Concept

Many children are actively and positively engaged in creating their lives and future for themselves – probably more than we are willing to admit – but they soon become bounded by what adults think is their best interests. In this regard, the project highlights that the existing social and political order does not offer enough autonomous space where children could independently speak for themselves. Our aim in this regard is to create ‘a space’ where migrant children of all ages are able to communicate and share their experiences after arriving in receiving societies. The proposed project embarks on a mission to gather their stories in order to support their needs and aspirations when it comes to integration into host societies, with an aim to make heard the voices of the least powerful members of communities, as an argument and factor for change. Our basic standpoint is that child-centered integration policies, integration programmes, practices and initiatives are among most important factors to support migrant children to become partners and participants in the development of a cohesive societies, with equal opportunities and secured rights as individuals, but also as members of minority and migrant groups in different spheres (education, labour market, housing, civil society, etc.).

Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to stimulate inclusion of diverse groups of migrant children by adopting child-centered approach to migrant children integration on educational and policy level. The project starts from the fact that European countries and their education systems encounter manifold challenges due to growing ethnic, cultural, linguistic diversity and thereby our specific objectives are:

  • to improve knowledge about children’s experiences of life in new social environments
  • to explore school peer dynamics in view of the integration process
  • to build on the capacity of teachers and educational staff for diversity managing 
  • to develop child-centered tools for stimulating migrant integration
  • to design child-centered integration policy recommendations for diverse decision-makers  

Project Plan

General cross-disciplinary analysis of scientific literature and data sets overview will provide in-depth overview of the general theoretical work regarding the integration of migrant children in schools and of the methodological approaches used in empirical studies carried out in this field. The project we will thereafter undertake the examination of reception communities in Slovenia, Austria, Spain, UK, Denmark and Poland focusing particularly on policy analysis, analysis of a range of secondary (administrative) data and review of political, media and general public discourse. 

The research activities on educational staff and school systems as well as newly arrived migrants, long-term residents and local children will be conducted in schools in Slovenia, Denmark, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and Poland. Along with fieldwork with children in schools, fieldwork with children in transition will take place in camps and institutions in Palermo (Italy), Calais (France), Moria (Greece), Şanlıurfa (Turkey), Linin Reception Camp (Poland), asylum homes in Slovenia and Austria.  More than 550 migrant children will take part in the research activities of the MiCreate project. The conclusions of crosscutting analysis and findings from the fieldwork with teachers, local and migrant children will provide a base for policy recommendations and development of integration tools through the activities of Integration Lab.

Management Structure

General Coordination Team

  • Mateja Sedmak, PhD Academic Coordinator (Science and Research Centre Koper)
  • Barbara Gornik, PhD Academic Co-Coordinator (Science and Research Centre Koper)
  • Barbara Pandev, Project Coordination Manager (Science and Research Centre Koper)

Advisory Board

  • Anna Marie Schurmann Carstens (The National Council for Children, Denmark)
  • Aydin Tunc, MSc (Vienna Administration, section “Diversity and Integration”, Austria)
  • Birgit Leyendecker, PhD, Ruhr – University Bochum, Germany)
  • Jenny Patterson (Manchester City Council, UK)
  • Maria Peix Batet (Metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Maria Zuber (European Commission DG HOME)
  • Roberta Lo Bianco (CESIE, Italy)
  • Stanka Lunder Verlič, PhD (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Slovenia)
  • Wojciech Sadownik (Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Poland)
  • Zeynep Yanasmayan, PhD (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany)

Executive Board

  • Mateja Sedmak, PhD (Science and Research Centre Koper)
  • Barbara Gornik PhD (Science and Research Centre Koper)
  • Zorana Medarić, MSc (Science and Research Centre Koper)
  • Shoba Arun, PhD (The Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Gro Hellesdatter Jacobsen, PhD (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Fernando Hernández, PhD (University of Barcelona)
  • Juana M. Sancho, PhD (University of Barcelona)
  • Achilles Kameas, PhD (Hellenic Open University)
  • Jakub Kościółek, PhD (Stowarzyszenie Interkulturalni Pl)
  • Birgit Sauer, PhD (University of Vienna)
  • Ayse Dursun, PhD (University of Vienna)
  • Vlasta Jalušič, PhD (Peace Institute)
  • Noemi de Luca (CESIE)
  • Annalisa Lendaro, PhD (The French National Centre for Scientific Research)