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The lack of labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers may force them to seek employment in unregulated, dangerous, degrading and exploitative conditions, which in turn can expose them to other risks including that of sexual and gender based violence or human trafficking, and interfere with a wider range of human rights. This is not only costly for the individuals but also for their host societies who have to provide benefits and support. Instead, having the right to work and being integrated in the labour market as soon as possible is advantageous for host societies and refugees and asylum seekers. It is important that refugees have the right to work and to be educated or trained. Being in employment enhances their dignity and self-respect. Work and education can give hope, satisfaction and can re-establish their sense of self-worth. Employment and education also important in terms of integration, as the workplace offers important opportunities for positive socialising and exchanges with host populations. With income and independence comes greater financial self-sufficiency. The approach taken in Germany offers a positive example of best practice that should be adopted across Europe. We therefore recommend: • That the EU encourages Member States to grant access to their labour markets and education systems to asylum seekers at the earliest possible opportunity, so encouraging integration and self-worth, and avoiding social dependency. • That Member States reduce the barriers to the employment, self-employment and education of refugees and asylum seekers by encouraging faster asylum decisions, supporting the transition of asylum seekers from the asylum system to proactive and bespoke integration services, providing greater resources for integration, particularly in relation to language (including technical language) and supporting access to the labour market (covering cultural education and adjustment, the search for employment and work experience, CV and application writing, support for entrepreneurship, recognition of previous qualifications and relevant training). • That Member States support intercultural awareness training for Governmental and NGO staff dealing with migrants and refugees, with a particular stress on the specific cultural nuances that will allow them to offer a positive welcome and encourage participation in the host society. • That all Member States put effective anti-discrimination legislation in place, ensure its enforcement and monitor its impact. c. The question of air transport During the perceived crisis of 2015-16, much emphasis was placed on the role of peoplesmugglers who charged exorbitant fees to people fleeing conflict zones, placing them in unsafe and overcrowded boats, which led to many drownings and other tragedies. There was little discussion as to why refugees should have needed to pay huge sums to such people for such an unsafe passage, when cheap air fares into Europe are readily available from countries like Turkey and Morocco. Our discussions with refugees and NGOs revealed that a key factor here is European Council Directive 2001/51/EC of 28 June 2001, which requires an airline that lets someone !143

Profile for Border_Crossings

THE PROMISED LAND: Intercultural Learning with Refugees and Migrants  

Project e-book for THE PROMISED LAND - a cross-sectoral project funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union. The book explores...

THE PROMISED LAND: Intercultural Learning with Refugees and Migrants  

Project e-book for THE PROMISED LAND - a cross-sectoral project funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union. The book explores...