14 December 2016
Top Kino, Vienna
IOM’s first Global Migration Film Festival opened on 5 December and culminated on 18 December 2016, International Migrants Day. The festival was an opportunity for the world to celebrate the diversity and unique contributions of migrants to the communities and countries where they live. It was also a tribute to the many films that capture the beauty and challenges of migration and bring these realities to audiences around the world. The Film Festival was part of the UN's "Together" global campaign to promote diversity and inclusion.
IOM Austria hosted a screening of the movie “Wallah – Je te jure”, which tells the stories of men and women travelling along West African migration routes to Italy. Senegal's rural villages, Niger's bus stations and "ghettos" full of traffickers, Italian squares and houses are the backdrops of these courageous trips, which often end in tragedy.
Prior to the movie, we screened two short films by Austrian winners of the PLURAL + youth film festival, which is organized by IOM and UNAOC. The screening was followed by a short discussion and a reception with food & drinks.
We thank everyone who attended IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival in Vienna! It was a great evening!
Pictures © Sebastian Philipp
29 and 30 November 2016
European Commission, Brussels
The European Forum on the Rights of the Child was launched following the adoption of the Commission Communication on the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child in 2006.
This year’s 10th edition focused on protecting children in migration as ninety-six thousand unaccompanied children applied for asylum in the EU in 2015. In 2016 children comprised over 30% of all sea arrivals to mid-November, while a high number of unaccompanied migrant children are going missing. Despite these facts, the response to the needs of children in migration is often fragmented; therefore it needs efforts to address the issue in a comprehensive way to sustainably improve the system.
IOM has signed a joint statement together with 77 organizations to call for action towards a comprehensive and right-based approach to all refugee and migrant children. This joint statement defines the following priority areas:
25 October 2016
On 25 October 2016, the National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) in cooperation with the Union of the Consular Corps in Austria (U.C.C.A) organised an information event to introduce the work of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the EMN.
The event “Internationale Organisation für Migration – Aktuelles zu Migration und Asyl aus dem Europäischen Migrationsnetzwerk“ was especially intended for the career and honorary consuls residing in Austria. The purpose of the event was to inform about current developments at IOM and to present the research conducted within the EMN. Mr. Honorary Consul Dr Breitenthaler welcomed the invited guests in the rooms of the “Wiener Rennverein” of the Palais Pallavicini. Argentina Szabados, Regional Director of the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, informed the guests about major occurrences in the field of migration and the role of the IOM during her introductory speech. Julia Rutz, Head of Research and Migration Law Department at the IOM Country Office for Austria, explained the development, the areas of responsibility as well as significant publications and activities of the EMN in consideration of the added value for the consular delegations.
The following reception offered an opportunity for exchange.
24 - 28 October 2016
This year’s International Metropolis Conference took place for the first time in Asia under the title “Creating Trust through Wisdom on Migration and Integration”.
The National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) organized a workshop on “Refugee Integration in the EU and Asia: Common Approaches and Differences”. Against the background of current global forced displacement, which reached the highest level ever recorded, the workshop took a closer look at selected States in the EU and Asia and their approach to refugee integration.
1. Presentation: “Refugee Arrivals and Integration Policy in Sweden”
Bernd Parusel, Swedish Migration Agency
2. Presentation: “Refugee Integration in Poland”
Joanna Sosnowska, Ministry of the Interior and Administration
3. Presentation: “Support Structures for Refugee Integration in Austria”
Saskia Koppenberg, IOM Country Office for Austria
4. Presentation: “Japan Bashing, Japan Passing”
Saburo Takizawa, Japan for UNHCR
21 October 2016
OSCE – Imperial Palace, Vienna
In 2016 IOM Austria again supported the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs to organize the Austrian observance of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day. This year’s event focused on new developments in human trafficking.
