New regulations for asylum-seeker interviews to take effect (1)

Asylum-seekers waiting in line in Greece. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Scanpix)
4/10/2016 2:20 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

New regulations are to go into effect on May 1 regarding how interviews with persons applying for international protection in Estonia are conducted.

According to the new regulations, the police officer conducting the interview with applicants for international protection must interview each family member separately, and the advisor accompanying applicant may not interfere before the conclusion of the interview.

Only the interviewer may allow other family members to be present during a given individual interview. Minors being interviewed will be accompanied by their advisor, however the advisor may only ask questions or take notes with the permission of the interviewer. The interview is required to include an interpreter in all interviews, however.

According to the regulations, the police officer conducting the interview may not wear a uniform at the time of the interview, and must take into account the background, sex, as well as sexual and gender identities of the interviewee.

During the interview, the applicant has the right to present facts and provide explanations regarding circumstances pertinent to the procedure, including circumstances preventing them from being sent out of the country.

Together with the twenty officers of the ESTPOL3 police unit, more than 40 officials of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board are now currently involved in the handling of the refugee crisis situation in Greece.

Estonia has agreed to accept a total of 550 war refugees, of which the first seven have already arrived and been settled in Estonia.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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