Can and should migrants be active citizens? And what can policy makers do to promote greater inclusion of migrants in decision making? Can and should migrants be active citizens? And what can policy makes do to promote greater inclusion of migrants in decision making?
International migration is a hotly debated topic within national and global political discourse. Migrants, however, are rarely ‘at the table’ to discuss and shape policies that affect them.
Calls for ‘active citizenship’ of diverse communities must recognise and address the unique barriers to meaningful participation experienced by migrants at the structural as well as individual level, such as negative migration narratives in hostile environments, inaccessible participation structures, non-recognition of foreign qualifications, limited voting rights, labour mobility and language barriers.
Given these challenges, can and should migrants be active citizens? And what can policy makers do to promote greater inclusion of migrants in decision making?
David Jepson is a director and policy advisor with ACH / Himilo, a leading provider of support for the integration and resettlement of refugees and migrants working with a wide range of communities. David has previously worked in local economic development and labour market consultancy with a focus on social innovation as a driver for development. David has also had direct practical experience of city governance having been a Birmingham City Councillor for 11 years, chair of a school governing body and director of community organisations.
Dr Eva Kasperova is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, Aston University. Eva has been researching under-represented and disadvantaged groups of entrepreneurs and inclusive enterprise policy and support. Most recently, she has been collaborating with local and international partners on an EU-funded MILE project which aims to promote migrant inclusion in policy-making at the local level.
Dr Gemma Bird is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and IR at the University of Liverpool and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research. As an activist-scholar, her research sits at the intersection between political theory and International Relations, focusing recently on migration, humanitarianism and advocating for a radically different approach to global borders and displacement. She has recently published in the journals Geopolitics, Global Policy, Cooperation and Conflict and Citizenship Studies.