Gilda Violato, a legal expert from IOM Catania, was present on the morning panel on “Addressing Human Trafficking in the Context of Crises Driven Migration”. IOM is present at the landing points in southern Italy and Gilda is one of the many colleagues who assist migrants and refugees upon their arrival. IOM cooperates with border authorities in the provision of legal information and in the identification of vulnerable migrants, with a particular focus on trafficked persons. Recently, Italy has witnessed a significant increase in the number of potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation arriving by sea, the majority of which are from Nigeria. IOM Italy estimates that about the 80% of Nigerian women arriving in Italy could be trafficked. Since 2014, IOM has referred more than 300 potential trafficked persons to protection schemes, but many people chose not to make use of these services.
In the afternoon, IOM Austria moderated an interactive workshop on child trafficking in Austria. Together with experts from ECPAT Austria and the youth welfare services of Austria and Lower Austria, participants discussed various forms of child trafficking and what Austria can do to better protect child victims and prevent exploitation. The consensus was that more resources need to be invested into prevention measures in order to assist vulnerable minors before they enter a situation of exploitation.
from left to right: Katie Klaffenböck (IOM), Helmut Sax (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights),
Evelyn Probst (LEFÖ Intervention Center for Trafficked Women), Julia O’Connell Davidson (University of Bristol),
Marco Bufo (independent consultant)
12 - 13 September 2016
The Commission for Migration and Integration (KMI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna held the fourth annual conference for migration and integration in Austria.
The National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) organized a panel on “Integrating Refugees into the Austrian Labour Market – Recent Developments, Practices and Challenges“.
Katharina Benedetter, Head of Integration Unit,
IOM Country Office for Austria
Saskia Koppenberg, Research Associate,
IOM Country Office for Austria /
National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN)
„Initiativen zur Arbeitsmarkteingliederung von Flüchtlingen“
Margit Kreuzhuber, Migration and Integration Officer,
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Anne-Sophie Schmidt, International Migration Division,
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
2 May 2016
Diplomatic Academy Vienna
The establishment of identity of migrants is of fundamental importance both in the national and in the international context. The decision-making of the competent authorities is based to a large extent on information about the identity of the respective person. The methods applied to obtain information range from medical examinations and interviews to the comparison of finger prints and language analysis to determine the origin of those persons.
Against this background, the Country Office for Austria of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in its role as National Contact Point in the European Migration Network (EMN) organized a conference on the establishment of identity in the migration process on 2 May 2016.
A conference report including all the speeches was released in August 2016:
Hilbert Karl, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Austria
Julia Rutz, IOM Country Office for Vienna
Introductory Presentation: The Establishment of Identity in the Migration Process
Dario Vaschetto, European Commission (Presentation)
Panel 1: Practice and international cooperation
Vegard Pettersen, Norwegian ID-Centre (Presentation)
Robert Klamer, Royal Marechaussee Schiphol Airport
Nino Hartl, Federal Ministry of Immigration and Asylum (Presentation)
Panel 2: Age assessment
Eivind Hoffmann, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and Norwegian ID Centre (Presentation)
DDr. Ernst Rudolf, medical expert (Presentation)
Mag. Mayra Mayr-Eduardoff, MSc, Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University (Presentation)
Thomas N. Dunning, Principal Social Worker, TUSLA Child and Family Agency, Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital (Presentation)
Summary and conclusions
Katerina Kratzmann, IOM Country Office for Austria
16 February 2016
Dachsaal, Urania Vienna
On 16 February 2016, the National Contact Point in the European Migration Network (EMN) presented the new handbook on the organization of the asylum and migration policies in Austria. The publication provides an up-to-date, well-founded and concise overview of the Austrian asylum and migration system, particularly with regard to the current situation in this field and discourse thereto.
The study "The Organization of Asylum and Migration Policies in Austria" is an update of the so-called organization study, which was first published in 2009. The handbook provides information on the political, legislative and institutional framework regulating Austria’s migration and asylum policy, a brief historical overview of the different asylum and migration phases and an analysis of current procedures and laws. Institutional charts present a schematic overview of the institutional framework of Austria’s migration and asylum system as well as of the main actors in Austria and their tasks.
