The government appointed Šimáčková Laurenčíková as coordinator for refugees

The government appointed Šimáčková Laurenčíková as coordinator for refugees

The government appointed Š imákova Laurenčiaková as coordinator for refugees

Government Commissioner for Human Rights Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, November 14, 2022.

Prague – Adaptation and integration of war refugees from Ukraine will be coordinated by the current Commissioner for Human Rights Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková. Today, the government appointed her to the position of national coordinator. At the press conference after the cabinet meeting, Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan (STAN) informed about this, saying that nothing has changed about the readiness of the Ministry of the Interior to intensify the work of the crisis staff in the event of an escalation of the crisis. But he does not foresee such a situation.

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On Tuesday, Šimáčková Laurenčíková told ČTK that her task is to lead a strategic group, coordinate departments and strengthen cooperation with the Association of Regions, the Union of Cities and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, and the non-governmental sector so that the process of adaptation and integration across regions is of high quality and runs uniformly. According to the Austrian, the group will build on the work of previous interdepartmental groups and experts and develop a strategic plan that will be presented to the Parliament.

The Czech Republic has granted more than 488,200 protection visas to people from Ukraine since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began a year ago. Mostly women and children.

To handle the influx of refugees, the government declared a state of emergency at the beginning of March last year, the procedure was managed by the Central Crisis Staff. Later, a strategic group consisting of representatives of ministries and other institutions began to discuss solutions and measures. According to the Austrian, the crisis team will continue its work, but there is no need for crisis management. After a year, it is necessary to focus more on the adaptation of refugees. “We are not in a current crisis, in a crisis management situation, if we were to deal with the onslaught of tens of thousands of people arriving,” said the Austrian, adding that the crisis staff remains in “stand-by mode”, while some ministries will no longer participate in the work of the strategic group.< /p>

According to Šimáčková Laurenčíková, the group will focus on housing, education, work and the conditions of vulnerable groups, i.e. disabled, seriously ill or senior citizens. It addresses, for example, support for the gradual transfer of refugees from accommodation facilities to ordinary living. It should also focus on setting up programs for children and young people. According to a recent survey by the PAQ Research agency, about a tenth of Ukrainian boys and girls do not go to primary schools in the Czech Republic.

According to surveys, the teaching of Czech for adults is insufficient. There is also a lack of support when looking for work and housing. The consortium of non-governmental organizations working with migrants also points to the inconsistent approach of schools to Ukrainian pupils or the lack of Ukrainian school assistants.

Šimáčková Laurenčíková was appointed human rights commissioner by the cabinet in the first half of May last year. Ten days later, among other things, she was involved in solving the situation surrounding Roma refugees from Ukraine at Prague's main railway station. He regularly participates in negotiations on refugees. This year she became the third political deputy minister for European affairs.

The Ministry of the Interior will take over assistance centers for refugees from the regions on April 1

The network of assistance centers for refugees from Ukraine will be taken over from the regions by the Ministry of the Interior on April 1. The Austrian  said after the government's meeting that arrivals will continue to be able to apply for temporary protection in all regions. In cases where they do not have secured accommodation, they will turn to reserved workplaces.

The Ministry of the Interior will ensure continuous operation at three places where people without their own accommodation will be able to sleep and wait until the opening of standard workplaces. There, in addition to processing the application for temporary protection, they will also help them with accommodation, the interior said in a press release.

A list of all workplaces, including office hours and addresses, where from April it will be possible to apply for temporary protection, arrange accommodation or spend the night, the ministry will publish on its website during March.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began a year ago on February 24. Since then, the Czech Republic has granted over 488,200 protection visas to people from Ukraine. Most of them were given to women and children.