Pre-departure Assistance & Travel to resettlement country

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Carlow Rohingya Resettlement Programme

This research report, on behalf of the County Carlow Development Board, aims to provide a systematic assessment and evaluation of the Carlow Rohingya Resettlement Programme. Data was collected to explore the opinions and inputs of relevant stakeholders in the area in order to provide useful feedback about the effectiveness and value of the project. It aims to qualitatively document the key learning from the programme, to highlight areas of success and achievement and to indicate areas in need of greater attention. In addition, it aims to assess the current level of need of the Rohingya community and to make recommendations for the future development of the Resettlement Programme based on the main findings of the research. It is intended that this document act as the first comprehensive account of all of the initiatives that took place in the first year of the Carlow Rohingya Resettlement Programme as well as contextualising the project within the most recent and relevant social framework.

Preparing for a new life

How do refugees and migrants learn about what it's like to live in a totally different country and culture? Find out how IOM helps them to successfully adapt to a whole new life.

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.

Travel phase

The travel phase refers to the safe, dignified and humane movement of refugees from the country where they are staying to their country of resettlement. 

Pre-departure assistance phase

In anticipation of a refugee moving to a resettlement country, basic information and advice on the journey and life ahead is of paramount importance. Pre-departure cultural orientation programmes prepare refugees by providing practical information on the country of resettlement, and assist refugees in setting realistic goals and developing the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in their new environment.

Information guide for persons being resettled to France

You will soon enter the French territory either because you were issued a visa in order to claim asylum in France (« protected entry ») or as a resettled refugee, or in the framework of a transfer from another European Union (EU) Member-State.

The French authorities have taken the decision to welcome you in France. However, this implies that you and the members of your family must be willing to come to France. No-one can ask you for any kind of payment or reward in return for your entry and stay in France, be it before your departure, or once you are on the French territory.

This document is designed to give you useful information about administrative procedures, reception conditions and life in France.

Evaluation of the Overseas Orientation Initiatives - Canada

As per the requirements under the Financial Administration Act, an evaluation of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) initiative was required in fiscal year 2011/12. COA is one of three in-person pre-departure orientation initiatives funded by the department and CIC is in the process of establishing an overseas orientation strategy to frame immigrants’ orientation needs and its programming priorities regarding pre-departure services. Therefore, the evaluation was expanded to include all three of CIC’s pre-departure orientation initiatives.

COA was first introduced in 1998 and provides pre-departure orientation to assist individuals who have been accepted for immigration to Canada in preparing for their move to Canada and to facilitate their integration into Canadian society. COA is currently delivered on behalf of CIC by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), under a contribution agreement. The management of the contribution agreement is the responsibility of the Integration Program Management Branch (IPMB), Operations Sector, while program and policy support is provided by Integration and Refugees Affairs Branches, Strategic and Program Policy (SPP). The objectives of COA are to:

  • provide pre-departure orientation to Canada-bound refugees and immigrants;
  • enhance their knowledge about Canada prior to arrival;
  • determine participants’ perceptions of Canada and, as necessary, dispel rumours, misconceptions, and unrealistic expectations;
  • have participants reflect on specific issues that relate to their settlement and integration to Canada;
  • inform participants of their rights and freedoms, as well as their responsibilities and obligations as permanent residents and future citizens of Canada;
  • make participants aware of difficulties they may encounter during their first few months in Canada; and
  • help participants gain a sense of control over their new lives so that they arrive in Canada self-confident and aware of what to expect and what is expected from them.

COA sessions are offered to all categories of immigrants who have been selected for permanent resident status; however, priority is given to resettled refugees. Over a six-year period, COA provided pre-departure orientation to over 82,000 individuals (Table 1-1), with the largest proportion of clients served being FSWs (35.8%).

Promising practices in pre-departure orientation

IOM provides pre‐departure cultural orientation training courses for refugees accepted for resettlement. Over the past 20 years, IOM has conducted courses for over 350,000 refugees at more than 60 locations.

Cultural orientation prepares refugees by providing practical information on country of destination, and assists refugees in setting realistic goals and developing the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in their new environment. IOM works closely with governments to identify the key priority messages and values that are critical for refugees’ successful resettlement. Predeparture orientation is designed to assist refugees to develop realistic expectations and to become selfsufficient more quickly. Courses by IOM’s multilingual, multi‐ethnic trainers help refugees anticipate integration challenges and facilitate their transition into the receiving society. Topics addressed in the orientation include housing, health, money management, role of settlement service providers, education, cultural adaptation, rights and responsibilities, and others. Upon request, IOM conducts needs assessments and produces cultural profiles of new refugee populations designed to help service providers better plan for their arrival.