Anti-migrant sentiment and the spread of hate against migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people are currently on the rise in Europe. Displays of hate that are emerging are often violent, including physical attacks against migrants and refugees, burning down reception centres, as well as widespread hateful acts and messages spread throughout society. In some cases, the latter can be just as dangerous, i.e. in the cases of populist demonstrations, forced detentions, inability to obtain a legal status, and the consequences of general discrimination when accessing employment, housing and other services for migrants and refugees.
Caritas has a role to play in contributing to long-term solutions for building welcoming societies and fostering the integration of migrants and refugees in the receiving countries, as well as of otherwise excluded people within their own country. Integration must be a “dynamic, multidirectional process in which newcomers and the receiving communities intentionally work together, based on a shared commitment to tolerance and justice, to create a secure, welcoming, vibrant, and cohesive society”.
For Caritas Europa, the openness of the integration definition must reflect the fact that the responsibility for integration rests not with one particular group but rather with many actors-migrants, refugees and vulnerable groups themselves, the governments, institutions, and communities, to name a few.
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