The problem of increased participation of migrants in the design and implementation of integration policies is shared among many EU Member States. DEPART proposes an empowerment process based on the successful experience called Self advocacy teams (SATs). The first Self-Advocacy Team (SAT) was created in GR by GFR as a team of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who are active members of migrant community and hosting society, enhancing their skills through workshops and discussions. SAT embodies self-advocacy and the self-organization of the communities as linked to the local social fabric. They empower migrants’ voices with the aim of influencing policymakers and provide feedback from the field.
The project “Depart”
Depart is aimed to facilitate the inclusion of migrants and refugees in 4 areas of Europe (Piraeus- GR, Avezzano- IT, Girona-SP and Oborishte-BG), through the establishment of a structured and formalized way to consult migrants on policies following the Self advocacy team model. To do so, as first step, the project proposes to assess the needs and challenges of the local policy making processes and the relationships between its stakeholders with reference to migrant and refugees’ inclusiveness in hosting society. After this recognition, the project aimed to involved local communities and stakeholders, providing trainings and empowerment for migrants, and raising awareness for local policy makers, in order to replicate the SAT model.
In this framework, DEPART’s path consists in:
- An action-research about the policy making system related to migrants&refugees representativeness and mobilization
- Empowerment of local communities to set-up local SATs and train members to become sustainable long-term multipliers
- Engagement of policy makers, promoting the importance of self-advocacy tools and the benefits of an inclusive policy mechanism
- Implementation of policy consultations between SATs and policy makers including the advocacy plan of each SAT.
- Toolkit on how to create SATs and tools that overcome the existing barriers for a holistic integration of the refugees & migrant in the EU
- A communication campaign focusing on SATs and their related advocacy endeavors