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Migranten wohnen in Deutschland überdurchschnittlich oft in zu kleinem Wohnraum

Migranten wohnen in Deutschland überdurchschnittlich oft in zu kleinem Wohnraum

15/01/2019

Im Jahr 2017 wohnten 7 % der Bevölkerung in Deutschland in einer „überbelegten Wohnung“. Das bedeutet, dass die Unterkunft nicht genügend Zimmer für die in ihr lebenden Personen aufweist.

Die neuen Zahlen des Statistischen Bundesamts zeigen, dass dies Migranten überdurchschnittlich häufig betrifft: Erwachsene mit ausländischem Pass (17 Prozent) lebten deutlich häufiger auf engem Raum als Personen mit deutschem Pass (sechs Prozent). Dies zeigt sich besonders in Städten, deren Bevölkerung mit einem Anteil von elf Prozent im Vergleich zu ländlichen Gebieten rund drei Mal so häufig von Wohnraummangel betroffen war.

Im europäischen Vergleich steht Deutschland allerdings recht gut dar: Im Jahr 2017 lebten in der EU rund 16 Prozent der Bevölkerung 2017 in einer überbelegten Wohnung, so das Statistische Bundesamt.

Die stellvertretende Vorsitzende der Linksfraktion im Bundestag, Caren Lay, ist durch die aktuellen Daten alarmiert: „Wohnungsnot und gedrängte Wohnverhältnisse gefährden den sozialen Frieden“. Sie wirft der Bundesregierung ein Scheitern in der Wohnungspolitik vor und erklärt: „Weil die Mieten so stark gestiegen sind, finden insbesondere Armutsgefährdete, Alleinerziehende und Migranten keine angemessene und bezahlbare Wohnung mehr“. Lay fordert nun ein öffentliches Investitionsprogramm, das sich an untere und mittlere Einkommensschichten richtet.

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Migrant and local workers in Europe share their experiences in new podcast series

Migrant and local workers in Europe share their experiences in new podcast series

15/01/2019

The podcast series Europe is Working features interviews with workers about their daily experiences and possibilities of collective actions among workers regardless of citizenship status. The series speaks to local and migrant workers and stakeholders like trade unionists and academics. The interview subjects come from various economic sectors and work in different European countries—Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Poland.

There are five episodes in the series:

Taking Care of Solidarity: Domestic Workers Fighting for Their Rights in Spain

A look at how organised domestic and care workers can find mutual grounds for solidarity with the feminist movement in Spain, and how migrant workers and local activists built a shared strike on the 8th of March.

Seasons in the Sun: Ukrainian and Bulgarian Workers in Bulgarian All-Inclusive Tourism

A journey to an all-inclusive resort on the Bulgarian coast where Bulgarians and Ukrainians find seasonal work.

A Work Oddity: Tales of Ukrainian Migrants in Poland

The story of three Ukrainians working in Poland.

Can't Buy Me Solidarity: Retail Workers in Czechia

An examination of poor labour conditions in Czech super- and hypermarkets and the possibilities for collective action.

Sweeping (Away) Poor Working Conditions: Cleaning Workers Struggle in Italy

A glimpse into working conditions in the commercial cleaning sector in Italy.

The series was supported by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union as part of the project ‘Towards Shared Interests between Migrant and Local Workers’. The project consortium, led by Multicultural Center Prague, created the podcasts in collaboration with the Center for Media, Data and Society of the Central European University.

Hear the podcasts

Czech government calls for proposals to operate regional integration centres

Czech government calls for proposals to operate regional integration centres

15/01/2019

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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Italian mayors meet with Conte on Security Decree

Italian mayors meet with Conte on Security Decree

14/01/2019

On 14 January 2019, a delegation of Italian mayors from the National Association of Municipalities (ANCI) met with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. During the meeting, the mayors underlined four problems with the implementation of the controversial Salvini Security Decree, issued 24 September 2018. They put forward the four following proposals:

1) Allow municipalities to stay informed about the number, age, and sex of guests in reception centres.

