It is striking to observe that there are now more than 60 million people who have been obliged to leave their homes as a result of inequalities, injustices and persecution, as well as more than 40 armed conflicts raging throughout the world. It is felt especially here at home, where we still vividly remember the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship, as a consequence of which many Catalans had to take the long road to exile. In the light of this reality, highlighted in our case by the humanitarian crisis of people forcibly displaced to Europe, Catalonia wishes to take decisions and assume its responsibilities.

The defence, protection, reception and support of people arriving in Catalonia are essential elements in the construction of a country that can freely decide its future and they constitute a duty for all democratic countries; a country committed to the needs of people, especially the most disadvantaged, and a generator of opportunities for all; a respectful welcoming country that promotes its culture and values, aware that these concepts are dynamic and that Catalonia, over the course of time, has built them up based on a whole range of cultural contributions.

To meet this challenge with dignity as a community, the cooperation, coordination and communication between the different administrations, associative networks and Catalan civil society are key factors in guaranteeing an efficient reception process that contributes to the full autonomy of people arriving in Catalonia, protecting their rights, fulfilling responsibilities and ensuring respectful treatment as well as recognising the enormous contribution their people can make to our society and culture.

In September 2015, the Catalan Government created the Committee for the Reception of Refugees, a body that advises, participates and coordinates with Catalan public administrations and the social institutions and organizations involved in the reception of people seeking international protection and refugees in Catalonia (Governmental Agreement of 22 September 2015), currently attached to the Secretariat of Labour, Social Affairs and Families.

The committee features broad institutional and social representation, with almost 80 stakeholders involved, organized into seven working groups: awareness and education for development, inventory of resources, reception, employment and employability, healthcare, childhood and elderly people.

A variety of initiatives and actions have come out of these working groups: a single consensual document on refugees produced between all of the working group representatives; the creation of a unified resource bank that permits the cataloguing of all the physical and non-physical assets that individuals, organizations, institutions and companies are willing to put at the disposal of refugees throughout the region; the rolling out of an institutional Action Plan on regional information directed at municipal representatives; the design and implementation of a communication campaign to inform and raise public awareness on the right of asylum; and the creation of a reception website, Refugee.gencat.cat, that acts as a guide both for refugees and for technicians working in reception and integration, and which provides general information to the general public. Most important of all: the commitment by all members of the Committee to coordinate with each other to achieve the successful reception and integration of refugees into our society.

The website Refugee.gencat.cat has been designed as a useful tool for giving information about and disseminating the resources available to administrations and institutions alike for citizens as a whole and especially refugee

On Refugee.gencat.cat there are documents and materials relevant to refugees (basic regulations, key players, etc.), interactive resources such as translators or areas to make contact with administrative departments, blocks of information on practical questions to do with housing, education and healthcare with links to more specific matters such as scholarships and grants for children, how to obtain a social security card or online Catalan courses.

In the different sections: Catalonia, Language, Housing, Employment, Education and Training, Healthcare, Religious Beliefs and Social Protection, you will find the keys to understanding how the resources of our country are organized and accessed, as well as information on essential services for the individual, or tools to support people who have arrived in Catalonia in their process of integration in a clear and informative way.

We invite you to contribute to making Catalonia a welcoming and democratic country, in the vanguard of the defence and protection of human rights in a Europe where everybody lives in peace and can enjoy full citizen status.

icono-benvinguda