Challenges encountered by parents on their refugee journey

Milić Babić, M. and Pezerovic, A. and Carroll, V. (2017) Challenges encountered by parents on their refugee journey. In: 20th Biennial International Symposium of International Consortium for Social Development, 7 - 11 July, Zagreb, Croatia.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Refugee crisis and migration processes have presented new challenges to the global society and
raised the attention of the media, policy-makers, expert and academic communities worldwide. The
aim of this paper was to research experiences of refugee parents from departure from their home
countries to the challenges encountered in the receiving countries. Qualitative research project was
conducted in the summer of 2016 in Bulgaria, the country placed at the bottom of the scale of the
asylum recognition rate in Europe. In our research, the participants claimed that the hardships of the
journey represented the major challenge of the refugee experience, and particularly emphasized the
circumstances such as losing their family members, duration of the journey, weather conditions, lack
of food and water, as well as witnessing many difficult situations, including unprofessional treatment
by the police. The research demonstrated that refugee parents commonly experienced the perils of
journey in illegal attempts to reach European soil, as well as the unrelieved fear for the lives of their
children. One of the greatest challenges is reflected in the insufficient support from public
authorities, both in financial terms and in terms of social integration. Further investigation is needed
in order to understand the full extent of the resulting effects on the development and the
psychosocial state of children, along with a comparison of the outcomes of integration of the refugee
children in Bulgaria and in other countries that have more advanced integration programs. Finally,
there is need for well-structured formal support programs for social integration, closer
implementation of legal regulations, and the reunification of refugee children with their families in
exile. Although the refugee crisis assumed global proportions, the present research efforts are still
insufficient to offer a clear perspective of the challenges encountered by refugee parents in the
receiving countries. This research study revealed the full spectrum of issues and difficulties faced by
refugee parents in Bulgaria, as well as the necessity of proactive engagement on behalf of the
Bulgarian government as the responsible authority for the establishment of social integration
programs and the effective implementation of laws, conventions and international agreements.

Keywords:refugees, challenges, support
Subjects:L Social studies > L500 Social Work
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:30347
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 12:20

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