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NGOs demand improvement of conditions in refugee centres

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Prague, Oct 14 (CTK) – An improvement of conditions in the Czech refugee detention facilities was among the main demands with which Czech NGOs’ representatives turned to senators from the Platform for refugee integration yesterday.
The NGOs also urged the senators to prevent the toughening of the conditions in the detention facilities, which can be expected from the planned amendment to the asylum and foreigner law, which the Senate is to discuss soon.
“The detention facilities are like prisons for foreigners,” said Eva Dohnalova, from the consortium of NGOs dealing with migrants in the Czech Republic.
She said it is necessary to ensure that families with children not be placed in these facilities, that refugees have access to legal aid, that their cell phones not be taken away from them and that humanitarian aid can reach them smoothly.
The living conditions of refugees in the facilities were criticised by Ombudsman Anna Sabatova on Tuesday.
Representatives of humanitarian organisations, including People in Need and the Organisation for the Aid to Refugees also complained yesterday of what they called Prague’s insufficient humanitarian aid to refugee camps in the Middle East, and warned that the inmates’ departures from the camps would cause the migration wave to intensify.
The NGOs said it is necessary to change the image of the refugees in the media, which present them as a threat.
The Platform of 13 senators was established in early September with the aim to promote a pragmatic approach to the migrant crisis, apart from security and repressive measures.
The Platform wants to negotiate with the Interior and Foreign Ministries about ways to improve the situation of migrants.
The NGOs recommend that the senators also turn to the Education and Social Affairs Ministries.
Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the Platform is a voluntary group of senators. It is not the upper house’s official body, which is why its views must be understood as personal views of its members, not of the upper house of parliament, Stech said.

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