By: Sarah Spencer, Senior Fellow
Photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld
Who might we expect to be more caring of migrants in need of health care than Norway, its welfare state renowned for comprehensive, cradle to the grave protection? Not so, it seems, if they are among the estimated 10,000 – 32,000 residents in Norway whose immigration status is irregular, whether adult or child. While law reform in Sweden extended irregular migrants’ access to health care in 2013, Norway’s trajectory since a rule change in 2011 has been the other way.
Emerging findings from a three year study on the provision of services to irregular migrants (PROVIR), shared at an Oxford round-table last week, revealed a child can be denied an operation by doctors required to take into account their possible removal from the country, notwithstanding that, with a further application pending, removal may never take place. Patients can be deterred from seeking care by the cost of consulting a GP or the questioning of sceptical administrative staff. Some defer seeking treatment until their legal status is confirmed. Others borrow a friend’s residence permit or choose a doctor with a foreign name, hoping to find a sympathetic ear – findings which will sound familiar to those who, like Médicins du Monde or PICUM, monitor access to care for irregular migrants in Europe. Doctors in Norway, as in other jurisdictions, do not welcome the intrusion of immigration factors into their clinical role.
By: Ben Gidley, Associate Professor
In my contribution to Migration: The COMPAS Anthology, which discussed the concept of integration, I concluded with a series of unanswered questions which I think researchers have a duty to address. In this blog post, I take up those issues in order to introduce recent and current research by COMPAS and other scholars that starts to address these questions. I argue that these efforts constitute the research agenda on integration in the coming period.
First, I asked, how can we go beyond the limits of methodological nationalism to understand the local scale at which integration occurs? As Michael Keith has argued, migrants move between countries, but people move between places. Thinking about each of the domains in which integration occurs, it is clear that they take place at different scales, and most often at a scale smaller than the nation-state. Integration’s “ground zero”, as Ferruccio Pastore puts it, is the local. For instance, socio-economic participation means participation in labour markets which are local, or at most regional, rather than national; social interaction means interaction in real neighbourhoods, streets, libraries, play parks and sports fields. Place matters; space shapes the possibilities and constraints that structure integration processes.
By: Scott Blinder, Migration Observatory Director and Anne-Marie Jeannet, Department of Social Policy and Intervention
How do people form their impressions of and attitudes toward immigrants? This question is easy to talk about but hard to answer with social scientific research.
Immigration is a vast and complex phenomenon; no one person can possibly apprehend it on their own, even someone who knows many migrants, or is or has been a migrant herself. All of us have views based on some combination of personal experience, second-hand reports, and information we’ve received from various forms of ‘media’ – including newspapers, TV news, and even entertainment – that might expose us to ideas about and examples of migration. It is very hard to figure out where people get their information, and how they combine it over a period of many years to form their beliefs and impressions.
Posted in immigration, media, public opinion, research
Tagged communication, control group, Eastern Europe, flood, high-skilled, illegal, language, survey
By: Xiang Biao, University Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Photo by Nicola Kiltley,Entry COMPAS Photo Competition 2012
Outmigration was a common topic in daily conversations in northeast China, where I did my fieldwork from 2004 to 2008. In discussion, though, there was no generic concept equivalent to ‘migrant’ or ‘out-migrant’. People talked about specific individuals only (“Zhang in Singapore working as a shop assistant”). The closest expression to ‘(out-)migrant’ was ‘those who have gone abroad’. However, the phrase was seldom used and did not mean much more than such purely descriptive terms as ‘those who are lucky’ or ‘those who are tall’. In contrast, the expression ‘those who wait to go abroad’ was often heard. It referred to a category of people who share certain characteristics. For instance, people would say “those who want to go abroad are ambitious” or “I don’t want to do business with those who wait to go abroad”. ‘Those who wait to go abroad’ are ‘would-be migrants’ who were exploring possibilities of outmigration actively to the extent that their daily lives were significantly changed.