20 March 2014

Programme La Strada Belarus has received more than 2,350 calls from citizens on safe traveland stay abroad during 2013. Issues related to employment abroad are the most requested information. Such appeals construe 33%. About 11 % of consultations were associated with different aspects of family relations with foreign nationals, 18% of requests were connected to the passport and visa requirements, study abroad issues were applied to 8%. According tomonitoring, the most popular destination countries for our citizens were Russia, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Ukraine. Overall, migration geography covered 96 countries in 2013.

La Strada Belarus programme, administered by the International publiс association “Gender Perspectives is actively developing e-mail counseling. 900 people (or 38% of all requests) reached the organisation by e-mail on various issues of safe travel and stay abroad. The most popular subjects of consultations were: the marriage, job abroad, various aspects of employment in Russia and Poland. Many questions came from potential students of foreign universities - those who wish to study in another country. About 3 % of all requests to the La Stradaprogramme came from citizens of other countries, mainly CIS. They are interested in moving to Belarus, obtaining permanent residence in our country.

During 2013, 62 % of requests were received byToll-free Information line 113. Today, it is a unified number that can be reached with any question related to safe departure and stay abroad. Infoline 113 is administered in the country by two organizations – IPA “Gender Perspectives and NGO “Club of Business Women.
Particular attention is paid to the crisis cases management. Elena Nesteruk, the Head of La Strada Belarus, observed over the last year some increase in such appeals. “Among the most extended crisis situations that Belarusians trap into are violation of rights in various countries,search of missing persons, fraud at employment, domestic violence against Belarusians who married a foreigner. Operational support is provided for each of these references in collaborationwith various ministries and agencies of Belarus, - says Elena Nesteruk.

Site of La Strada programme www.lastrada.by is the popular and useful “navigator in sphere of safe travel abroad today. The website target audience are potential migrants, as well as people who are in a crisis situation abroad, or want to know how to prevent it. “The site shares news, tells how to act in difficult situations, meets with important nuances that relate to work, study abroad, marriage with foreign nationals, stay in exotic and unfamiliar to Belarusians countries, - said the Head of the La Strada Programme. - Information on safe migration, which is accumulated on the site, is claimed not only by Belarusians, but also by citizens of different countries. Total for 2013 www.lastrada.by was visited by 143,000 people from 133 countries. The information of safety travel abroad was also highly required. Over the last yearthe information was used by more than 20 000 times.

Theme of safe migration is also promoted through popular social networks: VKontakte, Facebook, Twitter, which publishes interesting and important news on the topic of migration, useful information on various countries. In addition, users through social accounts have the opportunity to appeal to consultants of the La Strada Programme and ask questions.

Seminars, workshops and lectures are important component of information work in combatting human trafficking. Professionals and trainers of La Strada programme provided ​​more than 400 thematic events on safe migration for almost 4500 people in different towns of Belarus in 2013.

In 2013 La Strada program has conducted a study on the aspects of labor migration of Belarusians to Poland. The Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Ministry of Interior and Foundation “Beyond Borders (Poland) were involved as partners. The project was implemented with the support of the International Association La Strada, and the Google.  According to the public opinion poll, Poland is the second most popular country of migration for Belarusians. The study revealed not only the main migration trends, but also the risks that exist. The results are used in the information work of La Strada, as well as in the counseling of those citizens who are going to travel to Poland.

In 2013, La Strada program has launched a new public awareness campaign called “Make the decision with open eyes in close partnership with the Ministry of Interior and NGO “Club of Business Women. Its launch was timed to coincide with the European Day against Human Trafficking. The main result was the creation of a series of social video. They are based on real scenarios and the most typical situations faced by our Belarusians and Belarusians who plan to travel abroad.

“Another important event that commemorates the recognition of the active position of our organization in anti-trafficking field, was the election of the Chair of the board of the IPA “Gender Perspectives Irina Alkhovka on the Chair of the Board of the International La Strada Association. This reflects our intention to continue proactive work in the field of combating trafficking, promote network expertise to effectively uphold the international and European level and the rights of victims of trafficking,- said the head of the La Strada Belarus program Elena Nesteruk.