22 June 2022: World Refugee Day – The OFII: actor of refugees’ integration in France

The World Refugee Day is the international day introduced by the United Nations in order to raise awareness on the refugee cause around the world. Celebrated for the first time on 20 June 2021 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on the status of refugees, it was initially known as the African day of refugees before it was officially established by the UN General Assembly as International day on December 2000.

The OFII, major integration actor

The OFII is a essential actor in the journey of beneficiaries of international protection (BPI) in France. It is involved from the registration of the asylum application until the integration process in the French society.

Present in the single-desk for asylum seekers, the OFII assess the vulnerability of the applicants, coordinate the accommodation centres of the National Reception Scheme where they refer asylum seekers and BPI, and manage the asylum seekers allowance.

In order for the agents to be able to better assess the asylum seekers’ vulnerability, the OFII in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has been organising for the last two years internal sessions of training and awareness. This year, the training organised during the month of June with the participation of the AFJ and the Committee against Modern Slavery (CCEM), is dedicated to the theme of human trafficking victims.

From Left to right: A. Troussard, OFII Deputy Director General, P. Artini, UNHCR representative in France and Monaco, D. Leschi, OFII Director General, M. Chamass-Saunier, CCEM director

Once the benefit of international protection granted, the OFII organises the integration course in France, that starts with the signing of the republican integration contract (CIR). The CIR includes a civic training, language training, and if necessary, a guidance towards local schemes and services for social and professional integration.

In this respect, the OFII will represent the main entry point to the comprehensive and individualised support programme for refugees (AGIR) that will be progressively implemented starting this summer and that will constitute the departmental single-desk for assisting BPI to have access to rights, employments and accommodation. During the signing of the CIR, territorial directorates will therefore guide all BPI to the local provider AGIR that will be in charge of assisting them in all their integration procedures.

Considering its missions, the OFII plays a major role in the activated exceptional operations in response to international crisis situations. OFII is also mobilised to ensure the reception of people evacuated from Afghanistan since summer 2021, as well as the reception of displaced Ukrainians who benefit from temporary protection in application of the decision Council of the European Union decisions on 4 March 2022.