Migration Policy Institute Podcasts header image

Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

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

Climate Change and Migration: Converging Issues, Diverging Funding

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on June 30th, 2020

While climate change and migration remain high on political agendas in Europe, the exact link between the two remains uncertain. Without clarity on how different climate events might lead to more human mobility (or conversely, immobility), it is difficult for migration policymakers and development actors to align their efforts and ensure they are spending resources wisely. Investments in climate adaptation, for instance, which aim to build communities’ resilience to cope with environmental stress, have only recently begun to take human mobility into account. And so far, adaptation activities make up only a small part of Europe’s formidable climate spending.

The COVID-19 pandemic only adds to the urgency of finding innovative financing tools for climate adaptation and migration. Many of the adaptation strategies policymakers previously applied to support communities affected by sudden-onset floods or slow-onset desertification are now obsolete, for example as physical distancing requirements have complicated evacuation and relocation. And because the issue cuts across different policy portfolios, it is difficult to assign clear responsibilities. 

This MPI Europe discussion, with MPI Europe's Hanne Beirens, University of Liège's François Gemenne, GIZ's Dorothea Rischewski, and the European Investment Bank's Moa Westman, explored different migration policy options related to climate adaptation and the evolving landscape of climate finance tools. Speakers also examined what funding gaps and opportunities exist for collaboration with partner countries and what funding instruments might address the most pressing needs. The conversation also explored the implications of COVID-19 for migration and climate adaptation funding approaches.

Rethinking and Restarting: What should the returns process look like post-pandemic?

COVID-19-related border closures, travel restrictions, and uncertainties as to how to safeguard the health of returnees and their receiving communities have paralyzed the migrant-return system across the globe. With a few notable exceptions, such as the United States and Sweden, most countries have halted the return of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants, including overstayers, to their countries of origin until further notice. Authorities have paused or postponed return or removal orders, shifted to automatic renewal of immigration permits and, in some cases, opted to release migrants awaiting their return from closed detention centers (e.g., in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom).  

As countries move into different phases of reopening, the question of when and how to return migrants will become increasingly pressing. How feasible will the transfer of migrants be between countries that are at different points on the containment curve? How politically desirable is it to press certain countries to readmit their citizens when the coronavirus is already testing the limits of their infrastructure?

Furthermore, the return process was already plagued by problems of low return rates, controversial returns, and overly ambitious reintegration goals.

Part of MPI Europe's webinar series exploring what the migrant-return and reintegration process might look like in the post-COVID period, this webinar highlights the opportunity the restart offers countries to rethink and improve their return and reintegration operations. Before turning to the reintegration process later this summer, this first webinar in the series showcases speakers from Belgium's Fedasil, the French Office of Immigration and Integration, and the International Organization for Migration discussing the counselling of (potential) returnees to increase the uptake of voluntary return – a return option that is generally seen as more humanitarian, practical, less expensive, and sustainable.

Humanitarian Protection in an Era of Pandemic

The rapid closures of borders around the world have been among the most dramatic migration-related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 130 countries have introduced entry restrictions at their borders, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates. While these closures have virtually suspended leisure and business travel across the world, the effects are proving even more severe for refugees and migrants fleeing danger. Crossing an international border to a country of safety and filing an asylum claim is no longer possible in many places—a seismic shock to the foundations of a post-World War II international protection system that relies on the goodwill of national governments to grant access to their territory for those in need.

The pandemic has also placed into stark relief the unique vulnerabilities forced migrants now confront in the face of outbreak. The reception facilities where many asylum seekers live while awaiting a verdict on their claim invite outbreaks, even in high-income countries with well-run asylum and reception systems. Infection is likely to spread even more rapidly in severely overcrowded facilities, such as the camps on the Greek islands and informal settlements in Mexican border cities where migrants awaiting U.S. asylum hearings are massed. In developing countries where access to proper health care is limited even for nationals, the consequences of the pandemic could be disastrous for refugees who often live in densely packed housing with poor sanitation. At the same time, the suspension of resettlement operations by IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has closed off a crucial lifeline for the especially vulnerable.

Speakers on this webinar consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected—and perhaps, remade—the global protection systems. Meghan Benton, Director for Research of MPI’s International Program, is joined by MPI colleagues, Kathleen Newland, Hanne Beirens, Sarah Pierce, and Susan Fratzke, for a free-flowing conversation regarding the effects of the pandemic on asylum systems in Europe and North America, as well as those in developing regions, where 85 percent of refugees remain. In addition to considering the immediate effects the crisis has had on national asylum systems and on refugees themselves, the conversation looks ahead and begin to assess the implications for the principle of asylum and access to protection in the future.

