19 February 2019 / 112

EU Highlights

Needs, gaps and progress in refugee and migrant health

The World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe has published its first report on refugee and migrant health in the European region. The report contributes to improved understanding of migrant and refugee health needs and presents a way forward in building migrant and refugee-friendly health systems.

Follow the money

In eight EU Member States, actions for integration are unlikely to be implemented without funding from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). UNHCR and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) report this and other interesting findings on the use of AMIF at the national level in their second Follow the Money report.

Helping migrant students find their way in school

How are European school systems working to improve the achievement and well-being of migrant students? The Eurydice education policy network has taken a look at 42 education systems across the continent in its new report on the integration of migrant students.

Upcoming Events

Bari, Italy – The Migration Conference 2019

18/06/2019 08:30
(The Department of Political Science at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
The seventh edition of The Migration Conference will be held in Bari, Italy from 18 to 20 June 2019. The conference provides an opportunity for an interdisciplinary discussion among experts, young researchers and students, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of migration. This…
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Porto - International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism

28/03/2019 09:00
(Centre for Intercultural Studies Office 333 Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 São Mamede de Infesta Portugal)
Registration is now open for the 2019 International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism. The Conference organised by the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the Oporto Polytechnic Institute will take place on 28, 29 and 30 March 2019 in Porto and will be divided into…
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Brussels – ORAMMA Project Final Event

28/02/2019 10:30
(Maastricht University Campus Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren 153, 1150 Brussels, Belgium)
The ORAMMA Project has developed an approach to healthcare for migrant and refugee women. On 28 February 2018, the project will host an event that allows attendees to hear about the work done, find out about the results of the feasibility study, and help the project think about its next steps.…
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Luxembourg – Festival of Migration, Cultures and Citizenship

01/03/2019 18:00
(LuxExpo The Box, 10 Circuit de la Foire Internationale, L-1347 Luxembourg-Kirchberg)
The Festival of Migration, Cultures and Citizenship is a major event on migration and integration. Hundreds of booths, numerous debates, a book fair and an art exposition make this event an unmissable part of the political and social calendar of the Grand-Duchy. Entry to the festival is open to…
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Zagreb – Challenges of Migration and Integration for Public Administration

28/02/2019 10:00
(Grand Hall of the Academy, Zrinski trg 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia)
The Scientific Council for State Administration, Justice and the Rule of Law of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts will host a round table on the C hallenges of Migration and Integration for Public Administration . The event will be held on Thursday, 28 February 2019 at 10:00 and is open…
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Essen – Frühjahrstagüng Migration ünd Integration des InZentIM Nachwüchsnetzwerkes

14/03/2019 11:00
(Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Berliner Platz 6-8, 45127 Essen, Deutschland)
Frühjahrstagung "Migration und Integration" des InZentIM Nachwuchsnetzwerkes, 14. und 15.03.2019 am Campus Essen der Universität Duisburg-Essen Migrationsdiskurse prägen die Gegenwartsgesellschaft. Umfang und Institutionalisierung der Migrations-und Integrationsforschung…
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Latest News

Council of Europe concerned by consequences of Italian government actions

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, has expressed deep concern over the consequences that the so-called Salvini Security Decree may have on the reception of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection in Italy. In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, the Commissioner requested the Italian government to clarify the measures it intends to take to ensure the continuity of essential services for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection.

In particular, the Commissioner highlighted the haste with which asylum seekers were transferred from the CARA reception centre at Castelnuovo di Porto (Rome) at the end of January 2019. While noting that ‘minimising the use of CARAs could be a positive step’, given their large size, the Commissioner underlined that the human rights of all residents should be safeguarded and that ‘the abrupt transfer of residents would undermine the significant efforts already invested in their integration’. In the same letter, the Commissioner commended local efforts for integration and rehabilitation.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent institution established in 1999 by the Council of Europe. Among other objectives, the Commissioner is tasked with fostering the effective observance of human rights and identifying possible shortcomings in the law and practice concerning human rights.

Read the letter

By Gaia Testore

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Italian court recognises humanitarian protection grant, citing positive integration

On 27 December 2018, the Court of Appeal of Trieste, Italy accepted the grant of a humanitarian protection permit to a Bangladeshi citizen. This judgment presents a new development in the controversial application of a residual form of protection in Italy—the humanitarian protection permit.

According to the Court, the humanitarian protection applicant’s young age, the absence of family members in the country of origin, and his positive socioeconomic integration constitute circumstances that must be considered and compared with the conditions of his country of origin. Taking into account these factors, the Court decided it was appropriate to grant him humanitarian protection.

The Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini has contested the way humanitarian protection permits have been granted, arguing that the permits have been abused. Thus, his recent Security Decree imposed stricter conditions for obtaining a humanitarian protection permit.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal of Trieste, which only concerns this specific case, does not change the overall situation, nor does it call into question the government’s decree. Nevertheless, it sets a legal precedent.

Introduced in 2003, humanitarian protection may be granted to those who are not eligible for refugee status or subsidiary protection but who cannot be repatriated because of ‘serious reasons, in particular of a humanitarian nature or resulting from Italian constitutional or international obligations’. The focus is on the vulnerability of the person rather than on the situation in the country of origin. However, it has been gradually applied in a more extensive way.

In 2017, a group of civil servants and NGO staff working in the asylum reception system (CAS and SPRAR), along with lawyers, set up a civil society network in Turin called Rete SenzaAsilo. Supported by 100 local businesses, they successfully lobbied the Prefecture of Turin and local institutions to grant humanitarian protection permits to asylum seekers who could prove a good level of socioeconomic integration. This approach started to be adopted elsewhere in Italy.

