Social Work Research on Integration Policies with Migrants and Refugees (SWIM)

Governments in developed countries face the challenge of managing diversity related to migratory processes. Many questions arise though: How to build up integrative societies? What is the response of welfare states in the reception of migrants and refugees - particularly in a context of redefinition of the concept of welfare? To what extent are the human rights of migrants and refugees respected? In the EU context some steps have been taken to define a common immigration, a common European asylum system and also a framework for a common integration policy. However, the so called “refugee crisis” erupting in summer 2016 put the whole system at stake. To make things worse, xenophobic attitudes and opinions have become more and more generalised amongst public opinion leaders and politicians. Social workers are called to play an important role in this framework, not only by providing proper information to users, by mediating in intercultural conflicts or by denouncing violations in Human Rights, but also by collecting relevant information regarding the effectiveness of active integration policies or the emergence of racist behaviours. It is not casual that one of the priorities of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation is precisely research on migration and asylum, as was highlighted in a conference hosted by this DG in Brussels in 5th and 6th February 2016. Research on this field is not new: Dominelli (2008) , Dominelli & Moosa Mitha (2014), Reichert (2011) or Dean (2015) amongst others have reflected on aspects related to immigration, integration, citizenship and the response of welfare policies.

This Special Interest Group seeks to share common intuitions, questions and answers regarding integration processes in multicultural societies, but also aims at networking and collaborating in common research initiatives susceptible to be funded by the EU or other actors.

Aims of the Special Interest Group

1. Identify, explore, evaluate and compare international responses to migration and asylum in the context of the different integration models.
2. Develop innovative and shared approaches to analysing social work in migration and asylum.
3. Inform, synthesise and critically analyse contemporary global narratives and discourses about integration, welcoming societies, conditionality and rights of migrants and refugees.
4. Establish a platform to present and share knowledge and learning which contributes to a better understanding of the purpose of social work and the advancement of social justice and community wellbeing.

Conveners: Emilio Jose Gomez Ciriano (PhD), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Hugh McLaughlin (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University; Sofia Dedotsi (PhD), University of Manchester/ Technological Educational Institute of Athens; Esther Mercado García, Universidad de Castilla-la Mancha.

SWIM (Social Work in MIgration and Asylum)

  • Preconference Session

Exploring Research opportunities and collaboration for improving human rights and inclusion of migrants and refugees.

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Auditory AV02-17 1:00-3:30 P.M

Outline: One of the flagship research funding calls of the European Commission is about promoting knowledge on the conditions of living of newly arrived migrants and refugees to favour their integration. For this purpose Research is essential and more and foremost from the social work perspective (because EU is also a fortress,

With this SIG we will try to explore possibilities to promote collaboration among the members and also to visibilize as much as possible present and future ways that can be useful to institutions and practitioners that are working on integration

Structure of the program

  1. Brief introduction of participants.
  2. Exchange of views on current research on migration and asylum.
  3. Overwiew of the different EU funding programmes that can be useful for us
  4. Sinergies and possibilities for cooperation and communication.
  • Conference symposium

Who cares? Who responds, who fails?: Refugees, social work and Human Rights.

Symposium 10.

 Friday, 12/Apr/2019: 10:30am - 12:00pm

Location: Auditory AV 91.12 - Faculty of Social Sciences, Leuven

Paper 1: Living in limbo: the reality of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs) in Greece

Marina Rota.Centre for Social Study on Migration and Refugee (CESSMIR) Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy.Ghent University.

Paper 2: Working conditions and challenges of frontline social work professionals in Greece.

Sofia Dedotsi1, Dora-Dimitra Teloni21University of Northumbria.UK. 2 University of West Attica, Greece.

Paper 3:Children of nobody, children of nowhere: Welcoming unaccompanied minors in Spain?

Emilio José Gómez-Ciriano.

Faculty of Social Work. Castilla-La Mancha University.