Immigrant Integration: the Role of NGO’s in Lithuania for Upholding Immigrant Assimilation
Keywords:immigrant integration; lobbying; advocacy; decision making; Lithuania.
Migration and migrant movement are one of the most contested phenomena in the contemporary world due to the large-scale displacement of the people across the globe due to socio-political unrest in the form of wars, internal rebellions, and political upheaval. It led to the scenario of people’s movement across the borders in search of better living conditions and safety. However, the aspect of immigration and immigrant integration and assimilation is not a conducive process, and the immigrants must overcome a lot of socio-political hurdles and hardships for the assimilation and integration into the host society. Regarding the actors facilitating immigrant integration, one of the significant actors is the NGOs, which facilitates the integration of the immigrants into society. These facilitate through the mechanisms of advocacy measures. In this scenario, this article tries to find out how the NGO’s facilitates immigrant integration and assimilation in Lithuania and what are the mechanisms they employ for immigrant integration and assimilation. The task includes analyzing the qualitative interview conducted with NGO Europos Namai, who are voicing for the rights of immigrants and envisaging measures for migrant integration through their lobbying, education, awareness, cultural integration, and media mechanisms. By analyzing the interview and data sets on immigration in Lithuania, this paper aims to find out how does the NGOs act as a facilitating force for political debates, communication, political decision making, and to create a favourable environment for immigration integration into the Lithuanian society. The primary interpretation is that the third sector organizations play a significant role in the migrant integration into the society, and these possible findings could be made useful for other regions and countries where they are migrant influx and still lack conducive mechanisms for immigrant integration.