County Hall on John Street
Kilkenny is one of ten local authorities to have a migrant integration strategy in place, it has been revealed.
Fianna Fail’s Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Justice for the local authorities that have an active migrant integration strategy in place.
A recent survey was undertaken of the 31 local authorities on week beginning March 12 of this year and all 31 responded. Ten local authorities confirmed that they have a migrant integration strategy.
These include: Carlow; Dublin City; Dun Laoghaire Rathdown; Galway; Kerry; Kildare; Limerick City and County; Mayo and South Dublin.
Around 25 to 30 Syrian families are being welcomed to Kilkenny as part of the Irish Government’s commitment to The Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
The vision of the migrant integration strategy is that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration.
It includes migrants being enabled to and expected to participate in economic life – in employment and self-employment.
Minister of State David Stanton said: “21 local authorities have stated they do not have a migrant integration strategy, in addition local authorities are addressing migrant integration and wider social inclusion through their Local Economic and Community Plans (LECP).
“The development of local authority integration strategies will be undertaken within the framework of the National Strategy.
“Action 52 of the Migrant Integration Strategy - A Blueprint for the future, which was published on 7 February 2017, provides for the updating of integration strategies by local authorities over the lifetime of the Strategy i.e. from 2017 to 2020.
“A Monitoring and Co-ordination Committee has been established to support the process of implementing the Migrant Integration Strategy.”
The Committee, which comprises representatives of relevant Government Departments, State Agencies and the NGO sector, met for the third time in January 2018 and are due to meet again in May 2018. Progress on the implementation of the actions in the Strategy will be reviewed at the end of 2018 and a report prepared for Government.
In a statement, Kilkenny County Council said: “Nationally the government through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme has pledged to offer safety and protection to approximately 4000 asylum seekers/refugees.
“The Programme commits Ireland to offering families and children, who have been compelled to leave their homes due to war and conflict, a place of safety.
“Kilkenny forms part of that response and has agreed to resettle 140 Syrian Refugees as part of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
“The Council chairs a Statutory Resettlement Committee who have been working together with the Department of Justice and Equality to resettle families in Kilkenny.
“This process is supported by a Resettlement Worker and an Intercultural Interpreter, which is all funded through the Department of Justice and Equality, to support families in resettlement as well as to support wider, two way, integration for families and communities.”