Poland developed from an emigration country into an immigration destination. This is a huge challenge, but also an opportunity – however, efforts are needed to teach old and new residents to live together. An “Outline for Local Integration Policies” can support the development of local migration policies.
Along with the USA, Poland is the country receiving the most temporary migrants in the OECD. According to the Central Statistical Office, there were more than 2 million foreigners living in Poland at the end of 2020. A report by the Union of Metropolises reveals that in January 2022, more than 1.5 million Ukrainians and Ukrainian women lived in Poland. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an additional 3,200,000 Ukrainians arrived in our country in an incredibly short space of time. A considerable number of them will stay here.
Poland is and will continue to be a place with a growing migrant community. For local communities, this means that not only in large cities, but also in smaller municipalities, foreign men and women are and will continue to be residents. This is a great challenge, but also a great opportunity for both Poland and the local communities.
Change, especially sudden change, creates anxiety and uncertainty. We therefore recommend and encourage the active, cross-sectoral involvement of local communities to take responsibility for the current social processes resulting from migration. The document we have prepared can serve as a starting point for discussions and broad cooperation to develop migration policies. Policies, that aim to create a community able to live peacefully with each other.
The document offers specific instructions suggesting “next steps” – from diagnosing the situation of migrants to identifying specific areas of integration policy to an implementation strategy. However, it is not a “ready-made” document – any municipality willing to use it should set aside time to work on its own policy.
The draft policy will be presented for the first time on October 18 at the “Local Trends” event in Poznań during the debate “How to take care of new urban residents? Long-term challenges of the refugee influx and migration policy”, hosted by Edwin Bendyk and featuring, among others, Anna Dąbrowska (Homo Faber), Agnieszka Kosowicz (Polish Migration Forum) and Karolina Sydow (Migrant Info Point).
About the Migration Consortium: The Consortium of social organisations working for migrants and refugees consists of nine social organisations sharing common values and united by a vision of what Poland and a Europe co-created by migrants and migrant women should look like. The Consortium is composed of Amnesty International Poland, Nasz Wybór Foundation, Polska Gościnność Foundation, Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Migrant Info Point, Homo Faber Association, Legal Intervention Association, NOMADA Association.
About Anna Dąbrowska – President of the Homo Faber Association. Human rights activist, anti-discrimination trainer, social animator, graduate of the School of Human Rights of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Institute of Legal Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She is currently working on her PhD at the Faculty of Political Science of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University on the integration processes of Ukrainian migration in Poland after 2014.