This week was a really great week for our country, as we celebrated Portugal and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking countries on the 10th of June, and just last week Portugal was chosen as the second best country in the world at welcoming and integrating immigrants, according to the MIPEX international study. In spite of the crisis, Portugal climbed the ranking to an extraordinary second place.
The evaluation of Portugal in the fourth edition of MIPEX was presented last week at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon, but the final comparative list of the 38 countries will only be known on the 30th in Brussels.
Access to health, education and permanent housing are the less positive indicators in the study, while employment, the fight against discrimination, access to nationality and family reunion score the highest.
Portugal manages a total of 75, rising one point in relation to the last study carried out in 2010, thanks to improvements such as employment programmes and systems of domestic violence victim’s protection.
Portugal is considered in the study as the country in Southern Europe that is most effective in fighting discrimination and promoting equality, but also refers that the low number of complaints (approximately 2,8% of the population) does not mean that everything is done in terms of educating immigrants about their rights and the laws existing to protect them.
In the study, Healthcare is identified as one of the areas in which immigrants in Portugal have more difficulties, because of the economic crisis, that has made them “encounter more administrative obstacles” and “healthcare services with less answers”.
One of the areas in which Portugal scores higher in the MIPEX analysis is the integration of immigrants in the labour market: according to numbers of 2011 and 2012, approximately 28% of Non EU citizens were unemployed, under the 33 % average of countries analysed.
MIPEX points out Portugal as one of the best countries in immigrant access to employment with equal opportunities and rights, but it is noted that it is more frequent having immigrants working below their qualifications and that it is not so easy to access social support such as unemployment subsidies.
In 2013, more than 7.800 new immigrants arrived in Portugal to join family members that were already in the country, a number slightly under previous years but that keeps the country as one of the most favourable to family reunions.
MIPEX evaluates in 167 parameters immigrant integration in all countries of the European Union, Unites States, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
Source: adapted from http://observador.pt/2015/06/12/portugal-segundo-melhor-pais-a-acolher-e-integrar-imigrantes/