Presentation on theme: "Confidential 1 IMMIGRANTS, SOCIAL INCLUSION AND SAFETY IN IRELAND Presentation to: Welcoming and integrating immigrants at the local level Security, Democracy."— Presentation transcript:
Confidential 1 IMMIGRANTS, SOCIAL INCLUSION AND SAFETY IN IRELAND Presentation to: Welcoming and integrating immigrants at the local level Security, Democracy and Cities Zaragoza, Spain Aki Stavrou Integrating Ireland 2 nd November 2006,
Confidential 2 Presentation: Immigrants, Social Inclusion and Safety in Ireland 1.Immigrants – a recent phenomenon in Ireland. 2.Social capital and participation barriers faced by immigrants in Ireland. 3.Immigrants as a vulnerable group – the Irish experience. 4.Requirements for a safe and successful integration into Irish society.
Confidential 3 International migration – an urban response to a global issue International migration with its web of demographic, social, economic and political consequences are increasingly at the forefront of local, national, regional and international agendas. It is a multi-dimensional and cross cutting issue with legal, social, political institutional and economic dimensions. Although migration is a global phenomenon it increasingly has a local impact, and in particular, at the level of the city – cities and urban areas play a pivotal role in the reception and integration of immigrants. In this context, the issue of human security, and migration have become intertwined and have taken greater prominence as issues of urban safety and crime prevention and are identified as one of the key issues of urban development and a crucial component of urban service delivery.
Confidential 4 The linkage - urban safety and social inclusion Urban safety is generally recognised as an issue of local governance and its delivery as a responsibility that is increasingly shared between national and local governments. The development of local capacities at municipal level to address and prevent urban crime, and reduce the incidence and impact of victimisation and crime on urban communities as part of urban development policies and strategies is crucial. A Safer Cities approach, that recognises immigrants as a special vulnerable group would play a key role in crime prevention strategies on issues such as urban security, prevention, access and integration This would also create an enabling environment where the social inclusion of all vulnerable and marginal groups, including immigrants, is facilitated.
Confidential 5 Immigration into Ireland Decade immigration has certainly changed Irish public life – 3.1% of all those resident in Ireland were not born on the island of Ireland or the United Kingdom – immigration into Ireland of the magnitude of 300,000, however, because of turnover the number of migrants at any one time is much less than this – gross immigration is <100,000, including +/-20,000 returning Irish. October 2006 – 8% of the workforce and 7% of the population were not born on the island of Ireland or the United Kingdom. Less than 2.7% of those resident in Ireland were not born in the EU. Numbers whether we include EU citizens are small. Recent absolute increase in numbers in such a short period has been phenomenally high.
Confidential 6 How much more Immigration – official and un-official demographics. CSO’s 2031 population projections (M2F2 – lower migration scenario) Mac Éinrí & Ní Laoire (UCC)* 2031 population projections (M1F2 – mid to high migration scenario ) M2 These projections are based on the CSO’s Population and Labour Force Projections (CSO 2004) scenario below foresees a drop in net immigration to only 5,000 per annum as early as It would yield a very different picture for MI The projected percentage of foreigners in the Irish population in 2031 and a related issue concerning ethnicity, by Mac Éinrí, P.& Ní Laoire C., Depart Geography, UCC. Gross immigration minus Irish return migration calculated at 10,000 p.a. over 29 years i.e. 290,000. CSO 2031 ProjectionsM2F2M1F2 Immigration **345,000405,000 Total population 20315,028,8005,491,800 Increase from 20021,111,8001,574,800 Immigration as percentage of increase32%26% Foreign population 2002 (incl. UK)272,673 Foreign population 2031(incl. UK)617,673677,673 Foreign population (incl. UK) as %, 20027% Foreign population (incl. UK) as %, %
Confidential 7 Presentation: Immigrants, Social Inclusion and Safety in Ireland 1.Immigrants – a recent phenomenon in Ireland. 2.Social capital and participation barriers faced by immigrants in Ireland. 3.Immigrants as a vulnerable group – the Irish experience. 4.Requirements for a safe and successful integration into Irish society.
Confidential 8 Ireland – heterogenuity of Immigrants New communities are not homogeneous: People seeking asylum Refugees Short/long-term labour migrants Oscillating labour migrants Students Returning Irish, different generation Irish born abroad EU citizens. No other form of immigration Mainstreaming into society is differentiated by: Urgency of Need Economic and Wealth Status Academic Qualifications and Work Experience Language and Socio-Cultural Familiarity
Confidential 9 Social Capital and Immigrants Levels of social capital within immigrants and new communities is varied. Dependent on type of immigrants - Geographic origins Historical experiences Political understanding Civic and administrative knowledge Dependent on mode of entry of immigrants - Asylum seekers – fleeing political prosecution, conflict or poverty Refugees – groups or individuals Labour migrants – recruited or opportunity seeking Social migrants - life style opportunities/change Ability to bond within own community and bridge with others, immigrants new communities or Irish mainstream is defined by above.