The handbook was officially launched at an event in the Dachsaal of the Urania in Vienna. Following an initial presentation, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss the publication. Guests subsequently had the opportunity to speak with the authors and exchange their views at a reception.
The handbook is available on the website and can be downloaded and ordered here.
22 September 2015
The National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) organized an internal cluster meeting on optimising EMN Research by improving the National Reports. The meeting took place on 22. September 2015, and representatives of the EMN National Contact Points from 12 different EU-Member States participated.
During this working meeting the participants discussed how to optimize the quality of national EMN studies. A tour de table revealed interesting insights in best practice examples of the different National Contact Points (NCPs) on their modalities of publishing the respective national reports of the EMN studies. Common suggestions for way forward were agreed upon, which will be presented at the next NCP Meeting in Brussels.
Topic of the second part was the discussion on ways of optimising the quality of national contributions. After a reflection on the methodology engaged by the NCPs to conduct research and on their respective quality control mechanisms, also the possibilities to ensure quality in terms of reliability and comparability of data and statistics were discussed. The meeting concluded with formulated suggestions for way forward.
The report is available here: http://www.emn.at/images/EMN_Konferenzen_/Report_AT_EMN_NCP_Cluster_Meeting_2015_en.pdf
21 September 2015
The conference of the National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) brought together researchers, government officials, representatives of the European Commission, and a number of individuals from the wider society in order to discuss the topic of irregular migration and return from different perspectives. There were presentations about the latest research findings on migration routes to the European Union and factors influencing individual migrant destination choices. Furthermore, the options available to, and role of, the European Union relating to the successful management of current challenges in the field of migration and asylum were examined and experiences from some European countries were shared.
Moreover, the latest EMN study about the dissemination of information on voluntary return among persons who are not in contact with the authorities was presented. This study provides an overview of the different situations, actors and measures that exist in member states. It also includes up-to-date, comparable statistics.
The Conference Report is available here:
21 May 2015
Policies and practices to better prepare migrants for safe, legal and successful migration prior to leaving their country of origin were discussed at the HEADSTART closing conference in Vienna on 21 May 2015.
The event showcased the project results, namely the IOM global review of existing pre-departure integration support practices and the Handbook for Migrant Resource Centres. The conference also focused more closely on two areas of particular relevance to pre-departure integration: (1) job matching and innovative labour market integration practices and approaches, and employers’ involvement in the pre-departure stage; and (2) skills development in the context of pre-departure, and the role of the countries of origin. The testimonies of migrants who received pre-departure assistance before coming to Austria were also heard.
Conference participants included the project partners from eight participating EU Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia), the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES), policy makers in charge of integration issues, NGOs and IOs, and stakeholders from selected countries of origin.
The final HEADSTART conference was organized as part of the project Headstart: Fostering Integration Before Departure, managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which has received financial assistance from the European Union Integration Fund Community Actions 2012, the Ministry of Interior of Austria, the Ministry of Interior of Italy and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands (COA).
10 - 13 May 2015
Three Cultural Orientation Trainings for Syrian refugees, who will be resettled to Austria in the frame of the second Humanitarian Admission Programme, took place in Amman from 10 to 13 May 2015. These AUCO (Austrian Cultural Orientation) trainings were attended by 83 participants. Children were provided with childcare. The aim of conducting Cultural Orientation Trainings is to provide participants with a realistic picture of their upcoming life in Austria and to answer their questions regarding the first period of their stay. The groups were very interested and the feedback of the training was very positive. The Syrian refugees are already very much looking forward to starting their new life in Austria!
More information is available here.
23 April - 9 May 2015
As in previous years IOM participated in the Action Days on Political Education 2015. Between 23 April and 9 May a total of 5 workshops were conducted by staff of IOM Vienna on the subjects of “Myths of Migration” and “Inclusion – Exclusion”.
To participate in such initiatives is considered as an important contribution to raise the awareness of young people and inviting them to reflect on current issues such as migration, discrimination and prejudice and is thus in some of the core issues of IOM.
Please find additional information on the Action Days on Political Education (in German) here.
