GLIMER Video Script
GLIMER film released in December 2020.
When asylum seekers and refugees arrive in a new country, they are expected to ‘integrate’. However, many of the systems that are meant to help them instead create environments which make it difficult to do so, and obscure access to services and opportunities. Integration remains the responsibility of central governments, however, municipalities, third sector organisations, and local communities are working together to increase the support, solidarity, and services available to migrants. The GLIMER project worked with governments and these organisations in Italy, Sweden, Cyprus, and Scotland to investigate how these local projects complement central government policies and to find out which initiatives are successful.
For asylum seekers and refugees, accommodation is essential to building their lives in new countries. In each of GLIMER’s case studies, central governments operate ‘two tier systems’, where Resettled refugees have access to sustainable housing, but asylum seekers are provided with only basic accommodation: some do not even have the most basic shelter. These approaches to housing leave gaps which are often filled by charities and community organisations; however, central governments need to take responsibility for the housing inequalities their policies create.
Language education plays a crucial role in helping people navigate their daily lives, access their rights, and seize opportunities.The language education migrants have access to, however, is inconsistent and not equally accessible. Services, educators and policymakers are often unfamiliar with the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees, and must do more to remove these barriers.
Language difficulties, alongside border controls, discriminatory approaches to recruitment and retention, and a lack of skills recognition prevent displaced migrants from accessing the labour market. GLIMER’s case studies show that whilst tailored, local responses have the potential to remove barriers, leadership and action is needed from central governments.
Existing integration policies sow the seeds of gender inequality when they fail to consider how they impact displaced women and gender minorities. This exacerbates the disadvantages these groups face and makes integration more difficult. Policy makers and service providers can address this with intersectional and gender mainstreamed approaches which take into account how displaced women and gender minorities face additional barriers.
Some of the main barrier to integration include housing, language education, and the labour market, along with gender discrimination and structural racism. Left unaddressed, these significantly impact their ability to access and participate in society. Tailored, local responses help alleviate the difficulties faced by displaced migrants. What the GLIMER project has shown is that, given the opportunities, and with the right policies in place, they can thrive.