An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. The following entry is written by Arif Shala,  doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

Arif Shala__

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Migration is one of the most pressing issues of our time. In the globalized economy of the 21st century, migration results in various economic advantages for the domestic country, including but not limited to reduction of unemployment, and money infusion from remittances. The host country, is also subject to additional economic benefits tied primarily to  incoming labor force in times of labor shortages, and relatively cheap labor. It is necessary to highlight that with growing migration social consequences become noticeable.

Despite several benefits of migration, host countries, have denied access to social security and social protection to migrants. These decision have primarily been made in order to discourage permanent migration and encourage temporary migration instead. Evidence suggests that the latter is better accepted by the national population. Research has shown that temporary migration better represents the interests of migrants while in the mean time preserving the well-being of the domestic country.

Social Security

It is often that social security programs are viewed in light of inclusion versus exclusion. Inclusion however, is not achieved only with access to social security benefits, it is only complete once migrants are fully involved in the society.

In Western Europe  schemes vary from country to country but generally make a distinction between social protection for children, social protection for women and men of working age (unemployment protection, employment injury protection, disability benefits and maternity protection) and finally social protection for older women and men which generally refers to pensions and other non-health benefits.

In 2013 Western European countries spent 19.2 % of their overall GDP in social protection schemes. Of this percentage, the majority, 11.1 % goes in contributions to older women and men. The other two categories receive 2.2 % and 5.9 % respectively, which is significantly lower.  According to GDP data for 2013 the overall sum invested in social protection schemes amounted roughly to 2.5 trillion dollars.

Social Protections Schemes Europe

Table 1. Budget for Social Protection Programs in EU in 2013.

Social security is tied to the concept of solidarity. However, only special groups benefit and have access to solidarity founds. Every solidity scheme clearly indicates who is in and who is out. The new developments across the world argue that the need for a new approach towards social protection is inevitable. This new approach proposed by them argues for meeting minimum care requirements in accordance with human rights standards along with making income support and credits available to migrants who decide to return to their country.

Forms of social protection include social insurance, social and medical assistance and informal social security. Social security systems provide citizens with the right to access income security, overcome poverty and inequality and promote inclusion and dignity. It is through this manner that citizens benefit from health care, necessary income and education perspectives.

Social Benefits

Generally speaking, European countries provide access to insurance protection for migrants conditional upon their legal status, including cases of temporary work status. Social assistance is also not conditional upon nationality. Within European Union states, legal migrants are able to file for social assistance. In very special cases temporary social assistance may be offered to illegal immigrants as well. Even in cases when migrants are legally allowed to benefit from social programs they can do so only after spending some time residing in the new country.

Formal social services such as education and housing remain out of reach until a specified period of time has passed. What is even worse is the fact that many rich countries have modified requirements for social systems in an attempt to deny access to such systems for migrants. It should however be noted that by relying on assistance migrants can easily harm their permanent residency perspective. In order to obtain the right to live and work in the EU a migrant is required to demonstrate the ability to financially maintain oneself and the family.

Economic Implications Security Protection Programs

It is estimated that 80% of the world population is denied comprehensive social protection. Unfortunately it is only through these programs that countries are able to fight inequality and poverty. Social protection is considered to be the tool through which inclusion and sustainable development are made available. Research evidence suggests that exclusion from social protection makes people in general, and vulnerable groups in specific subject to poverty in which they can remain for generations. Of all population groups migrants are more likely to sink to poverty. Consequently, it is through these programs that they are offered a chance to become involved in the society.

Evidence suggests that access to social security and decent work explain the difference in progress between countries. Countries which did not provide their populations with access to decent work and social security schemes achieved little progress between 1990 and 2005 in comparison to other countries.  Social protection schemes make it possible for all members of the society to have access to vital goods and services.

Due to the fact that social protection promotes inclusion and sustainable development it should be considered an investment which promotes economic growth. It is the channel through which human development objectives are met. Conditions such as better nutrition, health and education are fulfilled. It is only once the conditions of education opportunity, health care, food, accommodation and basic income security that a person can become productive member of the workforce.

Additionally, these schemas, by offering decent employment, foster the transition from low levels of productivity to higher ones. Accounting thus for economic growth. Research evidence suggests that policies which are linked to social security radically improve productivity, employment while in the mean time supporting economic developments. Furthermore, social security is tied to higher resilience levels and faster recovery rates.

Economies that benefit from such programs are better at stabilizing themselves during economic crisis as well as overcoming them faster.  Economic growth is supported by social protections programs by securing the household income while in the mean time protecting domestic consumption. Consequently, in   order to benefit from social and economic development, the objective of all countries should be to include all groups in social security programs.

About the author

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief condemns explosion at election rally in Zimbabwe that injured dozens, including senior politicians

Drawing scenarios for drifting Britain; elections or May’s deadlock?

Africa is helping the drone industry get off the ground. Here’s how

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

We dream of being a part of the European family, says FYROM PM

The global appetite for meat is growing, and it’s harming the planet

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

UN relief chief urges Security Council to back aid delivery, more funding for millions of Syrians hit by harsh weather

UN experts urge India to align new anti-trafficking bill with human rights law

This is how people in Europe are helping lead the energy charge

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

South Sudan: ‘Horrific acts’ by government may constitute ‘war crimes’ says UN, demanding justice

No improvement in respect for EU values: MEPs cut support for Turkey by €70m

How trade wars pose a threat to the global economy

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Traditional knowledge at ‘core’ of indigenous heritage, and ‘must be protected’, says UN Forum

Political power of women suffering ‘serious regression’, General Assembly President warns

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

Migrant children at US border have right to protection and ‘be with their families’: UNICEF chief

Afghanistan: UN mission welcomes new polling dates following election delays

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

Cryptocurrency mining could become the new face of energy storage. Here’s how

Five-year low inflation for Eurozone and now Mario has to finally wake up the Germans

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

Draghi cuts the Gordian knot of the Banking Union

Drinking coffee could help you live longer, research finds

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

How tech companies compare at protecting your digital rights

Access to health in the developping world

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

Can the EU afford a trade war with China?

Youth for Climate Change

EU gas market: new rules agreed will also cover gas pipelines entering the EU

Gaza probe finds ‘reasonable grounds’ Israeli forces committed international human rights violations

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

As human caravan moves through Mexico, ‘full respect’ needed for national control of borders: UN chief

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: A European patent system can help European businesses lead industrial research and innovation on a global scale

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

New rules for temporary border controls within the Schengen area

UN experts report: Business ‘dragging its feet’ on human rights worldwide

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

LIFE Programme: Member States to benefit from quarter of a billion euros of investments in environment, nature and climate action

‘Informing is not a crime’ UN chief calls for better protection of journalists, press freedom

Alexis Tsipras against internal and external “enemies” in pursue of a two-phase deal now

EU and China resolve amicably solar panel trade dispute

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Europe enters uncharted waters with Kiev-Moscow standoff

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Angola’s President João Lourenço calls for stronger EU-Africa cooperation

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Algorithms are being used to convict criminals and decide jail time. We need to make sure they are fair

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s