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Review of Integration Strategy - Update (July 2016)



Background

On 28th March 2014, the Minister for Justice and Equality announced that there would be a review of Ireland’s approach to the integration of migrants to ensure that the policy remained fully in keeping with the Government’s commitment in the Programme for Government to promote policies which contribute to integration.

A Cross Departmental Group on Integration was reconstituted at that time with a mandate to review the activities being undertaken by Government Departments and agencies directed to promoting the integration of migrants. The Group is preparing a Draft Integration Strategy taking account of the policies and actions already being implemented, and undertaking consultation with key stakeholders.

The Cross Departmental Group is chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality at a senior level and includes representation from a wide range of Departments and Offices which have a significant role in integration. A list of the Departments represented is at Appendix 1.

The Cross-Departmental Group met for the first time on 24 March 2014 in order to agree a work plan (see below) including the methodology by which there would be public engagement and input into the work of the Group.

The Group agreed that a series of thematic meetings would be held with each meeting addressing a specific topic.

Topics discussed to date are:
      • Promoting Intercultural Awareness and Combating Racism and Xenophobia
      • Education
      • Social Inclusion and Access to Public Services
      • Employment and Pathways to Work
      • Active Citizenship

        In order to ensure public participation in the review, a call was made in the national newspapers and select ethnic media inviting submissions on migrant integration policy in Ireland. More than eighty submissions were received from a wide range of NGOs, groups and individuals with an interest in migrant issues.

        Five consultation sessions were held to engage directly with those who made submissions in order to further explore issues raised in the submissions. Each of these meetings lasted one day and involved a series of sub-meetings with those who had provided material for consideration by the Group. A total of 27 separate groups, an individual and a group of seven individuals met with the Cross-Departmental Committee during these consultations. A list of Groups is provided in Appendix 2.
      In addition, suggestions which were made in the context of written contributions were collated and circulated to the relevant Departments and associated agencies for consideration.

      Where we are now


      Work on the development of the updated integration strategy is very advanced. it is expected that the strategy being published in the Autumn.












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