Social movements, political change and supporting refugees: implications for social work practice in the UK

Sandu, Adriana (2020) Social movements, political change and supporting refugees: implications for social work practice in the UK. Practice: Social Work in Action, 32 (1). pp. 59-71. ISSN 1742-4909

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In recent years, the numbers of refugees and migrants moving across borders has been unprecedented, with more than 68.5 million people around the world leaving their countries as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations (UNHCR, 2018a). Their journeys are perilous, crossing dangerous waters, often leading to death of family members. Upon arrival in Europe they continue to struggle, often living in detention-like conditions, unable to access basic protection and being vulnerable to traffickers. Most European governments offer emergency relief, without a common framework for legal protection or a clear vision of what statutory social services should provide. Like many other European countries, in the UK, designated social services are also limited and formal efforts to support refugees arriving in the UK remain uncoordinated, mostly provided by volunteers and non-governmental organisations. Drawing on the theoretical framework of social movements, this article offers a crtitique to current social work practices for refugees in the UK. Using the case of resettlement policies, it argues that sustainable social services to protect this vulnerable group could develop through the political opportunity structures created by non-governmental organisations. It concludes that community mobilisation can influence social work practice to better support the refugees.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: refugees, resettlement, social movements, political opportunity change, social work practice
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 08:43
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:54

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