Interest in migrant volunteering has been rising in the European countries even though it has not yet received full recognition as an important step towards sustainable employment. However, there is a lack of knowledge and data about migrant volunteering in European countries and SMART Volunteering project aims to fill this gap by exploring roles and actions to foster social integration.
The first step of this exploration is "Perceptions, Experience and Barriers among Migrant Women, NGOs and Private Sector" Report, containing a summary of Desk Researches, Focus Groups and Individual Interviews. The report is collated by the European Network of Migrant Women, based on the national reports in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom, and written by SMART Volunteering partner organisations.
Even though reasons for moving to Europe vary, migrant women all aspire to study, be trained and get proper jobs suitable to their qualifications. They are motivated to integrate into social and economic life when provided with necessary support and tools. Most migrant women believe that volunteering can play an important role in their self-development, access to labour market, engaging in community and coping with uncertainty. Many volunteering positions do not offer enough opportunities, which demotivates them to do volunteering in long term.
Legal framework on volunteering varies in partner countries. In some of them, the law clearly defines volunteering, while there is no legal framework for voluntary work in other countries. Only a few NGOs offer professional tasks to volunteers, helping acquire transferable into labour market skills. Most organisations provide informal volunteering not clearly defined with an agreement. Spain is the only country where for-profit companies can engage with volunteers.
Most companies either do not have official policies on equal opportunities and gender equality or do not find it applicable to their companies. 57 out of 90 companies provide internship or volunteering opportunities. However, volunteering is not common since the law does not allow volunteering in profit-making entities.Download the whole report