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“Third Country Immigrants and challenges for public sector” Dr Stavros K. Parlalis, Gkavanides, Giannis and Kloudas, Konstadinos Wednesday 11 July, 16:00-17:30,

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Presentation on theme: "“Third Country Immigrants and challenges for public sector” Dr Stavros K. Parlalis, Gkavanides, Giannis and Kloudas, Konstadinos Wednesday 11 July, 16:00-17:30,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Third Country Immigrants and challenges for public sector” Dr Stavros K. Parlalis, Gkavanides, Giannis and Kloudas, Konstadinos Wednesday 11 July, 16:00-17:30, Room A9, WS156:2 Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact Stockholm 8-12 July, 2012

2 •Third Country Immigrants (TCI) consist a big community in the EU. In recent years, many incidents of racist behavior and discrimination against them have been reported in many countries across Europe. •Similar attitudes have also been observed in public sector (e.g. hospitals, police, job centres and other public agencies), where TCI might are addressed.

3 •In response to the above fact, European Union and its Member States have voted specific legislation in order to prevent similar incidents in the future. •However, it is not clear the extent to which public servants a) are aware of these laws, regulations and directives and b) apply them in their practice, in order to improve the provided services towards TCI. •These issues were put under investigation in this study, since similar facts have occurred in Cyprus too.

4 •The current study was titled “Study for the Investigation of Civil Servants’ Knowledge and Practice on issues concern Migration Policies and Behaviour Towards TCI”. •The study aimed to identify the extent to which civil servants from various services and organizations across public sector in Cyprus (e.g. police, schools, banks, hospitals), know and consider various issues and processes concern TCI.

5 •The study aimed to scrutinize the above issues and present the current conditions in the Republic of Cyprus. •It was jointly conducted by Enoros Consulting Ltd and Frederick University and was funded by the Solidarity Funds (75%) and the Republic of Cyprus (25%).

6 Methodology •1028 questionnaires were collected and 100 personal interviews were conducted. •The questionnaire incorporated 85 questions, focusing on: •knowledge regarding issues concerning TCI, •abilities while working with TCI, •personal opinions for TCI, •evaluation of the services provided to TCI. •SPSS was used for the data analysis.

7 Findings

8 •The study revealed that civil servants are familiar working with TCI. •It is rather revealing the fact that a significant % of the sample is being aware of racist behavior against TCI.

9 This graph presents the public sector organisations in which questionnaires were sent and interviews were conducted.

10 Almost half of the population (53%) agreed in the question “Do you know the specific laws and regulations refer to TCI?”, while 10% replied that they do not have any information regarding these issues. Knowledge of laws and regulations refer to TCI

11 The respondents replied that there is a lot of scope for better training on how to treat TCI, while 16% stated that there are not any training or educational programs provided by their organization. Staff training on how to treat TCI

12 23% of the participants declared that there are not any attempt for their training and 27% stated that there are some seminars regarding TCI organised by their organisation. Training offered to staff regarding issues refer to TCI

13 “Better communication through translators could minimize barriers occurred between civil servants and TCI”. 45% Agree and 28% Totally Agree with this statement, showing that communication is a huge barrier for the support of TCI. “Do you need translator?”

14 Most of the respondents replied positive to the question on “How helpful are they on their work with TCI” and actually if they can mention any difference on their help/support between Cypriots/Europeans and TCI (45% agree, 26% totally agree). 18% didn’t take any position on this question and 8% (5 disagree, 3% totally disagree) have opposite opinion. Staff behaviour towards Cypriots/Europeans and TCI

15 Civil servants declared that TCI cause problems and barriers in any of the organisations that they refer to (22% totally agree, 25% agree). It is strange that almost 1/3 of the respondents (33%) didn’t take a clear position in this question, while interesting the fact that only 9% replied negative to this question. Problems and challenges created by TCI