The Salvini Security Decree established that asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices. Consequently, mayors will not be informed about the number of asylum seekers present in their territory. They ask to be informed in order to be able to plan their activities.

2) Standardise the procedures of local health authorities regarding asylum seekers.

The Italian National Health System is not a single administration but a set of national and regional entities. Thus, there may be differences in the way local health authorities provide services. The mayors ask for a guarantee that local health authorities will take charge of asylum seekers even if asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices.

3) Ensure access to the SPRAR system for vulnerable people.

There are two systems in Italy for the reception and integration of asylum seekers. The first is known as SPRAR—a system of reception and integration programmes managed by municipalities with funding from the interior ministry. The second system is that of the Extraordinary Reception Centres (CAS) coordinated by prefectures, which have made headlines for their dysfunctional nature. The Salvini Security Decree has downsized the SPRAR system, and only people with refugee status and unaccompanied minors will be allowed to access it.

Previously, women with children and people with psychiatric problems were hosted in SPRAR accommodations. This was because the SPRAR reception centres are smaller and more suitable for these groups of migrants. The mayors ask to maintain this practice.

4) Ensure a complete reimbursement of expenses for unaccompanied minors.

The mayors asked that more resources be provided for unaccompanied minors.

The Prime Minister endorsed the proposals and affirmed that the government will approve implementation rules to clarify the issues raised by the mayors. Read more

By Gaia Testore (FIERI)

New immigration and integration regulations now in force in Lithuania

New immigration and integration regulations now in force in Lithuania

11/01/2019

Several recent amendments to regulations on immigration and integration in Lithuania have come into force as of 1 January 2019. At the end of December, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour adopted the most important document regulating migrant integration in Lithuania—the Action Plan for Integration of Foreigners in Lithuanian Society 2018-2020.

The Action Plan sets out integration indicator targets, the funding available for integration, and the institutions that implement integration measures. The main aim of the Action Plan is to strengthen migrant integration policies in Lithuania through measures targeting:

  • Institutional cooperation
  • Evaluation and monitoring
  • Employment and education
  • Migrant women integration and social services
  • Links with host society
  • Non-discrimination
  • Public attitudes

In addition to the adoption of the Action Plan, the Employment Service of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour approved the list of occupations with labour shortages for the first half of 2019. Third-country nationals whose professions are included in the list of occupations can obtain visas and residence permits under a simplified procedure.

Finally, new amendments to the Law on Legal Status of Aliens have also come into force. The amendments define the conditions for issuing temporary residence permits to professional athletes or coaches coming to Lithuania for sport-related activities.

See the Action Plan

Call for Papers – The Migration Conference 2019 in Bari, Italy

Call for Papers – The Migration Conference 2019 in Bari, Italy

10/01/2019

The organisers of the seventh edition of The Migration Conference have announced a call for papers. This year’s conference will be held in Bari, Italy from 18-20 June 2019. The conference promotes an interdisciplinary discussion among experts, young researchers and students, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of migration.

The Migration Conferences were launched in 2012 and are held in a different city each year. This year's conference is organised in 150 thematic streams of parallel sessions focusing on different aspects of migration, including migrant populations, migration policies, labour migrations, refugees and the impact of human mobility on societies. 

Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should submit a structured abstract (up to 500 words) by 31 January 2019. More detailed information about how to submit a paper is available on the conference website. Papers presented will be considered for regular and special issues in peer-reviewed international journals.

All questions about submissions should be emailed to migrationscholar@gmail.com.

Find out more

UNICEF launches campaign for refugee and migrant children in Greece

UNICEF launches campaign for refugee and migrant children in Greece

10/01/2019

UNICEF’s Refugee and Migration Response in Greece, in cooperation with the European Commission, has launched the ‘Together for All Children’ campaign to show the positive results of inclusive education for refugee and migrant children. The campaign raises awareness of how refugee children in Greece are adapting and progressing. It highlights the role of schools and non-formal education in their rapid and successful integration into Greek society.

