SETTING THE SCENE:
Refugee & migrant participation in France: a national case study
Sophie Bilong, Institut français des relations internationales
Sophie Bilong of SHARE Network partner Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI) (Observatory on Immigration & Asylum, Center for Migration & Citizenship) presented the 2020 IFRI study ´La Participation des Personnes Exilées' (also available in English summary).
She described how the study aimed to 'take stock' of refugee and migrant participation in France by identifying current participatory practices from local to national level, and supporting the development of this area of work in relation to integration by providing a 'toolbox' of successful approaches for use by interested associations and authorities.
She presented the three types of refugee and migrant participation identified by the study - consultation, co-construction and shared governance - and provided examples of practice of each type currently ongoing in France. She also highlighted the impact of multilevel governance arrangements for integration in contetxs such as France, where integration is a competence of national authorities and cities/municipalities have limited scope and resources to implement new approaches with refugees and migrants living on their territories.
She concluded by presenting the study's key recommendations:
- Support participatory approaches via dedicated budgets.
- Include the participation of refugees and migrants as an evaluation criteria in all programmes designed to benefit them.
- Develop training for professionals that is designed and implemented by refugees and migrants.
- Integrate refugees and migrants into the management structures of associations that aim to support them.
- Support the professionalisation of refugee and migrant-led organisations.
- Ensure there is a national consultation mechanism for integration policy in which refugees and migrants are able to participate.
UNHCR France report on refugee volunteers (in French): https://www.unhcr.org/fr-fr/5f7eff084