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Refugee Integration in Local Communities Gareth Mulvey Research Officer – Scottish Refugee Council

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Presentation on theme: "Refugee Integration in Local Communities Gareth Mulvey Research Officer – Scottish Refugee Council"— Presentation transcript:

1 Refugee Integration in Local Communities Gareth Mulvey Research Officer – Scottish Refugee Council

2 Refugees in Glasgow No real history of refugees 1999 - Immigration and Asylum Act creates dispersal areas. Glasgow the largest single Local Authority to take part. 2000 – Asylum Seekers start to be dispersed to Glasgow Numbers –Best estimate is approximately 10,000 Asylum Seekers and Refugees Politics - Immigration reserved – social policy devolved

3 Integration Framework Ager and Strang 2004

4 Research Study Quantitative and Qualitative Numerous data collection points 262 questionnaire responses and 30 Interviews 62% refugees – 55% women

5 Focus of this Presentation – social connections in Ager and Strang’s framework 1.Housing and neighbourhoods 2. Communities and Community Cohesion

6 Satisfaction with housing and neighbourhood

7 Desire to stay? BUT

8 Why people want to leave Area and neighbours = 51 responses

9 Views on neighbourhood Good Relativism ‘Compare to my country where there is no security, I know if there is any problem I can contact the police or any other emergency services’ (Female/AS) ‘Because back in Africa there was no peace at all’ (Female/AS) ‘In comparison to Baghdad, great improvement’ (Male/Refugee) Good Neighbours ‘My neighbours are very good, the people I meet are very friendly’ (Female/Refugee) ‘Good neighbours, my children have many friends, people in my community are so good. Do not feel that I am segregated. Found myself so many friends’ (Male/Refugee)

10 Views on neighbourhood Bad Drink and Drugs ‘Because where I live there is much junkies, and I have problem with high flats. And I don't have any friends near me’ (Male/Refugee) ‘heavy drinkers/addicts are jumping around. Though I haven't been in trouble with them yet I feel things are fragile’ (Male/Refugee) Racism/anti-social behaviour ‘Am not welcome because I am not a Scottish’ (Female/Refugee) ‘Neighbours use the F word to call use (me and my children), they broken my windows twice just because some of the people are racists and they will harass for no reason’ (Female/Refugee)

11 Neighbourhood contact To integrate means to take on neighbours behaviours? “you came to a new society and you have to accept it as it is, you can’t do anything about it. although first few months and years…I was trying to be more open to my neighbours but I don’t feel that people welcome that” (E536 Female/Refugee) “my neighbours, also with their lives, so I don’t want to intrude to their lives…we greet in the morning, but…people here, they have work from early morning until five or six o’clock in the evening, and they like to have a rest at the end of the day” (E535 Female/Refugee) “Here in Scotland or anywhere else, I try to integrate. I try and fit in. I try and wait to be accepted. I don’t force myself on anybody “ (E140 Female/Refugee) Time has an impact – “Its taken a year for them to get used to me passing every day…they are now beginning to smile at me. they’re now beginning to feel I’m part of them” (E140 Female/Refugee)

12 Neighbourhood Contact Continued In contrast to home country experiences “in our countries, I think we are very close to each other” (Male/Refugee E751) “I knew everybody in this neighbourhood and they knew me” (Male/RefugeeE153) “You would know who your neighbours name is. You would know their kids cos they play with your kids….aye, there’s more camaraderie there (E140 Female/Refugee)

13 Feeling part of the community

14 What does feeling part of the community mean? Friendly Relations “I guess because they are friendly, you know, when you are in the midst of people that loves you, that they don’t discriminate, you know, you feel relaxed, you feel at home” (E58 Female/AS) Employment and usefulness “I think you feel part of the community when you are working….you have to feel you are useful, you are doing something” (E38 male/Refugee) Willingness of locals has impact “But there is still a need to feel you are, with these people. This is the fourth year for us, and until now I’m still a stranger”(E33 Female/Refugee)

15 What is community continued “Community means the local people which are in your street, the houses in your street that’s a community and when you expand it, firstly your family, your home, that's the community, when you are together family, that’s your small community and when you expand, when you go out from your home then the neighbours and then the whole street, that’s your community and when you talk about village wise or city wise, then it is expanding and expanding they become community”. (E35 Male/Refugee) “How you mix with people, how do you associate with people, do you enjoy socialising with people….. I need to know what kind of people I’m living with, and I need to know if, in the future, if I want to do some business or so, if I want to, I want to know what’s the taste of the society, that helps me to get a good idea, accurate idea, to adjust myself with things like that”. (E541 AS/Male)

16 Community Cohesion Only those in accommodation for more than one year

17 Cohesion or Passive Cohesion ? Cohesion “if you see the area I’m living because there is a mix….I can say every kind of people from everywhere living there so…it works yeah (E153 Refugee/male) Passive Cohesion – lack of problems = cohesion “I haven’t come across anything here” (A14 Female/Refugee) “Yeah, because I’m there one year now, there is no trouble, there is no like, some areas there will always be people shouting, but yeah, it’s a very quiet place” (E460 AS/Female)

18 Concluding remarks 1.Some new findings need further study 2.Some positives – friendly neighbours – feeling of belonging to locality and/or city 3.Some negatives – remaining discrimination in some communities – lack of social contact impedes adjustment Next Stage – workshop about meaning of community – follow up questionnaires and interviews.

19 Any questions?

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