This toolkit was launched on 22-23 November 2017 at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg bringing together over 70 of Europe’s most active associations, international networks and national authorities concerned with refugees’ linguistic integration.
“The language support toolkit is an excellent example of a straightforward, practical solution which can be easily rolled out in a number of Council of Europe member States and which has the potential to materially improve opportunities for language learning by migrants and refugees in their host countries “ – underlined Ambassador Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and refugees, at the opening session of the Conference.
“We are not directive about how it should be implemented, - emphasised Matthew Johnson, Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation, - We want our member States to design the policies and practices relevant to them, and the Council of Europe’s project, the Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants, and the toolkit, were developed in this context. The toolkit also illustrates the importance we attach to education and languages in pursuit of the diverse societies we advocate. Migrants and refugees must be given the possibility to learn the language of the host country, be it only to gain some dignity in becoming autonomous.“
Available in 7 languages – Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Turkish – this online set of practical support and awareness-raising materials constituting the toolkit will enable refugees to deal with basic everyday situations (visiting a doctor, using transport or filling out forms).
The Council of Europe is thus responding to to the needs of organisations that provide language support for refugees and of their volunteers. This was also underlined by the four organisations (European Commission, IOM, UNHCR and OECD) that contributed to the launch and identified complementarity with some of their initiatives.
This toolkit is part of the Council of Europe project “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants - LIAM – that offers support to policy makers and practitioners who are working to facilitate migrants’ integration into civil society.