The Estonian Human Rights Centre and the Estonian Refugee Council are co-operating with the UN Refugee Agency to increase the security of Ukrainian refugees in Estonia. The co-operation, that will last until the end of the year, will support the Ukrainian communities and their representatives in Estonia.
According to Egert Rünne, the head of the Human Rights Centre, it is important that every person living in Estonia, regardless of how long they stay here, feels safe. The war shattered this sense of security for the tens of thousands of people who have arrived in Estonia. To restore it, refugees must receive the necessary resources and knowledge to unite their communities across Estonia.
Special attention is paid to the well-being and coping of vulnerable groups in Estonia: children, people with additional needs and refugees belonging to other minority groups. “It is often difficult for refugees to understand our systems and access the necessary services in more complex cases. Therefore, the support of representatives of different authorities as well as the community is important so that we can move forward without running out of energy,” says Anu Viltrop, Head of Support Services at The Estonian Refugee Council.
Until the end of the year, more than 100 events will be organized in cooperation with Ukrainian refugee communities in different parts of Estonia, the situation of the living conditions of refugees will be monitored, the social and legal concerns of refugees will be identified and their resolution will be dealt with. “UNHCR have had a very close partnership with the Estonian Human Rights Centre for years to assist and support refugees in Estonia. I’m happy that we have now agreed to strengthen and expand this partnership further in light of the many refugees from Ukraine who now have sought refuge and protection here. The work and outreach of the Estonian Human Rights Centre will ensure that important support can be provided to the refugees,” says Henrik M. Nordentoft, UNHCR’s Representative to the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The Estonian Human Rights Centre is working together to create an Estonia that respects the human rights of every person and has been defending the rights of asylum seekers and refugees since 2012.
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