the role of networks in the process of immigrant integration nikos stathopoulos, nikos stathopoulos,...

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The role of networks in the process of immigrant integration NIKOS STATHOPOULOS, NIKOS STATHOPOULOS, DIRECTOR, G&D SOCIAL LAB LTD Integration programs by Local Authorities Slide 2 What is integration of immigrants in local society A dynamic two-way process of mutual accommodation of immigrants and residents of host communities It involves adaptation by immigrants to the rights and responsibilities to their new country of residence Receiving society creates the opportunities for immigrants full economic, social, cultural and political participation It requires the active participation of both immigrants and host society It takes place at local level as part of daily life It is local communities working together in building partnerships for social inclusion Slide 3 What it takes to achieve immigrant integration Utilization of EU policy framework for the integration of immigrants in local society Foresight and commitment by Local Authority leaders to formulate and implement social inclusion policies Active participation of immigrant organizations and NGOs in a public dialogue to contribute to the formulation of inclusion strategies Working together in developing a pathway to integration, and in articulating and implementing social inclusion actions Slide 4 Key players for integration Local Authorities and their social protection structures in creating socially inclusive environments (social services, schooling, housing, transportation, promoting cultural diversity, etc) NGOs active in social inclusion of immigrants and Civil Society Organizations (provision of services, protection of rights, building capacity, civic participation, etc) Immigrant Organizations Local, National Networks of Immigrants Slide 5 The role of Immigrant organizations Immigrant Organizations become active bodies for social inclusion of immigrants at the local level by: Settingup associations and unions through participatory procedures (self-orgnisation) to maintain ties with own immigrant group Identify needs, articulate goals and actions to address these needs Developing culturally-sensitive services suitable to the needs of own immigrant group (social services, linguistic and cultural retention) Engaging in community fundraising actions and/or applying for financing resources at relevant national and EU funding instruments to support cultural, educational and social service programs to benefit immigrant community. Participating in partnerships with other immigrant organizations, NGOs and Local Authorities, to engage in public dialogue pursuing their goals and acquiring a stronger voice. Slide 6 The Scope for creating an Immigrant Network in Cyprus The establishment of an Immigrant Network in Cyprus would be a framework for self-organization of immigrants: Promoting participatory procedures, Disseminating pertinent information, Building capacity for networking and civic participation undertaking common actions. Along with NGOs and Local Authorities the Network will pursue immigrants active participation in local society on an equal footing. Slide 7 The Scope for creating an Immigrant Network in Cyprus Initial steps: Meet frequently, to get to know each other Develop approaches to secure participation and representation of immigrants Develop a framework for carrying out an effective public dialogue with local actors regarding: the challenges facing immigrant communities Inclusion strategies seeking local collaboration to overcome barriers and shortcomings Develop recommendations for the establishment of communication structures Develop tools to enhance organisational and networking skills for immigrant organizations, NGOs and Local Authorities Adopt procedures and means for publication, dissemination and promotion of actions to support immigrant communities Define objectives and principles of the networks operation Slide 8 Thank you for your attention!

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