National Developments


Participation in Inter-Departmental, Inter-Sectoral Projects

The Office continued to participate in inter-departmental and inter-sectoral projects throughout the year. These projects included: the All-Ireland Programme for Immigrant Parents (The Globe), Africa Day and Ireland’s progression to full membership of the International Taskforce on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research -Ireland was accepted as a member country of the Task Force on 1 December 2011.

Meetings

Staff from the Office held a number of meetings throughout the year with officials from statutory bodies, embassy officials, representatives of NGO and civil society groups, researchers, as well as visiting experts and academics from different countries. Staff from the Office also met the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty in January 2011.

Staff attended numerous integration related events such as the Garda Diversity Day at Farmleigh House, the Show Racism the Red Card prizegiving in Aviva Stadium, the launch of the Integration Centre’s Annual Monitoring report on Integration and its Roadmap on Integration, UNHCR World Refugee Day, The Launch of the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s Pathways to Parental Leadership Toolkit and Report “Taking Racism Seriously”, Experiences of Violence, Harassment and Anti Social Behaviour in the Dublin area, Launch of Dublin as an Intercultural City etc.


Circulation of Information

The Office continued to keep migrants, representative groups as well as embassy officials aware of new resources of interest developed, changing conditions attached to various schemes and material developed specifically for migrants in a range of languages through its website and mailing lists.


Website

During 2011, the website for the Office (www.integration.ie) continued to be developed. This website highlights the work of the Office, provides information on European and national funding streams managed by the Office, the programme refugee resettlement programme and informs migrants about how they can access key services such as education, housing and English language classes. It also informs migrants and interested stakeholders of developments in integration and diversity management taking place at the national and international level and provides links to relevant websites and to various multilingual resources which have been developed by a range of service providers specifically for migrants.

The OPMI website also hosts an information portal on migrants and education developed by the Department of Education and Skills. This portal contains links to information on the Irish education system, resources available for intercultural education and to organisations and institutions (in Ireland and abroad) conducting educational research on migration.


Cross Departmental Group


Due to the wide range of Departments involved in dealing with migrant integration issues, an inter-departmental committee (known as the Cross-Departmental Group on Migrant Integration) comprising senior civil servants and chaired by the Minister of State for Integration was established to assist the former Minister for Integration to drive forward the integration agenda in relevant Departments and agencies. The Committee is representative of the Departments and Offices with a significant role in integration. The Committee meets as required to review activities in relation to migrant integration and to resolve issues which arise. A meeting of the Committee took place on 18th January 2011.


Provision of Input and Observations

The Office continued to provide input and observations to research reports (including the Integration Centre's Roadmap to Integration 2011) , Government Memoranda, Policy papers etc.


Participation in Human Rights Training with the Irish Human Rights Commission

Staff within the Office took part in a human rights training workshop delivered by the Irish Human Rights Commission in February 2011.


Monitoring of Racist Incidents

The Office continued to monitor trends in racist incidents in consultation with An Garda Sochna, the Central Statistics Office and other relevant bodies. Statistics on racist incidents and information on where to go to report a racist incident continued to be made available via quicklinks on the Home page of the Office website (www.integration.ie)


Resettlement Programme

Ireland is one of 11 EU countries and 25 countries internationally involved in Resettlement. The Office works with the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration alongside Consular Services, Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs in making arrangements to admit programme refugees to Ireland. Once the families arrive in Ireland, the resettlement team works with a range of Government Departments, other public service organisations including local authorities and non governmental organisations to assist with the resettlement of individuals and families. The focus in 2011 was on the strategic use of resettlement and included resettlement of a number of medical cases and people displaced by the conflict in North Africa.

During 2011, one family of five Ethiopians (including a medical case) was admitted from a refugee camp in Yemen and resettled in the Dublin area. Another family of 6 Iraqis (including a medical case) was admitted from a refugee camp in Jordan and resettled in the Dublin area. The staff in the resettlement programme continue to work with the HSE at a strategic level to respond to the needs of medical cases. For families resettled in Dublin, the staff of the resettlement unit in the Office directly assist with their resettlement.

5 families (24 persons) formerly from Sudan were also resettled from the Choucha refugee camp in Tunisia (ex Libya) in November 2011. 10 persons under international protection in Malta were also resettled as part of a burden sharing exercise. During the year staff carried out preparatory work with the receiving community to prepare the community to receive the families. Staff were also involved in developing an orientation programme with the VEC which will be delivered newly resettled refugees.

The Office also continues to provide assistance and support to families already resettled in Ireland and local authorities involved in the resettlement process.


Resettlement of Former Detainees from Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre, Cuba

The resettlement unit continues to support the integration of the former detainees from Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre, Cuba into life in Ireland.


Funding

The beneficiaries of grants for 2011 are expected to be announced on the office website in early December 2011.




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