Refugee Politics Exhibition

Issued: Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:13:00 BST

An innovative new research study has been carried out among the 7,300 Syrian refugees resettled in the UK since 2015 as part of the Building Futures Project. The project, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the realities, opportunities, and challenges Syrian refugees face as they attempt to rebuild their lives.  It is run by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Glasgow, in cooperation with SolidarityNow, Educart, and the Scottish Refugee Council.

Research findings are based on 1,511 face-to-face interviews with young Syrian international protection beneficiaries and applicants, 18-32 years old, which were conducted in the UK, Lebanon and Greece, between April and October 2017, exploring their values, skills, training needs and work aspirations. Representative surveys of home populations were also administered about their own aspirations and ideals, their attitudes to refugees, and their priorities for refugee policies.

Headline findings include:

  • Young Syrian refugees in the UK have the highest levels of skills and training, and are most eager to remain and contribute to their host economy, compared with Syrian refugees in Greece and in Lebanon;
  • While refugees everywhere face some hostile attitudes, Syrian refugees in the UK report less discrimination than their fellows elsewhere;
  • Young Syrians and citizens in the UK have a diversity of views about religion, politics, and personal morality, but share opinions about what is most valuable for a good life. This counters the narrative that migration poses a problem because of incompatibility with 'Western' or 'British' values: in fact there is substantial common ground.

University of Glasgow academics will present their preliminary findings at a free photographic exhibition to be held at The Lighthouse (Gallery 4), Glasgow. The Exhibition will take place Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 April, and comprises of two main parts:

The Journey: People on the Move: Eight renowned photographers/photo-journalists from Greece captured the Journey, the route all these people took in the past year as they had to flee their countries. The images trace their journey from Turkey to Greece, with the borders as their final destination, hoping to reach a safe haven in Europe.

The Arrival: Young Syrian Refugeesin Britain presents the original research findings of the “Building Futures: Aspirations of Syrian Youth Refugees and Host Population Responses in Lebanon, Greece and the UK’ research project. Visitors will have the chance to engage in an interactive way with the findings, enriching their understanding of refugee politics in Britain, in a comparative context. You will also have the chance to learn about the project team, and about the stories of Syrian refugees resettled in Glasgow by the British Red Cross (with some photographs by Conor Ashleigh).

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