Integrating Asylum seekers

  • The Development Partnerships (DPs) that were launched under the Asylum Seekers Strand of EQUAL focused onhelping the integration of asylum seekers (in relation to the world of work).
Strategic lessons
en Strategic lessons - 2008
This paper presents the strategic policy lessons that emerged from the theme related to the Social and Vocational Integration of Asylum Seekers under the EQUAL Community Initiative and that could be mainstreamed and integrated into the 2007-2013 European Social Fund (ESF).
en Vademecum to integrate asylum seekers in ESF actions - 2008
This paper is a short, highly practical guide for national authorities responsible for the management of ESF sponsored programmes and for the selection of projects. It consists of an introductory part setting out the EQUAL history, especially in relation to the theme concerning the socio-vocational integration of asylum seekers, and a chapter providing examples of approaches that could be undertaken, with checklists summarising the key issues to be taken into account when working with asylum seekers.
Policy briefs
The European Thematic Group established for the Asylum Seekers Theme (ETG5) aimed to identify good practice and capture new ideas and lessons emerging from EQUAL that were having a positive impact on the social and vocational integration of asylum seekers in the EU. These policy briefs arise from the work carried out by ETG5. During the implementation of EQUAL, there has been close co-operation between DG Employment and Social Affairs, DG Justice, Freedom and Security within the European Commission, and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) to ensure that the work focuses on the issues which are most relevant at EU level.
en     The way back to life: Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking
The guidelines for Round 2 of the EQUAL Community Initiative underlined that EQUAL funding was made available for projects assisting human trafficking victims in all thematic fields. This paper identifies key success factors for assisting human trafficking victims and outlines some policy recommendations in this area.
en   Advice, Education and Training for Asylum Seekers - 2007
This paper focuses on the problems experienced by asylum seekers in accessing advice, education and training. Nearly 85% of the 61 EQUAL partnerships operating in Round 2 implemented activities in the area of advice, education and training. This paper sets out good practice examples from EQUAL in this area and outlines some key policy messages to be taken forward.
en   Building capacity for asylum seekers - 2007
This paper focuses on the differences between the quality and extent of the services provided to asylum seekers in the Member States. Good practice examples from EQUAL of Development Partnerships (DPs) are summarised and policy messages are set out.
en   Getting asylum seekers into employment - 2007
This paper provides an overview of the problem of getting asylum seekers into employment. Good practice example from EQUAL Development Partnerships (DPs) are summarised and success factors are identified. In conclusion the key policy messages that were realised are set out.
en   How EQUAL experience in the Asylum Seekers Theme can contribute to policy development - 2007
Debates concerning asylum issues were poorly informed by what was happening ‘on the ground’. The experience of EQUAL partnerships, transnational cooperation work and the EU thematic conference demonstrated that there was potential for influencing the national and EU policy agenda. This paper summarises the good practice and policy messages that were the outcome of Development Partnerships (DPs) in this area.
en The Right Opportunity for the Right Skills - EQUAL promotes skills audits with Asylum-Seekers - 2007
This paper outlines the legislative constraints in certain EU countries and the lack of skills and qualifications assessment tools for asylum-seekers that meant that employers were unable to recognise that asylum-seekers had work experiences and qualifications that were unavailable, or difficult to find, in the domestic market. This paper summarises the outcomes of EQUAL Development Partnerships in this area and suggests key policy measures that were subsequently suggested.
See also the MOLE! Policy Recommendations & Policy Briefs available at
Background documents and Activities
en   Towards a dignified standard of living for asylum seekers (European Policy Forum, Malmö, Sweden) - 22-24 May 2007
Preparatory Document
Representatives from nearly 50 Round 2 EQUAL partnerships, the European Commission, international organisations, refugees, journalists and national ministries from 23 different Member States came together to discuss the many advantages of helping asylum seekers to integrate rather than to exclude them from society, and to jointly identify opportunities to take the EQUAL legacy forward once the programme comes to an end in 2008.
