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OECD and UNHCR call for scaling up integration policies in favour of refugees
refugees, migration, asylum seekers, filippo grandi, unhcr

In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to look for international protection in Europe, and about 1.5 million claimed asylum in OECD countries. This is an all-time record and almost twice the number recorded the year before. Asylum seekers represent about 0.1% of the total OECD population, and less than 0.3% of the population in Europe.

OECD and UNHCR have called on governments to scale up their efforts to help refugees integrate and contribute to the societies and economies of Europe, during a joint high-level Conference on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection held in Paris on 28 January 2016.

Both organisations stressed the moral imperative and the economic incentive to help the millions of refugees living in OECD countries to develop the skills they need to work productively and safely.

"Integration is a dynamic two-way process which requires both the individual and society to make considerable efforts," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said, insisting on the important role of host states in this processes.

"The earlier refugees get the required support, the better their integration prospects", OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría added.

The OECD also launched a report, Making Integration Work: Refugees and others in need of protection, highlighting 10 good practices to support lasting integration of refugees and their children. This includes providing access to language courses, employment programmes and integration services as soon as possible, including for asylum seekers with high prospects to remain.

©OECD Observer, January 2016

See www.oecd.org/migration

Watch press conference with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.