The Consular Corps Association (CCA) in Prague organized a meeting on Migration, Refugee and Asylum, held at the Mirror Hall of the Czernin Palace, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Czech Republic, last September 25, the Philippine Embassy in Prague reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The meeting was organized by the Philippine Embassy’s Finance and Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Officer and member of the board of the CCA Lourdes Francis Morallos. It was attended by 35 representatives of various diplomatic missions accredited to the Czech Republic.
Consular Officer and CCA Treasurer Ramon A. Gaspar hosted the event and introduced five speakers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Consular Department of the MFA, the Head of Immigration of the Ministry of Interior, and representatives from the Association for Integration and Migration () and Amnesty International (AI).
The speakers discussed each organization’s mission and objectives. Ms. Petra Levrincova explained UNHCR’s mandate, which is to assist the governmental bodies in building a sustainable migration policy.
The organization helps migrants return to their countries of origin or integrate in the culture of the host countries they migrated to. It also supports people without citizenship.
The representatives from the MFA and the MOI, Mr. Jan Vycital and Mrs. Marketa Pokorna, respectively, talked about the status of the Czech migrants abroad and the statistics on local migrants.
Currently, the three largest number of non-European Union (non-EU) legal migrants are Ukrainians (ca. 116,000), Slovak (ca. 83,000) and Vietnamese (ca. 57,000). The Czech Republic has a population of 10.5 M.
Director Magda Faltova of the AIM, a non-profit organization funded by the European Commission, informed the meeting that the Czech government and various European and governmental organizations protect the rights of migrants in the Czech Republic, irrespective of their status.
The organization offers free legal counseling, conducts seminars and provides aid in the integration of migrants into society, which includes visa, social and health insurance, education, accommodation and employment.
On the other hand, AI Directorexplained that while it protects the dignity of migrants and asylum seekers in the border, the migration control situation in Europe has decreased due to each State’s aim to protect borders than to save lives. AI’s objective is to develop an alternative to detention in line with human standards as well as to prohibit the detention of children.