SEEDS is an independent group working in mutual solidarity to promote and realise the human rights, equality and full inclusion in our society of asylum.
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Presentation on theme: "SEEDS is an independent group working in mutual solidarity to promote and realise the human rights, equality and full inclusion in our society of asylum."— Presentation transcript:
SEEDS is an independent group working in mutual solidarity to promote and realise the human rights, equality and full inclusion in our society of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers. SEEDS seek to promote racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in the North West of Ireland thus maintaining a commitment to promote equality and integration. To this end we have developed a range of services promoting equity and support for ethnic minorities. SEEDS is a registered charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. We currently have 890 members representing 62 nationalities speaking 86 languages.
SEEDS opened the One World Centre on Foyle Street in 2006 and the One World Resource Centre on Guildhall Square in May 2010. This is a One Stop Shop providing a range of services and activities promoting integration and inclusion. We respond to the needs of the growing number of migrants in the North West of Ireland region. Because inward migration is a relatively new phenomenon to Northern Ireland, the indigenous communities are still coming to terms with the arrival of new citizens. This has created many issues and concerns. However any migrant workers are ill prepared to live in a society that is currently coming to terms with centuries of sectarian politics.
In all societies, meaningful guarantees of fundamental human rights are linked to the ability of disenfranchised groups such as migrant workers to actively and advocate for their own rights. For this reason we have formed the Foyle Multicultural Forum which brings together 22 groups to promote integration and inclusion.
Some 150 million men, women and even children, about three percent of the world's population, are outside their country of origin coming as strangers to the country where they reside. There is no continent, no region of the world which has no migrants within its boundaries. Every country has become a country of origin, transit or destination of migrants. Many are all three. More than half of international migrants live in developing countries. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that up to 80 million of these are migrant workers. Who are the migrant workers? Where are they coming from? Why here? What are they doing when they get here? Are they going home? How does them being here, effect us?
The migrants are taking our jobs.” The facts: Migrants are attracted by job vacancies. They fill skills gaps and labour shortages and where there is nearly full employment, they often do jobs that local people are not prepared to do. Industries such as the food processing and the hospitality cannot survive without migrant labour. “They are costing the country money.” The facts: The Home Office calculates that after subtracting benefits and public services from Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, migrants provide an annual surplus of £2.6 billion to the UK Treasury. One local factory, O’Kane Poultry, in Ballymena calculated that their migrant workers contributed £624,998 in National Insurance and £1,562,496 in Income Tax in just 2 years, while spending £2.2million locally. “Migrants are getting everything on social security.” The facts: Most migrant workers are not eligible for any social security benefits in spite of paying tax and National Insurance. The only people entitled to benefits here, similar to those available to local people, are from member states of the European Union who joined before 2004. “I don’t mind ‘them’ being here but ‘they’ need to behave.” The facts: Everyone is subject to the law and should behave. If a person from a migrant community misbehaves, that should not reflect badly on others from their country or ethnic group. We have our fair share of local people who misbehave.
We live and work in an increasingly diverse society that is not consistently represented in our places of work, where we live and where we socialise. Racism and diversity awareness is evolutionary. We can’t arrive in a day, nor dare we stand still. It isn’t a matter of training individuals in individual attitudes, it’s more a case of achieving a culture that genuinely values difference and benefits from it. Alongside training, organisations need good support structures and systems, to keep the momentum going and deal with implicit objections or resistance.
In the North West migrant workers are concentrated at the bottom and top of the ladder…Today’s migrant workforce includes workers who are professional managers and professions within internal markets of transnational corporations. However, the majority of migrants do the dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs (known as 3Ds). There are many reasons why people move to another country to seek work. It may be because jobs are better paid or carried out under better conditions or simply because there isn’t any work in their country of origin. The fundamental inequalities in levels of development between and within countries in the global South and North are also a structural cause of migration, affecting levels of investment and opportunity. Many workers in the industrialised countries would refuse jobs with low wages and dangerous/poor conditions, which explains why unemployment often coexists with an increasing demand for migrant labour.
The day-to-day reality is that many face exploitation, dangerous working conditions, and employment far below their skill level. These problems are often made worse by a lack of English, little awareness of basic rights and public prejudice. Migrant workers are more likely than non-migrants to suffer unhealthy conditions at work, to work longer hours, and to perform shift work, night work, and weekend work. They are also more frequently exposed to discrimination in the workplace, by supervisors, colleagues, customers or patients. In most countries, these workers tend to be segregated in unskilled occupations and are also more likely to perform undeclared work.