Can people be illegal? Seminar on refugees’ problems in ADC Memorial

On 10th of December, a seminar on the refugees’ rights will take place in the office of the Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial at 5 p.m. The address of the office is St Petersburg, 7th Krasnoarmeyskaya str., 25/14, office 410.

War. Genocide. Starvation. Unemployement. Political repressions. These are some of the reasons forcing people to seek for an asylum in other countries, move to different places, leave their homes. People take a risk and face uncertainty in order to save themselves and their families from persecutions and deaths, hoping to find a better life and satisfactory living conditions. The issue of refugees is one of the most important in the modern world. In spite of globalisation and opening borders for moving of capital and economic intergration, the borders remain insuperable for free moving of people. Developed countries do not take responsibility for their economic politics leading to conflicts and humanitarian catastrophes. Developed countries violate various conventions aimed at protecting refugees’ rights. But even those who managed to receive legal status in a new place often get into trouble.

Who are those people who are called refugees? They are forced migrants from Chechnya and refugees from Ruanda, people from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, those who had to leave Russia and Belarus because of the political repressions as one of the Khimki case activists, Denis Solopov, who recently received a refugee status in the Netherlands.

Experts and specialists helping refugees from various countries and organisations will take part in the seminar:

Irina Fedorovich (Ukraine), activist of “No borders” the project, Social Action Centre, will tell about anti-border movement, problems of refugees, work of her organisation and receiving political asylum in Ukraine. The case of Denis Solopov will be used as an example.

Benedicte Braconnet (France), activist of refugees’ rights movement, will talk about advocacy for refugees’ rights in the European Union within the Dublin Convention, ineffectiveness of the right to asylum, grassroots aid to refugees in France and show an extract from the documentary “Nowehere in Europe” (Kerstin Nickig, 2009).

Valence Maniragena, “African Unity” organisation (St Petersburg), will tell about refugees from African countries and racist attacks at refugees in St Petersburg.

Olga Tseitlina, lawyer, will tell about refugees in Russia, the living conditions in detention centres and protecting refugees from deportation.

What are the possibilities to receive refugee status in Russia and the European Union? What kind of help do the forced migrants need not to be deported to the places where they can be harmed? How can the civil society and activists help these people?