World Refugee Day takes place each year on June 20 and to support the day the UK will host its own refugee week from June 19-25. Activities which take place during this week are a celebration of diversity, and the rich cultural, social, economic and artistic contributions of refugees to the UK. Refugee week started as a reaction to the hostility, in both the media and wider society, that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants faced and still encounter today.
Since the UK’s EU referendum vote last June, immigration and the plight of refugees and migrants has been prominent in public and political discourse throughout the UK, and has shown a nation divided in its views. Since 2012 IRiS and our renowned academics have worked extensively in the UK, Europe and globally to research some of the key issues surroundings migration, refugees and asylum seekers. Our work has sought to dispel myths and provide world leading insight and expertise that offers policy and practice based solutions to the ongoing migration crisis.
Projects such as MEDMIG shed light on the dynamics (determinants, drivers and infrastructures) underpinning the recent migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean. The project has been co-led by IRiS Deputy Director Dr Nando Sigona who has presented research findings extensively across the EU to politicians, academics and policymakers. MEDMIG was recently nominated for a 2017 Guardian University Award for its research impact.
UPWEB (The Welfare Bricolage Project) is led by IRiS Director Professor Jenny Phillimore and is investigating how residents in superdiverse neighbourhoods put together their healthcare. The project will reconceptualise welfare theory and develop new practical and theoretical insights to support public health engagement and delivery with diverse communities.
Our work to support refugees and continue world class research in migration is an ongoing commitment. IRiS has recently won new research grants to address issues such as Sexual Gender Based Violence affecting women refugees as well as investigating Brexit through the EU Families and Eurochildren project.