Operation: Russian Federation
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|2019 planning figures|
|100%||of cases of potential refoulement will be prevented|
|100%||of applicants will have access to refugee status determination procedures|
|10,000||refugees and asylum-seekers and 2,500 stateless persons will receive legal assistance|
|500||Governmental staff will be trained on refugee status determination procedures|
|2017 year-end results|
|8,970||refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless people received assistance from UNHCR’s legal partners and independent asylum practitioners|
|8,620||stateless persons acquired Russian nationality (according to governmental statistics)|
|340||judicial and quasi-judicial positions were provided to courts (more than 100 compared to 2016), helping with the refugee status determination and citizenship processes. It led to more than 100 positive decisions|
|254||stateless individuals were assisted with obtaining permission for temporary stay, residence permits and citizenship|
|86||cases (111 individuals) were submitted for resettlement|
|31||people departed for resettlement|
People of Concern
Operational EnvironmentWhile is it reported that since 2014 over 400,000 Ukrainian came to the Russian Federation, as of 1 July 2018, some 102,000 Ukrainians have refugee status or Temporary Asylum (TA). As of 1 July 2018, there are also some 2,650 refugees and TA holders which are not from Ukraine who are benefiting from international protection in the Russian Federation.
The positive and proactive protection environment for Ukrainians who are provided a legal status and documentation is not equally enjoyed by asylum-seekers from other countries who often face difficulties in accessing asylum procedures. Non-Ukrainians experience longer waiting periods and are exposed to risks associated with the absence of documentation and legal status in the Russian Federation, including detention and deportation. While local integration is possible for Ukrainian refugees, it remains challenging for non-Ukrainian asylum seekers to access refugee status determination procedures, to obtain migration registration, legal employment and integration. Refugees and asylum-seekers are also requested proper documentation to be admitted in public schools and therefore non-Ukrainians refugee children face challenges in accessing education.
In 2019, UNHCR will continue to develop its partnership with the Government to improve access to and quality of the national status determination procedure and promote integration opportunities for recognized refugees and temporary asylum holders. Individual legal assistance and counselling will support individual cases before the national courts and, in selected cases, with the European Court for Human Rights.
While by law refugees and TA holders are entitled to free medical care, several categories of people of concern face difficulties. Therefore, UNHCR continues to provide assistance through its partners to vulnerable people facing difficulties accessing this entitlement or with serious health problems that are not covered by the obligatory insurance.
The number of stateless persons in the country is slowly reducing due to positive legislative changes. The estimated stateless population stands at just over 79,000. UNHCR will continue to provide legal assistance to people of concern seeking to regularize their status, including those in pre-removal detention centres; and engage the Government in regional and global dialogues on the reduction of statelessness.
Key prioritiesIn 2019, UNHCR will focus on:
- Pursuing efforts to maintain a dialogue with relevant governmental partners in order to ensure support for UNHCR’s objectives and activities globally and within the Russian Federation;
- Maintaining protection interventions, counselling and litigation to address gaps in the access to asylum procedures, fair status determination and prevention of refoulement. Working with asylum authorities and courts to promote positive asylum policies, continuing to engage with universities and the Ombudsman’s Offices to raise awareness on asylum issues.
- Continuing to offer limited social, material and medical assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers;
- Promoting accession to international instruments, as well as legislative developments to further reduce and prevent statelessness and render legal advice to stateless persons;
- Working with the authorities to facilitate naturalization procedures for refugees and stateless persons and assist them in accessing social services.