First of all, I would like to welcome you and I would also like to thank the promoters of this conference for their kind invitation.

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1 "Migrants on the labour market - examples" Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, I would like to welcome you and I would also like to thank the promoters of this conference for their kind invitation. The Archdiocesan Charity in Prague is one of the largest and most important NGOs providing social and health services in the capital city. The charity has been involved in migrant and refugee focussed projects since the mid nineteen-nineties. During that time, the charity has also been involved in several projects related to the employment of third country citizens in the Czech labour market. Firstly, I would like to mention a project implemented with the support of the EC within the EQUAL Programme where we were involved in a project themed on "Assistance for Asylum Applicants with their Access to the Labour Market" in cooperation with our partners. Following this, we implemented a project for the support of the integration of foreigners, financed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in 2008 within the Consultancy Room for Migrants and the Refugees of ADCH Prague. In our opinion, one of the most important projects was the "Assistance System for the Employment of Ukrainian Citizens in the Czech Republic" which was also implemented with the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. It was created by combining the project activities of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic and a public tender opened by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic "Implementation of Preventive Activities against Illegal Occupation Migration from the Ukraine to the Czech Republic". It was a pilot project planned for the period from 1 September 2007 to 31 March This begs the question, why the Ukraine? Ukrainian citizens began to arrive in the Czech Republic in the early nineteen-nineties. They choose for Czech Republic due to its geographical, cultural and language affinity. They were economic migrants who came to the Czech Republic due to the poor economic situation and the high unemployment rate in their country of origin. Due to low awareness regarding legal stay in the Czech Republic, the lengthy and nontransparent administrative procedure coupled with obtaining a work permit and employment visa applications and with disbelief in authority, those job applicants interested in the Czech Republic began to use more often the services of job agencies and the so-called client system. The client system offers quick access to the labour market for a person interested in working in the Czech Republic. The system is preferred by those not intending to reside in the territory on a long-term basis and where the one and only goal is making as much money as possible to support their families in their home country. Due to their legal unawareness, these migrants do not ensure the legality of their conduct, including the issue of insurance and taxes. It is sufficient to pay a fee of CZK 10,000-30,000 in their home country to an agent (depending on region) and to submit the required documents. The foreigner himself does not neither have to deal with the complex search for employment nor the lengthy procedures towards gaining a work permit. A further advantage of the client system is that vast majority of the "clients" come from the Ukraine and speak the same language as a job applicant in the Czech Republic. At first sight, it may appear that the client system is a more favourable way of finding a job in the Czech Republic; however, the reality differs. In fact, migrants are often trapped in a highly disadvantageous position, on the edge of legality and open to abuse. Migrants can be cheated and remain in the territory not only without job, but also without accommodation,

2 money and documents. Many migrants who have used the client system turn to us with requests for finances in order to pay for their way back home or medical care. And these are just a few observations from the field. Based on this situation, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs focused on preventive programs. One of these has already been mentioned: "The Assistance System for the Employment of Ukrainian Citizens in the Czech Republic". Charity Czech Republic was the project coordinator. The assistance system was implemented via five assistance centres in the Czech Republic; specifically in Prague, Brno, Litoměřice, Hradec Králové and Plzeň. Three consultancy centres were operated in the Ukraine in Uzgorod, Lvov and Kharkov. These centres provided information regarding legal entrance and stay in the Czech Republic they were helping with finding work legally and with the associated administration for entry to the labour market. The centres also provided social and legal consultancy. Partners in the system: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic Employment Service Administration Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic Asylum and Migration Policy Department The targets of the assistance system were: - To contribute to the prevention of the misuse of migrants from the Ukraine on the Czech labour market. - To offer legal alternatives for job migrants from the Ukraine and to reduce the use of the illegal job intermediation system. - To improve the awareness of the risks associated with illegal employment between Czech employers and Ukrainian citizens going to/already residing in the territory of the Czech Republic - To address the insufficiency of labour force in particular job sectors in the territory of the Czech Republic. The Czech assistance centres provided the following services: job intermediation in the Czech Republic - finding of a specific job position with a Czech employer, arrangement of a work permit based on the full power of attorney of the applicant free assistance in completing the job permit/visa application over 90 days for the purpose of employment intermediation of accommodation possibilities in the Czech Republic provision of contacts to potential accommodation providers within the work location intermediation of contacts to institutions (GP, labour exchange, Foreign Police) assistance with contacting institutions assistance with primary orientation in the Czech Republic consultancy services in case of any problems The assistance programme services to job applicants in the Czech Republic were provided for free. The migrants only covered the fees necessary for the arrangement of the job permit and a deposit for their return back to their country of origin in the case of necessity; the deposit was refunded to the migrant after one year. Job applicants were charged USD 55 as an advance payment for the arrangement of the work permit (after some time, the charge was increased to USD 60). The translation of documents, the duty stamp for the work permit and

