Caritas Europa has issued a new publication “Welcome – Migrants make Europe stronger” and casts the spotlight on “barriers” that prevent millions of migrants from becoming full-fledged members of the European societies in which they live. These barriers are robbing migrants of their dignity and Europe of their potential contributions to further boost Europe’s social, cultural and economic score.
“Here it seems that documents/papers are more important than people. Without them I am not a human being. I work hard, my employer blackmails me, and I live with the constant tremendous fear of being arrested and deported. If papers do not exist, I don’t exist,” said Oumar, 32 year-old from Senegal.
But, most importantly, with this publication, Caritas Europa demonstrates that these barriers can be overcome. To prove this the publication includes no less than 21 best practices from 13 countries across Europe. Moreover, the publication contains a series of specific recommendations targeting each barrier and an exhaustive list of recommendations to national governments aiming at breaking down these barriers. Finally, the report also includes an assessment of the tensions that appear when comparing EU policies on integration to the positions of the Council of Europe and to those of Caritas Europa. These findings should help decision-makers to find ways to ease these tensions and contribute to building an inclusive and prosperous Europe.
“Caritas seeks to bridge the gap between the multitude of obstacles witnessed and experienced on the ground, in order to offer ideas to policy makers and practitioners on how to create an environment that fosters inclusive participation and empowers migrants and receiving communities to work together toward the creation of cohesive societies,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.
Caritas Europa has identified 3 types of barriers that delay and, sometimes, renders impossible migrants’ integration:
- Cultural: limited acceptance by and limited interaction with the receiving communities.
- Structural: limited access to basic rights and services.
- Socio-economic: limited access to resources and participation