil society in integration policy of immigrants. The Project is financed from the EU Central Baltic INTERREG IVA Programme 2007-2013.
Steps to Freedom. Monitoring detention and promoting alternatives to detention of asylum seekers in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.
The Project “Steps to Freedom” has been initiated by the Latvian Centre for Human Rights with an objective to assess the implementation of the Community legislation on the detention practice vis-à-vis asylum seekers - including “failed”asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected by a final court decision
International conference “Detention of asylums seekers and alternatives to detention: experiences from Central, Eastern and Northern Europe”
On 15-16 December, the Latvian Centre for Human Rights organized an international conference “Detention of asylums seekers and alternatives to detention: experiences from Central, Eastern and Northern Europe”. The conference was organized within the framework of project “Steps to freedom. Monitoring detention and promoting alternatives to detention in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic”.
Increasing attention is being paid to the issues related to the immigration detention generally and the detention of asylum seekers in particular, at national, European and global level. This report addresses the situation concerning the detention of asylum seekers in Latvia from the perspective of the national, the European Union (hereinafter – EU) and international standards.