3 the postal fees were paid from this amount. Any amount remaining was returned back to the migrant. Whereas the client system agent charged CZK 10,000-30,000 for a job in the Czech Republic, the arrangement of a work permit through the assistance system cost migrants a maximum of USD 60 (approximately CZK 1,200). During the project implementation, several visits were made to the Ukraine by the project coordinators and the representatives of all the participating Czech and Ukrainian assistance centres. For the meetings, the representatives of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs prepared a workshop for job applicants in the Czech Republic focused on the risks of illegal migration and work and on the legality of entering and working in the Czech Republic. Several hundred employers were addressed during the project and the vast majority were willing to legally employ Ukrainian employees. The employers were particularly interested in the following occupations: bricklayers, locksmiths, industrial workers, cashiers, blacksmiths, seamstresses, nurses, welders and bakers. In some cases, employers were looking for highly qualified employees such as software developers, robotics engineers, ceramic craftsmen etc. Contrary to the work offered to the job applicants by the client system agents, the jobs offered by Charity Assistance System where jobs requiring particular qualifications or skills were required. The job applicants were aware of the work they were going to do. Over 500 jobs in the Czech Republic were offered to job applicants through the Ukrainian assistance centres. Approximately 300 work permits were arranged during the project and approximately one third of the job applicants eventually started work in the territory of the Czech Republic. This situation was caused by the lengthy procedure for obtaining a work visa in the Ukraine and as a result, Czech employers often lost interest in a particular applicant. In some instances, the job applicant cancelled their application. Some Ukrainian job applicants had unrealistic salary expectations and considered the monthly salary on offer as too low for them. The reason for this was the client system which attracts job applicants through unrealistically high salaries. The project focused only on Ukrainian citizens to whom it provided a legal entry to Czech republic with a legal work there. However, after some months of the project implementation, we noted that many Ukrainian citizens already working in the Czech Republic through the client system became interested in legalizing their stay here and in leaving the client system. They came to us because of their bad experience: no health insurance, no salary, seizing of documents, forced work under demeaning conditions etc. In our opinion, the "Assistance System for the Employment of Ukrainian Citizens in the Czech Republic" project can be generally considered useful as it proved that it is unrealistic to compete with the client system. Its application in other EU member countries would be feasible. The successful implementation of each project requires a longer period of time although unfortunately, the pilot project was terminated in April Employers are still contacting us after termination of the project and offering jobs for Ukrainian employees. Therefore, we are convinced the project contributed to reducing the misuse of migrant workers on the Czech labour market and preventing the misuse of the Czech labour market by the client system.

4 The employment situation has also changed following the termination of the project; the global financial and economic crisis has appeared which we hope will accelerate the passing of measures for the improved protection of legally employed migrants. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention.

5 Whereas the client system agent charged CZK 10,000-30,000 for a job in the Czech Republic, the arrangement of a work permit through the assistance system cost migrants a maximum of USD 60 (approximately CZK 1,200). During the project implementation, several visits were made to the Ukraine by the project coordinators and the representatives of all the participating Czech and Ukrainian assistance centres. For the meetings, the representatives of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs prepared a workshop for job applicants in the Czech Republic focused on the risks of illegal migration and work and on the legality of entering and working in the Czech Republic. Several hundred employers were addressed during the project and the vast majority were willing to legally employ Ukrainian employees. The employers were particularly interested in the following occupations: bricklayers, locksmiths, industrial workers, cashiers, blacksmiths, seamstresses, nurses, welders and bakers. In some cases, employers were looking for highly qualified employees such as software developers, robotics engineers, ceramic craftsmen etc. Contrary to the work offered to the job applicants by the client system agents, the jobs offered by Charity Assistance System where jobs requiring particular qualifications or skills were required. The job applicants were aware of the work they were going to do. Over 500 jobs in the Czech Republic were offered to job applicants through the Ukrainian assistance centres. Approximately 300 work permits were arranged during the project and approximately one third of the job applicants eventually started work in the territory of the Czech Republic. This situation was caused by the lengthy procedure for obtaining a work visa in the Ukraine and as a result, Czech employers often lost interest in a particular applicant. In some instances, the job applicant cancelled their application. Some Ukrainian job applicants had unrealistic salary expectations and considered the monthly salary on offer as too low for them. The reason for this was the client system which attracts job applicants through unrealistically high salaries. The project focused only on Ukrainian citizens to whom it provided a legal entry to Czech republic with a legal work there. However, after some months of the project implementation, we noted that many Ukrainian citizens already working in the Czech Republic through the client system became interested in legalizing their stay here and in leaving the client system. They came to us because of their bad experience: no health insurance, no salary, seizing of documents, forced work under demeaning conditions etc. In our opinion, the "Assistance System for the Employment of Ukrainian Citizens in the Czech Republic" project can be generally considered useful as it proved that it is unrealistic to compete with the client system. Its application in other EU member countries would be feasible. The successful implementation of each project requires a longer period of time although unfortunately, the pilot project was terminated in April Employers are still contacting us after termination of the project and offering jobs for Ukrainian employees. Therefore, we are convinced the project contributed to reducing the misuse of migrant workers on the Czech labour market and preventing the misuse of the Czech labour market by the client system.

6 The employment situation has also changed following the termination of the project; the global financial and economic crisis has appeared which we hope will accelerate the passing of measures for the improved protection of legally employed migrants. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention. 4

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