Staying in our homes, maintaining personal hygiene and physical distance are some of the most effective measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, but they put citizens with an uncertain housing situation in a difficult position during the pandemic.

In addition to tenants, this issue also relates to persons under international protection in Croatia, namely those whose two-year right to accommodation is about to expire or already has. Since some of them lost their jobs as a result of measures taken to contain the virus, such as shutdown of cafe bars, and as it is almost impossible to find a new one, it is a question how will they cover housing costs.

That is why we asked the Government’s Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities, which is coordinating the work of all ministries, non-governmental organisations and other bodies involved in integration of persons under international protection, about measures planned or already taken to ensure their accommodation.

In addition, all those still waiting for the final decision on their application for international protection who are temporarily placed in reception centres, should have secured access to health care, conditions for self-isolation in case such measure is appointed to them, as well as all information related to all imposed measures, while access to education must be secured to children. Adequate health care, self-isolation conditions and adherence to all measures should also be secured for irregular migrants, placed with movement restrictions in reception centres for foreigners, which makes them especially vulnerable.

As the Ministry of Interior is responsible for all reception centres for asylum seekers and foreigners, we requested the information about measures to reduce the spread of infection, including the availability of protective equipment for all employees in direct contact with applicants for international protection and irregular migrants.

Emergency situations such as this epidemic, just as fires, floods and similar, are inseparable from human rights. More details about our activities on human rights protection during the epidemic can be found here.