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Monday 21.08.2017 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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15 refugees from Syria and Iraq arrive in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAs part of the refugee resettlement programme, 15 people, including 7 children, were moved to Latvia from Greece on Wednesday, 13 April. Asylum seekers arrived in Latvia late in the evening on Wednesday.

Four families have been relocated to Latvia – two from Syria and two from Iraq. Among people relocated to the country are representatives of such professions like banker, chef, barber and clothier.

In accordance with international procedures and requirements of the Asylum Law, officials accepted the refugees’ applications regarding provision of asylum in Latvia and explained their rights and duties as part of the asylum procedure. Officials also carried out an initial survey, took fingerprints from refugees and issued personal identification documents to asylum seekers, as reported by Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

State Border Guard officials will continue working with asylum seekers in the next couple of days. In-depth interviews and preparation of the necessary documents will carried out to ensure the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs has enough to work with when deciding on provision of alternative status.

Gradually, other state and non-government institutions will begin working with relocated families, providing them with Latvian language courses and socio-economic integration procedures.

It should be added that members of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Junker discussed the EU-Turkey agreement of 18 March on the migrant return mechanism from Greece to Turkey.

The majority of MEPs expressed concerns about this agreement and asked the committee and council to closely follow the state of human rights and freedom of speech in Turkey, as well as check news about Turkish authorities supposedly forcing Syrian refugees to return to Syria. MEPs also doubted that Turkey can even be called a safe country for refugees, as reported by the European Parliament’s press-secretary in Latvia Signe Znotina-Znota.

Multiple MEPs questioned if this agreement can work, adding that human traffickers will simply find other ways. Some MEPs even mentioned lack of sufficient personnel to combat the inflow of people to Greece. They also raised concerns regarding the state in which asylum seekers arrive in the country. Others mentioned that the agreement with Turkey is not an ideal one. Nevertheless, it is the most realistic and the only available one to help resolve the current crisis.

MEPs also viewed as priority preparations for the Dublin system. This system dictates the countries responsible for processing asylum applications. They emphasized that member states have to take on responsibility for the realization of the resettlement system and establishment of secure and legal roads to Europe.

Ref: 102.109.109.8922


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