easyRights – a new European initiative will deliver personalised, contextualised services for (im)migrants through innovative new technologies.
Brussels – On a daily basis hundreds of people fleeing from oppression, war, and poverty are risking their lives to travel to Europe to build a safer, more prosperous life. Upon reaching their destination, however, the better life they dreamt of is still a world away. Challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, bureaucratic complexity and a lack of knowledge of their basic rights mean migrants, and even immigrants, often feel not accepted by their host communities and as a result, they struggle to integrate into work, society and civic life and are left feeling lost and isolated.
easyRights, a new project led by Politecnico di Milano and universities, NGOs, public administrations and SMEs from Greece, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Austria and the UK, aims to make it easier for both regular and irregular migrants to integrate into their new home communities. The Greek partners include the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, the Municipality of Larissa and the University of Thessaly. The project, funded by the European Commission H2020 program, combines new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), with hackathon methodologies, to simplify the access to complex administrative services in a way that mediates, within a co-creation approach, between migrants and the public administration to help those newly arrived to more easily exercise their rights, whilst improving language skills.
EU studies reveal that refugees integrate very slowly compared to immigrants, taking between eleven to twenty years to reach parity. With an estimated 4.8 million irregular migrants in Europe (Pew Research Centre, 2019) the need for innovative projects like easyRights is high. By improving the current personalisation and contextualisation levels of existing services to better match migrants’ backgrounds and needs, this figure could be significantly reduced and society across Europe could benefit far quicker from their integration. A win-win situation for all involved.
easyRights will initially trial its approach by focusing on different service needs in the cities of Birmingham, UK, Larissa, Greece, Malaga, Spain and Palermo in Italy.
At the launch of the initiative in Brussels, Project Coordinator, Grazia Concillio, Associate Professor from Politecnico Milan said “This project and collaboration is critically important to ensure that migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants are able to understand the rights available to them so they can become valued contributing members of society. Collectively governments, civil society and communities will only achieve safer, happy, healthier and prosperous communities if no-one is left behind.”
Notes to Editors:
For more information please contact Susie Ruston McAleer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Project website is at www.easyrights.eu
easyRights launched January 2020 and is a 30 month project.
easyRights has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870980.
4.8 Million irregular migrants figure comes from Pew Research Center Study
11 – 20 years parity figure from International Monetary Foundation research.