Bringing Evidence to the Refugee Integration Debate

Bringing Evidence to the Refugee Integration Debate. Urban Institute. Hamutal Bernstein. April 9, 2018

 There is a major disconnect between the current policy debate and the reality of refugee outcomes in the US. After a tumultuous year of policy changes for the refugee resettlement program and as refugees are being framed as security, economic, and cultural threats, policymakers must consider the evidence base on the realities of refugees and their local communities.

Today’s policy debates are not grounded in the evidence that underscores how successful refugee integration has been and how refugees differ from other immigrants. To that end, this report provides context on resettled refugees and the policy conversation, synthesizes evidence on integration outcomes, and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the data sources and methods on which researchers rely. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 38 pages].

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Deterring Emigration with Foreign Aid: An Overview of Evidence from Low-Income Countries

Deterring Emigration with Foreign Aid: An Overview of Evidence from Low-Income Countries. Center for Global Development.  Michael Clemens and Hannah Postel. February 12, 2018

 In response to the recent migrant and refugee crisis, rich countries have redoubled policy efforts to deter future immigration from poor countries by addressing the “root causes” of migration. The authors review existing evidence on the extent and effectiveness of such efforts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 30 pages].

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya. Refugees International. May 31, 2017.

As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy. Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 7.47 MB].

Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments

Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments. Migration Policy Institute. Brian Salant and Meghan Benton. March 2017.

The huge influx of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe over the past two years has placed considerable pressure on local services and infrastructure in many cities, including in education. Cities only have competence over limited areas of education policy, leaving many unable to respond quickly to rapid population changes or make structural changes, such as to teacher recruitment and training, to adapt to the needs of diverse populations. Many cities are facing significant capacity and infrastructure challenges associated with large-scale arrivals; others are struggling to stretch budgets that were established on the basis of outdated population figures.

This MPI Europe report examines the hurdles that cities face when helping new arrivals access education and training. It also highlights innovative ways municipalities support newly arrived migrants as they enter the education system and local labor force, including two-generation and co-located services through which parents and children can access child care, health and social services, and language training in one location. Others have developed “whole-place” approaches that work across all local services to address the whole education-to-work pathway. The authors outline ways in which the European level could help mitigate multilevel governance challenges and scale what works, as well as strategies the Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees could consider to better support cities in their immediate response to large migrant influxes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.1 MB].

Improving the Labour Market Integration of Migrants and Refugees: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments

Improving the Labour Market Integration of Migrants and Refugees: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments. Migration Policy Institute. Kate Hooper, Maria Vincenza Desiderio, and Brian Salant. March 2017.

Cities have played a significant role in addressing Europe’s migration crisis, including by helping migrants and refugees integrate successfully into the local labor market. Cities provide a wide array of critical services to newcomers, including language training, skills assessments and orientation, mentoring and placement services, alternative pathways to employment (such as entrepreneurship), credential recognition, and vocational education and training. Yet funding constraints, differing priorities at different levels of governance, and limited capacity to evaluate and prioritize what works hamper cities’ ability to effectively deliver services.

This MPI Europe report identifies concrete actions that could be taken to better leverage European Union soft law, funding, and knowledge exchange mechanisms to support cities’ activities in this area. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 46 pages, 1.11 MB].

“Except God, We Have No One”: Lack of Durable Solutions for Non-Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Except God, We Have No One”: Lack of Durable Solutions for Non-Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Refugees International. Izza Leghtas and Daniel Sullivan. February 7, 2017

Turkey is the world’s largest host of refugees and asylum-seekers, with the majority – 2.8 million – having fled the conflict in neighboring Syria. Another 290,000 come from other countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

The Turkish government has taken a number of positive steps to improve the lives of Syrians in Turkey, particularly in education and employment, even holding out the possibility for citizenship. Humanitarian actors are primarily focusing their efforts on the needs of the Syrians, but the protection measures available to displaced persons of other nationalities are far fewer and their living conditions are underreported. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 4.56 MB].

Human Smuggling: Ruthless Crime or Invaluable Service?

Human Smuggling: Ruthless Crime or Invaluable Service? YaleGlobal . Joseph Chamie. 22 December 2016

Human smuggling is not new or easy to stop. Governments consider the activity a crime, yet migrants fleeing war, poverty, persecution or disasters seek out the services of experienced smugglers. The most desperate stories draw global sympathy. “For many unauthorized migrants, smugglers are freedom facilitators,” concedes Joseph Chamie, demography expert and former director of the United Nations Population Division. Analysts do not agree on the best approach for slowing human smuggling: Some urge tight border security, but others point out that walls and other barriers force migrants to rely on smugglers. Open borders would end smuggling but would disrupt communities and countries. Chamie describes the many challenges confronting governments including varying perceptions among their own citizens and even border guards or police who look the other way. He concludes, “Many consider human smuggling as permissible or even justified when helping those escaping persecution or desperate conditions.” Good governance emphasizes compassion and security.[ Note: contains copyrighted material].

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