Unveiling migrant and refugee integration during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study between Greece and Spain

25 January 2024. From 18:30 | Conference | English | IEMed
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact particularly on the most vulnerable populations, including migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The lecture depicts the preliminary results of the comparative research project “Local Alliance for Integration (LION/GSRI/University of West Attica/81018): Migrant and Refugee integration into local societies during the COVID-I9 pandemic in Greece and Spain” implementing a qualitative methodology. Via 47 in-depth interviews it analyses the experiences of migrants and refugees in Greece (32) and Spain (15), and the increased barriers towards integration during this period which have functioned as a means of perpetuating exclusion in five sectors: a) formal employment b) healthcare, c) formal education and language training, d) housing and social care/protection, and e) intercultural coexistence. The unraveling of the narratives revealed perceptions and practices of inequality and uncertainty as well as of hope. The socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on migrants and refugees, similarities and differences that occurred and evidence of the ongoing obstacles they have encountered during the pandemic, are presented. Policy and practice implications include the implementation of prevention measures by the institutions responsible for removing obstacles, addressing unequal treatment, racial/ethnic and social inequalities and raising awareness on the multiple ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified vulnerability.

Theodoros Fouskas is an assistant professor at the University of Attica Occidental, focused on Sociology with an emphasis on Migration and Public Health. He specializes in immigrant health and employment. He has also carried out studies on precarious, low-status/poorly paid work, the integration of third-country nationals, undeclared work, irregular migration, migrants’ access to healthcare, solidarity, political participation, and trade unions in host countries. He has published monographs such as “Precarious Lives of Maids, Nannies and Caregivers in Greece: Perceptions of Migrant Filipina Live-in Domestic Workers on Labor”; has co-edited the collective volume “Contemporary Immigration in Greece: A Sourcebook” (2014), and has edited collective volumes such as “Immigrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Times of Crises: An International Handbook on Migration and Refugee Studies” (2021).

Session of the conference series of the interuniversity programme Aula Mediterrània 2023-24 moderated by Massoud Sharifi, postdoctoral researcher, Centre d’Estudis i Recerca en Migracions (CER Migracions), UAB.

It takes place at the IEMed conference room (Girona, 20 · Barcelona) co-organised with Master’s Degree in Contemporary Migrations, Rights and Social Cohesion, UAB/UB

It can also be followed on IEMed’s Youtube Channel.



Theodoros Fouskas

Assistant professor Department of Public Health Policy, University of Attica Occidental
Massoud Sharifi

Massoud Sharifi

Postdoctoral researcher CER Migracions – UAB

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