- Number of asylum seekers arriving to Latvian increases
According to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, the number of asylum seekers has increased during the last two months. 43 asylum seekers arrived to Latvia in September and 71 in October. Latvijas Avize
- Diena reports about the UNHCR report on statelessness in the world
Diena reports about the UNHCR report on statelessness in the world. According to it, there are about 10 million stateless persons in the world, including 262,802 inLatvia. The newspaper notes that the UNHCR includes also Latvian non-citizens within this group who are not recognized as such by the Latvian legal provisions. According to the official data of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, there are 225 stateless persons inLatvia. The newspaper also reports 70,000 children are born stateless every year and the UNHCR calls upon states to grant all children citizenship of the country they are born in, especially if they do not have the right to nationality of any other country.
- Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks: European migration and asylum system is about to collapse
The Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks in an interview with Latvian Radio stated that European migration and asylum system is about to collapse. He stressed that EU member states are building fences within their internal borders hoping to stop the influx of asylum seekers, but theDublin’s regulation which foresees sending back asylum seekers to the country through which they first entered the EU is collapsing. He stressed that the EU member states are helping the Southern countries to rescue refugees but they are not willing to accept them. Mr Muiznieks also criticizedLatviafor its unwillingness to share solidarity in asylum issues. He called Latvian authorities to help refugees who will arrive toLatviato learn Latvian language and integrate in the society.
- Cabinet of Ministers finally approved the action plan for accommodation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees in Latvia for 2016-2017
- Vesti Segodnya: 0,14% of the draft State budget will be assigned for ethnic minority cultural events and NGOs
The Cabinet of Ministers finally approved the action plan for accommodation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees inLatviafor 2016-2017. The plan has three directions: selection of persons and their transportation toLatvia; accommodation of asylum seekers; and socio-economic inclusion (the initial word “integration” was replaced with “socio-economic inclusion” due to the objections of the National Union.) The plan foresees renovation of the centre for accommodation of asylum seekers “Mucinieki” which will be adjusted to a larger number of persons. The plan also foresees establishment of an information centre for asylum seekers and refugees. The centre would ensure the persons with all the necessary information about education, employment, heal care etc., coordinate society initiatives and provision of services by interpreters, and provide intercultural training for different specialists. The plan foresees access to Latvian language courses and training about different aspects of life inLatviaduring first three months after arrival. Every asylum seeker will be assigned a social mentor and a social worker who will elaborate individual socio-economic inclusion plan. Social mentor will assist asylum seekers since their arrival and up to 12 months after persons receive refugee and subsidiary protection status inLatvia. The total costs for implementation of the action plan are EUR 14,9954.027. It is planned to accommodate 531 asylum seekers inLatviaduring two years.
Vesti Segodnya reports that according to the draft State budget 2016, EUR 111,088 will be granted for organisation of cultural events of ethnic minorities. Additionally, EUR 80,000 are foreseen for support of ethnic minority NGOs and projects aimed at promotion of inter-ethnic dialogue. The newspaper notes that the total amount of the funds for ethnic minorities is 0,14% of the total State budget.
- Latvijas Avize interviews the Professor of the Lancaster University Paul Igansky and other participants of the conference “Effective ways of addressing hate crimes and hate speech” held in Riga
- Union of Greens and Farmers revoked its proposal to lower requirements for state language proficiency for refugees
Latvijas Avize interviews the Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice of the Law Department of the Lancaster University Paul Igansky who participated in the conference “Effective ways of addressing hate crimes and hate speech” organised by the Latvian Centre for Human Rights on 22 October in Riga. According to Mr. Igansky, during past few years the level of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crimes have grown in Europe. Incidents against Jews usually increase after new outbreaks of conflict in Israel. But attacks on Muslims became more frequent after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. Mr Igansky stresses that large number of hate crimes remains unreported and very few perpetrators get sentenced. He explains it by difficulties for law enforcement agencies to collect evidence about such crimes. Latvijas Avize also interviewed other speakers of the conference – representative of the Polish Ministry of Interior Wirginia Prejs, representative of the Croation Police Academy Danijela Petkovič, and representative of the Dutch NGO “Article 1” Saskia van Bon, Netherlands. (30.10, 2.11)
In order to reach an agreement between all the governing coalition partners on adoption of an actions plan on accommodation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees in Latvia, the Union of Greens and Farmers revoked its proposal to lower requirements for state language proficiency for refugees to be able to occupy certain posts or professions. The National Union (NU) objected to this proposal. As reported, the NU also insisted on lowering of benefits for refugees and the governing coalition agreed to decrease it from EUR256 to EUR 139 per month. Vesti Segodnya