UNHCR alone to register asylum-seekers in Trinidad and Tobago
As of April 1, the Living Water Community (LWC) will stop pre-registering people seeking asylum in TT.
Instead, the service will only be done directly at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
A text message from the UNHCR informed migrants and refugees in TT of the change last week. It was confirmed to Newsday on Monday by the UNHCR communications department.
"UNHCR has improved its capacity to process registrations. These changes allow us to assume direct management of all registration-related activities," it said.
Pre-registration was initially implemented to process the high number of people seeking asylum before they reached the stage of registering with the UNHCR.
With an increase in its capacity, the UNHCR is reducing this two-step process to one step.
So, it said, "We will remove the pre-registration step managed by LWC from 31 March."
In addition, the UNHCR will pause registration between April 1 and 23 to facilitate a global systems update.
The UNHCR said: "These changes are part of our protection efforts to offer maximum protection and strengthen our availability and accessibility to the persons we serve."
From April 24, any person applying for asylum for the first time should visit the UNHCR Registration Centre, corner Keate and Pembroke Streets, Port of Spain, from Monday-Thursday, 8am-4 pm.
Those wishing to apply for asylum can also find more information online at the UNHCR website: https://help.unhcr.org/trinidadandtobago/applying-for-asylum/.
Newsday understands the LWC will continue to provide legal services, food assistance, counselling services, children's education, child support, social services and health information, among other things.
These services can be requested via WhatsApp to 279 1458.
"UNHCR alone to register asylum-seekers in Trinidad and Tobago"