This project addresses the problem of discrimination of immigrants in access to public services in Warsaw. Foreigners constitute at least 2.5% of the city’s population. They experience discrimination in their daily lives – of a direct and institutional kind – due to origin, language, or legal status. Almost half of them have been insulted and/or experienced other harmful xenophobic conduct. The percentage of residents of Warsaw who say they do not trust immigrants is as high as 30%. There are still obstacles to using public services, but the city does not have a full diagnosis of the problem or an instrument for monitoring discrimination.
Under the project, obstacles preventing access for foreigners to public services will be monitored and diagnosed in five areas: local government, education, the health service, welfare, and culture. The Project Promoter will conduct five participatory workshops on the basis of the research, and will draw up subsequently – working with experts – recommendations on equal treatment of foreigners in access to public services and facilities provided by the city. Awareness-raising materials for people working in government authorities, educational facilities, the health service, welfare centers, and cultural institutions will be a major element of the project.
The project is ultimately intended to benefit immigrants living in Warsaw, although it is directly targeted towards people working in public services. This will result in greater sensitivity of government clerks to the needs of immigrants and improve their inter-cultural competencies and their awareness of discrimination, and will also improve awareness of discrimination and their own prejudices, of which they are often unaware.
City of Warsaw International Cooperation Office will be a partner in the project. It promotes awareness-raising materials and invites participants to join the project, and also distributes recommendations among institutions and government authorities.