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Guidelines for Cities on the Role of Culture in the Integration of Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

By EUROCITIES, Cultural Access and Entitlement Working Group, September 2016, 3 pages

New guidelines, prepared by the EUROCITIES working group on access to culture, highlight the possibilities offered by local cultural policies for the integration of newcomers and all residents of a migrant background, irrespective of their formal status.

Three main ways on how culture supports integration are listed in the guidelines: empowerment, communication and exchange, and changing perceptions. Culture empowers migrants, giving them a sense of community and belonging, raising their self-esteem and developing their skills, which then helps their social inclusion and economic integration. By participating in cultural projects, they can make a contribution to their host city. Local cultural institutions and activities have a key role to play: they can facilitate exchanges about different views, beliefs and social rules; raise awareness of different cultures and identities; identify common interests and goals; and even change perceptions.

Additionally, guidelines provide recommendations to cities on developing a long-term strategy on culture for the integration of migrants, including information about how to include staff members in the process, how to develop cultural programmes and create opportunities for intercultural dialogue and learning through designing new processes in the concerned institutions.

For more information please visit www.eurocities.eu

The publication is available online at bit.ly/2d3rKkz