Information Centre has Provided Support to Citizens of 75 Countries
For more than a year, Information Centre has been operating in Riga and four regions of Latvia – Liepaja, Jelgava, Daugavpils, and Cesis –, which provides information and support to people of different nationalities, who have arrived in Latvia from countries outside the European Union, and specialists working with immigrants. Activities of the Information Centre are ensured and developed by the Society “Shelter “Safe House””.
During the fifteen months of the Centre's operations, it has organised various diverse informative and educational activities.
Since the last May, the Centre has provided support to 1878 people – 1133 in Riga, 325 in Liepaja, 155 in Jelgava, 139 in Daugavpils, 126 in Cesis. In total, 2818 consultations have been provided regarding various legal and social issues. Most frequently, customers have chosen to receive consultations in person – 56%, whereas via phone and electronically – 44% times. The opportunity of repeated consultations was often used.
Client advisers inform that foreign citizens were mostly interested in residence permits, employment and business opportunities in Latvia, while families often consulted about educational opportunities for their children.
In total, free consultations were provided to people from 75 countries, most often citizens of Russia, Syria, Ukraine, China, India, Belarus, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Psychological consultations are also available at the Centre – so far customers have used it 81 times. Communication with the Centre’s customers is ensured by 31 translators / language specialists with the following language skills: Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic, French, Tajik, Kurdish, Punjabi, Chinese, Turkish, Uzbek, Hindi, Spanish, Tamil, Bengali, Vietnamese, and Armenian.
Interpreter services are provided not only for customer communication with the Centre’s consultants, but also for professionals working with foreigners. Till now, interpreter 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. The service has been provided 1400 times to 776 clients.
Professional support for working with third-country nationals has been provided to 333 specialists of various areas (social workers, managers of companies and NGOs, librarians, employees of orphan's courts and education institutions). In order to strengthen the civil society and develop favourable and open environment for societies and foundations in working with immigrants, NGOs Dialogue platform is being developed, currently involving 19 non-governmental organizations, which are active in the area of integration.
Special Informative Days have also been organized in Liepaja, Riga and Daugavpils, where foreigners were provided with an opportunity to learn about the informative and practical resources available to them. Volunteers who have been involved in the Centre’s activities have made significant contributions to organizing the Centre’s activities. They have implemented 39 informative and integration events in different regions of Latvia, including cultural nights of different nations, which have become popular in many places in Latvia.
LNT informative stories and newspaper articles were prepared to raise public awareness on the topic of migration; educational seminars and webinars as well as two international conferences on migration issues were organised.
The Centre’s representatives kindly invite foreigners and specialists working with this target group living in Latvia to use free consultations provided by lawyers and consultants and receive answers to questions about various social and legal issues in person, electronically or by phone. Those who want to live, study, work or start their own business in Latvia, might find it useful to visit website www.integration.lv. It provides answers to various practical questions and up-to-date information on Latvian language courses and integration courses, as well as on events organized by various organizations from all over Latvia.
Contacts of Riga Office of the Information Centre:
Info line: +371 25565098, + 371 28612120
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Skype: PatverumsDM
Address: Lāčplēša Street 75 – 9/10, Riga
Regional contact points:
“Latgale” in Daugavpils: +371 25723222, email@example.com
“Zemgale” in Jelgava: +371 25719588, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Vidzeme” in Cesis: +371 25719266, email@example.com
“Kurzeme” in Liepaja: +371 25719118, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Centre was established on 18 May 2016, and it operates as a one-stop agency. It is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and co-financed by the European Union. Grant agreement No. PMIF/12/2016/1/1.
Information prepared by
Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa),
Communications and Social Media Expert,