Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
147. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth his various proposals for integration, the most successful models; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59740/21]
151. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the various models of integration encouraged by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59744/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 151 together.
Since 2017, the ‘Migrant Integration Strategy (MIS) – A Blueprint for the Future’ has been the central policy framework adopted by Government to promote the integration of all migrants who are legally residing in the State.
The vision of this Strategy is that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration. Integration is defined in current Irish policy as the ability to participate to the extent that a person needs and wishes in all of the major components of society without having to relinquish his or her own cultural identity.
Coordinated by my Department, the Strategy envisages a whole-of-government approach to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity for migrants across all aspects of Irish society. It brings together State and non-State actors to implement change across 76 targeted actions, including measures to promote social inclusion, to improve access to public services and to address racism and xenophobia.
While initially due to conclude in 2020, the Migrant Integration Strategy was extended to the end of 2021 in recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Strategy’s implementation. My Department is commissioning an independent evaluation of all equality strategies due to conclude this year, the findings of which will inform the development of the future strategic approach to equality policies. I anticipate that a consultation process to develop a new strategic policy for migrant integration will begin early in 2022.
A number of funding streams have been made available by my Department to support migrants, or persons of migrant origin, to participate on an equal basis with those of Irish heritage.
Under the National Integration Fund 2020, a total of €2.2 million has been made available over a three year period to support 18 integration projects nationwide. These projects aim to increase mutual understanding between local communities and migrants; combat racism and xenophobia; promote the integration of vulnerable or socially-excluded immigrants and encourage the involvement of migrants in sport, volunteering and cultural activities.
In addition, the Communities Integration Fund provides small grant funding (€1,000 - €5,000 per project) to local community-based projects to support migrant integration. Following a competitive open call in 2021, 111 local community-based organisations nationwide have been selected to receive grant funding under the Communities Integration Fund totalling €497,772.
Both the National Integration Fund and Communities Integration Fund arose from actions contained within the Migrant Integration Strategy.