With the help of interconnected advocacy, analytical and information activities, we strive for change in the area of migration, asylum, and integration policy in the Czech Republic. With the support of data analysis and strategic litigation, and in cooperation with key parties, we will strengthen the protection of the rights of migrants.
We will prevent the deterioration of human rights standards in the field of migration and we will support the building of cooperation with entities that do not yet assert themselves in the topic, even though it affects them. With these changes and partnerships, we will create a pro-integration environment in Czech society.
We base what we do on the Migration Manifesto of non-governmental organisations working with migrants
„We wish to promote cultural diversity, to contribute to the development of a culture of respect and responsibility, and an open society that enables all people to exercise their democratic rights, regardless of the differences between them.“
The migration and integration policy of the Czech Republic is not implemented in accordance with the objectives set out in the conceptual documents of a general nature. Transparent rules are lacking, and in practice the rights of migrants are often not respected. Integration policy is managed centrally and therefore does not sufficiently reflect the needs of relevant parties such as local governments or trade unions
In some areas, there are systemic violations of migrants‘ rights – such as health insurance, tightening of return and asylum legislation that does not respect the Czech Republic’s international obligations, restrictions on migrants‘ labour rights leading to labour exploitation or their marginalization and criminalization.
The causes of the problems are structural, as the dominant administrator of migration and integration policy is the Ministry of the Interior, which promotes primarily a securitization approach to migration. The influence of employers in setting rules concerning labour migration is also growing, who then primarily take into account their interests and ignore the rights of foreigners and the interests of the state.
In the area of asylum and return policy, proposals against basic human rights principles are repeatedly submitted, some of which are then annulled only on the basis of the case law of the Constitutional Court. This development is made possible by the xenophobic attitudes of sections of the public and the populism of politicians.
We strive for the gradual improvement of most aspects of migration policy and practice in the Czech Republic. Our goal is to enforce a number of partial changes in cooperation with key parties in the field of migration and integration.
These changes will lead to an improvement in the position of migrants in Czech society.
Part of our activities is also raising the general public’s awareness of the topic of migration and its real consequences for the state economy and Czech society.
The Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI) is a human rights non-profit organization defending the rights of foreigners in the Czech Republic. It provides free legal, social, and psychosocial counseling to foreigners living in the Czech Republic. The beginning of the Association for Integration and Migration dates back to 1992, when thousands of refugees from the war in Yugoslavia came to the Czech Republic. It works with the general public to promote tolerance and combat xenophobia and racism. Employees of SIMI appear in the media, participate in discussions, seminars, and conferences while they give lectures at elementary and high schools and universities throughout all the Czech Republic. With its conceptual work, SIMI influences legislation in the area of migration and refugees, where it has long strived for a better and more accommodating setting of living conditions for foreigners in the Czech Republic.Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI)
The Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU) is a non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian organization that was established in Prague in 1991 as a civic association. OPU has been helping refugees and foreigners in the Czech Republic for 29 years. The main activities of the organization include providing free legal and social counseling to applicants for international protection and other foreigners in the Czech Republic, organizing training programs for both professionals and the general public, and other activities aimed at promoting the integration of foreigners. One of the OPU’s goals is to combat xenophobia and racial and ethnic intolerance.Organization for Aid to Refugees
The Consortium was founded in 2003 in Prague and at present, it brings together 18 non-governmental organizations, which either directly assist migrants or are involved in the integration of foreigners in other ways. Members of these organizations deal with various aspects of migrants' lives and their integration into Czech society. The Consortium employs social workers, lawyers, sociologists, and other professionals, often with their own migration experience. The Consortium organizes educational programs for both professional and the general public. The biggest task of the Consortium is to supplement the media image of migration with missing perspectives and connections by means of statistics, analyses, and stories of individual peopleConsortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations
Klára Besuchet is a policy officer of the Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organisations in the Czech Republic. She is responsible for leading the Advocacy and Legal Working Group of the Consortium, preparing specialised analyses and statements, and communicating priorities with politicians and other parties. She studied International Security Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University and spent the last three years in Japan and Switzerland. She has experience with the topic of migration from both the state administration and the non-profit sector.
Magda Faltová is the director of the Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI is a non-profit organization providing free counselling to migrants in the Czech Republic). She is also a member of the board of the European PICUM network (Platform of International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) and, on a national level, a chair of the Committee on Foreigners Rights of the Government Council for Human Rights and a chairwoman of the executive committee of the Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organisations. She is a co-author of initiatives, comparative and national reports on migration, economic migration, integration, labour rights of migrants, unaccompanied minors, detention, and the protection of migrants human rights.
Martin Rozumek is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Masaryk University in Brno. Since 2002, he has been the director of the Organization for Aid to Refugees, z. s. (OPU). From 2001 to 2002 he worked at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In the years 2005 - 2009 he worked in the law firm MBN. He is currently mainly involved in the implementation of international projects in the field of asylum and migration, and for several years he led the activities of the OPU in Georgia. He is active in the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) based in Brussels and within the Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organisations in the Czech Republic.