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OECD launches new website for better communication on migration and integration

OECD launches new website for better communication on migration and integration

15/05/2019

The OECD’s Network of Communication Officers on Migration (NETCOM) has launched a website dedicated to the communication of migration and integration topics. The new website will serve as a resource and provide a space for NETCOM members and others interested in migration and integration to share their experiences and good practices in communicating these subjects.

The site highlights important communications campaigns at the national and international levels, such as Portugal’s 2016 campaign What if it was me?, the Czech Republic’s 2018 campaign Let’s Talk Together (about Migration) and the International Organization for Migration’s 2017 campaign I am a Migrant. It also links to useful data and resources, including the OECD’s Indicators of Immigrant Integration and the special 2018 Eurobarometer survey on migrant integration in the EU.

The website’s Blog features articles and talks from experts and communications professionals in the field of migration and integration. For example, David Hickey, Director General for Communications at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), writes about the strategy and lessons learned of IRCC’s Immigration Matters initiative. Kate Lyons, a reporter for the Guardian, writes about the motivation and challenges of reporting on the stories of individual asylum seekers for the Guardian’s New Arrivals series.

NETCOM brings together communication officers and political advisors working in OECD member governments, along with other stakeholders, to discuss communication objectives and challenges in migration and integration.

See the new website

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Luxembourg say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Luxembourg say about integration?

14/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

For the new European Parliament, Luxembourg will elect six MEPs who are likely to come from the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV), Democratic Party (DP), Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and Déi Gréng (Greens). In their programmes for these elections, the major parties made only brief proposals or statements related to the integration of migrants and/or refugees, while topics related to migration and asylum policy received far more attention.

In the current European Parliament, CSV has three MEPs, while DP, LSAP and Greens each have one.  CSV is expected to lose one seat, which could go to ADR (national-conservative party), the Pirate Party or Déi Lénk (Left). Most parties make little mention of integration in their programmes, but there are nonetheless a few notable proposals regarding migrant and refugee integration.

For example, the Greens argue that the fight against precarious working conditions, which affect migrants more than other groups, must be stepped up. The Left wants to protect the rights of undocumented workers and ensure that all residents can express themselves politically.

RIGHTS & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

Déi Gréng (Green)

“Victims of human trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation should not simply be returned to their countries of origin. They need protection programmes and should be given permanent residence permits. Moreover, their labour and social rights should be consistently guaranteed.” (Page 20)

“In our view, the respect of the human rights of asylum seekers and of Europe’s open borders are non-negotiable.” (Page 26)

“... the fight against precarious working conditions (which affect migrants more than other groups of individuals (e.g. in the food industry or construction)) must be stepped up. In addition to the consistent application of the EU Employers Sanctions Directive, we demand the establishment of claims centres that whistleblowers and victims of exploitation can turn to, even anonymously.” (Page 27)

Déi Lenk (Left)

Original Text

« Elargir la citoyenneté européenne en permettant en principe aux résident.e.s, qu’ils soient citoyen.ne.s de l’Union ou ressortissant.e.s de pays tiers, de s’exprimer politiquement lors de toutes les élections et de bénéficier des autres droits et libertés garantis aux ressortissant.e.s des États membres. » (Page 21)

« Régulariser les travailleurs et travailleuses sans-papier après six mois de résidence. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Expand European civic rights to permit residents, whether they are EU citizens or third-country nationals, to express themselves politically in all elections and to benefit from the other rights and liberties guaranteed to EU nationals.

 

Regularise undocumented workers after six months of residence.

 

Moreover, the Greens argue that municipalities and regions should receive more funding for integration.

