895 people apply for refugee status in Belarus in 2018
Some 895 people applied for the refugee status in Belarus in 2018, Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Belarus Jean Yves Bouchardy told the media on 17 June.
“In 2018 alone, a total of 895 people applied for protection in Belarus. The majority of them are nationals of Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria. This is some 150 people more in comparison with the number in 2017. Through cooperation with Belarusian NGOs, the UNHCR provides them with legal advice, assistance regarding social matters and finances, and also help in finding accommodation and covering healthcare costs,” Jean Yves Bouchardy said.
In his words, Belarus is implementing the project “Asylum Systems Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus” aimed at enhancing the quality of asylum systems in the region. The focus is on improving professional skills of specialists in forced migration. Forced migration pertains to such countries as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. According to him, such assistance should target the most vulnerable categories of population.
Another important area of the UNHCR activity is statelessness matters. “The number of stateless persons in Belarus exceeds 6,000 people. In 2017 and in 2018 we conducted the comparative analyses of the Belarusian legislation and the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and found no significant obstacles to the accession of Belarus to the two documents.”