16 One of the questions was the following one: “The services offered by public services are time-consuming and make TCI tired”. 35% agreed and 12% stated that “totally agree” (almost ½ of the respondents agreed), whereas 1/5 stated that they don’t have any opinion on this issue. The services offered by public services are time-consuming and make TCI tired

17 TCI are accused for the rise of unemployment. The findings of this question revealed that 42% agree with this aspect, 24% totally agree (66% in total) and 12% disagree. In my opinion, this finding reveals that Cypriot society is very conservative, even if people would not accept this “statement”. TCI are responsible for the rise of unemployment

18 Cyprus was always a destination for immigrants (combined with other social, financial and cultural aspects). The vast majority of respondents (77%) replied that there are many immigrants in Cyprus, whereas only 5% replied the opposite. Do you believe that there are many immigrants in Cyprus?

19 •The need for multi-cultural training was stressed by participants, while they mentioned that they don’t receive any extra training on similar issues.

20 •One of the most interesting findings is that the respondents stated that there are incidents of discrimination against TCI based on their nationality. Also, incidents of racist behavior was stated. •Moreover, the respondents stated that they face many communication problems with TCI (lack of understanding based on different culture, lack of understanding of no spoken language and gestures), even though that 46% stated that the provided services to TCI are satisfying and no improvements are required.

21 Discussion •In Europe, Third Countries Immigrants and refugees consist one of the biggest communities/groups of people that face racism and discrimination, even though there is a continuous attempt to raise awareness across Europeans. •There are numerous programs, projects, laws and directives, which aim the minimize racism and discrimination incidents in social life and other negative behavior from civil servants towards TCI.

22 •Civil servants in the Republic of Cyprus seem to be familiar with issues refer to TCI, such as different ethnic and cultural background, since most of them declared that know many information about them. •This familiarization seems to be reasonable, since Cyprus consists a bridge between Middle East and Africa towards Europe and actually is a “gate” towards Europe and/or European Union. Therefore, there are many TCI that refer to public organisations.

23 •We believe that the lack of intercultural education and training might present additional fear and stress on how “political correct” is their behavior towards TCI. Therefore, we concluded that there is an imperative need to offer specialized training on the above issues. •It seems that there are no any specific measures taken by the State in order to train civil servants on the above issues. It is up to each individual’s interest and incentive to look around for additional training. Also, much more training could be offered on these issues to civil servants.

24 Proposals - Suggestions •The Republic of Cyprus is (obviously) a multi-cultural society. Civil servants should be aware of a multi-cultural approach, in order to offer qualitative services to TCI. Any kind/form of communication or cooperation between civil servants and TCI is based on the former’s will. Therefore, they should be trained on the specific values, actions and behaviors based on a multi-cultural approach. •Some of the issues that civil servants have to consider on their daily attitude and work with TCI are the following ones: - Stereotypes and prejudices, - Communication problems based on language, - Lack of civil servants’ understanding on TCI’s culture, - Cultural diversity, which is not properly understood by civil servants.

25 •Improved training on multi-cultural approach (values, attitudes, skills, right to be equally served) could be offered either through long-term seminars or continuously repeated short-term trainings.

26 •The study concluded that it is an imperative need to train public servants on issues concern TCI. Special focus has to be given on the improvement of their abilities in the framework of the multi-cultural approach. Training should focus on issues such as multicultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, human rights and communication skills.

27 •The structure and management of services offered to TCI should re-structured, in order to respond to the social, cultural and political perspectives of this group of people. Organisations and public services that offer services to TCI have to alter the subject, the aims and methods of working, in order to consider multi-cultural aspects of their work.

28 •Production of new informational material (guides), in order TCI to be informed for many serious issues of their life (e.g. Health, insurance, safe driving seminars, etc). •Production of the above material in different languages. •The cypriot society has to recognise that being a multi- cultural society is a permanent situation, rather than a transitional phenomenon. Therefore, cypriot society has to be prepared for this situation, in order to limit rasicm incidents and xenophobia.

29 Thank you!

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