RT 3 - Migration and Development: Finding strategies beyond the State

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Mr. Neville Dubash
RT 3 - Migration and Development: Finding strategies beyond the State

RT 3.2 Strengthening Cooperation – Enabling Civil Society Contributions in Migrant and Refugee Integration

This roundtable explores the existing political and legal frameworks in order to strengthen the cooperation of all stakeholders promoting civic engagement and fostering the exchange between people with and without an immigrant background. The overall objective is to favour the exchange on best-practice examples, to encourage transnational projects and to foster analysis and information gathering thereby contributing to find comprehensive solutions for migrant integration.

States can promote integration in various ways by providing a comprehensive framework of measures in view of the specific needs of migrants. However, this task involves the entire society. Multiple actors of society such as volunteers, religious communities, associations, trade unions and enterprises participate in this process. Although civic engagement is supposed to be additional to public services, non-state actors have important practical knowledge and experience on the local level.

In addition, migrants and people with an immigrant background have specific potentials for contributing to the integration process. The aim is to identify possibilities to support civic engagement of migrants thereby fostering their resilience and capacities to become active participants in the host country as well as in the development in their country of origin.

Religious dialogue and contact between people of different faiths can also contribute to mutual understanding. The efforts of diaspora communities to support immigrants in this integration process need to be fostered.

  • How can states encourage integration of migrants by the civil society through reception activities, the provision of basic necessities, civic education and language training? Which framework conditions need to be provided by the state?
  • How can states enhance and coordinate the professionalization and institutionalization of civil society involvement with state actors in this field?
  • How can the specific knowledge of migrants and people with an immigrant background, e.g. migrant organizations and especially volunteers, be harnessed to contribute to development of national policy strategies?
  • How can their specific potentials contribute in strengthening their resilience and capacities to become active members of the host society? How can civic engagement of locals with immigrant background as particularly promising intermediaries for the integration of newcomers be fostered?

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