View MPI's resources on COVID-19

Expert Podcast: Meeting Seasonal Labor Needs in the Age of COVID-19

Governments are facing urgent pandemic-related questions. One of the more pressing ones: Who is going to harvest crops in countries that rely heavily on seasonal foreign workers? In this podcast, MPI experts Hanne Beirens, Kate Hooper, and Camille Le Coz, examine ways in which countries could address labor shortages in agriculture, including recruiting native-born workers and letting already present seasonal workers stay longer. Catch an interesting discussion as border closures have halted the movement of seasonal workers even as crops are approaching harvest in some places.

 

Migration & Coronavirus: A Complicated Nexus Between Migration Management and Public Health

Governments around the world have adopted significant migration management measures to try to contain and halt the spread of COVID-19. Border closures, travel restrictions, prohibitions on arrivals from certain areas, and heightened screening have been among the leading policy responses, initially to try to block COVID-19 from crossing borders and later, as the pandemic became a global one, as part of a raft of mobility restrictions seeking to mitigate further spread. The success of these restrictions in stemming the initial breakout of public health threats across international borders as well as their role in mitigating "community spread" within affected states is a matter of dispute. More clear, however, is that internal measures—such as business closures and "lockdown" orders—are likely to be borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable, including refugees, unauthorized populations, and other immigrants.
 
This webinar, organized by the Migration Policy Institute and the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School, discussed the state of play around the globe and examined where migration management and enforcement tools may be useful and where they may be ill-suited to advancing public health goals. Experts compared the current response (and rhetoric) to what has been seen during prior major public health crises in the United States and internationally, and discussed how this is likely to affect future mobility and international cooperation on issues such as humanitarian protection.

Speakers included:

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow, MPI, and former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Associate Director, International Program, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

T. Alexander Aleinikoff, University Professor and Director, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, and former Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Alan Kraut, Distinguished University Professor of History, American University, and MPI Nonresident Fellow

View all MPI resources related to COVID-19.

Seasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward

Posted in Labor Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on February 28th, 2020

Across Europe, employers with seasonal labor needs in sectors such as agriculture, hospitality, and tourism often rely on hiring workers from other countries. Some, such as Germany, source these workers from other EU Member States, especially in Eastern and Central Europe. Others rely on programs that recruit seasonal workers from non-EU countries such as Morocco. While low-skilled workers generally have limited opportunities to legally migrate to the European Union, seasonal migration forms an important exception.

Designing and implementing seasonal worker programs that are responsive to labor market needs but also prioritize the well-being of seasonal workers and deter overstays remain challenging. Likewise, while studies point to the potential development contributions of seasonal migration for origin countries, policymakers can struggle to translate this potential into practice. 

As the European Union prepares to review the implementation of its Seasonal Workers Directive, as well as countries such as the United Kingdom continue to explore new approaches to selecting seasonal workers, this webinar features findings from a policy briefSeasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Promising Practices and Ongoing ChallengesOn this webinar MPI Policy Analyst Kate Hooper was joined Concordia CEO Stephanie Maurel and Jan Schneider, Head of the Research Unit at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR), for a discussion recent trends in European seasonal migration programmes and best practices.

This webinar is part of a project by MPI Europe and the Expert Council’s Research Unit on mobility options to Europe for those not in need of protection, supported by the Mercator Foundation.

Turning the Tide: Addressing the Long-Term Challenges of EU Mobility for Sending Countries

Posted in Immigrant Integration, Labor Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on December 5th, 2019

More than a decade after EU eastern enlargement, some eastern Member States are still grappling with the consequences of large-scale emigration for their communities, economies, and societies. Emigration may come with certain advantages: it can relieve pressure in situations of high unemployment, generate remittances, and allow mobile EU citizens to pursue better job opportunities and living conditions. In the long run, however, brain drain, demographic decline, and eroding tax bases can put a massive strain on countries of emigration, and may even trigger a downward spiral that ultimately stands in the way of EU convergence.