en   Making the most of Transnational Cooperation - March 2007
This paper reviews what is happening in the EQUAL Asylum Seekers theme in terms of transnational networking and activities and presents the first successes of this hard work. It starts with a general overview of the Transnational Partnerships that include, either exclusively or in collaboration with projects from other EQUAL themes, Development Partnerships working on the social and vocational integration of asylum seekers. This is followed by a more specific focus on some of the more interesting aspects of transnationality, such as innovation and the organisation of mainstreaming transnational lessons and good practices. The added value of transnational work is also explored, together with an analysis of success factors and particular challenges that Transnational Partnerships working for a highly disadvantaged target group such as asylum seekers face.
en   Restructuring - Useful examples from the EQUAL Asylum Seekers theme - October 2006
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the extent to which the lessons and good practices from a particular theme within EQUAL, namely the Socio-vocational Integration of Asylum Seekers, could be used to feed into the discussions on Restructuring.
en New EU Financial Programme launched for Asylum, Migration and Border Management - August 2006
This paper focuses on the new EU financial programme that was introduced in the field of asylum and migration. This financial programme aimed to help Member States achieve policy goals on asylum and migration that were agreed in November 2004. The aim of the new framework programme was to provide the financial backing needed to improve the management of migration flows to the European Union and foster increased solidarity between the Member States.
en   Getting Asylum Seekers into Employment - Full report  - June 2006
This is a report of the event ‘Getting Asylum Seekers into Employment- Challenges and opportunities’ held in Greece in 2006. This event provided the opportunity for Development Partnerships from both rounds of EQUAL who have implemented projects aimed at getting asylum seekers into employment to meet, and identify, discuss and exchange their experiences and the successful and promising practices they have developed. The report documents the activities and workshops that took place at the event.
en   Learning how to build capacity: Successful examples from Round 1  - March 2006
This paper focuses on how building capacity took place within EQUAL. In this context building capacity means the improvement of the quality of the Development Partnerships, and development of the resources and infrastructures used by these partnerships. In the Asylum Seekers theme, capacity building more specifically meant training the people that worked with asylum seekers to help them understand their situation and needs, setting up networks of local, regional and national partners and creating the tools for this networking, and raising awareness of what it means to be an asylum seeker. This report documents good practice in this field and provides practical examples of what EQUAL partnerships managed to achieve in the first Round.
en   Mainstreaming: tips and tricks - March 2006
The purpose of the paper was to provide practical suggestions and recommendations to EQUAL partnerships under Round 2 on how they could best prepare to mainstream their innovative practices and learn from the experiences of partnerships from the first round. The paper features specific examples of the mainstreaming successes of EQUAL partnerships across the EU and identifies the factors which were key for success, as well as the relevant lessons learnt and obstacles faced.
en DP "Mainstreaming" and Dissemination visit to the European Parliament
Representatives of EQUAL Development Partnerships (DPs) participating in the EQUAL Asylum Seekers Theme organised a mainstreaming and dissemination visit to the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 December 2004. The purpose of the visit was to inform MEPs and the Director-General of ESF/EQUAL of the results of a conference organised by several DPs in Maastricht in September 2004, to discuss important issues arising from the DPs' work, and to establish contacts for the next round of EQUAL.
en   Building successful Development Partnerships for Asylum Seekers - an Introduction for New Member States - Full document
This paper provides an introduction to the European Thematic Group on Asylum Seekers (ETG5) which was led by representatives of the governments of Sweden and the Netherlands. The priorities of the ETG5 are also set out. Furthermore the paper sets out the context of asylum in terms of flows, European policy developments and issues in relation to asylum seekers’ access to education, training and employment and general issues of capacity of organisations dealing with asylum seekers. An overview of activity in the first round of the Asylum Seekers theme and actions planned for the second round is also provided. Guidance and examples of good practice, constitutes the “core” of this Introduction paper, as it includes a set of eight fact sheets presenting good practices, lessons, practical advice and concrete examples in eight different thematic areas.
