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14th NIEM coalition meeting - Lithuania

On 30th of March 2021 Diversity Development Group held 14th NIEM coalition meeting. Title of the meeting was “Lithuanian migration and refugee policy: where are we and where are we going?”.

Meeting started with DDG researcher PhD. Giedre Blazyte presenting results of recent NIEM and MIPEX studies on refugee and migrant integration. Later the chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Lithuanian Parliament, Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, presented main issues in relation to securing migrants rights that Lithuanian Parliament will be working on in the coming years. Among named priorities were: reviewing of the policy of migrants’ integration into the labour market; reviewing policies regarding family reunion of migrants; searching for prevention measures of economic exploitation of migrants; approval and implementation of the national migration policy.

Vice minister of the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior, Arnoldas Abramavičius, presented two main strategic goals of the ministry in the migration issues – implementation of a migration policy that responds to the spirit of the times and support for those fighting for freedom around the world.

Vice minister of the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Justina Jakštienė, presented main challenges in the migrants integration field and main strategies that the ministry will apply to solve them in the upcoming years.
Representatives of Refugee Council of Lithuania, Lithuanian Red Cross and Lithuanian Caritas shared their experiences from direct field work with integration of migrants in Lithuania and expressed their concerns over some pressing issues in that respect. One of the current issues that both sectors are facing recently is increased migration from Belarus because of public protests and government violence towards the protesters. This topic was suggested to be discussed more deeply in future meetings.

Discussion with other participants of the meeting, who among others were representatives from the Refugees Reception Center, Foreigners Registration Center, Siauliai, Klaipeda, Kaunas municipalities, UNHCR Lithuania, took place. Participants were discussing ways to improve and make work different migrant integration tools that are already available, looking for better ways of cooperation between government and non-governmental sector.