Strategic approaches to migration

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

3. Strategic approaches to migration

3.2 Ensuring leadership

Local politicians can play a central role in ensuring that local authority staff, and community planning partners, consider migration in policy development.  They can also play a key role in shaping public attitudes to migration, by communicating positive messages.

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We have produced a briefing note for elected members around migration.

Case study

Perth and Kinross Council has a robust equality and diversity structure and approach within the Council.  It has a Community Equality Advisory Group, involving over 60 organisations and individuals from across Perth and Kinross representing each of the equality characteristics.  It is chaired by an elected member who leads on equality work.  This elected member is a ‘Champion’ for equality and diversity, and works to build positive attitudes towards migration.  The elected member speaks out publicly about how much the council welcomes migration and how it enriches communities.  

Elected members can make the most of the opportunities they have to convey positive messages about asylum, refugee and migration issues.  To do this, they need to know about:

  • the migrants in their communities;
  • the particular issues that migrants face;
  • their rights and entitlements; 
  • the positive contributions they bring to the area; 
  • the pressure that can be placed on services; and
  • the impacts on communities.

It is particularly important that politicians are briefed on issues relating to housing, employment and benefits, as there can be concern about competition for these.