Practical seminar: “Problems of Adaptation and Integration of Foreign Nationals: Use of the International Experience by the Social Services of St. Petersburg”

On 25-26 March 2014 IOM Moscow jointly with Saint-Petersburg Regional office of Russian Red Cross and Saint-Petersburg State Budget Institution “Regional Center “Family” organized and conducted a two-days practical seminar in Saint-Petersburg for the specialists of municipal social institutions on organization of work with the vulnerable categories of foreign nationals including victims of human trafficking on topic: “Problems of Adaptation and Integration of Foreign Nationals: Use of the International Experience by the Social Services of St. Petersburg”.

The seminar was attended by 46 participants, 12 invited experts delivered training sessions. The main aim of the seminar was to advance the ability of the specialists of municipal social institutions to provide sustainable and professional assistance to foreign nationals, including representatives of at-risk groups and victims of human trafficking in integration and adaptation on the territory of St. Petersburg in accordance with international experience and methodology of International Organization for Migration in provision of such assistance.

The programme included such topics as:
- Professional standards of social work with migrants and other vulnerable groups of population, including victims of trafficking;
- International experience of provision of direct assistance to foreign nationals and examples of cooperation between governmental structure sand NGOs;
- Rights and responsibilities of foreign nationals in the Russian Federation;
- Information services for migrants and vulnerable groups of population;
- Specific of psychological assistance in course of migration cycle;
- Financial education for migrants.

Representatives of the state structures, such as the “Center of Labour Resources” of the Committee on Labour and Employment of St. Petersburg, Department for Integration of Foreign Nationals of UFMS of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region and the city Committee on International Relations and Implementation of Migration Policy in their presentations spoke about the implementation of the policy in the sphere of integration on the territory of St. Petersburg; discussed the scheme of cooperation with the municipal social structures on the issues of assistance to foreign nationals and their families; answered numerous questions of the audience.

Two Skype sessions were organized during the seminar. On the first day representatives of the Integration Center “Prague” and Municipal District Prague 14 shared their practical international experience in organization of a system of a social adaptation of foreign nationals in the city of Prague.

On the second day the Skype session was organized with the representatives of the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The specialists spoke about very interesting and useful experience of the British Red Cross in development of the education guide on popularization of positive image of migrants among young people. They also spoke about good practices on providing social and humanitarian assistance to migrants and other at-risk groups through mobile brigades of social workers.

Participants took part in practical exercises, group discussions, questions and answers sessions. Seminar sessions were supported by audio and video presentations, original ethnic music clips and photos. Special attention was paid to psychological exercises on development of harmony, cooperation and tolerance among the participants.

Participants took part in practical exercises, group discussions, questions and answers sessions. Seminar sessions were supported by audio and video presentations, original ethnic music clips and photos. Special attention was paid to psychological exercises on development of harmony, cooperation and tolerance among the participants.