Social and legal issues are worked out within the framework of the project

Ievietots: 05.04.2013


Specialists of the “Shelter “Safe House” – social workers and lawyers provided more than a hundred consultations regarding social and legal issues as of the start of the project “Diverse Solutions for Public Education and Integration” initiated last year on December 19. “Work, education, health care and social security, understanding of how these systems work is the most basic thing in order for an immigrant to be able to adapt to the Latvian society. Within the framework of the project, we endeavour to provide answers for all questions asked,” points a social worker Anita Udre (Anita Ūdre). 

When providing answers to the questions of third-country nationals, the specialists mostly use their previous experience obtained in the course of many years, ensuring professional support for the immigrants; additional topical information is obtained from the internet resources and by contacting with responsible ministries or state and local government institutions.

Lawyer Gita Miruskina (Gita Miruškina): “As of the initiation of the project the greatest proportion of the consultations was related to labour law and employment. The clients are mostly consulted on issues concerning job search, employment relationships and foundation thereof, as well as concerning possible state support in case of unemployment. In matters of family law, the consultations have been provided on conclusion of marriage, determination of paternity, kinship, contractual property relations of the spouses, personal rights of the spouses. In matters of residence and immigration, the consultations have been provided on family reunion and immigration of parents and/or sisters, brothers to Latvia. The clients show interest in administrative process in state and local government institutions. These issues are topical (work, family, administrative issues), because the legal regulation of the aforementioned issues in client’s country of origin differs from the Latvian regulation.”

“Third-country nationals show interest in various legal matters,” concluded a project’s lawyer Alvis Skenders (Alvis Šķenders), who provides answers to questions related to determination of the residence status in the Republic of Latvia, issuance processes of a residence permit, documents to be submitted, amount of the state fee, purchase of property in Latvia in order to receive a residence permit. “The clients ask questions about crediting as well, including, fast loans and lists of debtors. Issues concerning commercial law are topical - foundation of firms, termination of activity, liquidation, accounting issues, issues concerning societies that would manage the joint property, registration of societies, refusal from the previous manager”.

Social workers’ target group of the project most often showed interest in possibilities to receive children’s allowance, pensions at the State Social Insurance Agency, as well as social assistance from the local government. Issues concerning health care and possibilities to receive state guaranteed health care and emergency assistance are topical. Lauma Jegere (Lauma Jēgere): “The questions are of practical nature – often enough we help to find necessary institutions responsible for particular competence. For example, Road Traffic Safety Directorate - the clients want to find out how to change the driver’s licence obtained in their countries of residence for driver`s licence of European Union. Placement of a child in the kindergarten is a topical issue for young parents. Great interest is showed in possibilities to master Latvian language free of charge. These issues are important for a person to feel balanced in both private and social life”.

In order to ensure active participation of third-country nationals and Latvian society in the integration process, learning of Latvian language and colloquial Latvian language is offered within the framework of the project in three Latvian cities – Riga, Olaine and Liepaja. 250 people are currently attending the training.

Special events in the project take place in a creative workshop intended for women with children, as well as in a self-help group “For Each Other” (“Viena otrai”).

In order to increase the level of awareness of third-country nationals, television programs for integration “Successful Ideas” (“Veiksmīgas idejas”), which are broadcasted every Sunday on LTV7, are offered.

In February and March, project volunteers from Riga, Olaine and Liepaja obtained knowledge and skills of team building, volunteer work and tolerance, conflict and time management in three training sessions. The training sessions were held by professional youth teachers from the organization Brīvprātī

In order to promote tighter cooperation between non-governmental organizations (NGO), which are working in the area of integration of immigrants, the first NGO dialogue platform meeting, which was organized by the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, was held in March.

It is planned that starting from April the information days will be organized in regions and a visual material on common things between cultures will be created within the framework of the project “Diverse Solutions for Public Education and Integration”.

Society “Shelter “Safe House”” in association with its partner association Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS and Baltic Regional Fund has launched a new support project Diverse Solutions for Public Education and Integration*. It is aimed at developing diverse support, adaptation, and integration opportunities available to third-country nationals as well as engaging and educating Latvian society. Project period: December 19, 2012 – June 30, 2013.

The project is co-financed by the European Union.

Implementation of the project Diverse Solutions for Public Education and Integration is co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (75%) and state budget (25%).

This publication is supported by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. Responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the society “Shelter “Safe House””. 

For more information:

Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Public Relations Consultant and Practitioner