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20 Jun 2016

Belarus’ Interior Ministry: Inflow of forced migrants still high

MINSK, 20 June (BelTA) - The inflow of forced migrants into Belarus remains high in 2016, reads a statement issued by the Interior Ministry ahead of a press conference in Minsk to mark World Refugee Day, BelTA has learned.

The number of forced migrants arriving in Belarus is increasing. This trend continues since 2014 (more than 800 people applied for refugee status in 2014, over 1,200 in 2015). “This year the inflow of displaced persons remains at a high level. This year, about 300 foreigners have already applied for asylum in Belarus,” reads the statement.

Since 2014 Ukrainians have been the largest group of forced migrants arriving in Belarus. More than 1,600 of Ukrainian citizens have applied for refugee status or subsidiary protection in Belarus after the armed conflict broke out in Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. About 1,400 Ukrainians from these regions have received subsidiary protection.

The Belarusian national asylum system is based on the internationally recognized concept. Since the adoption of the first law on refugees in 1995 Belarus has created all necessary conditions for efficient work with displaced persons. For example, the country has agencies responsible for the work with forced migrants. Belarus’ legislative framework has been recognized by international experts as the best in the CIS.

Belarus has been consistently fulfilling its commitments under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees it joined in 2001. The national legislation guarantees access for foreigners and stateless people seeking a refugee status or subsidiary protection in Belarus to all necessary procedures. Applications from all categories of foreigners can be submitted to the Department on Citizenship and Migration of the Minsk Interior Department and oblast interior departments. Applications of foreigners detained for illegal crossing of the state border or unlawful stay on the territory of the country can be filed to the border services and law enforcement agencies.

Since 1997 Belarus has considered over 6,300 applications for the refugee status submitted by people from nearly 60 countries.


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