Parliamentary Assembly

RECOMMENDATION 841 (1978)[1]

on second generation migrants

The Assembly,

1. Considering that halting immigration in most labour-seeking countries has stabilised the foreign population in those countries ;

2. Recognising that, as a consequence, second generation migrants, who were either born in the immigration country or entered it at a very early age, constitute a demographic factor of growing importance ;

3. Considering that this situation presents novel features in that most of the young migrants retain the nationality of their parents and acquire a double socio-cultural identity ;

4. Believing that this causes difficulties for second generation migrants with regard to their education and vocational training, and to their legal status in the immigration country ;

5. Conscious that the socio-cultural development of migrants' children is closely linked with that of the migrant family as a whole ;

6. Considering that specific measures should be taken on behalf of second generation migrants to complement the general measures taken with regard to young persons and to migrant workers ;

7. Noting that, in the industrial countries, migrant workers frequently occupy unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, which leave them more vulnerable to the employment crisis, and that the social environment to which they belong scarcely makes for successful schooling or guidance of ensuing generations ;

8. Deploring the continuing failure of member states to inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of action taken on resolutions of the Committee of Ministers, as they are required to do by the resolutions themselves ;

9. Considering that any policy on migrant workers and their families must be based on an adequate knowledge of the phenomenon of migration,

10. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers ask the governments of the member states concerned :

i. to give more effective assistance to their nationals working abroad, particularly in the matter of education and training ;

ii. to promote full-time vocational training, providing immigrants with structured qualifications and courses to increase their skills ;

iii. to guarantee harmonious family reunion for migrant workers, ensuring that the family unit can be genuinely reconstituted in the immigration country, and to implement Committee of Ministers Resolution (78) 33, on family reunion with regard to labour migration in Council of Europe member states ;

iv. to strengthen legislation so as to eliminate discrimination, firstly between migrants and indigenous workers, and secondly among the different categories of migrants themselves ;

v. to make the efforts necessary to encourage participation by young migrants in the life of the host community ;

vi. to make it easier for young migrants who so wish to acquire the nationality of the immigration country, when they have either been born or completed most of their schooling in it ;

vii. to sign, and ratify where appropriate, the European Convention on the reduction of cases of multiple nationality and on military obligations in cases of multiple nationality, as well as the 1977 Additional Protocol ;

11. Also recommends that the Committee of Ministers prepare and implement, in the framework of the Intergovernmental Work Programme, a series of co-ordinated measures to provide better protection for second generation migrants, and in particular :

i. inform the Assembly, through the Secretary General, of action taken by member states to implement Resolution (72) 18, on methods of compiling statistics on the international migration of workers ;

ii. set up a European centre for documentation and statistics on international migration, to work in close co-operation with centres in member states ;

iii. ask the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education to continue its periodic assessments of action taken by member states and international organisations concerning the education of migrants ;

iv. approve the project prepared by the Council for Cultural Co-operation on the education and cultural development of migrants, which is due to commence in 1980 ;

v. give priority, in this context, to the pedagogic problems involved in the education of children and young persons, and to the cultural development of adults ;

vi. promote the training of teachers with special responsibility for the education of migrant children and young persons ;

vii. prepare to inform the Assembly in 1981, through the Secretary General, of action taken by member states to implement Resolution (76) 11 on equal treatment for national and migrant workers with regard to vocational guidance, training and retraining ;

viii. take action on the proposals of the Council of Europe Special Representative for National Refugees and Over-Population on behalf of second generation migrants, and give priority, in this context, to the transition from schooling to vocational guidance and employment, while trying as far as possible to associate young persons in the taking of decisions concerning them ;

ix. increase the specific budgetary resources allocated for experimental classes designed to foster the integration of migrant workers' children by means of a schools system of the immigration country ;

x. harmonise in a liberal manner the conditions for the issue by immigration countries of residence and work permits for young migrants reaching adulthood and/or working age ;

12. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers study, again within the framework of the Intergovernmental Work Programme, the problems faced by second generation migrants in connection with military service and the advisability of introducing an alternative, such as community service in the immigration country ;

13. Further recommends that the Committee of Ministers urge the member countries of the European Economic Community to apply effectively EEC Council Directive No. 486, of 25 July 1977, on the education of the children of migrant workers.

[1]. Assembly debate on 30 September 1978 (13th Sitting) (see Doc. 4205, report of the Committee on Population and Refugees).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 30 September 1978 (13th Sitting).