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Tomas Bocek: ‘promoting the inclusion of diasporas in host societies; protecting their right to be different’

« Policies for diasporas are sorely needed. The expertise of the Council of Europe together with national parliamentarians and diaspora associations can help ensure that new policies promote the inclusion of diasporas in host societies, while protecting their right to be different », today said Tomas Bocek adressing in Lisbon the launching Conference of the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees underlined that a lack of opportunities and the failure of integration policies can leave members of diasporas isolated, impoverished and vulnerable to radicalisation.

« The challenge for Council of Europe member States is how to promote the integration of diasporas in their host countries, while allowing them also to preserve their links with their countries of origin. The Organisation’s standards and activities can provide assistance in meeting this challenge », Mr Bocek added.

Establishing a Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies « is therefore a timely one, to enable states to come together and exchange ideas and examples of best practice in this area », he concluded.