en Building successful Development Partnerships for Asylum Seekers - an Introduction for New Member States - Summary
This document provides a summary of guidance paper for organisations and other actors intending to set up a Development Partnership under Round 2 of the EQUAL Asylum Seekers Theme. The paper was published by the European Thematic Group on Asylum Seekers (ETG5).
en   Building Relations with Employers to get Asylum Seekers into Jobs - Background paper
The EQUAL Asylum Seekers Theme (ETG5) has held a total of three practice-oriented events in 2003-2004. Such practical events enabled practitioners within the theme to share experiences and explore synergies, as well as to come forward with priorities for work at the European thematic level. The first practice event held in June 2003 addressed transnational cooperation, whilst the other two addressed the ETG5’s priority themes: Advice, Education and Training (November 2003) and Capacity Building (March 2004). This background paper provides some first insights on how DPs involve employers in their activities.
en The ETG5 European Conference: Asylum Seekers in the EU: the challenges of integration - Background paper
This paper provides the background for the ETG5 conference that highlighted the most promising Development Partnerships (DPs) across all EU Member States. The aim of the partnerships was to develop innovative approaches to the social and vocational integration of asylum seekers. The paper sets out the purpose, aims and objectives of the conference.
en The ETG5 European Conference: Asylum Seekers in the EU: the challenges of integration - Conference report
The conference reviewed the progress of relevant aspects of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Although most of the legislation envisaged was in place, in practice progress on the CEAS had been slow. Since the European Council at Tampere momentum had not been maintained, the legislation had tended to be ‘watered down’ and there was less harmonisation than originally envisaged. Some positive aspects of the Tampere Conclusion had been diluted. The initial enthusiastic support from NGOs for the CEAS was now more reserved. There needed to be a closer link between what was happening on the ground and evidence on ‘what works when’ and the framing of legislation. The Directives that had been agreed, especially the Minimum Standards on Reception Directive, which directly effected the social and vocational integration of Asylum Seekers, needed to be reviewed as soon as possible. This report summarise the main discussions and recommendations from the Conference.
Practical examples of the work of Development Partnerships
EQUAL funded 100 Development Partnerships (DPs) across the EU. EQUAL DPs have shown that any approach to further the integration of asylum seekers into the labour market, has to take account of a number of contextual factors in order to be relevant and successful. There are many factors to be taken into consideration, relating to the specific national context and to the characteristics of asylum seekers as a target group. EQUAL however has shown that with a good understanding and knowledge of the challenges ahead, projects can produce some truly impressive results and outcomes, going far beyond providing direct assistance to a relatively small group and impacting positively on local development, cultural diversity and corporate social responsibility.
en FR - Trafficking in human beings - A.C.T.E.S. now! - 2008
en DE - MORE assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking - 2008
en IT - Emergendo-Project: Emerging From The Darkness: The Social And Employment Integration Of Women Victims Of Trafficking In Italy - 2008
en EU - To to communicate - 2008
en EU - Asylum Seekers should be integrated... ASAP! - 2007
en SI - Building on nothing but goodwill - 2007
en PT - Up and beyond – aim high!! - 2007
en DE - Bread and Dignity - 2007
en FR - Providing global range of activities to asylum seekers - 2007
en CZ - Training and working rather than waiting! - 2007
en UKgb - National Thematic Network in UK : Joining forces to achieve maximum impact - 2007
en UKgb - A head start to a new life - 2007
en MT - A Long Journey - A Safe Harbour - 2007
en LV - Step by Step Towards a Better Future - 2006
en AT - Young asylum seekers pave the way for others - to the top! - 2007
en CY - Facing the Challenge - 2007
en FR - Observing the reality of asylum seekers - 2007
en IE - Training Roma as cultural mediators - 2007
en DE - Aspiring for better integration - 2006
en DE - Asylum seekers qualify to help others - 2006
en EL - Estia - making the connection - 2006
en FI - Making asylum seekers more visible - 2006
en ES - Partnership benefits asylum seekers and employers - 2006
en IE - A friendly face in a new place - 2006
en SE - Do-it-yourself! - 2006
en UKgb - Getting asylum seekers connected - 2006
en IT - An unexpected future - 2006