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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Making Every Encounter Count: Using Peer Support to Improve Refugee Resettlement

Resettling large numbers of refugees is no easy task. Governments that are trying to boost their help to refugees will often call upon colleagues from countries with more experience—whether through email exchanges or conversations at the side of meetings, or formal conferences and study visits. This system of peer support is emerging as a vital tool for successful resettlement programs. 

Yet, peer-support projects are often put in place without a thorough assessment of how they will strategically meet the desired goals. In addition, inexperienced governments sometimes have no proper criteria to choose who takes part in the initiatives, and they fail to design appropriate follow-up activities that would maximize impact. While more experienced resettlement states are willing to share their expertise, they are faced with the challenge of reaching their own targets amid tightening budgets. 

This webinar examines the major challenges facing refugee resettlement peer-support projects in Europe. It explores how state and nonstate actors have sought to overcome these obstacles to ensure that peer support delivers the right tools and expertise, to the right actors, at the right time. 

This MPI Europe webinar focuses on the findings from its report, Scaling up Refugee Resettlement in Europe: The Role of Institutional Peer Support, produced in the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project. The report examines key lessons for Member States before they design or participate in peer-support activities. 

Webinar speakers:

  • Hanne Beirens, Associate Director, MPI Europe
  • Andre Baas, Resettlement Expert, European Asylum Support Office
  • Vinciane Masurelle, Head, International Unit, Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, Belgium
  • Kate O’Malley, Senior Consultant, Resettlement Partnerships, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and Former Deputy Director for Resettlement, Division of International Protection, UNHCR 
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Responding to Early Childhood Education and Care Needs of Children of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Europe and North America

As asylum seekers and refugees have arrived in significant numbers in Europe and North America in recent years, many countries have struggled to address the newcomers’ basic reception needs and provide effective integration services. Young children comprise a substantial share of these arrivals, and many have experienced significant trauma and stress that pose serious risks to their cognitive, psychosocial, and physical development. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs present an important opportunity to mitigate many risks these children may face, improving their education trajectories and supporting longer-term success. They can also play a critical role in the integration of refugee parents and families more broadly. In many countries, however, services for young refugee children are highly limited and lack the capacity to meet their learning and development needs.

This webinar marks the release of an Migration Policy Institute report examining the challenges and successes major host countries in Europe and North America are experiencing in providing high-quality ECEC services. The report draws on fieldwork conducted in nine countries: Belgium, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. It is an initiative of the Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years, a consortium of European and U.S. foundations convened by the Brussels-based King Baudouin Foundation.

During the webinar, authors, Maki Park and Margie McHugh discuss the report’s findings, highlighting promising policies and practices identified in field research, as well as key areas in which ECEC services for this population need to be strengthened. They are joined by Anna Österlund, from the Swedish National Agency for Education, who highlights innovative national and local policies in Sweden that support young refugee children in their early learning experiences.

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Family Immigration Policy and Trends: How the United States Compares to Other Countries

Posted in US Immigration Policy, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on April 10th, 2018

All immigrant-receiving countries grapple with the rights and requirements surrounding family reunification and how to balance them with other immigration priorities. 

Deciding which family members should be eligible to join their relatives in the United States, and under what conditions, has become a hot button political issue. The Trump administration has proposed restricting family-based immigration severely, prompting a wave of responses arguing that family-based immigration should remain at the heart of the U.S. immigration system. On this webinar, MPI analysts Julia Gelatt, Kate Hooper, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, compare U.S. policy on family migration to that of other significant immigrant-receiving countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, do these countries define "family" for the purpose of immigrant admissions and how does the proportion of family admissions compare to the other admission streams, especially to the admissions of the economic/labor market stream? This conversation, moderated by MPI Senior Fellow and Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program Doris Meissner, highlights findings from MPI's issue brief examining family migration trends in nine countries and marks the launch of a data tool that models potential U.S. legal immigration cuts, by category and top countries. 

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