Many social, legal and political barriers exist for migrants and refugees to access learning opportunities. This was the outcome of the peer learning seminar of the "validation for inclusion of new citizens in Europe" (VINCE) taking place in Barcelona. As it turns out, in many European countries, besides Norway, adult asylum seekers are not allowed to access education and lifelong learning opportunities nor accessing decent work before their status is clarified, forcing people up to 18 months (and in some cases even longer) to do nothing resulting in all sorts of long term social problems.
The Dutch Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs (Adviescommissie voor Vreemdelingenzaken) advised the formateurs of the new Dutch government in clear terms, in a letter sent yesterday and signed by Koos Richelle (former director DG employment, social affairs and inclusion). They call on removing legal barriers and investing in structural support for those awaiting a status to participate in society and labour market. In the perspective of SOLIDAR Foundation, the recognition of skills, competences and knowledge combined with language training are key to ensure successful integration and promoting participation in society.