17th December – Eurodiaconia, together with its members Diaconia Valdese (Italy), the Fédération de l’Entraide Protestante (France) and our other project partners – the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, Oxfam Italia, Confronti, Idos, Piedmont Region, and Safe Passage are launching a policy brief titled “Private Sponsorship for Integration: Building a European Model.” The publication, which focuses on humanitarian corridors, seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of community/private sponsorship programs (PSPs) for social cohesion and the integration of persons in need of protection and to encourage and inform the development and growth of sponsorship programs across Europe.
Funded by the European Commission’s AMIF programme, the Private Sponsorship for Integration Project (PPI) seeks to ensure that migrants arriving in Italy and France via humanitarian corridors are accompanied towards their full and effective social, cultural and economic integration through the implementation of a wide range of pre-departure and post-arrival activities. The model has garnered widespread recognition as an example of good practice. In 2019 the Italian humanitarian corridors program received the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for Europe.
This new publication provides a detailed examination of the Humanitarian Corridors in Europe. It was created with the aim of knowledge-sharing, to provide an understanding and raise awareness of private sponsorship programmes at EU and national levels. The paper begins with a brief overview of the characteristics, origins and growth of the model. This is followed by directions on how interested parties can design similar initiatives in the future. Special attention is paid to the key elements needed to foster migrants’ integration and social cohesion post-arrival. Throughout the publication, the authors reflect on the positive aspects and the challenges they have faced during its implementation. The last section of the document includes a list of recommendations for national governments, local authorities and EU policy-makers.
The release of the policy brief was accompanied by a webinar, “Roundtable on Private Sponsorship for Integration: Focus on Humanitarian Corridors”, hosted by the project partners today, the 17th of December. The event will serve as a platform for presenting the main findings in the briefing paper and for discussing the potential of sponsorship programs to improve the integration of refugees and asylum seekers and increase social cohesion.
At a time when 70% of European citizens express a need for investment in the integration of migrants, private sponsorship programs such as the Humanitarian Corridors offer a model for successful integration as various studies have attested to their better performance in integration outcomes. By supporting the creation and scaling-up of sponsorship programs across Europe, the EU could show solidarity with third countries and contribute to the expansion of durable solutions for those who are forcibly displaced.