05 April 2018
Last Updated: 05 April 2018
by Giacomo MANCA

4th Meeting of the European Migration Forum: Towards a more inclusive labour market for migrants: seizing the potential by addressing the challenges.

Last 6-7 March, the Major Mike Stannett from the EU Affairs Office participated in the 4th Meeting of the European Migration Forum, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and gathering several stakeholders, NGOs and national authorities working on Migrants integration.

‘Integration is vital and key to our success in Europe ‘

The EU Affairs Officer attend last years 3rd European Migration Forum and was critical for the lack of mention of ‘irregular migrants’ in the agenda. It was gratifying to see that a significant part of the programme included Issues relating to irregular and undocumented migrants this year, although the general theme was to explore migrant integration via access to the labour market, as being the most effective way of helping people to integrate.

Some main problems continue to rise when talking about migrants accession to the EU:

  • The Risk of Exploitation is very high. Testimonies from migrants say that they are forced to seek transport and work through smugglers as there are no other working alternatives;
  • Member States are systematically placing legislative and paradoxical hurdles to block migration and denying access to migrants human rights;
  • Access to jobs is the most effective way to aid people to integrate into their new communities., gain self-respect and stand on their own feet;
  • There is a strong local support of migrants, regardless of what the popular press says, but within reason;
  • Europe’s public opinion experiences an irrational fear of security. The best security is to enable people to work and integrate;
  • Asylum seekers are being rejected in increasing numbers, restricted in accessing their rights, are unable to return home in security and dignity and being detained in sub-standard conditions;
  • The numbers of undocumented migrants is growing, and calls for speeding up the path way to some form of legal status is being advocated;
  • A growing number of irregular migrants needs humanitarian assistance.

During the networking time, Mike proposed moreover to hold a small supplemental workshop to discuss ‘prerequisites to access to the labour market ie. food , shelter, hygiene facilities, health care etc.

Considerations for the Salvation Army:

  • To consider a more strategic approach to support for Irregular migrants  across Europe
  • A more strategic approach to Mirant integration and migrant friendly services, using best practice from around Europe.
  • A mapping of the TSA programmes and services towards migrant integration across Europe.
  • Training for social workers on migrant rights.
  • Identify migrants for training on their rights that they may in turn inform others.
  • Include a Job search and Job training as part of the Community sponsorship model
  • Tool kit ‘how to work with migrants, Tools for social Change’ Mirant Rights Centre Ireland

For more information on this topic, check the full report from Maj. Mike Stannett

Tags: Europe