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18 July 2022, 15:28

Details of UN rapporteur on migrant rights' visit to Belarus revealed

MINSK, 18 July (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed details of the ongoing visit of the United Nations Organization's special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Felipe Gonzalez Morales to Belarus, BelTA has learned.

Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anatoly Glaz told BelTA: “Felipe Gonzalez Morales previously sent a request to the Republic of Belarus for the sake of arranging this visit due to the situation with migrants at the border of Belarus and Poland. In the spirit of good will and cooperation with competent international bodies Belarus confirmed it is ready to welcome the special rapporteur and facilitate his getting familiar with the state of migrants in Belarus.”

Anatoly Glaz noted that Felipe Gonzalez Morales and his team entered Belarus on 16 July and went to the city of Grodno where they started working actively as part of the visit on 18 July.

The Belarusian side suggested a series of events to the special rapporteur for the sake of getting comprehensive information in accordance with his mandate.

The special rapporteur is expected to meet with officials of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee and the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross in Grodno, which works with migrants.

UN rapporteur on migrant rights visits GrodnoUN rapporteur on migrant rights visits Grodno
Felipe Gonzalez Morales met with representatives of the Grodno Oblast administration. The dialogue touched upon matters concerning the migrant crisis that started in November 2021. Over 2,500 people stayed in Grodno District during the first wave. Refugees stayed in the region for over four months.

Anatoly Glaz said the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects the special rapporteur will be interested in visiting the locations where events happened to a large group of people as they tried to request asylum in Poland and faced cruel and illegitimate resistance on the part of Polish authorities. “We are ready to grant access to information to the special rapporteur as openly as Belarus dealt with the migrant situation in autumn 2021,” the official assured.

According to Anatoly Glaz, representatives of government agencies (the Internal Affairs Ministry, the State Border Committee of Belarus, the Investigative Committee, the Healthcare Ministry, the Labor and Social Protection Ministry) will meet with Felipe Gonzalez Morales in Minsk on 19 July to inform him about the Belarusian government's approach to migration and about the measures taken to support refugees and migrants, who happen to be in Belarus while seeking a peaceful and better life.

In Minsk the special rapporteur will also meet with representatives of Belarusian public associations, international organizations, which are present in Belarus, with refugees and migrants.

Anatoly Glaz stated: “We expect the special rapporteur to be objective. The status of an independent international expert and the humanitarian mandate Mister Morales executes allow us to expect constructive and realistic evaluations and recommendations from him, which we will be ready to study, analyze and later on make a decision on using them for the sake of improving the national system. Respectively it will be the key practical result of the visit.”

The official noted the Belarusian side intends to express an opinion as a result of the visit after meeting with Felipe Gonzalez Morales on 20 July. “Mass media representatives will be able to talk to him after he visited Belarus and Russia at an online press conference that will begin at 12:00 Geneva time on 28 July 2022,” Anatoly Glaz said.

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