Amid ongoing debates about the costs and benefits of free movement, this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines evidence from the EU-funded REMINDER (Role of European Mobility and Its Impacts in Narratives, Debates and EU Reform) project on different types of East-West mobility. Among the topics of discussion: mobility of care workers, short-term cross-border movement in frontier regions, and return migration to countries of origin—and their impact on sending countries’ communities and societies. Speakers--MPI's Meghan Benton and Liam Patuzzi, Bernhard Perchinig of International Centre for Migration Policy Development, and Marcin Wiatrów from the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Policy--examine big-picture trends of East-West migration; consider possible policy responses at regional, national, and EU levels to alleviate some of the challenges; and reflect on realistic actions that could be taken under a new European Commission.

Legal Migration Pathways to Europe for Low- and Middle-Skilled Migrants

Against a backdrop of large-scale spontaneous migration flows towards Europe, facilitating legal migration is often called for as an alternative to irregular migration for individuals and groups not in need of international protection. Moreover, with populations aging and workforces slated to shrink over the next few decades in many European countries, policies that can efficiently recruit migrants to meet labor and skills shortages will be at a premium. While the conversation to date has focused on high-skilled migrants, short-to-medium term projections suggest that demand may also grow for low- and middle-skilled workers in sectors such as health and elder care, manufacturing, and construction. But the changing political environment around migration means that the space for reforms to legal migration policies has narrowed in many countries. At the national level, for example, policymakers must strike a fine balance between accommodating employer demand for more flexible and responsive selection policies and meeting their obligations to protect and promote the labor market participation of local populations. And while expanding legal migration pathways is a common theme of negotiations with third countries, both political and practical considerations (such as how to test demand and scale up initiatives) have stymied efforts to deliver on this pledge.

This event hosted by MPI Europe and the Research Unit of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration includes a discussion of research into legal migration pathways for work and training for low- and middle-skilled migrants not in need of protection.

Speakers consider several questions:
• What opportunities for work or training in Europe can low- and middle-skilled third-country nationals access? What policies and programs have been tried and tested at EU and Member State levels and how successful have they been?
• What practical reforms can governments consider to their selection policies to ensure they are primed to assess and respond to fast-changing labor market needs? What lessons can we learn from bilateral partnerships on legal migration in this regard?
• What role can the European Union play in supporting efforts by Member States to reform or expand their legal migration channels? Where is the European Union’s added value most keenly felt?

“Legal migration for work and training: Mobility options to Europe for those not in need of protection” is a project of the Research Unit of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration in cooperation with MPI Europe, and is funded by Stiftung Mercator.

On the Wrong Path? Protecting the European Union’s External Border in the Western Balkans

The European Union’s more stringent controls on its external border are having serious effects for its near neighbors. In Bosnia, thousands of people trying to make their way to EU Member States last year had their paths blocked at the Croatian border. Many spent the winter in Bosnia, a country ill-equipped to deal with their needs. Bosnian authorities have struggled to adapt, even with help from international agencies and the European Union, with whom they signed an agreement in January to facilitate joint operations and so-called "rapid border interventions."

With thousands more migrants potentially traveling through the Western Balkans this year, this MPI Europe webinar explores the implications of the buttressed EU border on the bloc’s neighbors. Is this another example of the European Union outsourcing its toughest political issues on migration control? How can the European Union support efforts to address irregular migration in neighboring countries, many of which are already struggling with complex economic and political challenges? If the incoming crop of EU leaders continues these policies, what are the tradeoffs and considerations that they must weigh? In a conversation led by MPI Europe Acting Director Hanne Beirens, Save the Children International Senior Advocacy Adviser Karen Mets, Central European Initiative Project Manager Ugo Poli, and Peter Van der Auweraert, International Organization for Migration Western Balkans Coordinator, address these and other questions on this webinar.

Embarking on the Next Journey: Innovations in Predeparture Orientation Programs for Refugees

As the number of resettlement countries grows across Europe, Latin America, and Asia, the question of how to better prepare resettling refugees, as well as receiving communities, for what lies ahead is more pressing than ever. For resettling refugees, adjusting to their new lives can be particularly difficult. Often, they have lived for long periods in remote regions or refugee camps, with no or little formal education and limited knowledge of how to navigate bureaucracies. Equally, receiving communities may lack the information and support they need to welcome new neighbors. While predeparture orientation alone can neither guarantee a smooth transition nor expedite integration, it holds the potential to increase refugees’ confidence in their decision to resettle and to improve their ability to start life anew in an unfamiliar place. If done effectively, orientation can make a difference for refugees’ well-being and be an investment in receiving-community social cohesion.