LOCAL & REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Déi Gréng (Green)

“Municipalities and regions that take in refugees should receive funds from a municipal integration fund, which must be created for this purpose.” (Page 27)

 

LSAP (social democrat) wants improved regulation at the EU level for integration, though the party does not specify what changes it wants.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

LSAP (Socialist Workers’ Party)

“Improved European regulation for the integration of migrants.” (Page 5)

DP (Democratic Party)

“We call upon responsible political forces to mobilise the considerable potential of the EU to address essential challenges demanding a reaffirmation of our fundamental values and respect for human rights. That we have seen a rise in xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism is beyond dispute: this, we must fight together; we must combat the spread of hate speech that is so prevalent across the internet.” (Page 4)

 

The bigger parties also address the issues of social cohesion and xenophobia.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

CSV (Christian Social People’s Party)

“Anyone from a non-European socio-cultural background has to be given the chance to integrate and adopt to European culture. Europe is not only a continent of hope and refuge, but also a continent that values human dignity and human rights. People who move to Europe have to understand and accept the way we live, our values, our principles, and our norms. Someone who cannot commit to constitutional and legal systems and to equality between men and women, cannot stay. Europe has to be fully committed to its values and has to function according to European rules. Any person who has the wish to move to Europe, should internalise our values.”

“European politics has to work with Muslim citizens to make clear that Islam is absolutely compatible with European constitutional and social orders. It lies in the EU's interest that a tolerant, integrated, and European Islam is created...”

DP (Democratic Party)

“We call upon responsible political forces to mobilise the considerable potential of the EU to address essential challenges demanding a reaffirmation of our fundamental values and respect for human rights. That we have seen a rise in xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism is beyond dispute: this, we must fight together; we must combat the spread of hate speech that is so prevalent across the internet.” (Page 4)

Déi Gréng (Green)

“We campaign for an open, tolerant and inclusive society, in which human rights and equal opportunities are the norm. Green? Yes, but most of all, Europe needs to remain colourful and diverse. We reject all types of discrimination and marginalisation.” (Page 20)

“We will continue to fight against all kinds of discrimination - whether on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, religion, age, nationality or ethnic group - everywhere in Europe. We demand more means for the independent equal opportunity centres and for the European programme to promote diversity, with the aim of preventing discrimination through awareness-raising.” (Page 20)

 

Two of the smaller parties, the Left and the Pirate Party, make detailed proposals on integration. The Left highlights the importance of family reunification, and both parties are concerned about LGBTIQ asylum seekers.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION, PERMITS & NATURALISATION

Déi Lénk (Left)

Original Text

« Défendre le droit au regroupement familial pour ceux et celles qui obtiennent un statut de réfugié. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Defend the right to family reunification for those who obtain refugee status.

 

ATTENTION TO VULNERABLE GROUPS

Déi Lénk (Left)

Original Text

« Veiller à ce que toutes les procédures d’asile soient conformes aux enjeux de genre et concernant les personnes LGBTIQ, particulièrement en mettant en place des centres de coordination chargés de coordonner l’intégration de la dimension du genre. » (Page 24)

Unofficial Translation

Ensure that all asylum procedures conform to issues of gender and concerning LGBTIQ individuals, particularly by putting in place coordination centres in charge of coordinating integration with a gender dimension.

Piratenpartei (Pirate Party)

Original Text

“D’Infrastrukture fir Asylsichender sinn dacks net op d’Bedierfnesser vu den eenzele Mënschen zougeschnidden. Esou ass et beispillsweis méiglech, datt LGBTIQ-Persounen, déi opgrond vun hirer Sexualitéit oder hirer geschlechtlecher Identitéit an hirem Heemechtsland verfollegt goufen, sech hei mat anere Schutzsichenden, déi hirersäits duerch en LGBTIQ-feindlecht Gesellschaftsbild aus hirem Heemechtsland gepräägt sinn, am selwechten Ënnerdaach erëmfannen.

Fir Konfliktsituatiounen ze vermeiden an de physesche souwéi och psychesche Wuel vun de Betraffenen ze garantéieren, fuerderen d’Piraten d’Schafung vun engem Foyer respektiv engem ofgetrennte Beräich an enger bestoender Infrastruktur, wou LGBTIQ-Mënschen ënnerkomme kënnen, wann d’Situatioun et noutwenneg mécht.

