Last week, several UPstream-project members attended the conference ‘Policy for Everyone’ at the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs on mainstreaming integration policies. Elizabeth Collett and Milica Petrovic (MPI) presented their report ‘Experiences of mainstreaming immigrant integration in Europe: lessons for the Netherlands’.
What is mainstreaming and how can it be recognized in other countries like the UK, France, Denmark and Germany? In addition, a key note speech was given by Trevor Phillips, former chair of the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Trevor stressed the importance of addressing the entire society in all its diversity, not trying to mold minorities in certain separate categories.
These speeches were followed by three workshop sessions: one on the German example regarding school-to-work transitions, one on the approach to youth radicalization and criminalization in cities and a final one on ‘Mainstreaming: from preaching to practicing’. In this workshop, the participants discussed the applicability of mainstreaming as a concept with Elizabeth, Trevor, Carlien Scheele (Director of Emancipation policy at the Ministry of Education) and Afke van Rijn (Director integration policy at the Ministry of Social Affairs). This resulted in interesting examples of mainstreaming, but also highlighted the difficulties accompanying the use of mainstreaming as a term.