Narrative Publications

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The Impact of COVID-19 on EU Citizens' Rights in the United Kingdom

The COVID-19 crisis has arguably shifted the debate on migration in the EU. Previously labelled ‘low skilled’ workers, such as cleaners and delivery drivers, are the key workers holding our continent together in this period. The crisis has been a wake-up call to reassess our values as individuals, but also as Europeans. It has shown how restrictive migration policies simply do not work if what we want is to keep everyone safe while we collectively get through the pandemic.


Helping everyone by supporting migrant entrepreneurship

The economic downturn following the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to increased unemployment globally, as the International Monetary Fund has recently acknowledged. Those most likely to lose their jobs are people with lower education, and especially migrants, women and youth.


Connecting newcomers and locals in times of COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing many are feeling more isolated than ever before. With limited movement being the norm across Europe and other regions, the social and economic consequences are devastating, particularly to the most vulnerable groups of our society such as migrants, refugees and the elderly. 

Roadmap Covid19

A Roadmap to Local Inclusion in the age of COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Welcoming movement – comprised of hundreds of towns and cities worldwide transforming themselves into inclusive places – is working to ensure that norms of inclusion not only don’t fall by the wayside, but are further affirmed in this time of extreme crisis. A key lesson our movement is imparting is as follows: if municipalities and other local stakeholders fail to build trust among residents, and fail to follow inclusive practices in their COVID-19 responses, their 
 communities will be more likely to suffer from greater health threats and disparities, greater economic inequality, and squandered human potential. On the other hand, if localities utilize inclusive approaches in their response – and regional and national authorities support them to do so – communities will be much more likely to emerge more resilient, prosperous, and united. What follows is a series of recommendations for inclusive responses, based on the actions Welcoming International members are employing – or preparing to employ - during their COVID-19 response. 

Stay home without a home?

Stay home without a home?

During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, individuals have been asked to self-isolate – to “stay home”. However, millions of people around the globe do not have a home because they have been forced to leave their communities due to war or persecution.

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How disinformation is negatively fueling the migration discourse

Disinformation is not new. It has existed since ancient times. What’s new then? Now it’s much easier to spread a hoax than 20 years ago thanks to the amplification of channels available to consume and share information. In this regard, not only information has been democratized, but also disinformation. A combination of changes in consumption patterns, lack of media literacy, loss of trust in journalism and the lack of business models for the digital media largely contribute.

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Historic shocks can bring about historic changes. Fixing our broken migration system should be one of them

Today’s global migration is impacting the public and political debate more than it has in the past 70 years. Its direct implications – for human rights, the economy and security – as well as the indirect ones – as a lever for broader political and economic interests – will shape the societies we live in for the coming decades. If one believes that COVID-19 is reversing this trend, think twice. As with previous global shocks, the state of affairs will hardly remain the same once the pandemic is over. Ensuring it takes a turn for the better or allows us to dig deeper into the current migration system, will depend largely on the kind of decisions and actions we take in the coming months.There are reasons to believe that we are in front of a make-it-or-break-it point and we should seize the opportunity to reform the migration system.

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Unleashing the talent and potential of next generation migrant leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the multifaceted problems of adversity, exclusion, and stigma that migrants and refugees face around the world. Their already vulnerable position in host countries has deteriorated, leaving most of them in unsustainable situations or alarming circumstances. Regional and country-level policies and responses to the current crisis need to include the voice of these communities to adequately address major problems, and to ensure that sustainable actions are taken that allow us to (re)build more just and equitable societies. Next generation migrant leaders are stepping up to the difficult task at hand and are an important part of the solution. It’s crucial that we acknowledge their talent and potential, and support their efforts to create meaningful impact: going beyond a crisis response and towards more resilient societies.

Michael Collyer and Russell King, Narrating Europe’s migration and refugee ‘crisis'

Narrating Europe’s migration and refugee 'crisis'


It is very clear – as many journalists covering the unfolding migration and refugee crisis have pointed out – that geography lies at the heart of the events taking place in Europe and the Mediterranean. It is a story of borders and routes, of distance and proximity, and of location and accessibility. The role of (re-)bordering has been fundamental in states’ attempts to ‘manage’ and ‘control’ the refugee and migrant flows and, in this respect, we observe a return to the more traditional practices of bordering – physical barriers and personnel-heavy security controls – rather than the previous processes of ‘externalizing’ and ‘internalizing’ border management. In the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans the external border of the European ‘fortress’ has been prised open, whilst the free-movement ethos of the Schengen area has been compromized by EU states’ reactions to the large-scale movement of migrants and refugees and recent acts of terrorism. In this introductory paper we bring a critical geopolitical lens into play in order to understand the European, regional and global power geometries at work, and we critically examine the political and media rhetoric around the various discursive constructions of the migrant/refugee ‘crisis’, including both the negative and the Islamophobic utterances of some European leaders and the game-changing iconicity of certain media images.

Narrating Europe’s migration and refugee ‘crisis'
Nick Dines, Nicola Montagna and Elena Vacchelli, Beyond crisis talk: Interrogating migration and crises in Europe

Beyond crisis talk: Interrogating migration and crises in Europe


Commencing with some recent examples drawn from Anglophone media, this introductory article reflects on the multiple ways in which crisis and migration have been interconnected over the last decade in public discourse, political debates and academic research. It underlines how crisis has not simply become a key descriptor of specific events, but continues to operate as a powerful narrative device that structures knowledge of migration and shapes policy decisions and governance structures. It explains the rationale for choosing Europe as a multidimensional setting for investigating the diverse links between migration and crisis. It ends with a summary of the contributions that are divided into four thematic strands: relationships between the economic crisis and migrant workers and their families; the Mediterranean in crisis; political and public discourses about the post-2015 ‘migration crisis’; and ethnographies of everyday experiences of the ‘refugee crisis’ on the part of migrants, activists and local people.

Beyond crisis talk: Interrogating migration and crises in Europe