Macimide Co-Director Melissa Siegel authors special report ‘Understanding refugee potential’
The Migration Studies Group aims to change attitudes to migrants and refugees, as Professor Dr Melissa Siegel explains.
The ‘refugee crisis’ or ‘migrant crisis’, as it has been labelled by European popular media, has brought forced displacement to the attention of the general public and policy makers alike. While Europe tries to deal with the numbers of migrants (which includes refugees and asylum seekers) reaching its countries, forced displacement is a phenomenon of worldwide magnitude, extending far beyond that affecting Europe. UNHCR (2016) estimates that in 2015 21.3 million refugees were forcibly displaced, 86% of them hosted in developing countries.
While Europe grapples with the effects that the refugee influx might have on its economy and society, many other countries have long accepted and benefitted from their role as hosting societies. Despite being a common phenomenon, research on the impacts of refugees on hosting populations has been scarce.