New migrants to the UK are becoming increasingly vulnerable and forced to live more and more precarious lives. Over the past thirty years, the rights and entitlements of refugees and migrants have decreased considerably, in the areas of benefits, right to work, housing, access to health, and the legal framework of fair treatment and protection. This is not merely a UK but also a European and international phenomena. Guy Standing refers to migrants as key members of the growing “Precariat” and as “denizens” i.e. people who live in a country but have fewer rights.
Vulnerable migrants hold both their humanity and their difficulties in common, and share their exclusion from essential services and fundamental rights. It is important to consider their needs as human beings within but also as separate from the wider discourse surrounding migration and national identities.
This conference aims to develop an analytical framework which will locate vulnerable migrants within the context of wider trends both internationally and nationally. It will hear of the changing circumstances for refugees and migrants over the past thirty years, through recent Praxis longitudinal research drawing upon its own data. It will hear perspectives from both the EU and UK with the intention of creating genuine dialogue between the day to day experiences of migrants and the decisions which affect them.
Through a series of expert Roundtables this conference will examine the specifics of policy and regulations which are impacting on vulnerable migrants. The Roundtables will aime to shape the policy debate by providing an in-depth analysis of the impact of policies on the lives of very vulnerable people. Each Roundtable will pose the question: “What needs to change?” and “What is possible?”
The conference is designed for both governmental and non-governmental actors, policy makers, academics and community advocates.