Et ass dacks esou, datt betraffe Leit sech opgrond vun hiren Erfarungen net trauen, fir iwwert hir Situatioun ze schwätzen. Mir fuerderen dofir eng Formatioun fir d’Agenten aus de Foyeren, déi d’Thematike Coming-Out, sexuell Orientéierung a geschlechtlech Identitéit behandelt. Och d’Iwwersetzer an d’Security-Personal sollten an dëser Thematik hiren Aufgaben entspriechend forméiert ginn, fir an de jeeweilege Situatiounen ugemoossen kënnen ze handelen.” (Pages 49-50)

Unofficial Translation

Asylum seekers' infrastructures are often not designed for individual needs. Thus, it can be possible that LGBTIQ people who were persecuted on the grounds of their sexuality or their sexual identity in their home country will encounter [in Luxembourg] LGBTIQ-hostile company from their home country who are living in the same housing structures.

To avoid conflicts and promote both physical and psychological well-being among the relevant persons, the Pirates demand the creation of a foyer or a separate area in a dedicated infrastructure, where LGBTIQ people can feel safe, if the situation makes it necessary.

It is often the case that [LGBTIQ] people have difficulty talking about their situation. We therefore ask for training for social workers in the housing structures regarding the topics of coming out, sexual orientation and sexual identity. Translators and security staff should also have their respective tasks structured in order to be able to deal with the situations in question.

 

The Pirate Party also emphasises the importance of research and data regarding LGBTIQ asylum seekers, as well as overall funding for the integration of refugees through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

BUDGET, CAPACITY & RESEARCH

Piratenpartei (Pirate Party)

Original Text

“Fir d’Asylpolitik ze fërderen, muss den Asyl- a Migratiounsfong méi Programmer fir d’Ophuelen an d’Integratioun vu Flüchtlingen an den eenzele Memberlänner ënnerstëtzen.” (Page 49)

“Fir festzestellen, op déi getraffe Mesuren hiren Zweck erfëllen a fir deementspriechend op d‘Hëllef vun anere staatlechen oder konventionéierte Servicer zeréckzegräifen, sollten Informatiounen a Statistike ronderëm d’LGBTIQ-Asylsichenden EU-wäit erhuewe ginn, déi relevant fir e Suivi an deem Domaine sinn. Konventionéierten Acteuren, déi eng Kollaboratioun mat de Foyeren an dësem Kontext hunn, sollten, ënnert Berécksiichtegung vun der Privatsphär vun de Betraffenen an den datschutzrechtlechen Aspekter, Zougrëff op dës Statistiken hunn.” (Page 50)

Unofficial Translation

In order to promote the policy of asylum, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund must support more programmes for refugees and the integration of refugees into the individual Member States.

To verify if the relevant measures achieve their goal and to provide accordingly the help of other state or conventional services, information and statistics about LGBTIQ asylum seekers should be collected EU-wide for a relevant monitoring in that domain. The conventional actors who collaborate with housing structures in this context should have access to these statistics, subject to the privacy of those involved and the data protection law.

 

Finally, while the ADR (national-conservative party) does not have specific proposals regarding the integration of migrants and refugees, they argue that there is a “proliferation of actors” in the area of refugee-related problems, and that this proliferation should be avoided.

OTHER

ADR (Alternativ Demokratesch Reformpartei)

Original Text

“D'ADR fuerdert eng staark Ënnerstëtzung vun humanitären Organisatiounen am Beräich vun der Flüchtlingsproblematik, besonnesch vum UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Gläichzäiteg gëllt et, enger Proliferatioun vun Acteuren an dësem Beräich entgéintzewierken, fir d’Efforte kënnen ze konzentréieren, d’Anhale vu Rechtsnormen ze garantéieren an d’Kontroll ze erliichteren.” (Page 17)

Unofficial Translation

ADR asks for a strong support for humanitarian organisations with respect to refugee problems, in particular for UNHCR. At the same time, the proliferation of actors in this field should be avoided in order to be able to concentrate efforts, respect the rule of law and maintain control.