While the potential benefits of such preparation are clear, it is far less obvious how exactly to make the most out of the limited time at hand before refugees depart. It can be challenging to strike a delicate balance between conveying key messages and skills for the next steps ahead while meeting refugees’ own information needs. What do resettling refugees need to learn before departure, and what information can wait until after arrival? Who is best placed to deliver predeparture orientation, and how can information be shared in the most accessible and credible way? And how can receiving communities best be supported in welcoming newcomers? To answer these questions, this Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines concrete and innovative practices of how to better design and implement predeparture orientation programs from the perspective of a diverse range of actors.

This webinar draws from the report, Preparing for the Unknown: Designing Effective Predeparture Orientation for Resettling Refugees and features remarks from the report authors, a refugee who went through resettlement process and now serves as a mentor for those being resettled in The Netherlands, and the head of the resettlement and integration support unit at IOM Norway. The report was produced in the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project and lays out guiding principles for effective orientation programs for Member States as they decide or rethink what support they offer to refugees before arrival.

“Merit-Based” Immigration: Designing Successful Selection Systems

The U.S. administration is calling for the United States to adopt a more “merit-based” immigrant selection system, looking to Canada and Australia as potential models. An immigration proposal under consideration by the administration would adjust the composition of legal immigration, giving greater preference to skills over family ties. Much of the advanced industrial world—from Germany and the European Union to China and other Asian states—is also grappling with how best to attract and retain highly skilled immigrant workers as a means of enhancing human capital and economic competitiveness.

The conversation between Jean-Christophe Dumont, Head of the International Migration Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou focused on what policymakers should consider in designing—and managing—immigrant selection systems in a time of intense labor-market and demographic change. The discussion relied on recent MPI and OECD research on this topic, focusing primarily on the Canadian and Australian selection systems. MPI’s Julia Gelatt commented on the conversation from a U.S. policy perspective, discussing how lessons from abroad could apply to the United States.

International vs. National Protection for Refugees: Diverging Trends?

The global response to the rising challenge of refugee displacement has been marked by two contradictory trends. First, at the international level there has been a recognition of the gravity of the problem and a move toward responsibility sharing and global governance of refugee situations—most notably through the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees in December 2018. At the same time, a very different trend is emerging among countries in the Global North as a number of governments have actively narrowed their protection frameworks, tightened asylum policies, and limited the rights of refugees through laws and policies, effectively strengthening barriers to movement for those who are seeking refuge or asylum.

This conversation explores the factors behind this divergence between the international community and national policies and what it means for cooperation at the international level.  MPI’s Kathleen Newland discusses what has been accomplished through the Global Compact on Refugees and what its implementation is likely to accomplish. Mary Giovagnoli, of Refugee Council USA, examines how protection policy has shifted in the United States and the implications this has for the ability of the international community to respond to global refugee needs. David Scott FitzGerald shares insights from his book, Refuge beyond Reach, regarding how asylum policies in high-income democracies have been adapted to shut down most legal paths to safety for refugees through a range of deterrence methods that, while complying with the letter of their international commitments to refugees, do not adhere to them in spirit.      

A Conversation with António Vitorino, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration

The world is home to approximately 258 million international migrants, who represent 3.4 percent of the global population. About 10 percent of them are refugees. As countries seek to come to terms with record forcible displacement and manage other human movement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working with partners in the international community to respond to humanitarian emergencies and meet the operational challenges of migration management, advance a better understanding of migration issues, and promote orderly migration policies that can benefit migrants and Member States alike.

In this first and only public address during his inaugural formal visit to Washington, DC. Director General António Vitorino discussed his vision for IOM; reforms and changes in the UN system designed to address migration matters better; the coordination of efforts between IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other international partners in addressing humanitarian protection; and the operational steps IOM is taking to respond to forced migration and displacement in hotspots around the world, including Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Libya. Following a conversation with Demetrios Papademetriou, Mr. Vitorino took audience questions.

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session III: Integration policymaking in a time of populism: How can we broaden and deepen the integration toolbox?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Immigrant integration policymaking has become vastly more complex and under greater scrutiny amid the rise of populism in Europe. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines what new skills and tools policymakers need, promising innovations integration policymakers could learn from other policy portfolios, and what institutions, systems, and actors need to be at the table.

