Welcoming and Integrating Asylum Seekers




Tito Matos


Development Partnership

Conselho Português para os Refugiados (CPR)


The project sought to respond to the following needs: Create and organise a system for welcoming and integrating asylum seekers and refugees in Portugal (previously there was only an informal system in place), promote cooperation between the agents involved in the system to improve the type of information given out by institutions to refugees, improve counselling and support provided to refugees, promote changes in mentalities and create awareness in the host society regarding the asylum problem.


A local/community intervention methodology was developed based on 8 strategies: participation, integrated perspective of problems and solutions, territorialised work, ongoing evaluation, research-action, strategic flexibility and methodology of joint/relational skills. Simultaneous, three-tiered integrated intervention was used: Asylum Seekers (Integrated Information Centre, New Welcoming Centre), institutions and their representatives (Creation of a broad network of institutions for welcoming and integrating asylum seekers and refugees), guide for welcoming and integrating asylum seekers and refugees, directed at staff from local community/public opinion institutions (awareness videos regarding asylum and the new welcoming centre open to the local community).


Supply of integrated information as a means of creating a centre for promoting territorial inclusion


Target group: increase in the amount of available information and in the quality of the services for accessing the asylum procedure, less isolation of refugees, increased skills. Staff/organizations: more effective service, increased skills, staff more aware and supportive, increased partnerships. Local community/public opinion: access to better services, more available equipment/infrastructures, public opinion more aware of asylum.