MSF teams provide psychological and psychosocial support to asylum seekers and migrants in Latvia.
In 2021, there was a sudden increase in the number of people from countries including Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Cameroon and Afghanistan trying to cross from Belarus into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Governments of all three countries restricted access to their borders and declared a state of emergency, making pushbacks a de facto practice. Migrants and asylum-seekers attempted to enter Latvia from Belarus and were subjected to violence, including forcible pushbacks by state border guards, being trapped in the forested border regions without access to necessities and denied access to adequate asylum procedures by Latvian authorities. From August 2021 to March 2022, 500 people were detained in Latvia after crossing the border. In July 2022, MSF teams based in Lithuania started providing psychological and psychosocial support to asylum seekers and migrants detained in the two existing Immigration Detention Centres (IDC) in Latvia.