 

Speakers include:

Laura Corrado, Head of Unit, Unit B.1 – Legal Migration and Integration, Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission

Honey Deihimi, Head of Division, Cabinet of the Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Germany

David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister for Settlement and Integration, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

Eleftherios Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees, and Municipal Decentralisation, Athens

Marco Zappalorto, Chief Executive, Nesta Italia

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Session II: The future of integration: How can we ensure that everyone can thrive in changing labour markets?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Amid population ageing and changing labour markets that could affect the skills, sectors, and structure of jobs themselves, governments across Europe are grappling with how to support migrants and refugees in increasingly unstable and knowledge-intensive labour markets. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines how newcomers can capitalise on growing nontraditional pathways to economic success amid the digitisation and automation of many jobs, how social protection programmes can be updated to a changing world of work, and how schools and universities can help all young people succeed in future labour markets.

 

Speakers include:

Meghan Benton, Assistant Director, International Programme, MPI

Julie Bodson, Duo for a Job, Belgium

Pia Buhl Girolami, Specialist Director, Department of Integration, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Norway

Rachel Marangozov, Research Associate, Institute for Employment Studies; and Director, MigrationWork

Ben Mason, Project Lead, ‘Digital Routes to Integration’, betterplace lab

Building the Foundations for Inclusion in Europe? - Introduction & Session I: A new migration reality: How can we build common ground in a state of flux?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 6th, 2019

Amid major spontaneous migration to Europe in recent years, deepening anxiety about social change and rising diversity has boosted support for far-right populist and anti-establishment parties, making it a challenge for politicians to articulate a sense of common identity without succumbing to simplistic narratives around migration. This panel from an MPI Europe event, Building the Foundations for Inclusion: What Does the Future Hold for Immigrant Integration in Europe?, examines how governments can promote and maintain common values in a state of flux, how to prioritise integration without fueling unfairness among groups that feel left behind, and promising communications strategies to reduce social divides.

 

Speakers include:

Aliyyah Ahad, Associate Policy Analyst, MPI Europe

Elizabeth Collett, Special Adviser to the Director General, International Organization for Migration; and Director, MPI Europe (on a leave of absence)

Tim Dixon, Co-Founder, More in Common

Doug Saunders, Author; and International Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail

The Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion

Posted in International Migration, European Migration, Migration Policy Institute Europe by migrationpolicy on October 16th, 2018

Can tiny tweaks in how public policy is designed and how services work really “nudge” us to become better citizens? An increasing number of governments think so. Policymakers have used behavioral insights—an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to policy design grounded in understanding how people make choices in practice—to great effect to inspire people to become organ donors, encourage them to pay their taxes on time, and more. 

But while behavioral insights have been adopted in everything from education to health policy, their application in the field of immigrant integration has so far been limited. Could this method be used to promote social mixing and reduce inequality between those with and without a migrant background? Emerging experimental and real-world evidence suggests a range of ways a behavioral lens could to help policymakers reach their integration goals, from fostering open-mindedness among young people and reducing classroom segregation to encouraging immigrants to become citizens. 

On this webinar, speakers—Meghan Benton, MPI Assistant Director for Research in the International Programme; Antonio Silva, Behavioural Insights Team Senior Advisor; Laura Gonzalez-Murphy, New York State Department of State Director of Immigration Policy and Research; and Will Somerville, Unbound Philanthropy UK Programme Director and MPI UK Senior Fellow—explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy, and how policymakers can start fitting this approach into their work. The webinar marked the release of an MPI Europe-Behavioural Insights Team report, Applying Behavioural Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion, produced under the framework of MPI Europe's Integration Futures Working Group. 

Preparing Newcomers for the Jobs of Today and the Labor Markets of Tomorrow

Getting recently arrived immigrants and refugees into work has long been considered the lynchpin of successful integration, with the legitimacy of migration and asylum systems often linked to positive economic outcomes. Spurred in part by the European migration crisis, significant social innovations and public-sector investments have focused on assessing newcomers’ existing skills, matching them with available jobs, and providing training to those in need. But with labour markets increasingly characterized by technological disruption and the flexible but precarious "gig economy," this model risks being severely upended.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar marks the release of two publications produced in the framework of its Integration Futures Working Group. Jobs in 2028: How Will Changing Labor Markets Affect Immigrant Integration in Europe? examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. The second report, Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany, explores the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work—for more than only a high-skilled minority. Join the experts for a discussion of key questions: How can governments equip newcomers—and indeed citizens—with the skills to thrive in the job markets of the future? How can governments prepare public services and contribution-based benefit schemes for a changing world of work? And for those unable to find work, what are the alternative ways that newcomers can meaningfully and measurably contribute to society?

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 

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.

- Older Posts »