Integration of migrants into social, economic and cultural life
The main goal of the measure "Integration of migrants into social, economic and cultural life in the Republic of Croatia" is to adopt the integration policy to be based on fundamental principles and values of equality, freedom and reciprocity. The Integration policy, in the narrow sense, refers to: integration of present and potential immigrants, measures provided by the state and society ensuring a good quality of life for immigrants, active prevention of discrimination, xenophobia and racism and giving immigrants the possibility of becoming active participants in social life and overall development of the Republic of Croatia. The aim of integration is to provide an environment based on equality, fairness, respect and achievement of individual and mutual benefit. ln order to achieve this goal, foreigners should be enabled to achieve their full potential as members of society, to contribute to the community, and conditions should be created enabling them to assume rights and responsibilities as members of the community. ln order to achieve that, the first step is to set up a legal framework that should facilitate integration into the Croatian society and create a stimulating environment by preventing discrimination and xenophobia and promoting intercultural dialogue. Special attention is paid to foreigners' status, employment, education, social security, health care, preservation of cultural, religious and linguistic identity and access to the media. Some of the most important conditions for the integration of foreigners into society are as follows:
- access to labour market,
- access to educational system,
- health care and social security and
- cooperation with the countries of origin.
Through cooperation between all governmental and non-governmental bodies and organizations, projects will be carried out, allowing foreigners to learn the Croatian language, organizing courses and other educational programmes for further education and training, providing foreigners with information about their rights and obligations, providing foreigners with information about Croatian history, culture and constitutional regulation, all of which aimed at integrating them as quickly as possible into the cultural and economic life in the Republic of Croatia. The aforesaid goal is stipulated in the Constitutional provision on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, a series of international documents which the Republic of Croatia is a signatory to, and in the Aliens Act prescribing adoption of migration policy acts. The goal is defined in the document- 2007/2008 Migration Policy of the Republic of Croatia passed by the Croatian Parliament in 2007. ln 2008 the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted, the first Action Plan for implementation of the Migration policy of the Republic of Croatia.
The measure "Integration of migrants into social, economic and cultural life" (a set of social issues in the Action Plan) is implemented through several specific activities which the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the Ministry of Culture are responsible for and of which three are of utmost importance for culture:
- Committing foreigners, in the process of approval of residence and of being granted Croatian citizenship, to attending Croatian language courses and learning about Croatian history and culture: The activity includes development and adoption of the programme and implementation plan as well as implementation of the programme and plan to teach Croatian language, history and culture.
- Carrving out activities with the aim of raising public awareness of different aspects and cause and effect results of migratory movements which is also a prereguisite for the prevention of xenophobia. prejudice and negative attitude towards foreigners: The activity includes preparation and presentation of a thematic lesson in all secondary schools, which would mark The World Cultural Diversity Day with the aim of raising awareness about cultural diversity being an asset for society of respect of the rights of others a foundation for self-respect and one's own right to diversity in the world.
- Preventing discriminatory procedures and treatment towards immigrants in economic, social and cultural life - The activity includes an analysis of inclusion of labour migration across economic branches and a comparative analysis of salaries for domicile population with respect to those of labour migrants; systematic promotion of measures creating room for national cultural activities, products and services among the ones available within the national territory in order to create, produce, distribute and enjoy such national cultural activities, products and services, including provisions related to the use of language for such activities, products and services: strengthening partnerships with and among civil societies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in fostering and promoting diversity of cultural expression.