Since 2016, the 'InterACT – Integrated services for migrants, social and intercultural dialogue' project is facilitating integration and inclusion support to thousands of migrants and refugees residing in Romania through a network of the Regional Integration Centers.
InterACT has established itself as a valuable intervention in the region, with integrated support reaching an ever-increasing number of vulnerable migrants and refugees. The project facilitated access to medical assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, administrative support, educational activities, Romanian language and orientation courses, the latter being the most popular among migrants.
The project offers alternative support schemes, relying on networks of volunteers and cultural mediators. Mentoring provided by volunteers from the host community or intercultural mediators promotes cross-cultural interaction and dialogue between migrants, their communities, and host communities. Volunteers assist migrants in accessing educational, sociocultural, and recreational activities, as well as local government services.
Constantly adapting to migrants' needs and changing realities is a steppingstone. To that goal, the initiative is looking for new methods to:
Find suitable employment opportunities for beneficiaries that best match their needs and professional profile through collaboration with the private sector.
Include gender as a cross-cutting issue, in various stages of the implementation. The project counselling team regularly organises women-only group counselling sessions. This opportunity is greatly appreciated by the female beneficiaries as it allows them to freely express their opinions and challenges while learning about women's rights and opportunities in Romanian society.
Inform migrants about the integration support measures available and the integration program in general. Short animation movies are available in 7 languages, and can be viewed here.
Support migrants applying for Romanian citizenship by organising courses on history, geography, culture and legislation.
Since 2016, as part of the InterACT project, IOM Romania has achieved the following results:
Over 9,000 persons assisted with integration counselling.
Over 3,150 people supported with medical, material, legal, and with school supplies/stationary.
Over 4,050 persons educational and socio-cultural activities.
For more information regarding the project, please visit www.romaniaeacasa.ro.
Aligned with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), IOM considers integration as a crucial aspect of managing migration effectively and comprehensively. Its goal is to foster social inclusion and positive relations among diverse groups, thereby contributing to the development of diverse yet unified societies.
While integration varies in different countries and contexts, IOM acknowledges that successful integration is a dynamic process that involves both migrants and the host society adapting to one another. This process is guided by principles such as the protection of fundamental rights, respect, tolerance, and non-discrimination. Integration encompasses various dimensions, including migrants' economic, psychological, social, linguistic, navigational, and civic inclusion.
The migration context in Romania has seen important dynamics in the recent years, as Romania is starting to become a more attractive destination for foreigners. The majority of third-country nationals (TCNs) chose Romania as their destination for work, education, or family reasons.
Considering Romania's shrinking population predictions, labour migration to Romania is expected to become increasingly important. Certain sectors (e.g. hospitality and construction) and geographic areas are more exposed, resulting in growing pressure from the private sector on the Government to increase the number of work permits issued for TCNs. As such, the Romanian Government responded by increasing the contingent of non-EU workers, aligning it with the prevailing needs.
Additionally, the war in Ukraine has triggered one of the largest humanitarian crises on record with millions of refugees fleeing across borders in the neighbouring countries. As of September 2023, there had been over 3.3 million border crossings from Ukraine to Romania and over 1.3 million border crossings from the Republic of Moldova to Romania since the start of the full-scale war on 24 February 2022. Of these, over 140,000 Ukrainians had registered for Temporary Protection in Romania.
InterACT is funded by the European Union (EU) and the National Program – Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), and is implemented by IOM Romania in partnership with Schottener Foundation Social Services and AIDRom (Asociația Ecumenică a Bisericilor din România).