National planning: Reception of Applicants for International Protection (AIPs)

Introduction

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In light of the current migration crisis, the government's reception and integration policy is based on three pillars:

  • reception and accommodation;
  • education;
  • health.

In order to deal with the influx of refugees in Europe and in Luxembourg, a mandate for the implementation of an emergency plan for the reception of applicants for international protection (AIPs) was entrusted to the High Commission for National Protection (Haut-commissariat à la protection nationale, HCPN) by the government cabinet on 24 July 2015 at the request of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region.

The High Commission for National Protection is carrying out these tasks with the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) in close cooperation with many different actors.

This procedure fits within the goal of ultimately implementing a responsible and supportive migration policy, in order to guarantee adequate support and assistance for each refugee arriving in Luxembourg.

Coordination of tasks

  • Coordination group

    In order to work efficiently, a coordination group has been set up. This group is chaired together by a representative of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region and the HCPN and is responsible for monitoring the planning for the emergency reception of AIPs.

    Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Immigration Directorate; Ministry of Finance: Acquisition Committee, Directorate for Financial Control, Inspectorate-General of Finance; Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure: Department of Transport, Department of Land Use Planning, Department of the Environment, Public Building Administration; Ministry of Internal Security; Ministry of Interior Affairs; Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth; Ministry of Health - Directorate for Health; Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI); Luxembourg Rescue Services Agency (ASS); Information and Press Service of the Luxembourg Government (SIP) Grand Ducal Army; Customs and Excise Agency; Grand Ducal Police; High Commission for National Protection (HCPN); external experts: Red Cross, Caritas.

  • Unit for the assessment of incoming AIPs

    This unit is chaired by the OLAI and is responsible for the ongoing monitoring of the situation in terms of incoming AIPs.

    It consists of representatives of the Immigration Directorate, the OLAI and the HCPN.

  • Logistics unit

    This unit is chaired by the Luxembourg Rescue Services Agency (Administration des services de secours, ASS) and is tasked with coordinating the work to implement and equip the accommodation facilities required in order to deal with the current influx of refugees.

    It is made up of the representatives of the ASS, the Public Building Administration, the Army, the OLAI and the HCPN.

Reception policy

Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI)

The Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) is responsible for implementing and coordinating the policy for the reception and integration of foreign nationals arriving in Luxembourg. Its tasks include drawing up a National Action Plan for Integration and Against Discrimination and implementing and managing the Welcome and Integration Contract (CAI).

OLAI is also the authority responsible for the reception and accommodation of applicants for international protection (APIs).

Anyone who submits an application for international protection in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is given material support for the duration of the procedure. This includes accommodation, meals or foodstuffs and basic medical care. This provision of material assistance is coordinated by OLAI, which is also responsible for providing social and educational support for the APIs living in its accommodation facilities.

In some accommodation facilities, OLAI calls on partners such as the Red Cross and Caritas for the day-to-day management and social support of APIs.

Finally, OLAI is authorised to manage accommodation facilities that offer temporary housing for APIs and to work in collaboration with the appropriate authorities to promote the building and renovation of accommodation centres that offer temporary housing for APIs.

Applying for international protection

Concerning asylum law, Luxembourg mainly recognises two types of international protection status: refugee status and the subsidiary protection status.

In addition to these two protections, temporary protection of a more exceptional nature also exists. This is decided in the event of a massive influx of people who suddenly had to leave their country.

The Department for Refugees of the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is qualified to register and process requests for international protection and to rule on these requests.

Accommodation

With permanent accommodation facilities for applicants for international protection having reached saturation in September/October 2015, a provisional reception solution was required for newcomers in addition to existing accommodation. A mandate for the implementation of an emergency reception plan for AIPs was presented to the HCPN by the government cabinet on 24 July 2015 at the request of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region.

The HCPN carried out this work together with the OLAI and in close cooperation with many different actors, and the government cabinet was able to approve the first phase of these plans in its meeting of 11 September 2015.

The creation of two categories of reception centres for newcomers was decided:

  • in the short term: installation and activation of reception centres for newcomers within quite a short space of time;
  • in the medium term: container villages will be used as of mid-2016.

The HCPN coordinates the identification, implementation and equipping of the reception centres for newcomers, together with the OLAI, the ASS (short term) and the Public Building Administration (medium term).

Together with its partners (the Red Cross, Caritas, etc.), OLAI is responsible for running these reception centres for newcomers and providing support to APIs.

Infrastructure available as of September 2015:

While awaiting the installation of 'container villages', reception centres for newcomers available in the short term were implemented as of the month of September.

To this effect, five sites are operational:

  • Strassen: former logopaedics centre;
  • Luxembourg City: former maternity ward at the Centre hospitalier de Luxembourg (Luxembourg Hospital), wing on the Route d'Arlon side;
  • Ettelbruck: building B at the Centre hospitalier neuropsychiatrique (neuropsychiatric hospital);
  • Mersch: CREOS/ENOVOS former counting department;
  • Mondercange: former EDIFF (differentiated education) centre

The search for additional infrastructure to host AIPs in the short term is being carried out by the relevant authorities.

