Integration of resettled refugees

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Rain is beautiful

Omar, a Somali refugee, fled the war in Libya last year to live in a camp on the country's border with Tunisia. This episode of his story, Rain is Beautiful, begins with emotional farewells at the camp as Omar leaves his friends behind to begin a new life in Sandviken in northern Sweden. He is met at Stockholm airport by the Swedish migration board, visits a doctor, gets his 'right to remain' signed and learns what margarine is.

For the original video, visit Amnesty International's webpage.

Don't give up - you have to fight!

A survey of resettled children and young people's experiences and need of information about their new life in Sweden

Landa is a county-wide project for the development of introduction and information activities for newly arrived refugees resettled in Gävleborg. These activities are largely aimed towards adults. The group of children and young people aged 7-18 years has not been prioritised in the introduction and establishment activities.

To improve the activities and developed an adapted introduction material for this group required increased knowledge on children/young people's experiences of reception and their need of introduction activities. Interviews have been conducted with 51 resettled children/young people, both individually and in focus groups. Here are some examples of questions posed and discussed:
• What did you know about Sweden before you came here?
• What information did you receive when you came here?
• Who told you this?
• What is important to tell someone who is moving from your home country to Sweden?
• How shall we tell this?

Approximately 60 per cent of the children/young people interviewed in the project have participated in one of the Swedish Migration Board's Sweden Programmes (Sverigeprogram), and approximately 40 per cent had, in the main, not received any information at all about Sweden prior to departure. All had received help and introduction on arrival. It is clear that the Sweden Programme makes a difference and, above all, the Sweden Programmes that have had local information and personnel at the information session.

School, the language, climate and that you have to fight and work hard were issues that almost all those interviewed in the project thought were the most important to provide information about to the children/young people who come here. The younger children thought that the most important things to be informed about were school, out-of-school activities and the climate. The older ones felt that problems arising in the family after arrival, loneliness and the difficulty of gaining a good education were the most important. These are some of the things they said:
“You have to fight – Don't give up!”
“It is very important to learn the language as fast as possible”
“Tell me about the climate and seasons – that they go round”
“Tell me a lot about schools – that without an education, it is very difficult to get a job in Sweden”

In the interviews, it emerged that it is important to talk about things that create security. To produce pictures and films for children/young people and to let young people who “have made the journey” be involved in the introduction work were some pieces of advice the project received. The survey shows that the children/young people are in need of quick integration into Swedish society. A good start and introduction can be crucial for newly arrived children/young people moving to a new country. Spending time and resources on a good start is a sound investment both for society and for the individual.

At the same time as Sweden will need to receive significantly more refugees in the future, the municipalities, through the new establishment reform, have reduced resources for refugee reception. Here, there is a lot to gain from coordination and quality assurance in a collaboration between the county's municipalities. There is a need for a mechanism to support and supervise personnel and provide them with relevant and updated information materials. Appoint a regional coordinator for the introduction work/refugee reception.

Zuwanderer auf Deutschland vorbereiten: Handlungsempfehlungen und Strategien

The project on “Stocktaking of international pre-integration measures and recommendations for action aimed at their implementation in Germany“ was co-funded half-and-half by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and by the European Integration Fund (EIF)1. The aim was to improve the state of knowledge and awareness in Germany about internationally practised preparatory measures and to perform a needs assessment in the context of migration to Germany. Based on the above, recommendations for action were developed for the German government in respect of potential preparatory measures for migrants from third (non-EU) countries. The implementation of the project was taken over by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). IOM is an inter-governmental organisation which conducts aid programmes for migrants2 at the national and international level. With over 400 offices in 130 countries, IOM is the largest global offerer of preparatory measures for migrants.

According to the definition adopted by EIF, the term ”pre-integration measures“ refers to the preparation of new immigrants from third countries for their target country. Such measures are conducted in the immigrant’s country of origin itself. The significance of pre-integration measures lies in the opportunity they present of laying a foundation stone for successful integration in the host society even before the entry of the immigrants into the host country. Especially in view of the initial few months in the new homeland, the social competences of the migrants can be strengthened and problems can be anticipated in this way. This contributes towards making the migration and integration process as smooth as possible which, in turn, makes it easier for the immigrants to find their way in the society of the host country.

In Germany, subsequent immigration of family members currently constitutes the largest group of immigrants from non-EU countries. The most important countries of origin are Turkey, the Russian Federation and the nations of former Yugoslavia. One of the requirements of the project was, thus, the development of preparatory measures which would especially take into account the needs of the immigrants from these regions.

On the German side, the language courses offered by the Goethe institute for a fee are the only activity until now which can be described as a pre-integration measure. Since the introduction of a compulsory proof of basic knowledge of the German language in the year 2005 within the framework of subsequent immigration of family members, these courses are offered in the concerned countries of origin as a preparation for the respective test. This measure is not only criticised primarily by the Turkish government, but also by German charitable and migrant organisations, since this measure is perceived to be discriminating (see 3.5). Therefore, it was not completely possible to separate the continuing debate about compulsory language test from the discussion of potential preparatory measures for third-country nationals which was the focus of this project.

Begeleiding bij integratie

Once refugees have been accepted to stay in the Netherlands they can start to build their life in the Netherlands. This is not always very easy in our complicated and bureaucratic society, therefore the Dutch Refugee Council and its volunteer network help refugees to integrate.

Integration is a very broad concept which covers a lot of aspects from learning the language, finding and decorating a home, finding a job or a school for the children, setting up a network of contacts... the volunteers from the Dutch Refugee Council assist refugees in these different aspects so they can start to build their new life in the Netherlands.

 

Samen Inburgeren

In this short movie made by the city of Antwerp (Vormingplus & Inburgering Antwerpen) in the framework of their citizenship and integration project, you will be introduced to Farid from Afghanistan and Johan who are regularly meeting and practice Dutch together, make homework, cook, cycle and visit the park. And Sam, a pensioner, who wanted to use his increased free time to join the citizenship and integration project as coach and was matched with Vicky from Congo.

 

Labour Market Training with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) - project brochure

Labour Market Training with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) is a model of that combines professional and vocational training with Swedish language-learning. The model has had notable success in the County of Gävleborg in terms of getting newcomers to Sweden into employment, enabling them to live independently and aiding their integration into Swedish society.

The training is run collaboratively by Gävleborg County Administrative Board, the Swedish Public Employment Service and the ten Municipal Boards within the County. The training is adapted to meet the needs of resettled refugees and other newcomers to Sweden, and is somewhat longer than the standard Swedish labour market training - 20-60 weeks depending on the professional area, with 25 hours of professional training and 15 hours of Swedish training every week.

Labour Market Training with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) -video

Labour market training project:

Labour Market Training with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) is a model of that combines professional and vocational training with Swedish language-learning. The model has had notable success in the County of Gävleborg in terms of getting newcomers to Sweden into employment, enabling them to live independently and aiding their integration into Swedish society.

The training is run collaboratively by Gävleborg County Administrative Board, the Swedish Public Employment Service and the ten Municipal Boards within the County. The training is adapted to meet the needs of resettled refugees and other newcomers to Sweden, and is somewhat longer than the standard Swedish labour market training - 20-60 weeks depending on the professional area, with 25 hours of professional training and 15 hours of Swedish training every week.

The following film gives an insight into the training programme and introduces two former resettled refugees who have benefited from the programme.

Save Me Campaign

In 2009 the German government decided to accept 2,500 Iraqi refugees for resettlement under an ad-hoc agreement with UNHCR, as part of a joint EU response to the Iraqi refugee situation.