The Migrant Integration Strategy which was published on the 7th of February, 2017 sets out the Government’s approach to the issue of migrant integration for the period from 2017 to 2020. It envisages a whole-of-Government approach involving actions by all Departments. It is targeted at all migrants, including refugees, who are legally residing in the State. It is also encompasses those who have become naturalised Irish citizens but who were born outside Ireland.
The Strategy sets as its vision that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration. Integration is understood to be a two-way process that involves action by migrants as well as by Irish society. [Click the image on the left to view the Strategy]
The Strategy contains 76 actions under a variety of themes including citizenship and residency, access to public services and social inclusion, education, employment and pathways to work, health, integration in the community, political participation, promoting intercultural awareness and combating racism and xenophobia, volunteering and sport. The 76 actions are being delivered by Government departments, local authorities, public bodies, local communities, the business sector, sporting and arts organisations and NGOs.
Actions applicable to all Government Departments
The actions applicable to all Government Departments and agencies include the provision of:
information to migrants in language-appropriate formats;
ongoing intercultural awareness training for all front-line staff,
signage in public offices indicating where interpretation is available;
clear information on how to make a complaint about racist behaviour by staff or another customer.
The Strategy also ensures that integration issues will be further mainstreamed into the work of Government Departments and Agencies through appropriate references and provisions in their business plans, strategy statements and annual reports.
As is best practice with all strategies, a monitoring system has been put in place to ensure the actions within the strategy are being carried out and are effective in achieving the overall aim of the strategy. Action 74 of the Strategy specifically tasked the Department of Justice and Equality with establishing a monitoring and coordination Committee for this very purpose. This monitoring and coordination Committee was established in line with Action 74 in the first half of 2017 and had its inaugural meeting on 24 June 2017 chaired by Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D. The Committee is made up of senior officials from Government Departments and Agencies and representatives from Civil Society Organisations. It meets three times a year.