Asylum seekers and community service in municipal context

The ifz conducts an exploratory study on the question if and how community service in municipalities can promote social integration of asylum seekers in Salzburg. For this purpose, the ifz cooperates with the Red Cross Salzburg.

The increased influx of forced migrants, who seek refuge and apply for asylum in (some) member states of the European Union since 2015, has created new challenges for Austria´s society. A lot of asylum seekers intend to stay in the province of Salzburg. As a consequence, it is necessary to create opportunities for comprehensive participation in the economic, social and cultural life. Social integration is a multidimensional concept and can be facilitated through a wide range of different policies and initiatives. The Red Cross Salzburg does see high potential in community service by asylum seekers that is organised in corporation with communal administrative authorities in Salzburg. Therefore, it provides a service for municipalities to inform regulations and assist bearing down obstacles that hinder opportunities for community service to be put into practice.

Community Service could be a promising approach to facilitate social integration of asylum seekers into local communities. However, so far, there are hardly any scientific studies on the impact of community service in the municipal context on social integration of asylum seekers. Therefore, the project fills an important gap at deepening the understanding about this topic.

The project “Community service by asylum seekers in the municipal context” is carried out by Miriam Foidl.