Event to unravel Europes migration crisis

An upcoming event at our University will shed light on the lived experiences of migrants travelling across Europe in order to stimulate dialogue on migration, citizenship and belonging.

For this event, migration expert and author Professor Heaven Crawley from Coventry University will be answering questions surrounding migration, displacement and belonging by drawing on a new book Unravelling Europe's 'Migration Crisis': Journeys over land and sea (Policy Press, 2018) co-authored with colleagues from the Universities of Coventry, Birmingham and Oxford.

The book, which draws upon compelling first-hand accounts from 500 people who arrived on the shores of Europe in 2015, casts new light on the `migration crisis' and challenges politicians, policy makers and the media to rethink their understanding of why and how people move.

Taking place on Wednesday 17 January in Attenborough Basement Lecture Theatre 1, the event will be hosted by the Leicester Migration Network; the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE); and University of Sanctuary - University of Leicester. Discussion will be chaired by Dr Leah Bassel, Director of the Leicester Migration Network.

Professor Crawley said: “Our research with refugees and other migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe shows that the nature of journeys, the routes taken and the factors that lead people to risk everything and get on a boat to Europe are far more complex than presented by politicians and the media.

“Whilst the EU has taken steps to limit the number of people seeking international protection in Europe, it has done little to address the factors that lead people to leave their homes in the first place or to move on from the places in which they initially settled. Addressing these factors will require a much more nuanced, longer-term approach.”

In October 2017, Leicester launched its bid to become a University of Sanctuary, defined as one that 'offers good practice in welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the university community and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all'.

Dr Leah Bassel said: “We are delighted to invite Professor Crawley to the University of Leicester to share the findings of her research and extracts from her new book with us. We know this event, and new publication, will stimulate vital conversation on migration, citizenship and belonging.

“Informed by the first-hand experiences of migrants, we hope the conversation will galvanise the audience to consider action, individually and collectively, in support of migrant communities and the important contribution they make to the UK. At the University of Leicester, this includes supporting the development of a University of Sanctuary.”