Our advocacy points

We aim to provide safe and dignified living conditions for displaced people and promote their social inclusion into local communities. This section outlines our advocacy strategy focused on influencing European Union (EU) migration policies to protect refugee rights. Refugees encounter significant hurdles, including discrimination and overcrowded living conditions, prompting RWI to endorse private hosting through locals as a feasible solution. In that regard, RWI seeks sustainable change on local, national, and EU levels through policy reform, addressing issues like racist stereotyping and inclusion challenges in the process.

The advocacy initiative aims to ensure humane accommodations for refugees worldwide, emphasizing the right to safe, non-discriminatory housing. EU-wide legislation should promote the inclusion of refugees and immigrants in host societies and prioritize access to safe housing as a key element of integration. Special attention should be given to housing for displaced families with specific needs, such as physical disabilities or medical conditions. Inadequate living conditions often subject refugees to human rights violations and discrimination.

Advocacy Point Goals and Policy Target:
The primary objective is to prioritize safe housing for all displaced individuals at the EU level, with a global impact. This advocacy point targets EU Migration and Asylum policies.

Advocacy Actions and Partners:
Our action plan envisions that collaborators dedicated to human rights, migration, and anti-discrimination efforts can play a pivotal role in increasing awareness and engaging policymakers to address the issue of safe housing for refugees.

Currently, private hosting through locals is not considered an option for housing refugees in EU Migration and Asylum policies. Private hosting is however a more humane and integration-friendly alternative to mass accommodation, where basic human rights can be overlooked. Many EU countries, including Greece, are grappling with inadequate refugee accommodations. By incorporating private hosting as an option, EU policy makers can address these challenges and potentially reduce the number of refugees in mass accommodations.

Advocacy Point Goals and Policy Target:
The objective is to include private housing for refugees in EU policies on Migration and Asylum, focusing on the EU level.

Advocacy Actions and Partners:
To achieve this goal, we believe it’s crucial to maintain the partnership with the Consultative Forum of the European Union Agency on Asylum (EUAA) and establish collaborations with other organizations which bring together EU-based NGOs to influence migration policies. These partnerships facilitate efforts to bring about policy changes in the field of Migration and Asylum at the EU level.

Currently, refugees face discrimination and negative stereotypes in host countries, making it extremely challenging to find private housing. Societal attitudes need to change to ensure refugees can lead dignified lives. To achieve this, we aim to reduce discrimination, increase support for refugees, and promote dignity.

Advocacy Point Goals and Policy Target:
The goal is to bring about societal change, reduce discrimination, and enhance support for refugees at the local and national levels. This involves implementing refugee protection policies at both local and national levels.

Advocacy Actions and Partners:
We aim to cooperate with existing and influential non-governmental entities, involving the creation of training initiatives and awareness campaigns within civil society to shape public perception, boost refugee support, and address systemic discrimination. We also advocate for an increase of controls, further and stronger anti discrimination laws and for a ban on racial advertising.

Mass accommodations like refugee camps are a common but problematic practice in Europe. These camps often fail to provide humane conditions, isolating refugees and exacerbating social barriers, xenophobia, and alienation. To facilitate better integration and foster open-minded communities, it’s essential to end these practices. Governments should incorporate private accommodation for refugees, for example with locals hosts, into legislation.

Advocacy Point Goals and Policy Target:
The aim is to integrate private accommodation for refugees into policies, ultimately eliminating mass accommodations. This advocacy point requires addressing multiple policy levels, including EU legislation, such as Migration and Asylum policies, and national policies tailored to each country’s unique needs.

Advocacy Actions and Partners:
We believe collaboration with organizations possessing in-depth knowledge of refugee housing issues, particularly those related to mass accommodations, is crucial. These partnerships help drive policy changes and promote humane housing solutions for refugees.

To enable successful refugee inclusion within local communities, it’s essential to establish inclusive and welcoming environments. This encourages interaction between refugees and local citizens, promoting refugee inclusion into society. Moreover, for private housing to become a viable alternative to mass accommodations, it’s crucial to increase the number of local citizens willing to provide such housing. Building strong community bonds and fostering positive relationships between refugees and locals play a pivotal role in reducing prejudice and expanding support for refugees in private housing.

