welcome! migrants make europe stronger
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WELCOMEMIGRANTSMAKE EUROPESTRONGERCaritas practices for an inclusive Europe
E - M
Researched and written by Antonio Fantasia and Shannon Pfohman of Caritas Europas Secretariat.
Contributions to this publication were made by:
Proofread by Eve Layton
Published by Caritas Europa in Brussels in Dec. 2016
Rue de la Charit 43, 1210 Brussels, Belgium
The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission.
Caritas Europa reserves the right to not be held responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in
this publication. Liability claims regarding damage caused by the use of any information provided, including any information
which is incomplete or incorrect, will therefore be rejected.
This publication has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation
EaSI (2014-2020). For further information please consult: ec.europa.eu/social/easi
Caritas Czech Republic:
Caritas France (Secours Catholique):
Caritas Netherlands (Cordaid):
Ariane Dewandre and Anne Dussart
Angel Gyorev and Svetlana Gyorev
Klara Boumova and Martina Tomanova
Lola Schulmann and Claire Sabah
Lisa Schler and Verena Liessem
Aglaia Konstantakopoulou and Maria Karoumbali
Malik Hamouche and Marie Christine Wirion
Karlijn van Arkel
Sergio Barciela, Estefania Chaves and Maria Segurado
George Joseph and Pieter Van Gylswyk
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE REALITY ON THE GROUND: WHAT HINDERS OUR VISION OF EUROPE? 6
Cultural barriers - limited acceptance by and interaction into receiving communities 8
Structural barriers limited access to basic rights and services 10
Socio-economic barriers limited access to resources and participation 12
CARITAS VISION OF AN INCLUSIVE EUROPE 13
PROMISING PRACTICES FROM THE GROUND 24
Practices to address cultural barriers and facilitate full participation and non-discrimination 26
Practices to address structural barriers and improve access to basic rights and services 30
Practices to address socio-economic barriers and facilitate access to resources and participation 34
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 38
PROMISING PRACTICES FROM THE GROUND
Photo: Christophe Hargoues
Secours Catholique-Caritas France
Caritas provides support to the most marginalised and has long attended to vulnerable migrant and refugee populations across Europe. Not only does it provide emergency aid and humanitarian assistance in countries of origin and transit, but it also delivers services to migrants in European receiving coun-tries, such as legal advice, housing and language assistance, counselling and psycho-social support. Caritas also accompanies migrants along their ed-ucational and employment paths, and it provides referrals for family reunification support as well as other long-term integration assistance and support-ive services.
Faced, over the past years, with economic hard-ship, government policies have typically fostered austerity, resulting in reduced service provision and integration measures, and greater challenges for municipalities and local-level actors to respond adequately to their communities needs. Since inte-gration typically takes place at the local level, this reality has created many integration challenges, pri-marily because some policy makers have used the economic argument as an excuse for not respond-ing to the needs of its vulnerable residents.
This situation was further heightened and intensi-fied following the arrival of thousands of new mi-grants into Europe in the summer of 2015. Caritas Europas vision of an inclusive Europe states that migrant integration is based on dialogue and shared rights and responsibilities. We need to strengthen the welcoming approach in our societies and create more and more spaces of encounter and dialogue.
In response to the evident needs and vulnerability of migrants and refugees in Europe, Caritas typically steps in to provide much needed services. Govern-ments often rely on charitable organisations and NGOs to step in with projects in order to fill the gaps. But the review, design and implement of na-tional integration plans and policies, fostering inclu-sive societies and mainstreaming integration is still a challenge our governments need to address. Caritas and other NGOs are not there to replace the state, rather to complement it. This is especially important considering that successful integration processes re-quire dynamic networks, involving many different actors across different levels. And this is the real
value of Caritas: its ability to establish trusting rela-tionships with the people in need, together with the local level community and with key stakeholders.
The focus of this publication, therefore, is to show-case some Caritas experiences, often implemented in cooperation with other actors. While some prac-tices presented have an innovative approach, others are simply filling a much needed gap in countries where few promising integration practices exist. In addition, to highlighting some barriers that impact migrants during the integration process, this pub-lication also shares some experiences of Caritas in building up trusting relationships so that both, mi-grants and the receiving societies prosper together. Considering the many challenges migrants face in realising their full potential in the European context, Caritas seeks to bridge the gap between the multi-tude of obstacles witnessed and experienced on the ground, in order to offer ideas to policy makers and practitioners on how to create an environment that fosters inclusive participation, and empowers mi-grants and receiving communities to work together toward the creation of cohesive societies.
Being solution-oriented, this publication also pro-vides insight on different options for funding in-tegration and social inclusion practices, as well as guidance for receiving governments, institutions and communities, and the migrants themselves in achieving this aim. In general terms, the experi-ences reported in this publication show that work-ing with migrants is just as important as working with receiving communities in order to change the thinking and contribute to a positive, constructive narrative of foreigners. A few of these cases dem-onstrate that a lot can be achieved even with limited resources.
Jorge Nuo Mayer Secretary General of Caritas Europa
THE REALITY ON THE GROUND: WHAT HINDERS OUR VISION OF EUROPE?
Caritas uses the definition of migrants as any per-son who changes his or her country of usual resi-dence. A persons country of usual residence is that in which the person lives, that is to say, the country in which the person has a place to live where he or she normally spends the daily period of rest1. This definition includes immigrants, refugees, per-sons under subsidiary forms of protection, asylum seekers, persons seeking other forms of protection, migrants in an irregular situation and repatriates2.
In its daily interactions with migrants, Caritas can observe, throughout Europe, the hardships mi-grants face in their struggle with their integration3
and social inclusion processes. On the one hand, newly arriving migrants face immediate barriers, sometimes even of a humanitarian nature; on the other hand, in the longer term, migrants face cul-tural, structural and economic barriers that hinder their capacity to fully participate in the receiving communities.
Migrants who arrive in an unfamiliar country and a new cultural, socio-economic context are bound to face a multitude of obstacles. Together with a sense of precariousness, the lack of points of reference and networks, these obstacles may lead to a loss in self-esteem, and in their capacity to act indepen-dently, as well as to a sense of alienation vis--vis the receiving country.
Caritas has identified some of the greatest barriers to successful integration to be linked to the follow-ing: high levels of inequality, discrimination, limited access of migrants to their rights, and the related disempowerment migrants feel in receiving soci-
eties. This is closely related to the often negative perception the receiving community has about mi-grants. For instance, when there is an absence of an inclusive community, an atmosphere of fear often prevails, with a lack in trust and solidarity; rumours and biases spread easily and resentments are high. This in turn is linked to receiving communities frag-ile economies. Based on the experiences of Cari-tas, hostile environments ha