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  The project „Study of the situation of third-country nationals in Latvia in 2017”


„Baltic Institute of Social Sciences” has carried out a research project „Study of the situation of third-country nationals in Latvia in 2017”. The aim of the study was to assess the current situation of third-country nationals in the following areas: residence permit, employment, education, health care, social protection and housing, acquisition of the Latvian language and integration programs, civic participation and interaction with the local society. The research carried out a survey of third-country nationals (a sample of 503 respondents), 30 in-depth interviews with third-country nationals and persons of international protection, 10 in-depth interviews with non-governmental organizations implementing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Foundation (AMIF) projects and representatives of local governments in all regions of Latvia (Riga, Jelgava, Cesis, Liepaja, Daugavpils). In addition, an analysis of the latest statistical data was carried out on third-country nationals and persons of international protection in Latvia and five other countries - Estonia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany – study of policy and experience with the AMIF target groups.

The final report of the study includes the results and conclusions of all the research activities mentioned above, including the analysis of the dynamics of the main indicators (comparison with the research data from 2009 and 2015), as well as proposals for measuring the target group's inclusion in society and the desired changes in the legal framework. The main use of the research results is for the planning of AMIF's activities and effective investment of funds in the future.

Here are some of the main findings of the study:
• the number of third-country nationals in Latvia with a temporary residence permit and a permanent residence permit continues to increase (2009: 8474 with TRP and 31,063 with PRP, in 2017 (June) - 26,618 with TRP and 47,819 with PRP);
• the inclusion of third-country nationals in society and future intentions about life in Latvia is strongly influenced by the changing national immigration policy;
• knowledge of the Latvian language is the prerequisite for a successful integration of third-country nationals into the labor market, education and business development;
• the target group of AMIF maintains a very high demand for successive and qualitative Latvian language training at different levels of language proficiency in all regions of Latvia;
• the level of knowledge, learning motivation and the use of the state language is directly related with the planned duration of stay of third-country nationals in Latvia;
• employers who employ qualified third-country nationals make a significant contribution to the successful integration of this target group into Latvian society;
• the attraction of employed third-country nationals in various sectors of the economy is changing - since 2009 and 2015 the share of third-country nationals employed in transport, logistics and communication (including IT) has increased (from 17% in 2009 to 25% in 2017);
• the third-country nationals still face great difficulties in the field of health care, especially in the case of minors and in the field employment, which is directly related to the lack of knowledge of the Latvian language and the understanding of the specifics of the situation in different sectors in Latvia;
• although the rights and opportunities for persons of international protection vary substantially  depending on the status granted, the main difficulties of this group are related to the initiation of independent life in Latvia, especially in areas such as housing, employment and general education;
• persons of international protection are at greater risk of discrimination than third-country nationals with a positive dynamics indicator (in 2009 41% had experienced unjust or offensive attitude due to their ethnic or religious affiliation, yet in 2017 this figure is 20%);
• the activities of municipalities in the area of integration of the AMIF target groups are non-systematic and based on the resources of international financial instruments and non-governmental organizations;
• the current activities of AMIF in Latvia – projects in the field of integration - generally meet the needs of the target group and contribute to the achievement of the AMIF's general and national goals.

The Project (No. PMIF/12/IZV/2017/1/01) is being implemented from 15 September 2017 until 31 December 2017 within the planning period of The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2014-2020, with funding from the European Union (75%) and the Latvian state budget (25%). The total cost of the project is € 31 418, 14. 

 BISS has accomplished a project "The analysis of integration of Latvian non-citizens: RESEARCH, PROGNOSIS, SOLUTIONS AND DIALOGUE" 

The project aim was to promote the process of naturalization and dialogue with non-citizens. The target group was Latvian non-citizens as well as experts and national authorities and municipal employees working with non-citizens. The project was implemented in the big cities with the largest number of non-citizens in Latvia - Riga, Daugavpils, Liepaja and Jelgava.

The monograph that has been prepared within the project is based on the following information sources and data obtaining methods: (1) research of theoretical literature on the citizenship issues; (2) analysis of the available statistical data; (3) secondary analysis of the data of previously made surveys with non-citizens; (4) carrying out in-depth interviews with non-citizens (total number of interviews – 40 interviews); (5) forecasting of the change in numbers of non-citizens for the next 5, 10 and 20 years, basing on the statistical analysis and data of interviews; (6) findings obtained at the approbation workshop in Riga and discussion circles in Jelgava, Liepâja, Daugavpils and Riga; (7) integrated analysis of the obtained information. The full text of the monograph “The analysis of integration of Latvian non-citizens” is available here.

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