In 27 March 2019 in The European Union House in Riga the Latvian Red Cross (LatRC) organised an international conference “IntegRIGAtion: Humanity as integration tool”.
The aims of the conference was:
to identify the importance and practice of different integration activities in inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers (RAS) in local society;
to give an opportunity to State institutions and NGO’s from Latvia, Ireland, Great Brittan, Germany and Italy to share their experience in organising and evaluating integration events and projects in that way giving Latvian people to know more about the practice in Europe.
to formulate the good practice was formulated in every countries context.
During the event three refugees, who are living in Latvia, shared their life stories. Representatives of Latvian, Italian, German and Great Britain Red Cross national societies introduced with integration activities. Representatives of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Centre for Public Policy “PROVIDUS” introduced with a joint review and latest information on the situation in the Baltic States and Europe.
During the panel discussion, the participants of the conference exchanged views and experiences, concluding that several countries are joining similar barriers to promoting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers. The main conclusions are:
- the short-term approach for integration is less effective than providing long-term strategic support;
- actual is issue of housing, especially during the first year after receiving status;
- difficulties to find a job due to lack of language skills of the hosting country, insufficient amount of host country language training;
- limited access to education for pupils due to different level of education and language gap;
- the local municipalities and the private sector should be involved in the support program;
- cooperation not a competition between NGOs and governmental institutions plays a key role in promoting the process of integration;
- an international network provides an opportunity to get to know other countries’ good practices, thus finding solutions to similar problems
- LatRC is one of the 191 national societies of International Red Cross movement, which works with the main goal to provide help and support to every person in need, including RAS.
Since February 2018 LatRC together with British, Italian, Irish Red Cross national societies and IFRC realizes international project AVAIL – “Amplifying the voices of asylum seekers and refugees for integration and lifeskills”. The project is funded by European Union within the migration and integration fund (AMIF).
Information was prepared by
The Latvian Red Cross
Head of International and Public Relations
Phone: +371 67686312