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GFMD Civil Society Days 2015: A clear call for equal rights and opportunities for immigrants

Bilgili

Dr.Özge Bilgili
Maastricht Graduate School of Governance & UNU-Merit


This year the Civil Society Days (CSDs) of the Global Forum on Migration and Development 2015 took place in Istanbul, on 12-14 October. During these days, more than 250 Civil Society Organizations coming from 80 countries had their voiced heard on the most prominent issues linking migration and development. This year’s main focus included civil society’s role in fashioning global, national and thematic indicators, protecting migrants in crises and transit, reforming migrant labor employment policies and practices, social inclusion and diaspora engagement.

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A Suggestion for Turkey: Treat your immigrants like your emigrants abroad

ozge1Written by Özge Bilgili, MIPEX Evaluation Assistant and Visiting Research Fellow, CIDOB

Turkey’s migrant integration policies have recently been evaluated, and the results are not so bright. To improve policies on migrant integration, policy makers need to look back to the country´s emigration history and its diaspora engagement policies. Most certainly, such a reflection can inspire more inclusive and cohesive policies to create a much more welcoming and righteous environment for Turkey´s immigrants.

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Voting rights for long-term residents in the Czech Republic?

Progolosoval_Anton_Unitsyn_flickrWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

The Czech Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier expressed his desire to open a debate on the voting rights to immigrants through amendments to election laws. According to him, “immigrants’ participation in the decision-making process in their place of residence would contribute to their integration”. His ambition is to enfranchise long-term residents in the Czech Republic and grant them voting rights at least at local level. 

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What housing rights & responsibilities will improve integration?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Non-EU nationals more often live in insecure and overcrowded housing, face greater housing costs, and receive fewer benefits. Often they do not have the same rights as nationals. They may be exposed to discrimination based on their nationality or religion. Often only non-EU long-term residents and families can obtain equal housing rights. Access to these statuses are increasingly restricted in Northwest Europe for migrants who use their right to welfare. Family reunion is limited to those who can meet vague or demanding housing requirements. Continue reading

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Latvian citizenship changes: “Exceptions do not make the rule”

Dace Akule, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, MIPEX national partner for Latvia

Thomas Huddleston, Migration Policy Group

On 6 September, the Latvian parliament adopted amendments in second reading to the Citizenship law that has been unchanged since 1998. The amendments include limited dual citizenship and easing procedures for the naturalisation of children born to Latvia’s non-citizens. If approved in final reading, the new law should be in force as of January 2013. However, it includes only minor improvements for the integration of third country nationals. Continue reading

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