The inclusive city
In Amsterdam lives a large group of undocumented migrants: people who do not have a residence permit, rejected asylum seekers or victims of human trafficking, that cannot leave the Netherlands for diverse reasons. Undocumented migrants are excluded from most civil rights and social facilities. This makes the possibility to make autonomous choices, build up a life and have a future perspective extremely difficult. For the last few years, the municipality of Amsterdam facilitated for this group night shelters under the name: Bed, Bad, Brood (BBB). However, in 2018 the newly installed city council of Amsterdam has at aim to create a more inclusive city for all people of Amsterdam. The night shelters are changed into 24-hour shelters, new possibilities for participation in the city are examined, and from July 2019 the municipality wants to give undocumented migrants the possibility for social and juridical support to work on a future perspective. Within this change of policy, the year 2019 is seen as a year of transition. In this light of transition and the idea of the inclusive city, how can undocumented migrants become more part of the Amsterdam society?
|Project name||The Inclusive City|
|Start date||February 2019|
|Action Researcher||Karin Arendsen|
|Number of action researchers||1|
Each Participatory Action Research starts from a community issue, addressed by its problem owners at location. As such, we make sure the action research is based on local demand rather than donor demand. Together with these local stakeholders, we design the action research in a way that fits the local context, from the problem framing up to methodology and concept definitions.
Because undocumented migrants in Amsterdam are excluded from many rights, they do not have the possibility to fully take part in the Amsterdam society. Access to (voluntary) work, education and social activities that they can choose themselves, is difficult and the worlds of people with and without papers are very much separated.
The goal of this action research is to facilitate the co-creation of a community action plan to improve the possibilities for undocumented migrants to become more part of the Amsterdam society.
Which community action plan can be realized to improve the possibilities for undocumented migrants to become more part of Amsterdam society?
- What are at this moment the possibilities for undocumented migrants to become part of Amsterdam society?
- What do stakeholders think of as necessary regarding the improvement of possibilities to become part of Amsterdam society for undocumented migrants?
- What do stakeholders think of as possible solutions to improve the possibilities to become part of Amsterdam society for undocumented migrants?
- Which assets are already present within the community to improve the possibilities to become part of Amsterdam society for undocumented migrants?
Each PAR-project delivers direct outcomes for the local community on the addressed issue: we can share how many people have been reached, what their perspective is on the current and desired situation and what final Community Action Plan (CAP) they have co-created and implemented. In a later stage, local stakeholders will evaluate the impact of the CAP.
As undocumented migrants are excluded from most rights and social services, it’s almost impossible to actually take part in society. Yet, in 2019 the city of Amsterdam takes part in a national pilot regarding policy-change towards the situation of undocumented migrants. A new system for shelter and guidance for a selected group of undocumented migrants in the city is provided.
Within this time of transition the question arises if and how undocumented migrants can become more part of Amsterdam society. At this moment the worlds of people living undocumented and the world of documented people are very much separated. Undocumented migrants are most of the time not asked for their opinion and possibilities to take part in society are scare.
All stakeholders that have been involved in the action research expressed the need for better dialogue between undocumented migrants, support organisations, citizens of Amsterdam and the municipality of Amsterdam. Better dialogue will have several positive results: a better understanding of each other and the field, a better sharing of information and a better inclusion of the voice of undocumented migrants. In this way undocumented migrants can think together with other stakeholders how to improve the possibility to become part of Amsterdam society.
A format for better dialogue including undocumented migrants has been co-created. This format can be used as a starting point by any person/organisation that wants to set-up dialogue-sessions between undocumented migrants, organisations, other Amsterdam citizens and the municipality.
Amsterdam City Rights, one of the stakeholders, will keep on focussing on creating better dialogue between undocumented migrants and the city, for this they will also make use of the dialogue-format.
Inclusive dialogue-sessions will function as a first step towards a better inclusion of undocumented migrants in society.
After six months an evaluation will be held with several stakeholders to determine the actual impact.