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Are you actively involved in improving the lives of refugees and migrants? Are you doing advocacy work on refugees and migration policies in Europe? If so, the organisers of the European Summit of Refugees and Migrants want to hear from you!

The European Summit will take place on the 4th and 5th of May 2019 in Brussels. The event will be an occasion for migrant and refugee advocates to meet and discuss current challenges and opportunities with other advocates and to coordinate efforts in their work.

Advocates interested in participating in the summit should fill out the organisers’ survey by 7 April 2019. The survey responses will be used to put together the summit’s agenda and themes and to start building alliances and shared advocacy messages to influence EU policies. Advocates who are migrants or refugees are especially encouraged to contribute. Financial assistance might be available to attend the event.

This survey and the European Summit are initiatives of the Global Refugee-Led Network and the G-100 initiative led by refugees and migrants across European countries.

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Poles perceived immigrants speaking Polish with a ‘foreign’ accent much more positively than nationals of Germany, the United States and the UK perceived people speaking with foreign accents. This is according to the preliminary results of experiments conducted by Dr Karolina Hansen from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw. According to Hansen, the results are quite surprising as Poles are rather prejudiced against strangers.

Mexicans in the United States, Turks in Germany and the Chinese in the UK who did not speak with ‘standard’ accents were viewed more negatively by natives in those countries than Poles viewed immigrants speaking Polish with foreign accents. The relatively positive attitudes of Poles held true regardless of the type of accent or ethnic origin of the speaker.

The results might be attributed to the fact that Polish is a difficult language requiring a lot of effort to learn, and it is not widely used in the world. Thus, Poles may be more appreciative when foreigners have any knowledge of Polish, as speaking Polish means that the person ‘is motivated and committed and seriously treats his/her stay in Poland, not only as a stopover on his/her way to France or Germany’, explains Dr Hansen. In other countries, natives might be more demanding and expect immigrants to speak more like natives.

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A recent survey in the framework of the ‘Openness is a Value’ campaign shows that only 20% of people in Latvia have no prejudice towards people with a different ethnicity or origin. More than half of the respondents wished to distance themselves from Syrians, Afghans and people from Africa. This result is likely linked to the recently increased attention to asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Europe.

When asked for suggestions about what public authorities could do to improve the integration of people of other nationalities in Latvia, 43% of respondents believed that educational activities are needed for groups that are less integrated into Latvian society. 42% believed that tolerance, mutual respect and politeness should be encouraged. Meanwhile, 11% of respondents expressed the view that no activity is needed in this area.

The survey was carried out by SKDS, a marketing and public opinion research centre. Read more about the survey results


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On 5 March 2019, during a ceremony at the Quirinale Palace, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, honoured 33 people for acts of heroism. Among the award recipients were two foreign citizens, Roxana Roman and Mustapha El Aoudi.

Mustapha El Aoudi is a street hawker from Morocco who has lived in Italy since 1990. In December 2018, he defended Nuccia Calindro, a doctor, who was violently attacked by a masked man with a screwdriver while she was leaving a hospital in the city of Crotone. The attacker blamed her for the death of his mother. Thanks to El Aoudi’s intervention, the attacker was taken to the police.

Café owner Roxana Roman is Romanian citizen who stood up to violence from two members of a mafia clan. Her café is located in an area with heavy mafia presence. Because they were not served first at the café, two members of the Di Silvio mafia clan attacked Roman’s husband and a disable person and then caused significant damage to the café. Despite being threatened, Roman decided to report to the authorities and refused to withdraw her complaint, leading to the arrest of the attackers.

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Für die Unterstützung von Müttern mit Migrationsgeschichte bei der Jobsuche unterzeichneten laut Bundesfamilienministerium Ministerin Franziska Giffey (SPD) und der Vorsitzende der Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Detlef Scheele, eine Kooperationsvereinbarung. Die Kooperation leitet gleichzeitig eine neue Förderphase des durch den Europäischen Sozialfonds (ESF) und das Bundesfamilienministerium geförderte Bundesprogramm "Stark im Beruf" ein, die bis Ende Juni 2022 läuft.

Im Rahmen von "Stark im Beruf" werden bis 2022 deutschlandweit 90 Kontaktstellen geschaffen, die Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund bei der Suche nach einer Erwerbstätigkeit begleiten und auch zu Ausbildungsgängen, Sprachförderangeboten, Kinderbetreuung sowie Vereinbarkeit von Familie und Beruf beraten.

Nach Ministeriumsangaben haben rund 31 Prozent der Mütter in Deutschland einen Migrationshintergrund, fast jede zweite von ihnen ist nicht erwerbstätig. Viele würden sofort in den Beruf einsteigen, wenn sie die Möglichkeit dazu hätten.

Die Bundesagentur für Arbeit zielt mit den neuen Maßnahmen vor allem auf geflüchtete Frauen ab: „Wir müssen die Frauen erreichen, sonst verlieren wir im Integrationsprozess die Familien“, sagte Vorstandsmitglied Valerie Holsboer im Interview der „Nürnberger Nachrichten“. „Das Thema liegt mir am Herzen, weil in den Geflüchteten-Haushalten oft viele Kinder aufwachsen. Wenn die nicht mitbekommen, dass gearbeitet wird, und ihre Mutter nicht als selbstbewusst und finanziell unabhängig erleben, dann wird was schiefgehen.“

Einen Grund für die geringe Erwerbsbeteiligung von weiblichen Flüchtlingen sieht Holsboer in der Kultur, bei der Erwerbstätigkeit von Frauen nicht üblich ist. Zum anderen gebe es aber auch Regionen in Deutschland, in denen geflüchtete Frauen mit Ressentiments rechnen müssten, wenn sie sich in der Gesellschaft bewegen. „Da bleiben sie erst recht zuhause“, sagte Holsboer. „Wir müssen deshalb über Anreize gehen, die Frauen aufsuchen und ihnen die Möglichkeiten, die es gibt, aufzeigen – zum Beispiel die Teilzeitausbildung.“

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