UNCHR: Forced migrants enjoy all kinds of assistance in Belarus
Belarus provides all kinds of assistance to forced migrants, UNHCR Representative in Belarus Jean-Yves Bouchardy told the media. “Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Belarus has hosted about 160,000 citizens of that country, which represent about 1.5% of the population of Belarus. If we compare these figures, the ratio will similar to Germany: I mean that the number of refugees which the 80-million Germany has received. We should express gratitude to the Belarusian Government for allocation of additional funds and making strenuous efforts to help forced migrants, including at the legislative level,” Jean-Yves Bouchardy said.
The Brest Oblast Executive Committee hosted a meeting with representatives of the diplomatic missions accredited in Belarus who traveled to the region on a study visit at the invitation of UNHCR and UNICEF. Deputy Chairman of the Brest Oblast Executive Council Leonid Tsuprik said that in January-August, the Office of Citizenship and Migration of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee received 53 applications for refugee status or subsidiary protection. Among those seeking protection, 25 persons are from Ukraine, 11 from Tajikistan, 8 from Afghanistan, 3 from the Russian Federation, 2 from Georgia, and one from Pakistan, Eritrea, Bulgaria and Croatia each.
“All foreign citizens seeking asylum in Belarus are fully informed on migration laws. They are also supported with necessary assistance in employment and legal matters,” said Leonid Tsuprik.
A total of 146 foreigners, including 113 residents of Lugansk and Donetsk Oblasts of Ukraine, addressed the labor, employment and social security bodies of Brest Oblast in 2016. Some 66 people inquired about pensions, with 46 of them included into the country's pension payment system. The major reason to deny a request for pension was the lack of minimal length of service required for the payment of a pension and the absence of the documents confirming the right for early retirement, Leonid Tsuprik said.
In January-August 2016, a total of 1,147 applications requesting permission for work in Belarus were submitted to relevant agencies. Applications from Ukrainians amounted 75% of the total. There were also citizens of Lithuania (7% of the total), Uzbekistan (about 5%), and Poland (4%) seeking employment in Belarus.