On Monday, March 18 the Estonian Human Rights Centre started a national campaign calling attention to refugees and the causes for seeking asylum.
In re-independent Estonia 83 people have received international protection and the number of asylum-seekers is growing each year. Egert Rünne, manager of the Estonian Human Rights Centre’s project for raising public awareness of international forced migration, said that both the general public and politicians still treat refugees in the general context of migration. “It is important that the whole society be aware of the special situation of refugees and of the causes for seeking asylum,” said Rünne. Rünne gives a reason for helping people who at present cannot live in their own home countries by saying: “In 20 years, Estonia has established a safe and stable country where serious human rights violations are rare, whereas many other nations have not done so well.”
The campaign helps to explain that a refugee is a person who is forced to leave their home country due to persecution, war or violence. An interactive website enables the visitor to take a virtual journey of a refugee from escaping from their home country to receiving refugee status in Estonia. The opening of the website is supported by an outdoor advertising campaign in five cities – in Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Pärnu and Rakvere. The second part of the campaign will start 24 of March when we send out postcards all over Estonia to open up stories about variety of reasons why people are forced to abandon their homeland
The journey of a refugee can be taken here: www.pagulane.ee.
The Estonian Human Rights Centre is an independent public interest foundation dedicated to the advancement of human rights protection in Estonia and abroad. The campaign is part of the Estonian Human Rights Centre’s project for raising public awareness of international forced migration. The project is cofinanced by the European Refugee Fund and the Estonian Ministry of the Interior.
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