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01 April 2020

EIN members share how national authorities are reaching out to migrant communities about COVID-19

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Members of the European Integration Network are sharing how authorities are conducting outreach to migrant communities regarding COVID-19. Authorities are communicating not only about preventing transmission of the virus but also about how to contact various public services, now that appointments may have been cancelled and offices may be closed.

Below are some of the actions that authorities in Europe have taken. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The links below are shared on this website solely to provide examples of outreach to migrant or minority communities during this health emergency. Please speak to a medical professional if you need health-related advice.

Austria

Coronavirus information campaign in 14 foreign languages

The Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF), the operational partner of the Federal Ministry for Women and Integration, bundles official information on measures related to containment of the coronavirus on its website. The information is provided in 14 languages. The site includes information sheets from the ministries and the Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists (ÖAK), explanatory videos and answers to common questions.

ÖIF's campaign has used SMS to inform 70,000 refugees and migrants about the how to find information related to the coronavirus. In addition, the campaign has reached out via email to 11,000 multiplier contacts, such as regional authorities, social services, police stations and other organisations in the area of integration, informing them of the multilingual information and contact options.

The ÖIF has also set up a hotline for questions about the coronavirus, which is currently supported in 9 languages. ÖIF staff provide information over the phone and answer questions regarding measures, current developments and effects on everyday life.

To curb the spread of fake news, the ÖIF continuously points out on its website what is true and what is a myth. This information is actively shared on social media through targeted advertisements.

Courses and exams for mandatory integration measures

The ÖIF staff are still available to assist people entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection by phone and via email for information and advice. For questions about integration-related opportunities and measures, access to the ÖIF is ensured via a hotline.

Publicly funded integration projects

The measures to contain the pandemic have impacted the implementation of funded integration projects. Some activities have been postponed. Many projects have created alternative measures, like offering support over the phone—especially support to women.

Germany

The team of the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration has collected information in different languages and translated some of the relevant information. Available on the website of the Commissioner

The government also provides an overview about the coronavirus in multiple languages.

In order to ensure that migrant communities have access to all the relevant information, communications are shared through social media channels (including the channels of partners), through migrant organisations and other existing networks.

Norway

Health-related advice

Integration-related services (language learning, labour market, general news)

Other links

See examples of outreach by civil society, regional and local governments and other integration stakeholders here.

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Posted by
Monica Li
Content manager

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