 

Voting is compulsory for Luxembourgian citizens and for EU citizens who have registered to vote in Luxembourg. Turnout for the 2014 elections exceeded 85%.

See the party programmes: ADR (national-conservative), CSV (Christian democrat), Déi Gréng (Greens), Déi Lénk (Left), DP (liberals), LSAP (social democrat), Pirate Party

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Slovakia say about integration?

European Parliament Elections – What do parties in Slovakia say about integration?

13/05/2019

Elections for Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are being held on May 23 through 26! For this occasion, the European Web Site on Integration is publishing a series on what national political parties are saying about migrant and refugee integration in the EU.

Migration is a sensitive topic for the electorate in Slovakia. Political parties and candidates have therefore been cautious in discussing migration and integration during their campaigns for the 2019 European Parliament elections. In general, political parties in Slovakia emphasise migration and asylum policy in their programmes for the EU Parliament elections, while they give almost no attention to the integration of migrants and refugees.

Slovakia will have 13 MEPs in the upcoming European Parliament (14 MEPs after Brexit), and they are likely to come from nine different political parties:

  • Direction Social Democracy (SMER-SD)
  • People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS)
  • Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)
  • Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNo)
  • We Are Family (Sme Rodina)
  • Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
  • Progressive Slovakia and TOGETHER-Civic Democracy (PS-Spolu)
  • New Majority (NOVA)
  • Slovak National Party (SNS)

No party made any significant mention of the integration of migrants or refugees in their programmes for the elections.  Moreover, the parties do not point to migrants and refugees as contributing positively to Slovakian society and do not view migration as a priority at the national level. However, some of the political parties see migration as a priority at the European level, with an emphasis on maintaining national sovereignty over the issue.

The leading political party SMER-SD has highlighted in its campaign that Slovakia was the first country to question the quota system for the relocation of asylum seekers in 2015. The OĽaNO and SaS parties also pay attention to asylum and migration policy topics like the Common European Asylum System and EU external borders, while ĽSNS takes a generally anti-migration position.

Although not directly addressing the integration of migrants and refugees, the party Progressive Slovakia, which is running on a joint ticket with the TOGETHER-Civic Democracy party (Spolu), did mention the threat of xenophobia and racism in its programme.

DIVERSITY & SOCIAL COHESION

Progressive Slovakia

Original Text

“Niektoré nebezpečné klamstvá ovplyvňujú výsledky volieb, šíria neistotu, xenofóbiu a rasizmus, rozdeľujú spoločnosť na nepriateľské tábory, alebo sa snažia zničiť dôveru k myšlienke spoločnej Európy.”

Unofficial Translation

Some dangerous lies affect election results, spread insecurity, xenophobia, and racism, divide society into hostile camps, or try to destroy trust in the common European idea.

 

In this context, Progressive Slovakia also calls for coordinated action at the EU level.

EU’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

Progressive Slovakia

Original Text

“V zápase s touto hrozbou je koordinovaný postup členských štátov výhodou, ktorú musíme lepšie využívať.”

Unofficial Translation

In combatting this threat [of lies, insecurity, racism, xenophobia, etc.], coordinated action by Member States is an advantage that we need to make better use of.

 

See the party programmes: Direction Social Democracy (SMER-SD), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) manifesto and “value compass”, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNo), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Progressive Slovakia (PS), TOGETHER-Civic Democracy (Spolu)

People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), We Are Family (Sme Rodina), New Majority (NOVA) and the Slovak National Party (SNS) have not published statements on their websites explaining their programmes for these elections, though they may have published information about their candidates and election-related news.

Curious about political parties in other EU countries? See the analyses for other Member States.

