25 June 2018

EPRA – EASO thematic workshop on prevention measures and sanction regimes in reception centres for asylum-seekers

Polish Office For Foreigners was the host of a two-day workshop devoted to maintaining order and security in centers for foreigners applying for international protection. The meeting was organized as part of the cooperation between the European Platform of Reception Agencies (EPRA) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The event was attended by representatives of 19 EU+ countries.

Workshop began with the presentation of solutions used in individual countries to prevent incidents in centers for asylum-seekers. The sanctions systems applied in cases of breaches of regulations and security rules were also discussed. Then, the participants of the meeting visited the reception center for foreigners near the Warsaw. Representatives of the Department for Social Assistance of Office For Foreigners showed visitors around the facility and told about the rules of its functioning.

On the second day of the workshop, the results of surveys conducted among the Member States on the challenges and experiences in the field of depriving social assistance in response to violations by residents of the centers were presented. This initiated an interesting discussion and debates in working groups to develop good solutions and practices.

Polish Office For Foreigners prioritizes security issues in its centers for foreigners and constantly cooperates with Police and Border Guard. In each of the centers, there are security guards who provide protection 24 hours a day. All employees of the centers show special care and sensitivity to matters related to ensuring security for foreigners in the centers. Since 2008, the Local Cooperation Teams have operated at the centers. They include: an employee of the Office For Foreigners responsible for a given center, an officer of a local Police unit, a representative of an NGO or other institution invited to cooperate. The task of Local Interaction Teams is to prevent, recognize and respond to possible threats to safety in the center.