Cities, Migration and Integration
Prague Office of hbs, together with the Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations organizes international conference on the issue of integration of foreigners on the local level in cooperation with the Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) under the auspices of the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) on May 14, 2019 in Prague, the Czech Republic.
The aims of the event are as follows:
a) sharing the know-how and good practices obtained so far to a wider audience; networking and exchanging information and ideas between various actors involved in the integration on the local level;
b) bringing in expert voices from abroad to pave the way for qualitative changes;
c) concrete discussions with stakeholders on policy goals and advocacy avenues in the respective sub-topics.
Complementary to the conference, a public debate will be held on June 13, 2019 to raise public awareness about the importance of integration and to underpin the topic of migration as of society-wide significance, both influencing and being influenced by public discourses. The new hbs publication “Phantom Menace: The Politics and Policies of Migration in Central Europe,“ will be introduced and will serve as a basis for the debate.
The conference will take place in two formats, plenary meetings and following debates in working groups. The working groups will aim at debating the most pressing challenges in more detail and enabling a fruitful exchange of best practices and information. Participants will go into thematic breakout sessions (approx. 4) in which the international speakers will also actively be involved. Each group will aim to come up with solid proposals that can be of use in the Czech context and propose specific advocacy avenues (facilitators will be asked to provide these in writing).
The number of foreigners coming to the Czech Republic has been steadily increasing since the 1990s, and with the currently favorable economic climate, the number of foreign workers has grown quickly, as has the number of migrants settling in this country. It has become increasingly important for local actors – municipal and regional officials, local NGOs and volunteers, social workers, businesses – to become actively involved in the process of integrating the newcomers. How can this be done?