'Containers villages':

  • Former convalescent home in Soleuvre: Site opened on 15 August 2017.
  • Diekirch – Herrenberg: This site opened at the end of 2016.
  • Esch-sur-Alzette: There are plans for this site to open in spring 2018.
  • AIP land use plan – Marnach: It has been decided to wait for the entry into force of the land use bill (bill 7065) which, following the opinion delivered by the Council of State on 24 October 2017, is still likely to undergo occasional amendments.
  • AIP land use plan – Mamer: The hearings were held on 16 October 2017. The judgment is unlikely to be pronounced before early the following year.
  • AIP land use plan – Junglinster: On 28 September 2017, a judgment repealed the Grand Ducal Regulation of 15 March 2016 making the Junglinster AIP land use plan mandatory.
    The judges of the Administrative Tribunal cited a lack of justification for the urgency invoked for adoption of the regulation.
    The search for additional sites in which to set up 'container villages' is being carried out by the relevant authorities.

Education

Schooling of refugee children, inclusive education, integrating foreign pupils

Given the specific situation of the children of AIPs, which is subject to uncertainty regarding their length of stay, and the low level of schooling even at an advanced age, the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth, in accordance with the Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (Art. 14), is focusing on two equally important priorities, whether the children and young people remain here or return to their country of origin:

  • as far as possible, allow children to feel stable and secure and enable them to live life like any other child or young person;
  • ensure that children learn at least one of our languages of communication, in order to enable them to communicate with other children and to continue their schooling. Mastering one or several foreign languages is a necessity in order to attend school in Luxembourg, and is also an advantage if the individual returns to his country of origin.

Services/measures implemented:

  • Within the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth:
    • the Department for the Schooling of Foreign Children (Service de la scolarisation des enfants étrangers, SECAM) coordinates the measures aimed at integrating all foreign children into the school system regardless of the parents' status. Through various projects and aid services, it provides support to pupils, the parents of pupils speaking a foreign language and teachers hosting these pupils in their classes;
    • the School Reception Unit for Newly Arrived Pupils (Cellule d'accueil pour élèves nouveaux arrivants, CASNA), a centralised reception service run by the SECAM, communicates in different languages about the Luxembourg school system and the aid measures provided for all newly arrived pupils, including the children of applicants for international protection. All new arrivals (aged 12-24) must be processed by the CASNA in order to ensure that they are placed in a school that matches their profile;
    • due to the mass arrival of applicants for international protection in the autumn of 2015, the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth implemented a 'Refugee Task Force' responsible for coordinating the ministry's various initiatives for children of AIPs.
  • For primary school:
    • Article 17 of the GDR of 6 June 2009 determining the functioning of reception courses and classes for newly arrived children in Luxembourg provides that reception classes may be created by the State in the event of exceptional requirements going beyond the municipal framework;
    • since the massive influx, State Specialised Reception Classes (classes spécialisées d'accueil de l'État, CSAEs) for children of AIPs run in some container villages, while others run in schools;
    • where possible, children join a regular class after a year of schooling in a CSAE class.
  • For post-primary education:
    • young AIPs living in container villages or in other reception facilities generally attend a reception class at the local secondary school, for up to one year;
    • there are 'reception classes' created in accordance with Article 9 of the law of 25 June 2004 on the organisation of secondary schools and technical secondary schools. Reception classes allow teachers to deal with the great heterogeneity of the newly arrived pupils. The disparity of previous school careers requires specialised, adapted and flexible education. This is why reception classes offer a programme adapted to the individual needs of the pupils, based on the curriculum for the reception classes in lower technical secondary education:
      • 'ACCU' (Reception) classes (age 12-15) and 'ACCU+' (Reception+) classes (age 12-15): for young people with the ability to reach a satisfactory level to ensure optimal transition to the regular system;
      • 'CLIJA' classes (integration classes for young adults) (age 16);
      • 'CLIJA+' classes (integration classes for young adults) (age 17-24)
    • specific classes: integration classes (lower secondary) and courses with specific language systems (RLSs) (middle and higher secondary), international secondary education and classes preparing for the international baccalaureate in general secondary education.
  • For extracurricular care (age 3-17): in the context of agreements with the carriers of reception facilities for AIPs (Croix-Rouge, Caritas), children and young people are cared for on site, outside class hours.
  • Unaccompanied minors (UMs): in order to ensure regular monitoring of UMs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly informs us of the identity of the unaccompanied minors arriving in Luxembourg who have applied for international protection. Where possible, these UMs are placed in reception facilities specially implemented for them.
  • Resources provided to teachers:
    • support and guidance for teachers from specialists recruited specifically for this purpose (teacher working for the Ministry for National Education, Children and Youth, additional employee for the CASNA);
    • Intercultural mediators intercultural mediators: 29 intercultural mediators for 29 different languages;
    • specific continuing education for school teachers and other school actors.
  • Network collaboration: in order to ensure quality reception and adequate school support for children and young people who are applicants for international protection, the Department for the Schooling of Foreign Children coordinates and participates in the weekly and/or monthly meetings with the OLAI, the NGOs, the logistics unit implemented by the HCPN as well as the school transport services.
  • Project 'Accompanied Integration Path' (Parcours d'intégration accompagné, PIA) project: the government is implementing the PIA for AIPs and beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs). It is compulsory for AIPs aged 18 to 65. It is based on the principle that well-prepared integration rests on two elements:
    • learning at least one of the country's languages;
    • understanding how everyday life works in Luxembourg.

