Czechia launches free multilingual helpline in support of refugees

A daily dispatch on how the war in Ukraine is impacting life in the Czech Republic. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.08.2022 13:44:00 (updated on 21.08.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

Aug. 21, 2022

VISAS Czech foreign parliament heads support EU ban on Russian tourism

Czech Senate Foreign Committee chairman Pavel Fischer and Chamber of Deputies Foreign Committee chairman Marek Ženíšek are in favor of an EU-wide suspension of issuing tourist visas to Russian nationals, they have confirmed this weekend.

The Czech Republic suspended issuing visas to Russian nationals, with the exception of humanitarian cases, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine. However, Russians can still obtain a Schengen visa from some other EU states and freely enter the Czech Republic.

Many other European countries have also restricted Russian access to their territory. The issue will be discussed by EU foreign ministers at the end of August.

Aug. 18, 2022

Support Czechia has a new helpline for refugees

The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has established a free helpline for refugees from Ukraine to provide social assistance and crisis intervention, the ministry said in a press release Wednesday. The helpline offers information in five languages. The call center was opened in cooperation with the Blue Line helpline for those in need and the Czech Red Cross local association in Prague 1.

The ministry said it wants to increase the accessibility of aid not only to refugees but also to people in the Czech Republic trying to help them. The helpline operators are able to answer questions about employment, welfare benefits, social care and prevention, child protection, and education. The information is available in Czech, Ukrainian, Russian, Roma, and Hungarian languages.

Crisis intervention for people affected by the war conflict in Ukraine who seek support and advice is provided in Ukrainian and Russian.

The free helpline 800 60 10 20 is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and crisis intervention from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; on weekends, only between 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

War refugees started arriving in the Czech Republic after the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24. Since the war in Ukraine started, Czechia has granted temporary protection visas to 412,959 Ukrainian refugees. However, the exact number of refugees in the country now is not known, as some return to Ukraine or leave for other countries.

Education Czech schools can accomodate refugee children

Czech schools are prepared to admit Ukrainian refugee children in September, at the beginning of the new school year, without limiting Czech students, according to the enrollment data, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said after a government meeting this week. Rakusan did not specify the number of Ukrainian children enrolled for school attendance in the Czech Republic.

He added that 105,000 refugees from Ukraine had so far found jobs in the Czech Republic. The refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine do not burden the Czech healthcare system, he added.

The Education Ministry's data as of end-June show that roughly 39,000 children from Ukraine have come to the Czech Republic since the start of the Russian invasion. The office will know more exact numbers of Ukrainian refugees enrolled at Czech schools in the second half of August.

Aug. 17, 2022

support First Ukrainian soldiers arrive for treatment in Czechia

The first Ukrainian soldiers who suffered injuries in the current war with Russia are being treated in the Czech Republic. The first two patients will complete their injury treatment and rehabilitation at Lázní Darkov in Karvinsk and will spend at least a month here. Other wounded Ukrainian soldiers will gradually be treated and rehabilitated in Lázní Darkov, the commercial director of the facility Lenka Krótká told news server iRozhlas.

"In the past, we have already treated soldiers from Georgia. And in 2018, we treated Ukrainian soldiers from the Donbas who were injured during the first attack on Ukraine by Russia," said Krótká.

The transport and treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers is sponsored and organized by the Czech foundation fund Regi Base, which has eleven years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. The non-profit organization focuses on helping war veterans, police officers, and firefighters. 

Aug. 16, 2022

Refugees Czechia grants visas to 1,384 refugees from Ukraine on Monday

  • The Czech Republic has granted 1,384 temporary protection visas issued on Monday, 66 more than a week ago, the Interior Ministry wrote on Twitter.
  • Since the start of the conflict, 412,959 temporary protection visas have been granted to Ukrainian refugees.
  • On Monday, the Czech immigration police registered 2,899 refugees. Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 420,014 have been registered.

Aug. 15, 2022

Refugees No visas granted for second weekend in a row

The Czech Republic granted no temporary protection visas to Ukrainian refugees on Saturday and Sunday, the Interior Ministry wrote on Twitter today. This is the second weekend in a row with no visas granted. So far, the Czech Republic has granted temporary protection visas to 411,575 Ukrainian refugees since the war in Ukraine started on Feb. 24. The actual number of Ukrainians staying in Czechia is thought to be lower, as some people have returned or moved to other countries.

On Sunday, the Czech immigration police registered 1,547 refugees. Since the start of the Russian invasion, 417,115 have been registered. They have to do so within three days since their arrival in the country. The duty to report does not apply to children under 15, who make up about one-third of the people fleeing from Ukraine.

European Union Ukrainian president calls for EU ban on visas to Russians

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again called on European Union members to stop issuing visas to Russians, news agency Reuters reported. Zelensky's proposal does not apply to Russians who need protection because they have opposed the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"There must be guarantees that Russian killers or accomplices of state terror not use Schengen visas," Zelensky said on Friday. "Secondly, we must not destroy the very idea of Europe - our common European values. Europe must therefore not be transformed into a supermarket where it is not important who walks in and where the main thing is that people just pay for their goods," he added.

The idea does not have the support of the main EU players, but Zelensky said he was pleased it was supported by the Baltic countries and the Czech Republic, which now holds the rotating EU presidency. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský this week mentioned that a blanket suspension of visas for Russian citizens could be an effective sanction. He hopes to raise the issue at the meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers at the end of August in Prague at the end of August.

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