30 November 2020 / 140

EU Highlights:

  • The fourth edition of the Canada-EU Migration Platform, dedicated to the integration of migrant women, is now out - watch the webinars on EWSI. Stay tuned for the closing event on 18 December, to be streamed live on EWSI.

  • The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a study projecting the net fiscal impact of immigration in the EU. It found that the increased labour market participation of non-EU migrants could generate large fiscal gains for host countries.
  • Another study by the JRC found that being both a woman and born outside the European Union reduces a person's chance of active participation in the European labour market, even if that person is highly educated.

Latest News

Sweden: Intensive Year programme facilitates integration and employment

The Swedish government introduced the Intensive Year programme for newly arrived asylum seekers, with the goal of securing them employment more quickly. The programme, to be run by the Swedish Public Employment Service, will begin on 15 April 2021

The idea is that the programme's participants will find their first job within one year, following completion of the first intensive year.

The intensive year will consist of language and employment skills training, which will facilitate and accelerate participants' entry into the labour market within the industry for which they have relevant experience and/or qualifications.

A key goal of the programme is to ensure that equal performance is expected of both women and men, and that they receive the same support. The government said that the programme should be run from a gender equality perspective, ensuring equal participation throughout the year, equal access to job opportunities and equal success in securing employment.

The programme will be full-time, with the opportunity to combine it with formal studies and participation in other integration initiatives, for example mentorship projects. 

The Intensive Year programme will be offered to those newly arrived in Sweden who are able to commit to full time participation and deemed sufficiently motivated.

The Swedish Public Employment Service will issue a certificate of knowledge to participants upon completion of the programme.

Read more about the programme online.

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Getting refugee and migrant women into the labour market – what works?

The Danish state has launched a new package of information and advice for caseworkers in local administration, focusing on how to tackle the specific challenges that women with refugee and migrant backgrounds are facing when it comes to self sufficiency.

Women who came to Demark as refugees, through family reunification or from non-Western countries are falling behind their male counterparts when it comes to labour market integration. In 2019, for example, 60% of refugee men were working after three years in Denmark while only 19% of refugee women were.

Labour market integration of women has been a focus point in Danish integration efforts in recent years, and several municipalities and NGOs have identified and been working to overcome the particular obstacles facing women.

The new package is based on research and experience from all the Nordic countries, and consists of:

• A 24-page summary of findings;
• Four one-page focus sections covering important topics;
• Three 'inspiration' pages;
• Main conclusions drawn from an interview project with refugee women.

The main focus points of the package are:

• Interdisciplinary, coordinated efforts from society;
• The role and required attitude of caseworkers;
• Language challenges;
• Cultural differences;
• Health issues.

Overall, the conclusions are that migrant women possess much capacity and motivation to work, but face many difficulties in entering a Nordic labour market. Caseworkers must meet these women with the same basic expectations as migrant men, but with an additional readiness for open dialogue and flexibility. All the issues facing migrant women are interconnected and require the coming together of several different types of support to ensure their success. Using the knowledge and experiences provided in this information package should ensure better access to previously untapped potential.

This material was collected, edited and published by the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) under the Danish Ministry of Foreigners and Integration, and can be downloaded for free.

Read more about this initiative here.

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Slovenia: Ombudsman criticises the treatment of detainees at the Postojna Centre for Foreigners

The Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia spoke on the new method of placing detainees in containers at the Centre for Foreigners in Postojna. After two visits to the centre in 2020 with his experts, he informed the Ministry of the Interior of his findings and, after receiving their response, prepared a final report. The report was published on 10 November 2020.

Inappropriate long-term accommodation

The Ombudsman considers the containers unsuitable for the long-term accommodation of detainees. He proposed to Ministry of the Interior that such installations be stopped immediately and that the rules stipulate only short-term installation of individuals in containers, as well as specific safeguards to prevent their arbitrary use.

Use of service dogs

He also suggested that the Ministry of the Interior refrain from using service dogs at the centre (for example, during meals). This follows from conversations with detainees who expressed discomfort due to the presence of dogs inside and in front of the container. This usage has been documented in some (publicly published) videos. The Ombudsman considers that in institutions where people are deprived of their liberty, use of a service dog can only be justified exceptionally and in individual cases. He deems such routine use inappropriate.

