How to behave in case of emergency at the border

Human Constanta
24 April 2023

Applying for refugee status is a right of any person in danger, provided for by international and national norms. However, in an attempt to get protection in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, the refugees are forced to spend weeks in the Belarusian forests, putting their lives in additional danger.

That’s why, before you go for another try, make sure you have minimal list of things necessary for survival:

  • warm clothes (jacket, hat, socks, thermal underwear, waterproof shoes);
  • documents (passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.) that will help to prove your identity and history;
  • a set of foods filled with carbohydrates (energy bars, cookies, chocolate) and drinking water;
  • PowerBank for your mobile phone;
  • some first aid items (bandage, tourniquet, band-aid, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic).

It is very important that you have access to the Internet. Having an internet connection will allow you to inform human rights defenders/relatives of your location.

If you ask someone for help and share your geolocation, then you need to stay at the place where you sent the signal from as long as possible – this will make your search as easy as possible.

You need to understand that specialized state services (police, ambulance) will not be able to reach you if you are directly in the border zone. If you are in dire need of their help, then you will need to find the nearest settlement; it will be ideal if you can find out its name, as well as the name of the street and the number of the house next to which you are located. This information will help the staff of these services to find you and provide the necessary assistance as quickly as possible. Phone numbers of special services (you can call it from a mobile phone of any operator in Belarus):

  • Police –102
  • Emergency –103
  • Single number of operational services –112

The only organization in Belarus that has access to the border area is the border committee. In case you meet border guards, try to explain to them that you need help (you are hungry/thirsty/want to return to the city). You can translate into Russian in advance and save on your phone some phrases that describe your needs in order to more accurately convey to border guards your request. If you do not meet the border guards directly in the forest, then you can contact the hotline of the border committee of Belarus for help by phone: +375 17 329 18 98

In case you were unable to resolve the emergency situation at the border on your own, you can contact:

  •  the Public Reception of Human Constanta:

+4915774002500 (WhatsApp)

+37060132900 (WhatsApp)

  •  In Lithuania, you can contact “Sienos grupe”

The hotline works around the clock and seven days a week on WhatsApp: +37060871204. You can also contact via Facebook (sienosgrupe), Instagram (sienosgrupe) and email ([email protected])

“Sienos grupe” is an independent non-governmental organization that provides direct humanitarian assistance to people in Lithuania. They help with:

• food and water

• kits/supplies for survival in the forest

• clothing and footwear

• medical care and medicines

Volunteers have already provided direct humanitarian assistance to more than 170 people in the Lithuanian forests, as well as helping numerous asylum seekers in Lithuanian detention centers.

  • In Poland, you can contact Grupa Granice

+46 72 838 39 55

Humanitarian organization that provides humanitarian aid, food, clothes, power banks. Can help with legal and medical emergencies. Can only help in Poland.

We do not help with transportation.

All help is free. You don’t have to pay us or anyone else for anything. If you know other people who need help in Poland, you can share this number.

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