Through personal stories, such as that of 8-year-old Aziz from Afghanistan, who now speaks fluent Greek, the campaign highlights how regular attendance at school and participation in extracurricular activities have improved children’s quality of life. The campaign includes TV and radio spots and a series of digital stories that portray the views of four children, their teachers, and the people who support them both in and out of school.

The campaign will also distribute printed materials to refugee families, encouraging children and their families to enrol in and attend school, as well as to take part in non-formal education programs. Distinguished artists are also lending their support.

According to November 2018 data, 25,700 refugee and immigrant children are currently staying in Greece. More than 65 per cent of refugee and migrant children aged 5 to 17 living in urban areas have enrolled in Greek schools for the current academic year. However, many children, especially those on the Greek islands, are not attending school, mainly because of language barriers and long absences from the school environment.

See the campaign’s Facebook page

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Refugees face housing shortage in the Netherlands

Refugees face housing shortage in the Netherlands

09/01/2019

A recent report by Dutch newspaper Trouw found that around 4,500 refugees with residence permits were still living in asylum seeker centres as authorities have not yet been able to find permanent housing for them. After shrinking for two years due to the decline in new arrivals, asylum seeker centres are growing again due to the inability to find homes.

Based on figures provided by the Ministry of the Interior, in 2018 local authorities were able to find permanent accommodations for 18,000 out of 21,000 refugees granted permission to stay in the Netherlands. Although there is no longer a requirement that municipalities need to assist refugees with finding housing, most municipalities still give priority for rental housing to those granted asylum.

A spokesperson for the government stated that the problem was mainly due to an overall shortage of social housing. The housing shortage particularly affects single people, larger families, and those with physical handicaps.

Read the news report

Funding opportunity for migrant associations in Portugal

Funding opportunity for migrant associations in Portugal

09/01/2019

Applications for funding through the 2019 PAAI (Immigrant Associations Support Programme) will be accepted until 31 January 2019. The goals of the 2019 PAAI are to promote integration and equal opportunities for migrants in their access to basic services in Portugal, and to contribute to a change of mentality and promote intercultural dialogue between migrant communities and the host society.

The funding rate will be 70% of the total eligible cost of each approved project, with a maximum amount of € 10,000. The total amount available through this bid will be € 200,000. The funding opportunity prioritises three areas of intervention:

  • Welcome and integration
  • Strengthening diversity
  • Recognised merit

Only associations of immigrants whose representativeness is recognised by the High Commission for Migration are eligible to apply for funding. Each entity can only submit one application. The applications must be submitted online through the SIGAF Platform (Integrated Financial Management System), where associations can access the Support Programme and necessary documentation.

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First integration centre operated by a Slovakian municipality to open in Nitra

First integration centre operated by a Slovakian municipality to open in Nitra

02/01/2019

The Municipality of Nitra approved in December 2018 the establishment of a local integration centre for economic migrants. This will be the first integration centre in Slovakia to be operated by a municipality. The goal of the centre is to create conditions for the successful integration of newly arrived economic migrants into daily life and local society.

The new integration centre, which is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2019, will provide migrants in Nitra with guidance and information according to their needs and in various languages, e.g. information about public transportation, contacts for medical specialists and integration programmes, information about accommodations, etc.  The vision of the municipality is to avoid ghettoisation and to support social cohesion and integration in the city.

Nitra has experienced a continuous increase in the number of economic migrants due to the fast development of the economy and industry in and around the municipality. Economic migrants in the area are attracted mainly by work in the automotive industry or other production sectors. Thus far, integration centres in Slovakia have been run by NGOs/IGOs and financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the state budget (Migration Information Centres operated by IOM Slovakia) or financed by private donors or crowdfunding (Community Centre Mareena).

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