Read about the decision

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Informational meetings on Dutch and EU elections for newcomers

In 2019, the Netherlands will hold elections for provincial governments and for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). But many people in the Netherlands might not be comfortable with their level of knowledge about the roles of provincial governments and MEPs, or they might not understand the importance of these elections. This includes many newcomers to the country.

To help them get acquainted with the upcoming elections, the organisation ProDemos is offering a series of informational meetings for people who might not know enough or follow politics closely, but who would like to know more about politics and the upcoming elections. The meetings will be held in cooperation with other organisations serving people who are 'at a distance' from political participation.

During the meetings, participants will hear a brief explanation about the political system in the Netherlands. They will also learn more about the provincial elections through, for example, a quiz, an interactive presentation, a game, and/or a video. The programme also includes a conversation with a (local) politician.

The content will be adapted to the needs and knowledge of the participants. In addition to providing information, the organisers also want the participants know that their opinions are welcome and necessary in a democratic constitutional state.

Find out how to hold an informational meeting

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Training opportunities in Latvia for intercultural communication

The Education Development Center (IAC), a Latvian NGO focused on professional development, is offering a free-of-charge training programme on intercultural communication and work with third-country nationals. The training is intended for social workers, police officers, educators, health care professionals, immigration officers and employment office specialists, media workers and other representatives of state and municipal institutions, NGOs and the private sector.

Topics to be covered in the training are:

  • Globalisation and migration
  • Statistics on third country nationals in Latvia
  • Intercultural communication and competence
  • Legal framework for third-country nationals
  • The role of the media

IAC will hold training sessions in various municipalities and at different dates, based on interest. Those interested in having a training session in their municipality should contact the project manager. Find out more

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Polish parliament approves maternal pensions, foreign residents also eligible

On 1 February 2019, the Polish parliament adopted the Act on Paternal Supplementary Benefit, which grants mothers who have given birth to and brought up at least four children the right to a ‘maternal pension’ as part of the so-called ‘Mum 4+’ programme. The maternal pension will be the same amount as the minimum old-age pension, which is PLN 1,100 gross (about EUR 255). This benefit would also be available to some foreign nationals. The Act is currently awaiting signature by the president.

In order to be eligible for the pension, the mother must have reached the statutory retirement age of 60 years and not have sufficient income for necessary means of subsistence. In exceptional situations, namely in the event of the mother’s death or abandonment of the children, the benefit may be granted to fathers who have brought up at least four children.

The right to parental supplementary benefits will also be available to foreigners who are legally staying in Poland, regardless of the type of residence permit. The requirement for foreigners in Poland is that, after the age of 16, they had a centre of their personal or economic interests in Poland for at least 10 years. Thus, it is not necessary to have a permanent residence permit to be entitled to the maternal pension.

Beneficiaries will begin receiving maternal pensions in March 2019. The Mum 4+ programme is another flagship social programme of the current conservative, right-wing government which has also been extended to foreign residents. Programmes that have already been implemented include the Family 500+, Good Start and Flat for Start programmes.

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Integration Practices Recently Uploaded

Training for Migration Stakeholders on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

UNHCR Malta organised an interactive, three-day training course on the topic of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), examining the scope of the problem in Malta and the international and national legal frameworks. The training was delivered by Asel Ormonova (UNHCR Ukraine) and Noelia Diaz…
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INTEGRA – Comprehensive support for victims of torture at risk of social exclusion

The INTEGRA project provided integrated and specialised legal, social and therapeutic support for victims of torture and trauma. It focused on the psychological recovery of third-country nationals who had suffered torture and/or complex and cumulative trauma and who were at risk of social…
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St. Anna – Centre for social rehabilitation and integration of refugees

The St. Anna centre for social rehabilitation and integration of refugees, established by Caritas Sofia, provides a complex of services to support the adaptation and integration of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgarian society. Services include assistance in areas like rights and obligations,…
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Open Learning Initiative Weekend Program at Central European University

Central European University (CEU) developed the Open Learning Initiative Weekend Program (OLIve-WP) with the aim of helping refugees and asylum seekers contribute to Hungarian society. OLIve-WP offers English classes at various levels, academic courses to help prepare students for university,…
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Youth Meetings Programme (YMP)

The aim of the Youth Meetings Programme (YMP), launched in 2015, is to encourage communication, understanding, and personal development among 11- to 19-year-old young people with different native tongues living in Estonia. YMP supports around 50 small projects with budgets between…
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Latest Funding Information

Czech government calls for proposals to operate regional integration centres

The Czech Interior Ministry has announced the 20th open call for proposals within the framework of its National Programme of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The Ministry is accepting proposals to operate regional integration centres for third-country nationals in the Czech Republic, with exception of the integration centre in the Central Bohemian region.

Regional integration centres are fundamental to the Czech regional integration infrastructure, as defined in the national integration strategy. For this call, the integration centres must provide the following activities:

  • Free information for both Czech and foreign nationals
  • Free social and legal counselling
  • Czech language and socio-cultural courses
  • Interpretation services
  • Intercultural dialogue, awareness-raising campaigns, and cultural events
  • Field social work and monitoring of new developments concerning the target group
  • Organisation of a regional platform of actors in the field of migrant integration

The call is open to regional authorities, state organisations, and non-governmental actors. The deadline to submit proposals is 11 March 2019. Total allocation under this call is 90,000,000 Kč (approximately 3,521,000 €).

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