How to plan for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Nordic Region
7 Apr 2022
What is the best way to cater for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Nordic countries? A new report from NordForsk provides research-led best practice from Nordic and British scholars.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two. Millions have crossed Ukraine’s borders into neighboring countries in the west, and many will continue through Europe to get to their final destination in one of the Nordic countries.
Since 2020, NordForsk has funded seven international research projects on migration and integration with researchers from all the Nordic countries and the UK. In this brand-new report, researchers from these projects present results and analysis which could help us better understand the needs of Ukrainian refugees. Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk, explains:
“We believe that the Ukrainian refugees ought to be met by professional services with expertise and capabilities in many fields. Many of those who are responsible for planning and designing the services should have the latest knowledge about migration and integration issues, enabling them to plan and organise the refugees’ arrival and integration in the best way possible,” he says and elaborates:
“Therefore, we have invited researchers from seven projects under our ‘Migration and Integration programme’ to submit their insights to stakeholders within the field of handling refugees”.
About the articles
The articles are based on the results from the researchers’ own work on refugees and migrants in the Nordic countries and the UK and are supposed to provide valuable insight into how refugees think, feel, and should be met in order to facilitate their introduction to the Nordic societies.
An important topic in the report, and the main focus for several of the articles, is the reception and integration of children and young people.
Their future is uncertain, and many of these young people may have to settle long-term or even permanently in other countries. It is then important to facilitate safe development and good integration.
For example, in the article “Integrating young migrants”, professor Carina Mood asks how her research team’s knowledge can assist Nordic countries in helping Ukrainian children.
Her response is, among other things, that their research shows that refugee children are in remarkably good health, and are both optimistic and achievement-oriented. Therefore, policies and support must have a child perspective that emphasises the agency and potential of refugee children. At the same time, children who arrive in late childhood – especially boys – need special attention and intense school support. As a result, study and (host-country) language support for older children should be given high priority and commence as soon as practically possible.
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