Corona pandemic threatens integration of immigrants in Germany
A study by a university in Bavaria has found that the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent lockdown restrictions, are endangering the integration of immigrants in Germany.
Immigration and integration study
A study by the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg has found that the restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus in Germany have, and are continuing to, endanger the integration of immigrants.
The researchers conducted the study through three possible scenarios. The first: an “exclusion society”, wherein integration and inclusion were replaced by assimilation. Researchers also considered a selective migration policy, in which the society would prefer “qualified, healthy and young” individuals. The final scenario was participation-based, in which society “values everyone’s contribution to all areas of social and economic life.”
How the coronavirus has affected immigrants
Immigrants and their descendants have found it particularly difficult to access schools, as well as language courses and integration lessons, during the pandemic. This is exacerbated by the fact that schools, and other educational institutions for immigrants, are often left lacking when it comes to WiFi and educational devices (such as laptops or tablets). Furthermore, support from volunteers has dwindled over the past year due to the pandemic.
Refugee children living in communal accommodation have been significantly affected. The study’s authors recommend that refugee children should be placed in decentralised housing wherever possible. This would also help reduce the risk of infection.
Anti-discrimination measures in Germany
According to the study, anti-discrimination measures could provide migrants and refugees with better access to support. The authors of the study demand that the 89 measures, which were introduced to combat right-wing extremism and racism, require “a strategic and effective bundling and implementation.” The authors argue that, in Germany, “over 30 percent of people working in the food sector, agriculture and cleaning trade have foreign citizenship.”
"Achievements that we have made in the past six or seven years threaten to peter out if we do not take appropriate countermeasures," warned the authors of the study.
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