The Seimas Ombudsman, Head of the Office Augustinas Normantas visited the Foreigners Registration Centre on Friday, 18th of June. Assessing the accommodation conditions of the persons who crossed the border, the Seimas Ombudsman acknowledged that they are provided only with minimum conditions – beds, showers, toilets. During the visit to the Centre, the Seimas Ombudsman drew the attention of employees and responsible institutions to the big lack of interpreters, communication shortcomings, and the problems of provision of legal and psychological assistance.
“People are under a big stress; therefore, it is our duty to explain in understandable language on how to apply for asylum as well as provide other relevant legal information. Another disadvantage is insufficient psychological help. Migrants who have managed to communicate in English said they were confused and did not understand why they were placed in the Foreigners Registration Center. The provision of interpreters is very important because people need psychological help. But here again – a common chain of problems – interpreters, legal aid, psychologists,” constituted the Seimas Ombudsman.
It is also noteworthy that 73 migrants are accommodated in the tent camp of the Foreigners Registration Centre in Pabradė, of which 27 are currently in isolation. The Seimas Ombudsman acknowledged that accommodating individuals in tents should be seen as a temporary solution. According to Vytautas Valentinavičius, Head of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office, tents are equipped with a ventilation system, but natural light is not ensured and there is a lack of privacy.
“It’s really worrying that currently each tent accommodates 10 people and there is lack of privacy since those people are adults. We can all imagine that if adults live in a tent, they have to undress before the night, and everything else; therefore, there is definitely no privacy. The people are in crisis situation and we could all feel that. Just water and a tent is not enough. They need much more,” finalized Vytautas Valentinavičius, Head of the Human Rights Division of the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office.