Immigration in Helsingborg (Sweden)

Helsingborg is situated in the province of Scania in the south of Sweden, only 4 kilometers away from the Danish city Helsingør. It is the ninth largest municipality in the country.

Around 27 % of the 132011 residents have a foreign background.1

150 different nationalities, mainly from former Yugoslavia, Denmark, Iraq, Poland and Lebanon but also from Germany, Finland, Iran and Vietnam live in Helsingborg today.

Helsingborg has for centuries been a regional center of trade, transport and business - hence the immigration. In the early preindustrial Helsingborg, the immigrants were mainly craftsmen and merchants (e.g. German wine traders). The frequent wars between Sweden and Denmark, Helsingborg was a Danish town until 1658, were also typical reasons for immigration to the City of Helsingborg.

The Second World War forced people to immigrate in a large scale and about 20 000 refugees arrived in Helsingborg 1943-45.

During the industrial era, mainly in the sixties, Sweden was in desperate need of workers because of the industrial boom and people from all over Europe, mostly from Greece, Finland and Yugoslavia, came to work and to live in Helsingborg. These recruiting campaigns were organized through the cooperation between the localemployment offices and the companies. Refugees from hugary, Czechoslovakia, Chlile, Iran and former Yugoslavia - and today from Syria - have also sought asylum in Sweden and in Helsingborg during the last decades.

Immigration in Waldbröl (Germany)

Currently about 90 refugees are living in Walbröl, a small town in Germany.

But before they arrive there they have report at the ''Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge'' where their asylum bid is examined. If they are accepted they are sent to different cities.

So if they get to Walbröl they are send to a refugee center where currently 24 different nations are living together in one house. But also some private flats are rented by the town for families or flat sharing.

When they arrive in Waldbröl most refugees are not allowed to work as it is forbidden in the first year. Only after 15 months living in Germany refugees are allowed to work without restrictions by law. But as Waldbröl as a small town only has offer a few jobs and the connection to bigger cities (e.g. to Cologne) is not that good getting a job while living in Walbröl is a challenging task.

So they are supported by different people and organizations like social workers and even psychologists or the church. The people of Waldbröl prove to be helpful too as they spend furniture, money and other necessary things to refugees.

A bright example of organizations helping the asylum seekers is the ''Freundeskreis Asyl'' which was founded in the early nineties to engage the refugees in the center through organizing activities, language courses or listening to them. So some the refugees can share their culture with the people of Walbröl.