With a comprehensive plan ... Germany is sticking to the integration of refugees despite Corona Virus Outbreak

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(Deutsche Welle)
At a time when the Corona crisis affected refugees in particular, Germany confirmed its intention to integrate refugees into society and the labor market by adopting a national action plan for integration. What is this plan and what does it include?

Facilitating the access of refugees and migrants to the job market and expanding digital offerings to support them in language learning, in addition to speeding up recognition of foreign qualifications, this is among what the German government seeks to achieve through the National Action Plan for Integration, new parts of which were approved today Wednesday (29 July 2020).

In support of refugee and migrant education, the government has allocated an additional 44 million euros to allow more refugee children to enter schools early. The action plan for this project states: "These offers will be presented on simple terms in shelters, family centers or in nurseries." "The integration will start from the first day," said German Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration, Anet Wiedmann-Mautz.

With regard to supporting refugees in entering the labor market, the plan provides for improved cooperation between advisory centers and the authorities in order to avoid avoiding the exploitation of refugees through "unfair" employment contracts. The German government confirmed that, "despite the successful integration into the labor market, there are still obvious weaknesses," noting "the risk of unstable employment, unemployment and low wages."

"Half of all new jobs in the past five years are filled by foreigners," Wiedmann-Mautz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, stressing the need to continue to encourage immigrant participation in professional life. Wiedemann-Mautz emphasized the importance of integrating immigrants into the labor market and said: “We would not have crossed the Corona pandemic in this good way, had it not been for the 20% of doctors and 16% of the care crews in our hospitals and not for many employees in the mail, bus drivers and supermarket sellers, immigrants.” .

A pilot project to accelerate the amendment of foreign certificates
. As for amending refugee certificates, the plan includes providing additional support through a pilot project to accelerate the recognition of some foreign diplomas and their equivalence with German certificates.

German efforts to accelerate the integration of refugees into society and the labor market come at a time when the Corona crisis has affected the integration of refugees as well. With the exception of many refugees losing their jobs due to the crisis, as did the Germans, many German government services were suspended, including services provided by the Federal Office for Immigration and Refugees, including language and integration courses.

"Successes in integrating into education and the job market should not be at risk because of Corona," said Wedman-Mautz, noting that the epidemic affected refugee women in particular.

A project to support refugee women
According to the Commissioner for Integration Affairs, it is refugee women who are mostly responsible for caring for children, as well as suffering from language barriers. Therefore, the German government is seeking to implement a counseling system called "FEM.OS", to help refugee women through social media and provide them with information on how to care for children or start a career.

The German government had announced a national plan of action for integration and combating right-wing extremism, after racist attacks against immigrants, especially the racist attack in the city of Hanao last February in which 9 people of immigrant background were killed. The government announced that its goal in the plan is to enhance community unity and cohesion, as well as to better organize the integration process.

Eleven federal ministries and representatives from German states and municipalities, as well as representatives of civil society and immigrant societies, participated in the drafting of the national plan of action for integration and combating extremism. In total, about 300 experts, politicians and local officials, including about 75 representatives of immigrant societies and communities in Germany, participated in drafting the plan.