Safe play space and support
New environment for hosting families with children at the Department of Citizenship and Migration in Gomel
In Gomel, cooperation between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the Gomel Regional Executive Committee and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Belarus allowed to launch a room friendly to children and parents. The key purpose of the room is to create a safe, supportive and attentive environment for children and their parents who have applied to the Regional Department of Citizenship and Migration for help in obtaining official status in the country.
In Belarus, refugees and migrants may get refugee status, additional and temporary protection. This is a slow process, and officers of the Department of Citizenship and Migration help completing it.
To enable families not to leave their children unattended, the Department now offers a separate room to host families with children. When in the room, parents can comfortably communicate with an officer while watching their sons and daughters play. There is a dedicated space for children where boys and girls have access to games, books, toys and creative materials designed for children of different ages. This is necessary to show children that they are protected and that this is a safe place to stay temporarily there. Belarusian families who apply to the Department of Citizenship and Migration may also enjoy the room.
“In the process of migration, children are still children regardless of where they come from, where they are now, or why they left their homes. Every child deserves to be in a safe environment where s/he can feel comfortable. This room provides them with such a place and helps children forget about the stress they have experienced,” — comments UNICEF in Belarus.
The opening of such a room is one of the components of the large-scale effort of UNICEF in Belarus and of national partners to protect the rights of refugee and migrant children and to respond to emergencies. The country attaches great importance to the well-being and protection of migrant and refugee children.
“The child-and-parent-friendly room is equipped with everything necessary due to the effective interaction between the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee and UNICEF in Belarus. This cooperation is humanitarian in nature, and we are confident that it will improve assistance provided to the people seeking asylum in our country,” — notes the Department for Citizenship and Migration of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee.
Similar rooms are planned to be launched in Minsk and in other regions of the country if necessary.