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.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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 launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable

Three ways batteries could power change in the world

Crucial medical supplies airlifted to north-east Syria to meet ‘desperate need’

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

Philanthropy is at a turning point. Here are 6 ways it could go

JADE Spring Meeting 2017 – day 3: JADE Academy trainings, networking session and gala dinner – Excellence Awards winners revealed

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

Digital: The EU must set the standards for regulating online platforms, say MEPs

Why cybersecurity matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

5 ways blockchain can transform the world of impact investing

A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

China is sending science students to live with rural farmers – and crop yields are skyrocketing

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

Long-term EU budget: Parliament wants safety net for beneficiaries

Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

Statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on the outcome of COP 25

Growing up near green space is good for your mental health as an adult

Focus on EU’s external action and building our stronger inner core: von der Leyen at the Special European Council

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

MWC 2016 LIVE: Under Armour learns from “robust community of data”

UN film festival encourages young people to promote peace, dialogue and empathy

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

EU to host international donors’ conference for Albania to help with reconstruction after earthquake

UN chief urges top digital tech panel to come up with ‘bold, innovative ideas’ for an ‘inclusive’ future

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Parliament’s proposal to reinforce flagship programmes is worth 39 billion euros

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Rule of law: First Annual Report on the Rule of Law situation across the European Union

One million facing food shortages, nutrition crisis after Mozambique cyclones: UNICEF

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

How has policy affected employment in small businesses in the US?

Financial services are changing. Here’s how

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

World Youth Skills Day: What you need to know for 2020

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

The children’s continent: keeping up with Africa’s growth

Guterres underscores UN role in achieving a free, secure Internet

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Three steps we must take to secure the future of our forests

European Agenda on Migration: Still fragile situation gives no cause for complacency

WHO working to save lives following powerful earthquake in Albania

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

How to create responsible supply chains in the age of globalization 4.0

Great Reset: What university entrepreneurship can bring to the post-COVID world

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

New Mozambique storm rips off roofs, brings lashing rain as aid response kicks in

My disability, my identity

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

More Stings?

Advertising

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