Asylum reception centres When a reception centre is coming to your community
Our takeaway after 25 years of reception centre operations is that the success stories outnumber the negative experiences by far. Municipalities report that establishing a reception centre in a local community leads to increased commerce, the creation of new jobs, sustained population figures, and the formation of more teams and clubs. The research report, Asylum reception centres and the local community (Asylmottak og lokalsamfunn), from 2010 relates the experiences of reception centres and local communities regarding the relationship and cooperation between them.
Asylum reception centres are spread throughout the country and are found in small and large municipalities alike. Wherever they are, we see that any objections expressed prior to a reception centre being set up often disappear after it has been established, and that the reception centre finds its natural place in the local community.
If the municipality so desires, we would be pleased to participate in an orientation meeting so that neighbours and other interested parties can ask us questions and gain valuable information.
Close cooperation is important
In order for the reception centre to function as well as possible, it is important to have close cooperation between the centre and the local community. Therefore, UDI sets requirements on the reception centre’s contact with, and information directed towards, the local community.
All reception centres are to have an information manager to act as liaison between the centre and the local community. In addition, a forum is established where representatives from the reception centre, the municipality and neighbours meet to discuss issues that arise, and to solve any problems in a manner appropriate for all parties involved.
Volunteer work and local sports clubs
There are multiple activity offerings at the reception centres for residents but participating in activities outside the centre is also common. Football, for example, is a popular activity among the youths, and the Football Association of Norway has been involved in activities integrating asylum seekers. Other residents spend their free time volunteering for organisations such as Save the Children Norway (Redd Barna) and the Red Cross.