Our mission is to help migrants who are in a difficult life situation,
protect their rights in the territory of the Russian Federation, and in particular – in Moscow.
The “Civil Assistance” committee’s history began in 1990, when a group of Muscovites decided to create a non-governmental organization to help the very first refugees of the “perestroika” era and the collapse of the USSR — victims of Armenian bashing in Azerbaijan.
At first, we helped refugees and IDPs from other countries, as well as internally displaced persons (internal refugees). But since 2007 we began to support migrant workers.
The attitude of the federal and city authorities to the problems of migrants over the years that we have been working has changed from partial recognition of the need to provide state assistance to migrants to actually abandoning the solution of this problem. The laws “On Refugees” and “On Forced Migrants”, which oblige the state to support migrants, do not work in practice. Moreover, the Migration Service, which is now a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, rather hinders people from seeking asylum.
That is why our activity is extremely necessary.
From the very beginning, the Civic Assistance Committee took upom itself legal advisory assistance, public protection in courts, assistance in communication of forced migrants and official structures, protection of migrats’ rights to housing, work, medical care, education. We believe that properly organized support for migration benefits the whole society.
We are an accredited partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Russia. Since 1998, UNHCR has supported the work of our reception center. Donors of our projects are Russian and foreign charitable organizations and foundations: the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Caritas France, Ford funds, Mott, European Commission, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, CAF-Russia, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ernst and Young, CCFD (Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development, France), RGN (Help Your Neighbor Planet, USA).
We are assisted by Government og Moscow, which provides us with rent-free premises. To solve the problems of migrants, we cooperate with Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, the government authorities of the Russian Federation, Moscow, the Moscow region and the republics of the North Caucasus (Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, North Ossetia).