The role of information campaigns in addressing irregular migration

Policy Brief

Published July 2022

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With irregular migration high on the EU agenda, governments have increasingly recognized the potential of intervening before and while migrants embark on an irregular journey and providing them with information through awareness-raising activities. Information campaigns thus represent a significant field of investment and action: Individual EU Member States and the European Commission commissioned over 100 migration information campaigns in countries of origin and transit during the 2014-2019 period alone. This policy brief explores how information campaigns can be implemented and further studied to improve their efficacy.

Student working holidays as a step towards youth mobility

Policy Brief

Published July 2022

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The recent European Commission Communication Attracting Skills and Talent to the EU outlined an ambitious agenda of steps to strengthen the Union’s ability to attract and retain international workers, including a proposed EU Youth Mobility Scheme. With the Commission set to explore the feasibility of developing such a scheme, this policy brief contains some initial thoughts on the potential of an interim scheme to support an enabling environment for the bigger policy framework being worked on by the European Commission. A more incremental, low-risk pilot Student Working Holiday Visa scheme would allow for a “proof of concept” that international students want to travel and work in Europe, that they will take up jobs in sectors with seasonal labour shortages and that they will thereafter return to their home country to complete their studies.

The missing link: Promoting refugees’ skills-based mobility within Europe

Published June 2022

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The Common European Asylum System prohibits the mobility of persons entitled to international protection within the European Union, making it more difficult for displaced persons to rebuild their lives even after arriving in Europe and receiving protection status. Recent developments soften this strict policy of immobility for some. In this context, intra-EU mobility based on refugees’ skills could become a game-changer. The tools are there. What is needed now is to connect these initiatives so that more displaced persons can use their skills for their benefit and that of receiving countries. This practice note discusses the different pieces of the puzzle for supporting displaced persons in making use of their skills for their benefit and that of receiving EU countries.

Creating a way out of the maze: Supporting sustainable futures for displaced persons

Policy Brief

Published June 2022

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As displacement continues to rise globally, more and more people are ‘stuck’ in situations of protracted displacement, where they find themselves in a long-term situation of vulnerability, dependency and legal insecurity, lacking or actively denied opportunities to rebuild their lives. While the protracted nature of many conflicts is a critical contributing factor, there is considerable room for improvement in policies and practices to more effectively address protracted displacement—and an urgent need to strengthen responses. The complicated ‘maze’ of international, national and local laws, policies and practices often backfires, exacerbating precarity and preventing many displaced persons from finding sustainable solutions for themselves and from contributing to receiving communities. 

It is not only the widening gap between the scale of displacement and the solutions offered but also the diversity of individual profiles and experiences that underscores the urgent need to expand the range of solutions so that more displaced persons can find long-term prospects. A paradigm shift that places people at the heart of solutions, meaning that countries enable displaced persons to make use of their own capacities, would open new doors for people to become ‘self-reliant’. Such an approach is not only vital for addressing existing protracted situations—but it can also help prevent those more recently displaced from finding themselves in protracted situations in the future. This policy brief highlights entry points for European stakeholders seeking solutions for (protracted) displacement.
 

TRAFIG Policy Handbook Strengthening policy responses to protracted displacement

Study

Published May 2022

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Displacement is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. At the end of 2020, more than 82 million people across the globe were categorised as forcibly displaced, whether remaining within their countries of origin or having crossed an international border. If this group were a country, it would rank 20th in the world in terms of population, right after Germany. An increasing number of refugees – 16 million in 2020, or 4 million more than in 2016 – find themselves in a long-term situation of vulnerability, dependency, and legal insecurity, lacking, or actively denied, opportunities to rebuild their lives. Such situations are termed ‘protracted displacement’. While not captured in these statistics, internally displaced persons (IDPs) may also find themselves in situations of protracted displacement. While the protracted nature of many conflicts is a critical contributing factor, there is considerable room for improvement in policies and practices to more effectively address protracted displacement.

This is where the EU-funded Transnational Figurations of Displacement (TRAFIG) research project has aimed to contribute. Undertaking more than 2,700 interviews with displaced persons, policymakers, and practitioners in 11 countries across the Middle East, East Africa, and Europe, the TRAFIG project investigated the reasons why people end up in protracted displacement situations and what coping strategies they use, thus identifying possible courses of action for policymakers.

This handbook shares 10 takeaways for strengthening policy responses to protracted displacement that have emerged from this endeavour, with empirical examples and policy recommendations, as well as a non-exhaustive list of promising practices for inspiration. These 10 points centre on the TRAFIG project goal of identifying solutions that are better tailored to the needs and capacities of displaced persons.

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