The Project Topic 2018

“Humanitarian Access: Pathways for Refugees from Transit to Safe Havens”

The topic for 2018 “Humanitarian Access: Pathways for Refugees from Transit to Safe Havens” deals with current efforts of the EU related to migration management. These shall include the asylum procedures to take place extraterritorial which would shift the borders or border controls as well as the refugee regime towards transit countries. It harbours the risk of aggravating the situation in transit countries, which are already acting as “catch basins” for international migration, and new challenges for refugee protection in transit countries and beyond. As a compensation, legal and safe humanitarian access ways from the countries of origin and transit countries into the EU are discussed.

The project aims at initiating an international dialogue from a social work perspective. This dialogue is about the consequences of this kind of policies on refugee protection in the countries involved, the situation of Arabic transit countries and their societies, their – denominational – composition and political systems, but also about the relations between those countries and the EU target states.

The situation raises a multitude of questions, some of them existential: about the state’s understanding of borders, illegality and refugee protection, the conditions and access to the right of asylum, the guarantee of humanitarian standards in the care of refugees, and the situation of transit countries. Through the dialogue, these questions should be answered to identify needs for action of social work and sociology in research and practice. At the same time the extent to which the findings can be transferred to other regions will be examined.