Applicants for international protection

The Ombudsman also notes in his report the lengthy amount of time people are waiting at the centre - after stating their application intentions - before being allowed a personal interview to begin the process of submitting an application for international protection. Currently it can take up to several weeks, even though EU law requires applications be registered within a maximum of six days. During this time, a person who has given their intention of applying should already be considered an applicant for international protection and is entitled to certain conditions. The Ombudsman therefore suggested to the Ministry of the Interior that timely registration of applications for the recognition of international protection be ensured without delay.

Additionally, the Ombudsman draws attention to an instruction document obtained from the police as a cause for concern. It details a one-month trial of a rapid processing system for foreigners who express their intention to
 apply for international protection at police stations, which includes detention, rejection and then return, aiming to indirectly "reduce the attractiveness of illegal travel" to Slovenia. as. According to the Ombudsman, the detention of an applicant for international protection may be ordered only exceptionally and only due to individual circumstances on the part of the applicant. Ordering detention cannot be justified in order to achieve systemic change and deter migrants.

Find further information on this here.

An emergency session has also been held on the situation at the centre - find out more here.

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France: Accès aux droits pour les personnes étrangères dans le cadre de l’état d’urgence sanitaire (COVID-19)

La Cimade a interpellé, par un courrier en date du 10 novembre 2020, les ministères de l’Intérieur et de la Santé, ainsi que la Défenseure des Droits, pour que soient prises des mesures de protection des droits des personnes étrangères, notamment sans-papiers, et des mesures de sécurisation de leurs déplacements vers des associations d’aide juridique.

Dans le même temps, la Cimade propose un Etat des lieux des démarches administratives (dépôt de dossier, recours, asile, etc.) qu’il est possible de réaliser pendant la période de confinement pour les personnes étrangères. Il sera actualisé en fonction des nouvelles mesures qui serons prises par le Gouvernement dans les prochaines semaines.

Contrairement au premier confinement, les services publics restent ouverts en France, pendant la période de reconfinement allant, pour l’instant, jusqu’au 1er décembre. Cependant, on ne peut que rappeler que la crise sanitaire est venue rendre plus inaccessibles que jamais les guichets préfectoraux : rendez-vous par Internet impossibles à obtenir pour déposer une demande de titre de séjour, guichets fermés, développement accru de la dématérialisation des démarches…

Le maintien de l’ouverture des services publics reste donc très relatif pour ce qui concerne les droits des personnes étrangères, et le reconfinement ne devrait pas arranger la situation.

Par ailleurs, la période de reconfinement expose à un risque accru de contrôle policier, concernant le motif de déplacement mais pouvant potentiellement déboucher, en pratique, sur un contrôle de la régularité du séjour de la personne. Il est donc plus prudent, dans la mesure du possible, d’utiliser ce motif de déplacement plutôt dans le cadre d’une convocation (pratique par ailleurs largement développée) ou en prenant avec soi une preuve du dépôt antérieur d’une demande (à minima, accusé de réception de l’envoi du dossier).

La Cimade explique dans cet article, les conditions dans lesquelles il est légalement possible de se déplacer pour accomplir certaines démarches. Cependant, pour les personnes sans-papiers, il est conseillé d’être extrêmement vigilant et de limiter les déplacements au strict nécessaire.

En savoir plus...

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Kologa: Integration through flatsharing

Kologa helps refugees and locals to meet and become flatmates in Brussels. The organisation facilitates flat-sharing, offers legal and administrative support as well as long-term and regular follow-up, and provides mediation if needed.
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RIMES, Réseau de l’Interprétariat Médical Et Social

Dans le contexte de la société française accueillant des personnes étrangères non francophones, la barrière de langue constitue un frein majeur à l’accès aux soins mais aussi aux droits et à l’accompagnement social des…
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Latest Funding Information

Spain: Funding call for programmes fighting COVID-19 social exclusion and inequality

On 20 November Catalonia's Department of Labour, Social Affairs and Families launched a call for proposals. Eligible programmes will be those working to reduce the social exclusion and inequality-related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be a total of 473 684.21 EUR available: 450 000 EUR in 2020 and 23 684 EUR in 2021. Funding awarded to any one project will represent a percentage of the project's total cost, or the cost of one of its modules.

