The ultimate goal of refugee protection is to find durable solutions which will enable refugees to live in safety and rebuild their lives. Securing a durable solution for refugees is a principal goal of international protection and part of UNHCR’s mandate. It is the responsibility of countries of origin, asylum, and resettlement, as well as the international community, in general, to promote voluntary repatriation to the country of origin, local integration in the country of asylum, or resettlement to a third country.
In Malta, UNHCR provides support for local integration.
Voluntary Repatriation is provided by IOM.
UNHCR Malta activities on local integration:
The project is implemented through our partner JRS (in collaboration with other NGOs), with the aim that beneficiaries of international protection are fully integrated in Maltese society, effectively enjoy their rights, and achieve true independence and self-sufficiency. This is achieved through service provision , capacity building of mainstream service providers to facilitate easier access to such services, and monitoring integration gaps and advocating for the development of better integration services and programmes.
UNHCR has developed a framework to provide individual support for refugees who are focusing on their integration prospects. This is being implemented through a project with our partner JRS. The project consists of providing more tailor-made support for refugees to facilitate their integration, including access to tertiary education, skills & employability, and entrepreneurship. Support is provided through an individualized action plan for settlement in Malta.
On a monthly basis UNHCR visits refugees in their homes, conducting an informal discussion and asking a range of questions with topics related to integration. Advice and guidance is provided to refugees based on discussion and where applicable, follow up on progress made. Participants are identified through a referral system and/or through UNHCR’s Age, Gender, and Diversity approach, such as with women to better understand their specific barriers to integration.
A diverse group from the refugee and migrant communities are being consulted on a monthly basis in order to gain feedback on the work of UNHCR with regard to integration and other areas of interest. UNHCR also facilitates direct consultation meetings between the migrant and refugee communities and relevant service-providers.
As part of UNHCR’s work in Gozo, UNHCR has identified and trained refugee focal points living in Gozo with the aim to reduce the gap between the larger refugee and migrant community living in Gozo and service providers. Refugee focal points provide relevant integration information to the refugee and migrant community and where necessary refer to UNHCR, refugees who are in need of support from service providers.
A variety of public-sector and private-sector service providers are being approached by UNHCR, with a view to facilitate networking, exchange of information, training support and referral mechanisms.
As part of UNHCR’s strategy to work with the local community, UNHCR attends the periodic LEAP network meetings to increase collaboration with the local community stakeholders and initiate a link with the refugee and migrant communities.
UNHCR staff conducts outreach visits in open centers, community centers, and social places on a regular basis. Information sessions are provided about the registration system, integration initiatives, the Dublin system and general questions. UNHCR staff conducts individual discussions with people if they have private matters they wish to discuss.
UNHCR maintains up to date information about a wide variety of services, which is periodically updated in an integration dossier. This file is expanding regularly and is utilized to facilitate advice or guidance to any refugee. From this comprehensive collection of information, UNHCR also gains a better understanding about gaps in service provision. On the UNHCR website, one can also find a synopsis of health, education, employment and housing information packages.
Following UNHCR’s mapping of refugee and migrants’ needs and of services provided in Gozo, UNHCR is advocating with the Ministry for Gozo, service providers, local councils, the Church and non-Government stakeholders to develop adequate services that provide support and empower refugee and migrant communities to integrate in the local community.
Following the December 2017 launch of the ‘Migrants Integration Strategy and Action Plan’, UNHCR forms part of the ‘Forum on Integration Affairs’ to further advocate for the sustainable implementation of the Government’s integration strategy. Advocacy and support for comprehensive implementation by the different Government units will continue. (stock photo)
Every quarter of the year, UNHCR invites refugee-led NGOs and refugee and migrant communities to a roundtable meeting where each is given the opportunity to share with others the valuable work being done with refugees and migrants