PROSPECTS FOR INTEGRATION OF MIGRANTS FROM "THIRD COUNTRIES" AND THEIR LABOUR MARKET SITUATIONS: TOWARDS POLICIES AND ACTION
Workshop 2 report, 15-16 October 2009, Limassol, Cyprus PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 21:25

The partner teams met at the second workshop that took place in Limassol, Cyprus, in October 2009. Firstly, the findings of the second working paper on mapping and evaluating migration and integration policies in the six countries were presented, elucidating the comparative dimensions and key themes that will be discussed in the final comparative report. The concept of integration was among the most prominent themes that we discussed, along with conditions in work, work stability, the issue of different statuses that define migrants, as well as the problem of adequate housing, experiences of de-skilling, the issues of language, promotion, migrant women’s rights and migrant participation, together with the ongoing persistence of discrimination, xenophobia and racism.

 Secondly, the field work part of the research was extensively discussed both in terms of reflecting on the experiences with conducting lightly structured depth biographical interviews, writing field work diaries, transcribing the interviews and conducting interview analyses, as well as debating the focus groups methodology for our upcoming field work planned between November 2009 and February 2010. The partners exchanged their experiences, which on the overall speak of a successful field work regarding the interviews with migrant men and women. Still, the occasional difficulties were also addressed: in finding interview partners, particularly in branches most affected by the economic recession and thus characterised by a heightened fear of job loss (e.g. construction and agriculture); occasional language barriers that prevented conducting interviews according to our methodology; there were a few examples of short narrations where people seemed to be holding back; a few rejections that were again mostly connected with the migrants’ fear of losing their work if they spoke about their experiences; etc. The rich variety of field work experiences has confirmed the value of the selected method, while at the same time offered an opportunity for self-reflection of the researchers. It also highlighted the importance of ethical standards, since even the guarantee of total anonymity was not enough for some of the migrants, who chose not to participate because of fear of possible repercussions. This speaks of their precarious positions and situations of heightened fear of losing their work, even if they experience harsh working conditions and abuse.

Thirdly, the workshop was also an opportunity to plan our local dissemination seminars and press conferences, think about our joint publications, networking and the project dissemination. We discussed the structure for the third report on interviews and focus groups analysis, and debated about the topic for the next project brief. The evaluation of the project work so far was presented. Organisational and managerial details were also discussed.