Human rights: Swedish-Dutch cooperation on initiatives to bring newcomers and locals together
Migration and integration are inextricably bound up with each other. Europe is facing a political deadlock as well as practical problems when dealing with migration flows and fairly sharing the refugees. On the national and local level, integration is a challenge for both newcomers and locals. Many different integration initiatives have emerged, but the exchange of information and learning processes often remain within national borders.
Initiated by the Dutch initiative BlendIn, we set up a networking and learning event for several Dutch and Swedish integration initiatives. During this day, we even visited Fryshuset, where they have found a refreshing and successful way to deal with socially isolated youngsters, who are often migrants.
One of the results of this evening was that the Dutch initiative BlendIn is now cooperating with the Swedish initiative Welcome. Why do everything on your own when you can learn from others? Successful integration remains an important topic for discussion. But actually doing something about integration, thereby really making a difference, deserves our attention. Still, newcomers are waiting too long before they can start with language courses, citizenship tests and integration at all. That is why we need to continue this form of collaboration: Sweden and the Netherlands should be learning more from each other and their best cases! We are hoping to expand this mutual learning process by organising a follow-up event at the Swedish Embassy in The Hague.
Regarding human rights, this was far from everything we did during 2018. During Pride in Stockholm, we hosted the Rainbow Dress in the courtyard of our Embassy. This figure symbolises all countries where homosexuality is illegal. Moreover, together with other some other Embassies, we participated in the Pride Parade. The image of the Netherlands as a country that fights for equal rights for everybody was strengthened once again. As like-minded countries, especially on human rights, the Netherlands and Sweden will keep fighting for equal rights in the new year! During the next Pride, we will be visible again – and there is more in the pipeline. Stay tuned!