Prague Demands Relocation of Refugees to Other Regions

ukrainian Refugees prague

Even though the number of Ukrainian refugees registering with Czech immigration police or requesting temporary protection is falling, some regions are overburdened.

The number of temporary protection visas issued by the Czech Republic to Ukrainian refugees keeps dropping as Czechia issued 340 on Saturday, 142 fewer than a week ago.

In total, Czechia has issued 364,431 since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, the interior ministry tweeted on Sunday.

However, some refugees are already leaving Czechia as about 300,000 are currently staying in the country, Interior Minister Vit Rakušan (STAN) told the media last week.

Rakušan estimates that of the approximately 50,000 refugees who have already left the Czech Republic, around half have returned to Ukraine, and half have continued to other countries, mostly Germany.

So far, 280,927 refugees from Ukraine have registered with the Czech immigration police, 1,044 on Saturday alone. The duty to report to the immigration police does not apply to minors under 15, who make up about 30% of the incoming refugees.

Regional refugee assistance centres have been operating all over the country, offering aid with registration, accommodation, personal documents, job mediation and insurance to Ukrainians.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) announced on Wednesday (1 June) that the big regional centre in the capital would close as of 15 June because Prague was overburdened.

The city has had to resort to building tent cities where refugees have poor living conditions. The city’s mayor is demanding a system of relocation of refugees to the less overloaded regions of the country.

The Czech Republic will cope with the situation even if the Prague centre closes, Rakušan said. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) is to debate the issue with Hřib on 17 June.

In an interview with Seznam Zprávy last week, the government’s newly appointed Human Rights Commissioner, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, stressed that in the coming months, it will be necessary to distribute the refugees evenly throughout the Czech Republic to places where they can find work, schools and accommodation.

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