GDANSK IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION MODEL - AN INNOVATION LEADING TO MORE JUSTICE
(WINNER 2018) Safe home for immigrants: city policy in Gdansk that delivers equal quality services for migrants and offers a support network to help with integration.
The Immigrant Integration Model Gdansk, is a bottom-up process initiated by an non-governmental organisation, the Immigrants Support Center, advocating for protection of immigrants’ rights since 2013. In 2015, the mayor acknowledged immigrants’ needs and the institutional barriers and discrimination they face, and in response started a cross-sector team on integration. Objectives of the model were to strengthen public sector competencies in delivering equal quality of services; for immigrants to become as self-sufficient, well-informed and participating as possible; and for society to become more open towards both immigrants and refugees. The process is ongoing and is a city policy implemented based on annual action plans. The changes takes place at multiple levels through many actions: from soft competencies (over 300 city employees trained in anti-discrimination areas), to specific measures (a summer daycare for Roma children begging in the streets), to system solutions for the labour market (specialised job advice and regulating temporary work agencies), among others. Much effort has been put into social communication, and surveys show positive attitudes towards migrants are clearly higher in Gdansk than in other Polish cities.