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Advocacy and Protection Programme

Advocacy and Protection Programme

In addition to providing services, the Estonian Refugee Council also actively provides advocacy and protection monitoring. We stand for the rights and well-being of refugees at local, national and international levels. We consistently collect feedback from refugees on good practices, bottlenecks, and systemic violations. If we can help solve the problems of refugees, we will.

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Protection monitoring

One of the most important activities of the interest protection programme is the continuous monitoring of the fulfilment of refugees' rights, i.e. the monitoring of international protection. We consistently and systematically gather feedback from refugees with Community Team about both bottlenecks and systemic violations.

Community councils

Community councils are informal representative bodies for refugees and IDPs in Georgia. Community councils assess needs of communities, provide a forum for finding a solution and a platform for voicing the needs and recommendations for fair and inclusive policies and services on local as well as national level.

Advocacy interventions

Multifaceted and consistent collection of information is important so that we can stand up for the welfare and rights of refugees, whether by making relevant follow-up inquiries or appeals to relevant institutions, participating in meetings or networks (including international ones), drafting opinions on draft laws, participating in policy-making, etc.

Countries where this programme currently take place:

Estonian Refugee Council has been protecting refugees' rights and well-being through advocacy since 2001.

The programme aims to protect the rights and well-being of refugees through upholding and monitoring international law, promoting adopting evidence-based and effective practices, and participating in sectoral discussions and legislative processes.

In 2022, we were primarily engaged in advocacy on the topic of the reception of Ukrainian refugees. We helped ensure access to protection status and necessary services. We participated in relevant working groups and coordination bodies where we shared best practices and drew attention to service gaps and challenges through the eyes of refugees.

In addition, we helped to ensure that the problems associated with the amendment of the State Border Act and the contradiction with international law received sufficient attention in the Estonian parliament and the public. To this end, together with the Human Rights Center, we submitted our objections to the law amendment and raised the issue at advocacy meetings and in public.

Within the advocacy programme, we cooperate closely with other human rights protection organisations in Estonia and the European umbrella organisation European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

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