The British experience in refugee integration – Study Visit “Social Integration of refugees”, Plymouth UK

The Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants in partnership with Amber Initiatives and NGOs from Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Italy, and Portugal, organized a study visit  “Social integration of refugees” in Plymouth, UK. For eight days, experts from the BCRM member and partner organisation were acquainted with the UK’s local integration experience for local integration of refugees and presented the experience and best practices from Bulgaria. The program included presentations of the experience of the Plymouth City Council, the British Red Cross, the Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support Council, the Open Doors Center, the START Students and Refugees together, the Hope and many other organizations. Additionally, the experience of the police in community work, prevention of racism, xenophobia and radicalization were presented. The Bulgarian participants presented the Bulgarian experience and good practices, the mechanism for the strengthening of the capacity, and the establishment of coalitions for the creation of a supportive environment for the successful integration of refugees. The activity is part of the strategic efforts of the Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants to build, develop and strengthen the capacity of organizations and workers in the field of protection and integration of refugees in Bulgaria. The project partners are NGOs from Turkey, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Portugal, and the UK’s leading organization Amber Initiatives.

The study visits with some elements of training address the needs of the European organizations to increase their role in extremism and violence prevention and equip them with skills and knowledge to do so. As a result of the project, the organizations involved are able to address the needs of refugees better, facilitate their integration into the local community and, therefore, reduce the risk of radicalization. The project is in line with the EU strategy to enhance the integration of non-EU nationals.

The project is funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission.