IOM, partners improve pre-departure preparation for EU migrants to ease integration

Hungary - Migrant integration policy approaches across the European Union (EU) are increasingly recognizing the role that countries of origin can play in fostering the successful integration of newly arrived migrants.

The European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (2011) highlights the importance of integration support for migrants well before their departure. This can include, for example, sharing information on admission regulations, and migrants' rights and responsibilities, as well as providing language tuition or vocational training to help them to get jobs and social contacts on arrival.

A new IOM project "HEADSTART: Fostering Integration before Departure" aims to consolidate the lessons learnt from existing pre-departure integration support practices, and to explore ways to create stronger links between pre-departure and post-arrival immigrant integration services.

The 18-month project will combine review and analysis of existing pre-departure integration support, with the development of new practical tools, and networking and partnership building among the policymakers and practitioners in the countries of origin, and with their counterparts in countries of destination.

A handbook for Migrant Resource Centres as a specific vehicle of pre-departure information and training provision will be developed and will include recommendations on standard operating procedures, design, institutional set-up, training, competences, data collection and evaluation.

"Migration experience is a big life change," says IOM Budapest Chief of Mission Magdalena Majkowska-Tomkin. "The importance of preparation for this change cannot be underestimated. Up-to-date information, understanding of the labor market, host society culture and available support structures in the country of destination before departure can hugely contribute to successful migration outcomes."

IOM has decades of experience in the worldwide provision of various types of pre-departure information and training for migrants and for refugees facing resettlement. It also has expertise in the impact of such assistance in countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. On average, IOM provides pre-departure orientation to over 40,000 migrants annually, in over 50 countries.

HEADSTART will be implemented in partnership with the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) and authorities in charge of integration issues in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia. It is co-financed by the European Integration Fund and the Ministries of Interior of Italy and Austria.


For more information, please contact:
Arjola Arapi
IOM Budapest
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Focal point in the Netherlands:

IOM the Netherlands

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