Newly arrived migrants after a NAD seminar at the Public Employment Service. They hope to be able to continue the university studies that were interrupted in their home country due to the war. Photo Nils Bergendal
People have always migrated from place to place. This shows no sign of changing, on the contrary. There are many reasons. Besides voluntary migrations and forced migration due to wars and conflicts, we also see poverty and environmental and climate changes as ever stronger causes for increased migration. This development presents increasing challenges to receiving societies as newly arrived migrants’ opportunities for participation, health and empowerment are central to a sustainable social development in any society.
Addressing this issue, a model called Partnership Skåne was established in Southern Sweden in 2008. Since then Partnership Skåne has acted as a frame for comprehensive inter-sectorial cooperation and methodological development supporting the integration of newly arrived migrants in Skåne, with a focus on health, participation and empowerment.
In Partnership Skåne, organizations that are responsible for the reception and establishment of newcomers in Skåne, have come together to jointly develop methods and secure conditions for addressing prioritised needs where regional cooperation and coordination of resources is necessary. The partners continuously work with the development of methodology and knowledge. The three main methods are:
SHK Civic and health communication in the migrants’ mother tongue given in a comprehensive programme as soon as possible upon arrival in the region. The programme comprises of mandatory civic orientation supplemented and health communication. The programme also organizes and facilitates visits to different arenas in the local community through the project ‘Welcome to Skåne’.
NAD Cooperation with civil society in order to increasethe newly arrived migrants’ opportunities to social networking and participation, language training and health promotion. Participation is voluntary, and it is based on local conditions in receiving communities.
MILSA A support platform for migration and health, with cooperation between practitioners and researchers aimed at joint knowledge development. MILSA incorporates five universities in different parts of Sweden and produces a continuous flow of research and evaluation which is used in the further development of Partnership Skåne and its methods.
The work in Partnership Skåne is conducted as part of the County Administrative Board’s mission to promote capacity and preparedness for the reception of newly arrived migrants. Partnership Skåne is regulated through a special multiannual agreement with Region Skåne (under the regional development strategy, RUS). The partnership is, furthermore, linked to Agreement Skåne, a regional agreement about cooperation between the public sector (Region Skåne and the County Administrative Board of Skåne) and civil society organizations. Through Partnership Skåne, the responsible organizations in Skåne also cooperate with national and international actors.