21 April 2015
Hotel Mercure Josefshof, Vienna
The National Contact Point Austria in the European Migration Network (EMN) organised an informative meeting for representatives of Austrian Ministries active in the fields of migration, asylum and integration. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Federal Ministry of Family and Youth, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, as well as representatives of the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum. In addition to the presentation of tasks and activities of the National Contact Point Austria in the EMN, a strategy was developed which allows for a closer cooperation with the Ministries, in particular with regard to the compilation of EMN studies.
Please visit the EMN Website for further information.
13 - 14 April 2015
The first Cultural Orientation Training for Syrian refugees, who will be resettled to Austria in the frame of the second Humanitarian Admission Programme, took place in Istanbul from 13 to 14 April 2015. This AUCO (Austrian Cultural Orientation) training was attended by 23 participants (12 women and 11 men) and some older children. The younger children were provided with childcare. The aim of conducting Cultural Orientation Trainings is to provide participants with a realistic picture of their upcoming life in Austria and to answer their questions regarding the first period of their stay. The group was very interested and the feedback of the training was very positive. The Syrian refugees are already very much looking forward to starting their new life in Austria!
More information is available here.
23 March 2015
University of Technology, Vienna
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy Vienna hosted a workshop on the situation of Syrian refugees featuring the Spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Refugees and senior officials from the Austrian Ministry of Interior as well as Katerina Kratzmann from the IOM Country Office for Austria. Vienna-based diplomats from 30 countries attended, including the countries bordering Syria that are struggling to cope with the numbers of refugees and are urgently in need of massive international support.
Katerina Kratzmann, IOM Head of Office (© U.S. Embassy)
18 November 2014
Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
The IOM Country Office for Austria organized the 2014 Austrian national European Migration Network (EMN) conference, in its capacity as National Contact Point for Austria in the EMN, on the topic of young refugees. The conference brought together researchers, practitioners, government officials and civil society representatives in order to provide insight into the topic and to present the perspective of young migrants themselves. Main countries of origin, reasons to flee, international standards and fundamental rights issues concerning this particularly vulnerable group were discussed. The preliminary results of an EMN study on unaccompanied minors were also presented, which provides information about current political and practical developments in member states as well as up-to-date, comparable statistics.
A panel discussion with young refugees, representatives of NGOs, youth welfare agencies and the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs also took place, in which the circumstances of young refugees’ departure from their countries of origin were discussed, along with their aspirations and future role in Austria. The question of how young migrants can best be supported in achieving their goals was also discussed. A project marketplace was held after the panel, which allowed conference participants to learn more about current projects and initiatives supporting young migrants in Austria.
Please visit the EMN Website for further information.
The agenda is available here.
24 – 25 September 2014
The workshop on "Migrant Integration before Departure: Perspectives, Approaches and Supporting Measures" was the key event of the Headstart project. It provided a unique opportunity to the more than 80 participants from different fields, coming from over 30 countries, to discuss pre-departure integration initiatives on a broad level. The 2-day event concluded with an Expo where over 20 organizations held individual booths and exhibited their projects and initiatives.
Several Austrian partners contributed to this event during the workshop and the expo. The Austrian Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs gave an overview about the national policy framework on pre-departure integration as well as the promising practice of appointing integration representatives in the embassies abroad and linking this service to counselling upon arrival. Those services, called Welcome Desks, which operate all over Austria in five locations including additional mobile Welcome Desks, are provided by the Austrian Integration Fund and were also presented.
Further, a representative from the Federal Ministry of science, research and economy contributed with an overview about possibilities to simplify recognition procedures in the frame of the Austrian ENIC/ NARIC program in a workshop on recognition of qualifications.
The event served also as a forum to present initial findings of the global review undertaken by IOM to take stock of existing pre-departure practices, and identify promising practices that have the potential to advance migrant integration. The global review will be published soon and will be available on the Headstart project website. Further, the agenda, conference report and the presentations from the workshop and expo in Rome can also be downloaded on this website.
The project is co-financed by the European Union, Ministries of Interior of Austria and Italy and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands.