Improving the coordination of assistance for refugees

Groupe d'enfants réfugiés arrivés au LuxembourgWith the refugees crisis reaching new heights, the number of applications for asylum in the Grand Duchy has more than doubled in the past year. This makes it all the more important to manage to integrate refugees rapidly. A study was carried out recently by researchers at the University of Luxembourg's Faculty of Language and Literature, Humananities, Arts, and Education to examine the general conditions for the integration of recognised refugees in the Grand Duchy's labour market.

According to the study, once a refugee's status has been recognised, he/she legally has the same entitlement to access the labour market as Luxembourgish citizens, the only exception being jobs in public services. In practice, however, refugees often have to overcome considerable hurdles. 'One of the main obstacles to their entering the labour market is the language barrier. In the Grand Duchy, most employers require applicants to speak at least one of the country's official languages - Luxembourgish, French, or German. Often, in fact, employees need to be trilingual,' says Professor Birte Nienaber, coordinator of the Grand Duchy's liaison body for the European Migration Network and coordinator of the study entitled 'Integration of Beneficiaries of International/Humanitarian Protection into the Labour Market: Policies and Good Practices'.

Offers not suited to refugees
Apart from language, many refugees also face the challenge of gaining recognition in the Grand Duchy for their professional and academic qualifications. This mainly concerns recognised refugees from countries at war, as in many cases they have not been able to bring the necessary documents away with them.

Although migrants have the benefit of assistance measures in the Grand Duchy, such as counselling, the authors of the study stress that in most cases these are not suited to the specific needs of refugees. There is, for example, no specific measure for integrating recognised refugees in the labour market. 'The various types of assistance are not coordinated between the authorities and the NGOs. Refugees have to apply to each institution separately,' according to Professor Nienaber.

The study was commissioned by the European Migration Network, which draws up regular reports on the situation of migrants from third-party States living in one of the 28 member States of the European Union or Norway.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded on the Internet.

(Source: University of Luxembourg)

  • Updated 03-03-2016