Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW) is part of the Independent Living Institute (ILI)
DRW aims to contribute to an improvement of the integration process for migrants with disabilites. DRW works for inclusive and accessible integration. Increased participation and empowerment are important goals as well as working against poverty and discrimination. Individuals who have come to Sweden must be supported to be able to take control of their lives and feel satisfied with the integration process.
Migrants with disabilites are welcome to apply for support from DRW. Support is available through counseling, seminars, peer support and other activities formed based on what is requested by the target group and what we currently have the opportunity to offer. Knowledge about human rights, the disability perspective, intersectionality and health are highlighted in the meetings that take place. Information is provided on what is needed for better integration. People are treated with respect, openness and sensitivity by people who themselves share similar experiences of migration and disability.
Collaboration is sought with public and private actors, authorities, civil society organizations and volunteers who also want to improve integration from a rights perspective.
How did it start?
Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW) began as a 3-year project (2017-2020) financed by Arvsfonden.
The DRW project’s main goal was to develop methods that will improve the reception of disabled newcomers in Sweden.
DRW’s project activities documented needs, wishes and solutions provided by the target group in order to develop and improve activities and processes used by Swedish authorities and civil society organisations.
The idea of the project was born as a result of project worker Julius Ntobuah’s own experiences as an asylum seeker with disability in Sweden. In a short clip below he talks about these experiences and his commitment for better reception of newcomers with functional disabilities.
Rapid imrovement was needed…
Over 1600 000 asylum seekers came to Sweden during 2015. Even today the inflow of people continues and many are in need of urgent support with food, accommodation, medical care and psychological support after previous traumatizing experiences. Moreover there are many who got either injured during the war and the long and dangerous way to Europe or had disability since before.
No official data is available about the situation of disabled asylum seekers in Sweden. That makes it different to evaluate the range of needs they may have.
Authorities and NGOs working with asylum seekers need to have clear information about the needs of asylum seekers with disabilities in order to adapt their work procedures for peoples’ needs. Preparedness in form of human resources and routines is essential to make sure that even disabled asylum seekers in a proper way can be integrated into the society.
Project Goals (2017-2020)
- Provide information about the rights of disabled newcomers.
- Guide disabled asylum seekers to right support.
- Collect and spread data on disabled newcomers’ needs.
- Develop and test new methods for reception of disabled newcomers.
The ambition of the project is to spread the developed method to public and private actors working with the target group. In the long run we plan to establish, sustain and evaluate the collaboration between authorities and civil society.