AmiD final conference at European Economic and Social Committee

AMiD (Access to Services for Migrants with Disabilities) final conference took place on 5 November at the European Economic and Social Committee. The conference was divided in two sessions, a first panel discussion with keynote speakers and a session of parallel workshops.

The panel discussion brought together different representatives from European and international institutions, as well as representatives of civil society. Moderated by EASPD Secretary General Luk Zelderloo, this first part of the conference was a useful way to present the specific focus of the project, its added value and its sustainability.

The first panel speakers were: Yaya Traore, Cultural Moderato of Arci, Ola Henrikson, Director of the Brussels Regional Office of IOM (International Organisation of Migration), Nuria Diez Guardia, from the European Commission’s DG HOME, Angela Unufe, CEO of Minority and Migrants with Disabilities and Otiol Amoros i March from the Government of Catalonia.

The interactive discussion between the panellists drew attention to the need for more concrete work on the topic of migrants with disabilities. SOLIDAR’s Secretary General Conny Reuter stressed the need to increase social investment not only through a more concrete integration of migrants, but also through stronger and more efficient social structures. He also underlined the importance of civil dialogue and of giving civil society organisations a greater role as discussion partners.

During the second part of the conference, the participants could choose between three different workshops, on three key arguments of the AMiD project, namely:

1. The use of the Needs Assessment Tool for the identification of migrant’s support needs.

2. How to improve the skills and knowledge of organisations working for migrants and/or persons with disabilities.

3. A multi-stakeholder approach to the inclusion of migrants with disabilities: the role of public authorities, NGOs, civil society organisations.

The main outcome of the parallel workshop was to set at least one recommendation from each discussion. Presented during the final remarks, these recommendations could be the starting point for next year’s work on the topic. Not only a “legacy”, but a starting point.

What is AmiD?

The project aims to support the efficient management of the reception and integration of asylum seekers and migrants with disabilities in the EU. AMiD outlined a Needs Assessment tool to empower NGOs and Local Authorities to assess and support with adequate responses migrants and refugees with disabilities in Europe. The project also created targeted workshops to improve the knowledge and responses of multidisciplinary professionals (NGOs staff): Local organisations working with migrants and refugee services, Disabled People’s organisations and service providers for people with disabilities. AMiD also has a Community-Advisory Board (CAB), a permanent task-force able to support the modelling and valorisation of project results and to coordinate future joint actions.