ASSESS – Integration of Vulnerable Migrant Groups

About the Project

This project monitors and assesses the effectiveness of integration measures for three vulnerable migrant groups – women, children and victims of trafficking. The assessment aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the application of the Common Basic Principles on Migrant Integration when it comes to the integration of vulnerable migrant groups. In addition, it will serve to identify and initiate the exchange of good practice in the field between EU countries of different migration patterns, regimes and experiences.

The project thereby addresses a gap in the analysis and evaluation of integration measures that have in a large part adopted a generic approach. By looking at the specific vulnerabilities and integration challenges faced by migrant women, children and victims of trafficking the project will offer tailored methodology and specific indicators for monitoring the integration of these vulnerable migrants groups.

This project will be carried out in 10 EU Member States that represent Europe’s different migration patterns and experiences in dealing with migration and integration issues. The project will be realized in five “old” Member States with considerable immigrant inflows (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Spain) and in five “new” Member States with “evolving” immigration patterns and regimes (Bulgaria, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia). Moreover, the project will address developments at the European institution level.

The situation of vulnerable migrant groups such as women, children and victims of trafficking is precarious. According to recent Eurostat data, the highest gaps in integration at EU level are those of female and child TCNs. For instance, the activity rate of female TCNs of working ages 25-54 is 14% lower than that of all women in this age group. Similarly, the employment rate of female TCNs in the same age cohort is 19% lower than that of all women in this age group. The difference is considerably bigger in some EU countries such as Belgium (43%), France (36%), the Netherlands (35%), Slovenia (58%) and Sweden (38%). The over-qualification rate of female TCNs across the EU is 28% higher than that of the total population. It is the highest for female TCN in the age group 55-64 (33% higher than that of all women in this age group). The gaps in integration of children and young people are demonstrated by the fact that the proportion of TCNs aged 18-24 who are early leavers from education and training is higher by 20 per cent from that of the total population of the same age group. Additionally, the share of third-country nationals aged 25–54 with low educational attainment is 19% higher than that of EU nationals of the same age group. Victims of trafficking face various integration challenges, primarily due to trauma experienced and lack of skills, as well as their heterogeneity in family situation, social environment and economic situation. Some of the key needs of this group relate to safety, education, health care, psychosocial support and employability. Little is known about the medium and long term integration success and experiences of this group, yet protection is vital as they are at a higher risk of re-trafficking.

Assess the effectiveness of integration measures, in particular measures targeting particularly vulnerable migrant groups, such as women, children and victims of trafficking:
1.To develop standardized methods for the monitoring of integration of vulnerable migrants, applicable across the EU;
2.To assess the effectiveness of integration policy and programmes for vulnerable migrant groups (women, children and victims of trafficking (VOTs) in “old” and “new” Member States with ‘evolving’ immigration flows;
3. To formulate recommendations for enhancement of the integration of vulnerable migrant groups (women, children and VOTs) across the EU, including identification of good practices;
4. To raise awareness among national stakeholders across the EU of the need to develop vulnerability-sensitive integration processes that address the particular circumstances of vulnerable migrants related to exclusion, exploitation and trafficking.

Project Activities
The project activities include:
– The review of existing monitoring mechanisms
– The assessment of effectiveness of integration measures for vulnerable migrant groups
– The collection and exchange of good practices and development of a community of practice

Long term aims
In the long term the project will enhance the integration of vulnerable migrant groups by affecting improvements in the way integration measures address the needs of vulnerable migrant groups (women, children and VOTs). In particular the long term outcomes of the project include:
– Better informed policy makers and services providers who are aware of how to assess their decisions and programmes from the perspective of the needs of migrant women, children and VOTs.
– Greater policy coherence especially with regards to migrant women, children and VOTs.
– Adequate integration of VOTs also contributed to both protection and prevention elements of the fight against human trafficking.
– A shift away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach to integration measures. The heterogeneity of migrant groups and the need of vulnerability-sensitive integration processes are acknowledged in major evaluation documents and measures at EU and national level.

In the course of the project, two national reports have been written and published for Austria. The first deals with a review of existing monitoring mechanisms in Austria, while the second assesses existing integration measures. Both reports can be found in the attachment.
An English version of the reports, as well as a comparative report among all project partners, as well as a compendium of good practices (both of monitoring and integration measures) can be found on the project’s website.

Project Data

Country: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Spain
Contact persons: Margit Ammer
Lead Organisation: Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria)
Partner organisations: CBS – Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria) – project leader; LBI-GMR – Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (Austria); Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp (Belgium); Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy/E
Project start: 12/2013
Project end: 05/2015
Project completed: Yes
Funded by: European Commission (European Integration Fund), City of Vienna – MA 7 (Research)
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Asylum and Migration


  • This project is implemented with the financial support of the Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the LBI-GMR and its project partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.