In the past few years, the issue of refugee integration has become an important challenge and policy priority in Armenia, affecting the refugees themselves, the local authorities and other state actors that host refugees and asylum seekers in their communities. The long-term stay of the refugees present in the country requires proper addressing of the integration-related challenges at the local and national level and of the humanitarian needs they are facing.
How to cope with common challenges in the integration process of refugees at the local level? Тwo international experts, Mr Vasco Malta, and Ms Filipa Silva, addressed this issue during the two-day practical training for the local professionals from Mission Armenia, Armenian Caritas, Asylum and Integration Units of Migration Service, State Employment Agency and UNHCR. This was the second ToT for local specialists dealing with integration and refugees organized by ICMPD in Armenia on 13 and 14 of February.
The experts shared international best practices on integration of refugees and presented models on concrete integration projects and key factors for success. The role of local authorities in the inclusion of refugees as well as issues of funding to finance integration projects both in Portugal and Armenia were widely discussed.
Another important aspect for successful integration of refugees is to ensure efficient communication among refugees, migrants, host society and official actors. The participants exchanged recommendations and opinions on how to facilitate and strengthen effective and respectful cross-cultural communication with refugees.