The call identifies 12 eligible activity types, grouped into four areas:

  1. To support the administrative regularity of migrants through social integration and improvements to their employability;
  2. Emergency support for the educational development of students from families of migrant origin;
  3. Reception of migrants, refugees or returnees;
  4. Promotion of equality between men and women in the workplace.

The implementation period of projects to which grants will be awarded must fall between 14 March 2020 and 25 October 2021. Applications must be submitted online by 4 December 2020.

Learn more about this funding call here.

Access project guidelines here.

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Luxembourg: Appel à projets pour le Plan d'action national d'intégration

Le Département de l'intégration du ministère de la Famille, de l'Intégration et à la Grande Région lance un appel à projets pour le financement de projets favorisant l'intégration au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg pour l'année 2021.

L'appel s'inscrit dans la stratégie de mise en œuvre du Plan d'action national d'intégration (PAN intégration).

L'appel à projets 2021 s'articule autour de deux axes d'intervention:

1. Diversité et lutte contre les discriminations

Projets visant à prévenir et à lutter contre les discriminations. Un accent particulier est mis sur les activités visant et faisant participer directement les jeunes, en veillant à une mixité sociale et culturelle.

Dans ce contexte, sont particulièrement visés:

  • les projets promouvant le dialogue interculturel, la diversité et la lutte contre les préjugés et les stéréotypes;
  • les projets visant à créer un débat et une réflexion autour de la diversité et de la lutte contre les discriminations;
  • les projets pilotes développant des outils et supports, notamment digitaux, en matière d'information, de prévention et de sensibilisation aux phénomènes discriminatoires

2. Apprentissage et pratique des langues

Projets visant à favoriser l'intégration par des activités d'apprentissage et de pratique des langues. Un accent particulier est mis sur les projets favorisant la promotion et la découverte de la culture et du patrimoine.

Dans ce contexte, sont particulièrement visés:

  • les projets promouvant des approches innovatrices de l'apprentissage et de la pratique des langues usuelles du Luxembourg et notamment de la langue luxembourgeoise;
  • les projets innovants au niveau local et/ou régional promouvant la participation et les échanges interculturels;
  • les projets visant à faire découvrir le pays, sa culture et son patrimoine et à créer des échanges autour de la connaissance, la valorisation et la transmission d'un patrimoine matériel et immatériel.

L'appel prévoit le financement de projets à partir d'un montant de 25.000€ par projet.

Deux séances d'information en ligne seront organisées le vendredi 20 novembre 2020 à 10h00 et le mercredi 25 novembre 2020 à 15h00.

Les associations, les organismes privés, les établissements publics, les chambres professionnelles et les instituts de formation/les centres de recherche sont priés de confirmer leur participation à pan@integration.etat.lu, en indiquant la séance à laquelle ils souhaitent participer.

Les détails de l'appel à projets ainsi que les formulaires peuvent être consultés en ligne.

La date limite pour la soumission des demandes de financement de projets est fixée au 6 janvier 2021 à 12h00 (midi).

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At the nexus of language, identity and ideology: Becoming and being a highly proficient second language speaker of Finnish

This multiple case study focuses on second language speakers of Finnish and their lived experience of everyday language use in Finland . The participants are late multilinguals who moved to Finland and learned Finnish as adults, and have reached a very advanced level of second language…
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Public attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria 2019-2020

This report analyses two separate surveys, aiming to examine Bulgarian society’s attitude towards refugees. These surveys are a 2019 UNHCR survey and a 2020 study by the Bulgarian Academy of Science. The key themes of the report are: Investigation into the motives of people’s…
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Situation of foreigners, migration and integration in the Czech Republic 2019

This is the 2019 edition of Czech Republic's annual report on migration and the integration of foreigners , from the perspective of the Interior Ministry. It provides a historical comparison of relevant indicators, along with an analysis of migration trends and policy measures. Key statistic…
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Diversity Networks: Networking for Equality?

This paper discusses the findings of a multiple case study of five different diversity networks in a financial service organisation in the Netherlands. It draws the conclusion that the value of diversity networks is limited when they address only the individual and group levels of equality…
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