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The Information Centre for Newcomers has Provided Support to Third Country Nationals from 35 Countries This Year

Ievietots: 27.04.2018


From January to March of this year the Information Centre for Newcomers (ICN) has provided assistance to 270 third country nationals from 35 countries. Free consultations were provided to persons from India, Ukraine, Russia, Pakistan, Syria, China and Uzbekistan for the most part.

Customer advisers have provided a total of 340 face-to-face consultations on various legal issues, education, employment and other matters related to life in Latvia. Most often foreign nationals have asked questions about migration issues, including residence permits, education and family reunification.

Five customers used services of the centre`s psychologist, 17 counselling sessions have been conducted.

Since the beginning of the year 20 interpreters/language experts with knowledge of such languages as Arabic, Kurdish, Dari, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Turkish, Hindi and Tigrinya work at the centre and help to ensure quality communication with ICN customers. During these three months translation/interpretation services were provided 404 times to 88 persons, who are third country nationals. Translation/interpretation services were also provided to specialists, who work with foreigners. Until now translation/interpretation services have been actively used by various state administration institutions, social services, crisis centres, education and healthcare institutions of several local governments, banks and employers.

At the beginning of the year the Cross-Sectoral Dialogue Platform was created with involvement of public, local authorities, private and non-governmental organisations. This year three meetings of the Cross-Sectoral Dialogue Platform have taken place on the following subjects: The Role and Participation of NGO in the Cross-Sectoral Dialogue Platform; The Strategy of the Cross-Sectoral Dialogue Platform and Planning of Its Activities; Employment of Newcomers and Entrepreneurs` Experience in Employing Immigrants. In meetings that take place once a month representatives from the Ministry of Welfare and the Ministry of Culture, Riga City Council, Jelgava City Council, the State Employment Agency, NGOs – societies “Innovation Support Centre” (“Inovāciju atbalsta centrs”), “Sadarbības platforma”, “Trepes”, Salvation Army, “Balkan`s Flower”, PINS.LV, Providus, “Cultural and Education Centre “Miras””, EANP-Latvia, Civic Alliance – Latvia, Education Development Centre, RSU China Studies Centre along with the entrepreneur Ieva Raubisko (Ieva Raubiško) (Hummus Team) have taken part up to this moment.

In events aimed at promotion and coordination of voluntary work, for example, on the cooperation day with schoolchildren about work in a multicultural environment and in creative workshops on spring school holidays participated 76 persons, including 36 third country nationals from ten countries this year. Presently Latvians, Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Georgians, Mexicans, Uzbeks, Italians, Indians, Syrians and Iraqis work together on the ICN team of volunteers.

ICN began its work as a one-stop-agency on 18 May 2016. Until the end of 2017 ICN customer advisers provided information and support to more than 2,5 thousands of foreign nationals, who have arrived from 81 country outside the European Union, and to specialists working with this target group. ICN Riga office operates as a coordinating centre in Latvia. It provides assistance in dealing with problems of a particular customer and supports the ICN focal points/branches in the regions (in Cesis, Jelgava, Liepaja and Daugavpils) with regard to provision of services, ensures professional support to service providers in all municipalities in Latvia, coordinates awareness and availability of services to various groups of immigrants.

The activity of the Information Centre for Newcomers within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is ensured and developed by the NGO Shelter Safe House””. The centre is co-funded by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2017/2/01.

Information prepared by Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Multimedia Communications Specialist, phone 29145314, e-mail: rasa.salina@integration.lv