Doctoral research highlights obstacles with regard to migrant contributions to their host society

(12-03-2024) What prevents migrants from contributing to their host society? Drs. Roos-Marie van den Bogaard provides an answer to this question posed by the Special UN-Rapporteur on the human rights for migrants.

What hinders migrants from contributing to their host society? That was the question of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. Roos-Marie van den Bogaard provides with her research an answer for the Belgian context as regards refugees.

The findings of her research were re-written in the form of a UN submission, as input for the forthcoming “Report on Revisiting migrants’ contributions from a human rights-based approach: a discussion on facilitating and hindering factors”. Focusing on the domains of housing, education and employment, the submission lists the primary obstacles for persons with an international protection status in these three areas of life.

The absence of institutional structures to facilitate the transition from reception facilities to individual accommodation as well as the restrictive access to social housing are concerning gaps which complicate the process of integration for refugees.

The discontinuity in the education trajectory caused by the relocations of children and families throughout the asylum procedure can delay the educational progress of children. Additionally, the language barrier is also an important obstacle. A more positive attitude towards multilingualism would enhance the learning of students with a migration background and influence their psycho-social wellbeing positively.

Labour market
Language requirements create a large obstacle for migrants to access employment. Next to that, the Belgian labour market has been shown to be prone to discrimination, creating another obstacle for migrants to become economically active in Belgium.

The submission is part of the REFUFAM project “From policy gaps to policy innovations. Strengthening the well-being and integration pathways of refugee families”, a BRAIN-be 2.0 project funded by Belspo and carried out by Odisee University College, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and Ghent University.

Read the full report: UN Submission