Social movements, political change and supporting refugees: implications for social work practice in the UK
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 16:26 authored by Adriana Sandu
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.
Number of pages20
Publication titlePractice: Social Work in Action
PublisherTaylor & Francis
EditorsJane Akister, B. Vimok
- Accepted version