Confidential 10 Participation Barriers of Different Immigrant Groups Asylum seekers (< 4% all immigrants since May 2005) : Spatially dispersed. Isolated from own communities, other new communities and mainstream. Permanent status of insecurity concerning residential status. Poor, living of limited own wealth and State stipends. Unable to be economically active. Changing population in terms of spatial dynamic. Refugees (<10% of asylum seekers get leave to remain and a few hundred resettled refugees – in total represent < 0.5% all immigrants since May 2005, in addition once off 16,800 IBC families) : Under pressure to become economically active. Under pressure to socially assimilate – mainstreaming. Under pressure to normalise familial existence/subsistence. Unable to mobilise as a group – reliant on existing support networks. Trends indicate return to community activism and development.
Confidential 11 Participation Barriers of Different Groups Labour Migrants (+/- 77% all immigrants, including new EU states, since May 2005) : Efforts focused on maximising work opportunities. Second priority is family unification. Constant battle with accessing benefits in a changing and ambiguous political environment. Involvement in organised movement limited to TU’s who have been pathetically slow to take migrant labour on board. Constantly facing exploitation and need for information. Regularly face antagonism – explicit and implicit from local labour force. Oscillating migrants establish contact points, drift into existing new communities – tenure too limited for civic participation. Long-term migrants only articulate need for social, cultural and civic involvement when basic needs are met. Immigrants and returning Irish (+/- 19% all immigrants, excluding new EU states, since May 2005) : Limited to EU, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Mainstream into all parts of Irish society quickly. Family and existing contact links good.
Confidential 12 Bridging into which Ireland? Ireland as a whole and urban Ireland as pasrt of this is a socially, culturally, politically and economically a diverse society – it is not homogenous. Heterogeneity can be defined as: Geographic - metropolitan capital city, other urban Spatial – inner city, suburban, town, village, etc. Economic – class and wealth, profession and vocation, etc. Social – established, traditional, progressive, etc. Cultural – Gaeltacht, established new communities, etc. Race – white, black, etc. Settled or Traveller. When social inclusion strategies are being developed, which immigrants are being targeted for integration and inclusion into which Ireland?
Confidential 13 Presentation: Immigrants, Social Inclusion and Safety in Ireland 1.Immigrants – a recent phenomenon in Ireland. 2.Social capital and participation barriers faced by immigrants in Ireland. 3.Immigrants as a vulnerable group – the Irish experience. 4.Requirements for a safe and successful integration into Irish society.
Confidential 14 Vulnerability of immigrants in Ireland Many immigrants in Ireland are susceptible to negative reactions: Xenophobia – from amongst certain Irish Racism – growing from a very small base + targeted at immigrants of colour Workplace discrimination – against labour migrants from Eastern and Central Europe Intolerance – generally of cultural differences Islamophobia – currently very low – but on the rise Pervading amongst some Irish is a sense that immigrants constitute a category that gives rise to different forms of insecurity that they are supposed to create: Take away jobs Take advantage of social security Take homes from the host population Take up places in schools from local children Get involved in drug crime and trafficking Cause serious traffic offenses Endanger the concept of Irishness Host populations interactions and restrictive responses in terms of outreach are nourished on this real or supposed feeling of insecurity.
Confidential 15 Crime and immigrants in Ireland In Ireland the political debate on immigrants has ranged from being neutral to anti-immigrant, with only two minor political parties giving a balanced sometimes pro-immigrant message. Likewise the political debate on crime and immigrants has been non-existent, which has to be seen as positive. Media response concerning crime issues and immigrants are appalling – Ireland hostage to UK media, but domestic media has been less than balanced on reporting crime and immigrant issues. Some groups of immigrants are marginalized within mainstream urban societies and are more likely to be implicated in crime than other groups, along with host population.
Confidential 16 Immigrants as perpetrators and victims of crime in Ireland Immigrants are prominent or over-represented both perpetrators and victims in the following types of crime in Ireland: Trafficking Narcotics trade Serious traffic offences Domestic Abuse Racial abuse Workplace exploitation Over-representation of immigrants reflects: Relative poverty of some groups of immigrants A youthful population of young men Lack of understanding of criminal justice system Limited available evidence suggests that immigrants are far more likely to be victims of crime than to be perpetrators. Immigrant communities in Ireland suffer disproportionate levels of victimization from other immigrants. Established populations commit the mainstay of crime, not just in Ireland but in each EU member state and EU citizens are predominantly victimized by other EU citizens.
Confidential 17 Access to the criminal justice system Problems facing immigrants : Very expensive – legal fees amongst the highest in EU. Very complicated - limited understanding of system and process. Very lengthy process – immigrants move on. Limited understanding of language – translation services not always available. Gárda Síochána have been: Very proactive in creating support mechanisms Accepted the principles of the Rotterdam Charter: Recruitment, training and retention of police officers from immigrant communities; The implementation of anti-discrimination law within the force; Building bridges between ethnic minorities and police; Migrant participation in crime versus police participation in criminalising migrants In addition have: Provided access to many of the major immigrant languages Publication of road safety literature in eight foreign languages (incl Irish + English) Have a good record regarding anti-racism Generally have the trust of most immigrants Justice have been : Not very proactive in creating similar support mechanims. Have been fair in judgements.
