Pilot Project Integration of Foreigners and Support to Organizations and Associations of Foreign Communities in the Czech Republic (2003)

Author: IOM International organization for migration Prague

Donor: Ministry of labour and social affairs of the Czech Republic

Partners: Counselling Centre for refugees, Counselling Centre for integration, Multiculturalí center Prague, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, chosen organizations of Armenian, Ukrainian and Vietnamese Communities and other NGOs.

The overall objective of this project was prevention of social exclusion of foreigners and their integration on the territory of the Czech Republic.

The research of risk factors for social exclusion of foreigners in the Czech Republic in Ukrainian, Armenian and Vietnamese community was carried out (please find it attached in Czech language). The field research is one of the possibilities how to contribute to improvement to migration policy and practice while reflecting immediate migrants needs. Therefore, the International Organization for Migration decided to preferably survey immigrants situation in the Czech Republic and then, to transform the research outputs into suggestions for the developing integration practice of the state administration. Thus, the research outcomes were provided to the state administration as practical recommendations related to particular aspects of integration of foreigners (i.e. employment, housing, education, social security, health etc.).

The basis of the pilot project is the idea arising from Canadian practice, which considers the agencies and non-profit organizations of ethnic communities to be the most efficient instrument for integration in particular community. Programs carried out by foreigners themselves are much more efficient since they directly reflect needs of people involved.

The project combined double-strategy at the same time – information dissemination and capacity building of ethnic community organizations. By means of community organizations, IOM disseminated information among foreigners about different aspects of their integration into the Czech society. Website for foreigners ”Home in the Czech Republic” at www.domavcr.cz  was created. Information from this website was disseminated via the community periodicals. The website, currently in Czech, English, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Armenian version, is a unique project, not only in the Czech Republic. Based on this Czech experience, similar websites were created in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia within INTI 2004 project were IOM cooperated with Czech Helsinki Committee.

Capacity building of organizations of foreigners was partly based on financial support of periodicals of organizations and also on organizing two trainings in project development and fundraising.