Call for Mini-Blogs: Perspectives on Migration and Asylum from the ground

This is a call to all academics, practitioners or forced migration to write a mini-blog (no more than 300 words) explaining about your research, work or experiences. We wish to expand this platform to become more active, and provide people more opportunities to connect. These blogs will be shared on our social media platforms and on the COST New Speakers Website. Anyone interested please contact: Eoghan Hughes ‎at hugheseo@tcd.ie.‎

I also thought I would finally introduce myself. I’m the ‘founder’ of this little group. I started the Migration and Asylum Network in 2013 keep in touch with and share information between a small group of practitioners who worked with refugees. Since, then I have been lucky enough to have been joined by other volunteers who have help expand the initial email list to a larger social media platform (Jiscmail, Facebook and Twitter) which is now used by academics, practitioners, refugees and interested members of the general public. I have been overwhelmed by the support shown to this group.  We aim eventually to move beyond being a non-political platform for information sharing to facilitating engagement between practitioners, refugees and academic research to create impact. I have also helped organise a Roundtable on Migration and Asylum earlier this year at the Whole Action event for COST New Speakers, University of Hamburg. There will be a follow up impact event in Tilburg University in March next year – details will be posted here.

I’ve always been interested in research with refugees, but for me the aim of creating impact on the ground through making connections and facilitating collaboration is crucial. Currently, I am doing a PhD in Law and Development at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. My research looks to consider refugees as development actors, and how legal conditions (discursively produced) can empower or disempower their agency. Based on my experience of having worked with refugees I want to take an approach that sees the value in refugee agency in creating change for both home and host country societies. Rather than seeing refugees as passive receivers of benefits or charity, I prefer to see how they can and actually do contribute to the socio-economic development of the communities they live in.

That’s enough about me. I do hope to hear more from you all who have subscribed to our Facebook, Twitter or Jiscmail. In the next weeks, the other volunteers who work with me, will also introduce themselves.  Look forward to hearing from you all,

Kiran Kaur

European Doctorate of Law and Development (EDOLAD) http://www.edolad.eu/content/us

Member of COST ‘New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges’

http://www.nspk.org.uk/