Confidential 18 Presentation: Immigrants, Social Inclusion and Safety in Ireland 1.Immigrants – a recent phenomenon in Ireland. 2.Social capital and participation barriers faced by immigrants in Ireland. 3.Immigrants as a vulnerable group – the Irish experience. 4.Requirements for a safe and successful integration into Irish society.
Confidential 19 Local authorities in Irleand - integration and social inclusion Local authorities in Ireland are concerned with and have put on their agendas: Issues related to the concentration of some immigrant populations in high poverty urban areas. Social exclusion of immigrants from the mainstream. Local authorities in Ireland generally recognise that there is a: Continued lack of understanding of the limitations to integration by immigrants. Continued lack of understanding of the safety issues faced by immigrants in Ireland. Insufficient recognition of needs of immigrants ability to engage in the policy process. Insufficient resources made available to immigrants to build the capacity of immigrant organisations to engage in social, cultural and political arenas. Limited space for immigrants to interact with hosts to create links to civil society. Local authorities ARE beginning to gather empirical evidence and incorporate immigrants into social partnerships. However they DO NOT HAVE an income generating base and are limited in terms of their response and must rely on central government fiscal resources.
Confidential 20 Irish state - integration and social inclusion 1.The Irish State needs to actively encourage immigrants to build up their social capital by enabling them to bond internally: Dedicated budget and funding lines for migrant led organisations. Available technical assistance and support for migrant led organisations. 2.The Irish State needs to actively encourage immigrants to bridge with all aspects of mainstream Irish society: Recognise that engagement takes place at local government levels. Resource and enable ‘space’ to network with host communities. 3.The Irish State needs to actively be willing to engage all strands and sectors of Irish society. Inform Irish society of the real facts and figures. Assist various Irish communities to engage with immigrants.
Confidential 21 Existing national programs in Ireland Community Development Support Programme and Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme Have successfully supported some community development initiatives at a local level. –programmes have a strong geographic focus. –not adequately suited to supporting minority ethnic group development that may tend to organise around ethnic, social and cultural issues. –lean towards further development of existing infrastructure, does not lend itself to supporting the establishment and development of new immigrant organisations. –expansion of these programmes has been halted. European Refugee Fund, RAPID, Dormant Accounts and the Equality for Women Measure Have successfully supported innovative community development initiatives: –have not adequately addressed the needs and development of new immigrant organisations. –have not created budget lines in terms of funding for new immigrant communities. Have Irish government efforts been sufficient in supporting integration of immigrants? No – best described as embarrassingly inadequate! Does the Irish government have any new developments planned for the near future? Not really – recent release of headers of an Immigration, residency and protection bill does not have one single item relating to integration, just top-loaded with policing and immigrants having to prove themselves worthy of stay.
Confidential 22 Local Government Response & Public Policies to Immigrants and Social Inclusion The difficulty for local urban governments in Ireland is that in analysing migration trends and realities they are confronted by confused terminology, unclear concepts and very inadequate data. Statistics on migration into and immigrants internal migration within Ireland – including numbers, demographic and socio-economic profiles - are scarce, often unreliable and usually incomparable between cities and regions and over time. In Ireland the circumstance of immigration of different categories of immigrants and integration and social inclusion instruments implemented in the various urban and community development areas differ from one to the next making it difficult to have a single or a couple generic models from which to choose. An important aspect of the implementation of responses and a policy formulation thereof in urban Ireland is to start with a cities definition of its immigration situation.
Confidential 23 Local Government Response & Public Policies to Immigrants and Safety With regards to crime there needs to be recognition, that crime affects different immigrant groups in different ways, as it does the host population and that it is perceived differently by people. Fear of crime also has different responses from different people and this in itself entails different responses and different ways of engaging different parts of the community. Issues and actions that address marginalisation and exclusion of immigrants should be realised in adoption of urban public policies and actions implemented in the field of urban security and crime prevention. To limit potential issues of social and cultural conflict, insecurity and serious rejection behaviors like racist attacks, harassment, ghettoisation, and exclusion – it is important that issues of migration and their relationship and interconnection with urban safety and security are addressed. In Ireland, urban security needs to be framed within the larger gendre of urban migration for this is a crucial element shaping the understanding of overall policy responses and the priority given to them.
Confidential 24 Conclusion – Issues of Response & Public Policies In Ireland, urban municipalities and local governments generally understand and in various degrees are beginning to engage with the fact that: Public policies influence the conditions, probabilities and opportunities for social cohesion and inclusion as much as they do for social exclusion and marginalisation. The aim of supporting local actors is in finding balanced approaches that support integration, social inclusion and crime prevention at the same time, without running the risk to oppose one to the other. When such policies are successful they can create a climate of trust and goodwill between immigrant communities, host population, different ethnic groups and religions. Such a climate also contributes to a subjective feeling of security and to greater security as measured by a lower crime rate and can contribute to the local public discourse surrounding the issue of immigrants and their position in society. A multi-initiative, multi-agency, multi-sector approach is needed which has to be supported and resourced by the State. Without that urban municipalities and local governments will fail in their attempts to integrate immigrants into their communities. Herein lies the irish challenge.