Advocacy Point Goals and Policy Target:
This advocacy point seeks long-term community building, creating an inclusive society through three key objectives:
1. Integrating private housing into EU Migration and Asylum policies.
2. Implementing national-level educational and community-building programs.
3. Advocating for policy changes that promote diversity and inclusion within society. To achieve these goals, national policies must be revised to drive societal change at the local level.

Advocacy Actions and Partners:
Effective advocacy involves raising awareness within society and government about the reasons behind refugees’ displacement and resettlement. It also entails garnering support for diversity, inclusion, and human rights protection, as well as promoting these values through policies. Given the focus on societal change, we believe our partners should share these objectives. However, it is imperative for national and local governments to play an active role (for example, organizing training sessions or events focused on refugee housing and their integration into local communities).

What we do and what we’ve done

As a member of this consultative body, Refugees Welcome International plays a crucial role in facilitating dialogue and cooperation between various stakeholders, including NGOs, government agencies, and the EUAA itself. The primary aim of this consultative forum is to exchange vital information about the current state of asylum and reception in Europe. It involves:
Exchanging information on asylum and reception in Europe, including updates from the Agency and interactive discussions
Directly impacting asylum policies in Europe

Refugees Welcome International’s participation in this consultative body within the EUAA represents a vital avenue for advocacy, policy influence, and collaboration in the pursuit of more humane and inclusive asylum and reception practices in Europe.

5th Migration Forum of the EC 2019
Refugees Welcome International’s participation in the European Migration Forum carried significant implications. The forum achieved a historic milestone by formulating ten recommendations through five workshops, a testament to the active engagement of all participants. These recommendations, now adopted, bear substantial weight as they are slated for official submission to all European Union institutions. This contribution represents a valuable input from civil society, poised to help sculpt the forthcoming strategic agenda on migration.

Throughout these engagements, Refugees Welcome International played a pivotal role, actively participating in discussions and contributing to the formulation of recommendations. This robust involvement underscores our organization’s commitment to influencing and shaping migration policies at a broad European level.

Find the Summary Report here.

ChangeNOW Summit 2022
Refugees Welcome International proudly took center stage at the ChangeNOW Summit 2022 in Paris. This event provided us with an opportunity to showcase our impactful work and engage in discussions with fellow changemakers, all committed to crafting a brighter future.

ChangeNOW, spanning three exhilarating days in Paris, serves as a global nexus for solutions and visionaries dedicated to tackling our planet’s most pressing challenges. It’s a powerhouse of collaboration, where the synergy between entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and policymakers ignites a swift and purposeful drive towards transformative change.

Find the ChangeNOW Summit website here.

The welcoming city
In collaboration with the Municipality of Padua and the University of Padua, Refugees Welcome Italy organized a conference dedicated to the themes of decentralized and family-based accommodation. The event presented the experience of the European project Embracin, which allowed for the experimentation of family-based accommodation, demonstrating that in Padua, domestic accommodation is a viable frontier for the hospitality system in Italy.

To delve deeper into this topic, together with the University and the Municipality of Padua, we joined forces to create a two-day series of meetings in which various stakeholders involved in family-based accommodation engaged in dialogue with the public.

More information on the conference, here.
More information on the European project Embracin, here.

Focus Group by DG Home and EIB
As a consulted member of this group, Refugees Welcome International (RWI) was privileged to participate in a vital initiative led by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs. The study sought to explore how financial instruments, such as housing loans, could be leveraged to enhance the integration of third-country nationals in Europe. Our involvement in this process was a unique opportunity to engage in bottom-up policy design.

RWI’s participation in the focus group was pivotal in validating the research and ensuring its alignment with the needs of our target group. We had the chance to share insights into the specific needs of refugees and how financial instruments could effectively support them. We expressed our strong interest in further involvement in policy design and offered to contribute our own research to enrich the process. This engagement underscores RWI’s commitment to shaping policies that promote the integration and well-being of refugees.

More information here.

Montreal City Administration
Refugees Welcome International (RWI) collaborated with the Newcomer Office (Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal) BINAM in a cooperative effort, dedicating the expertise of three of our organization’s experts to support the City of Montreal. In this capacity, they served as consultants, providing valuable insights and guidance. RWI actively participated in the BINAM conference as well, creating a pre-recorded video presentation, and actively engaging in a pivotal workshop during the event.

This collaboration demonstrated RWI’s commitment to sharing knowledge and contributing to initiatives aimed at supporting refugees and promoting their successful integration in Montreal.