WP4 Report - Civil society enablers and barriers
Dino Numerato, Karel Čada, Karina Hoření - Charles University
This report details the findings of the fourth SIRIUS work package, focusing on the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the labour market integration (LMI) of MRAs. Our report examines the positions of CSOs and their perception by MRAs in the SIRIUS partner countries, namely the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and thus our findings reflect experiences across a wide variety of different national contexts. Our findings suggest that CSOs can work as important actors enhancing not only integration into the labour market but also integration through the labour market. CSOs are important language course providers, and thanks to their social, legal, and administrative guidance, CSOs help MRAs in overcoming ineffective administrative and legal structures. These activities are provided by the majority of CSOs across SIRIUS countries. Several CSOs in these countries also assist MRAs with the recruitment process, providing courses and advice on how to prepare for an interview, how to write a CV, or how to draft a cover letter. Furthermore, CSOs also assist MRAs in their efforts to have their skills and qualifications recognised. Moreover, by providing mentorship, training programmes, volunteering, or even direct employment, CSOs contribute to the development of MRAs’ skills and competencies and provide platforms to enhance the agency and autonomy of MRAs. However, such a capacity is unevenly spatially distributed, it is rather rare in the Czech Republic and Denmark, it is somewhat developed in the United Kingdom, and more strongly developed in Finland, some areas of Italy, among the solidarity movement organisations of Greece, and in the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland. Moreover, CSOs either individually or collectively, frequently raise the problematic situation of illegal practices on the part of employers, exploitation, human trafficking, or underpaid wages. Last but not the least, CSOs help to mitigate and, often together with MRAs, struggle against the hostile context of a widespread atmosphere of xenophobia.