Swedish integration attempts ‘are divisive’

Sweden should scrap the Integration Board in its current form and transform it into an introduction board that would focus on providing for new immigrants’ immediate needs, the country’s discrimination commissioner said on Wednesday in Dagens Nyheter.

Masoud Kamali sharply criticized current integration policies, calling them divisive.

The population is divided up into “Swedes” who are going to integrate the group “immigrants.” The report that was the grounding for Swedish integration policies was coloured by its focus on “immigrants’ deficiencies,” he said.

The structural obstacles against integration are not noticed, and that is why all organizations and authorities that work with divisive policies toward integration should be scrapped, Kamali said.

He said the goal for general social policies must be to decrease economic inequalities and fight structural discrimination, to create similar possibilities for everybody and to have a global perspective.

The Swedish Migration Board’s report on integration for 2005 said there was a 17 percent difference between the number of employed people 20 to 64-years-old who are foreign and native to Sweden.

In 2005, 81 percent of native Swedes between those ages were working compared to 64 percent of those born outside of Sweden.