AMIF funding to design and implement municipal plans for integration in Portugal

AMIF funding to design and implement municipal plans for integration in Portugal

07/05/2019

The Portuguese High Commission for Migration is looking to fund initiatives that design and implement municipal plans for the integration of migrants. This funding opportunity is available through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Eligible actions for funding must:

  • Ensure the involvement of local public and private actors in the definition, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of local plans for migration, with a view to ensuring measures that promote multilevel integration of current and new TCNs
  • Develop training measures for organisations and professionals, promoting continuous improvement of procedures and responses implemented, training of professionals and validation and dissemination of new resources, support tools and good practices.

The total amount available under this call is € 1,415,171. For each approved project, the maximum co-financing rate is 75% of the total eligible cost, and applications must request a total eligible investment of at least € 60,000. Projects cannot have an execution period of more than 36 months.

Applications must be submitted by 7 June 2019 at 17:00. See the application requirements

First refugee families resettled in Sofia after signing integration agreements

First refugee families resettled in Sofia after signing integration agreements

07/05/2019

Following the November 2018 signing of the first integration agreements between refugee families and Bulgarian municipalities, one refugee family has now been resettled in the Krasno Selo area of Sofia and three other families in the city’s Vitosha area. The integration agreements were signed under the framework of the 2017 ordinance on integration agreements of beneficiaries of international protection.

After signing the agreements, the families were taken out of the reception centres of the State Agency for Refugees, and the municipalities started implementing the measures set out in the families’ integration plans. This includes support for housing, enrolment of children in schools (with supplementary Bulgarian language lessons) and the participation of the parents in vocational training programmes to support their socioeconomic integration.

The integration measures are funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The municipalities that have accepted refugee families have a number of partners to support the integration activities. The partners include the State Agency for Refugees, UNHCR, Bulgarian Red Cross, Caritas, Council of Refugee Women, Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants and others.

Read more

Call for Papers – Seminar on smart cities and migration in Athens

Call for Papers – Seminar on smart cities and migration in Athens

01/05/2019

METROPOLIS and the research & innovation institute (rii) will hold a seminar on 27 and 28 September 2019 in Athens to discuss the issues that emerge at the intersection migration and advances in information and communication technologies, as experienced in urban spaces and smart cities. The organisers are calling for submissions that adopt multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives on smart cities and migration.

Relevant submissions may cover topics and pose questions from the perspective of social and political sciences, urban studies, law, computer science, engineering, architecture and others. Key focus areas include:

  • Migration in (smart) city/urban space: challenges and opportunities; strategies and responses; questions of inclusion, prosperity and well-being; new modes of economic collaboration; governance and civic participation
  • Migration and (smart) villages

Those interested in submitting a paper should send their abstracts by 20 June 2019. More information about submission and registration is available. Find out more about the seminar.

Pilot project for individualised support of refugee women in Poland

Pilot project for individualised support of refugee women in Poland

30/04/2019

The Association for Legal Intervention and the Polish Migration Forum Foundation have started a new, innovative project named Work, family, home – case management for professionally inactive refugees. This pilot project is targeted at refugee women who have an especially difficult family and material situation. Its aim is to prepare them for entry into the Polish labour market.

The project has selected six refugee women living in and around Warsaw—mainly single mothers or women with large families. The participating women receive support through case management. This means that they receive comprehensive assistance that is tailored to their individual needs and potentials. Assistance includes, among other things, legal and psychological counselling, support in finding a job or help with housing, healthcare, nursery schools, kindergartens, etc.

If successful, this pilot project will continue in the future. The project is currently funded by the Association for Social Cooperatives as part of the ‘Small Big Changes’ grant programme. Read more about the integration of migrant women.

