Refugees and Policy advisors got together on the 28th of July to discuss issues related to refugees’ life in the Netherlands which will help to shape the new Inburgering Policy for 2021. The meeting was mediated by Yalla Foundation and took place at Thiemeloods. Jan Marten de Hoop, Maren Wassenaar, Hanna van Amstel, Gijs de Waal and Gert-Jan ten Brinke made up the team of Policy Advisors. The sample of refugees was composed by six men and four women from four different countries.
During almost three hours refugees and former refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Rwanda reported their experiences and suggested measures to improve the process of integration of refugees into the Dutch society. Among the issues covered were: the daily routine, work conditions, labour market, language schools, cultural barriers and support.
With regards to the job market, some participants emphasized the difficulty to get a job because of prejudice against refugees. One of the participants reported a feeling of hopelessness, once he believes he doesn’t look like European or Dutch and this makes his chances smaller in the job market. For another participant, special attention is needed to older refugees who have experience in their knowledge areas, but have also difficulties in the acquisition of the language, an equation hard to be solved to allow their return to the job market.
Language and work were the most commented points of the meeting. The participants claim that the municipalities must follow closely the work of schools to avoid the commodification of the Education and to promote a smother transition for refugees.
The new Inburgering Policy will be released next year.