    There are 3 phases:

    1. 16 hours (Luxembourgish classes and introduction to everyday life) (compulsory);
    2. 80-120 hours of French or school training (CLIJA+ for 18-24-year-olds) (compulsory):
    3. thematic sessions for BIPs.

'Intégration Linguistique 1' (Language Integration 1) and 'Intégration Linguistique 2' (Language Integration 2) offered by the Department of Adult Education

As part of the Parcours d’Intégration Accompagné (Supported Integration Route) project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth provides the language training section and training guidance for adults. 'Intégration Linguistique (Language Integration) 1' (IL1) and Intégration Linguistique 2' (IL2) are aimed at newcomers and applicants for international protection (AIPs).

The Adult Education Service provides the following services as part of the Supported Integration Route:

  1. IL1 classes aim to explain the language situation in Luxembourg and its school system as well as provide the first contact with the Luxembourgish language (teaching tool: 100 Wierder Lëtzebuergesch). Individual care for participants enables newcomers to find their way in the school system and job market.
     
  2. A portfolio is created for each AIP, enabling them to document their school and/or professional career. Language requirements and skills are revealed individually in order to ensure referral to adult education, taking into account the skills acquired and the participant's ability to learn. The courses offered include literacy classes, French classes (or other language classes), integration classes for young adults at secondary schools, 9th year (the final year of compulsory education in Luxembourg, normally completed at age 16) integration classes for adults. The Department of Adult Education has also launched a 9th year class project which combines learning in conventional classes and an apprenticeship carried out in workshops.
     
  3. In the context of the IL2 classes, the Department of Adult Education organises intensive literacy and A1 French classes aimed at AIPs in order to complete the range of language classes on offer in the Grand Duchy. The development of language skills is an essential aspect of successful integration and considerably improves the employability of participants.
     
  4. After IL2 classes, a second personal guidance session is held with each participant. Referral to literacy classes, language classes, '9th year' classes for adults or to higher education can be improved taking into account the learning capacity and career plans of the AIPs or BIPs.

The general objective is to engage participants in a guided process to learn the national languages which form a solid basis for professional and social integration. Individual referral to the educational provisions suited to the learner is an essential element of each school/professional career in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Health

The government has made a commitment to ensure adequate healthcare and medical care for each refugee arriving in Luxembourg. Equal access to the healthcare system for refugees is thus guaranteed thanks to medical check-ups, vaccinations and emergency healthcare. It was thus decided to reinforce the capacities of the healthcare infrastructure, in order to best manage the current influx as well as the long-term influx.

Each new arrival must undergo a health check-up carried out by a doctor from the Health Directorate, more specifically the Health Inspection Division, delegated for this purpose by the Minister of Health. This is carried out in collaboration with the 'Centre médico-social' (healthcare clinic). If necessary, the OLAI, in collaboration with the Health Inspection Division, organises medical care for refugees. Where necessary, interpreters attend these check-ups and medical care.

Each AIP is registered with the Caisse nationale de santé (CNS, Luxembourg National Health Fund) and after a period of 3 months, can use the services of the CNS in the same way as other residents.

In order to also ensure long-term medical and health support for newly arrived AIPs, the Health Department will be reinforced.

Medical, social and psychological support and public health mission

On the one hand, the aim is to ensure adequate medical, social and psychological support for each refugee received, and on the other, to fulfill a public health mission in order to reduce the risk of importation of infectious diseases to a minimum.

In May 2012, and in cooperation with the OLAI, the Health Inspection Division the first health monitoring of refugees began. This monitoring consists in detecting potential carriers of infectious diseases. The law of 18 December 2015 on the reception of applicants for international protection introduced the legal obligation for AIPs to undergo this health monitoring.

In collaboration with the Ligue médico-sociale (Healthcare league), health problems are screened for. Currently the health monitoring consists in a medical check-up, an X-ray of the thorax, a skin test, blood test and examination of stools. Vaccination is also offered to AIPs. Almost all these people are thus vaccinated upon arrival in Luxembourg.

Psychological care

Many of the AIPs who arrive in the Grand Duchy have witnessed acts of violence or had traumatic experiences. Some suffer from psychological problems and need professional psychological care. The government is thus implementing the necessary means in order to guarantee suitable therapeutic care.

News items on gouvernement.lu (selection - in French)

Legislation

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