Find out more about the pilot project

Création d'un réseau de l'interprétariat médical et social en France

Création d'un réseau de l'interprétariat médical et social en France

29/04/2019

Neuf associations françaises créent le Réseau national de promotion de l’interprétariat médical et social professionnel (RIMES) afin de garantir un accès effectif aux droits fondamentaux des personnes non francophones. RIMES se donne pour objet de :

  • Promouvoir et développer l’interprétariat médical et social professionnel et en garantir la qualité
  • Favoriser la formation et la recherche dans le domaine de l’interprétariat médical et social
  • Promouvoir, pour les interprètes, un statut professionnel en adéquation avec les compétences exigées

La barrière de la langue apparaît, pour les personnes non-francophones, comme un frein majeur à l’accès aux droits et aux services publics. Depuis 2011, différentes associations engagées dans l’accueil et l’intégration des personnes étrangères coopèrent activement afin d’harmoniser leurs pratiques, de conforter la qualité de leurs interventions et de faire reconnaître le métier d’interprète professionnel. Ce travail partenarial a permis l’adoption de la Charte de l’interprétariat médical et social professionnel en France et la reconnaissance de l’interprétariat dans le domaine de la santé.

Conscientes des enjeux en termes de qualité de l’interprétariat, d’exigences déontologiques et d’égalité d’accès à l’ensemble des services publics sur tous les territoires, ces associations se réunissent aujourd’hui au sein de RIMES afin de poursuivre et d’étendre le travail engagé.

En savoir plus

Continued drop in number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands

Continued drop in number of asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands

29/04/2019

The number of asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands has fallen for the third quarter in a row, according to the national statistics agency (CBS). In the first quarter of 2019, 5,405 asylum seekers and 840 following family members came to the Netherlands. The largest group of new applicants for asylum came from Syria (575 applicants), followed by Nigeria (485) and Iran (470), with sharp increases in the number of asylum seekers from Nigeria and Iran compared to the first quarter of 2018.

55% of people who applied for asylum in the first quarter of 2019 were male adults, 19% were female adults and 26% were children under the age of 18. The distributions differed greatly by nationality. Algerian asylum seekers were mainly male adults (88%), while the proportion of male adults among Iranian (45%), Moldovan (30%) and Turkish (49%) asylum seekers was relatively low. The share of children was highest among Moldovan (40%) and Iraqi (37%) asylum seekers.

Increase in applications from ‘safe’ countries

Over 1,200 new applications were made by people from countries considered ‘safe’ by Dutch authorities. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, more people have applied for asylum in the first quarter of 2019 who came from Morocco, Moldova, Algeria and Turkey. The Dutch authorities consider these countries to be safe, which means that individuals from these countries have little chance of being granted refugee status.

The new statistics are based on figures from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Read more

Call for Papers – European Conference: From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0

Call for Papers – European Conference: From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0

26/04/2019

The European Migration Network Finland, Odysseus Academic Network and European Policy Centre will organise a conference on 24-25 October 2019 in Helsinki to explore upcoming developments in EU migration policy, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Tampere conclusions which deeply influenced EU migration and asylum policies.

The organisers have launched a call for papers for five preparatory workshops to be held in Brussels in June 2019. The workshops will be in charge of drafting papers to be discussed at the conference. A final document will be presented after the October 2019 conference to EU institutions and Member States for discussion. The topics for the preparatory workshops will be:

  • Institutional and financial framework in particular agencies
  • Partnership with third countries
  • A Common European Asylum System
  • Fair treatment of third-country nationals (legal migration and integration)
  • Management of migration flows

There are several upcoming developments in EU migration policy—a new strategic agenda to be adopted by the European Council, a renewed European Parliament and Commission with new policy priorities following the European elections and a five-year programme (2020-2024) that should be adopted by the European Council. The conference will provide ideas and suggestions for this new five-year programme.

All interested institutions and organisations from the public or private sector, as well as individuals, can contribute to the preparatory workshops by submitting policy proposals regarding the future of EU migration and asylum policies. Submissions must be received by 10 May 2019. 

See guidelines and further information