SciCombinator

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Concept: Right of asylum

57

European governments are struggling with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, but there exists little evidence regarding how the management of the asylum process affects the subsequent integration of refugees in the host country. We provide new causal evidence about how one central policy parameter, the length of time that refugees wait in limbo for a decision on their asylum claim, affects their subsequent economic integration. Exploiting exogenous variation in wait times and registry panel data covering refugees who applied in Switzerland between 1994 and 2004, we find that one additional year of waiting reduces the subsequent employment rate by 4 to 5 percentage points, a 16 to 23% drop compared to the average rate. This deleterious effect is remarkably stable across different subgroups of refugees stratified by gender, origin, age at arrival, and assigned language region, a pattern consistent with the idea that waiting in limbo dampens refugee employment through psychological discouragement, rather than a skill atrophy mechanism. Overall, our results suggest that marginally reducing the asylum waiting period can help reduce public expenditures and unlock the economic potential of refugees by increasing employment among this vulnerable population.

Concepts: Time, France, Population, Australia, Europe, League of Nations, Right of asylum, World War II

41

Since its inception in 2010, the Arab Spring has evolved into a situation of violent conflict in many countries, leading to high levels of migration from the affected region. Given the social impact of the large number of individuals applying for asylum across Europe in 2015, it is important to study who these persons are in terms of their skills, motivations, and intentions. DiPAS (Displaced Persons in Austria Survey) aims to uncover the socio-demographic characteristics of the persons seeking refuge who arrived in Austria in 2015, mainly originating from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Particular focus is on human capital, attitudes and values. This survey, the first of its kind in Austria and possibly in Europe, was carried out among adult displaced persons, mostly residing in Vienna, yielding 514 completed interviews. Information gathered on spouses and children allows for the analysis of 972 persons living in Austria, and of further 419 partners and children abroad. Results indicate that the surveyed population comprised mainly young families with children, particularly those coming from Syria and Iraq. Their educational level is high compared with the average level in their country of origin. A vast majority of respondents are Muslims, rating their religiosity at medium levels. Judging from stated attitudes towards gender equity, interviewed men seem to have more liberal attitudes than their compatriots. The majority of respondents do not intend to return to their home countries, mostly because of the perception of permanent threat. DiPAS provides data for political decision-making and the on-going societal dialogue. Its findings can help to inform assessments about the integration potential of the displaced population into the host society. In addition, the applied methodological technique and experiences during the fieldwork provide valuable insights on sampling asylum seekers and refugees in the current European context.

Concepts: Right of asylum, Internally displaced person, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, Refugee, Europe, Displaced person

28

Background: Turkey is both a source and target for asylum seekers seeking refugee status in countries of European Union. There is a scarcity of research on the mental health issues of asylum seekers and refugees residing in Turkey. Aims: This study aimed: 1) to provide clinical and demographic information on asylum seekers and refugees receiving mental health services from a non-governmental refugee support program in Istanbul between 2005 and 2007, and 2) to evaluate the differences between patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with those who did not meet criteria. Methods: The study was conducted at the Mental Health Division of the Refugee Advocacy Support Group. Between July 2005 and February 2007, 1209 asylum seekers applied to the support group; 75 of these individuals (6.2%) were referred for psychiatric evaluation while 57 were diagnosed as having a psychopathology. The number of analyzed subjects was 57. Results: PTSD and major depressive disorder were the most common diagnoses (55.2% for both). The most common criteria of PTSD reported were problems in concentration and social isolation (97.3% for both). Suffering torture and losing a significant other due to violence were found to be associated with a diagnosis of PTSD. Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to be conducted on a mixed refugee population residing in Turkey and focusing on their mental health problems. Our results should be tested within larger samples of refugees residing in different cities of Turkey.

Concepts: Abnormal psychology, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Right of asylum, Sertraline, Europe, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Demography, Vietnam War

23

I was volunteering at a refugee centre when a woman told me she was the happiest she could remember being. She said she had previously been a slave, and no matter how bad I thought her situation was now, it was always better than her past.

Concepts: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery in the United States, Woman, Ethiopia, Slavery, Right of asylum, Leo White, Slavery in modern Africa

5

This article is an abridged version of a report by an advisory council to the German government on the psychosocial problems facing refugee families from war zones who have settled in Germany. It omits the detailed information contained in the report about matters that are specific to the German health system and asylum laws, and includes just those insights and strategies that may be applicable to assisting refugees in other host countries as well. The focus is on understanding the developmental risks faced by refugee children when they or family members are suffering from trauma-related psychological disorders, and on identifying measures that can be taken to address these risks. The following recommendations are made: recognizing the high level of psychosocial problems present in these families, providing family-friendly living accommodations, teaching positive parenting skills, initiating culture-sensitive interventions, establishing training programs to support those who work with refugees, expanding the availability of trained interpreters, facilitating access to education and health care, and identifying intervention requirements through screening and other measures.

Concepts: France, Canada, Health care, Developmental psychology, Europe, Medicine, Right of asylum, Parenting

5

Housing is an important social determinant of health; however, little is known about the impact of housing experiences on health and wellbeing for people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. In this paper, we outline a qualitative component of a study in South Australia examining these links. Specifically, interviews were conducted with 50 refugees and asylum seekers who were purposively sampled according to gender, continent and visa status, from a broader survey. Interviews were analysed thematically. The results indicated that housing was of central importance to health and wellbeing and impacted on health through a range of pathways including affordability, the suitability of housing in relation to physical aspects such as condition and layout, and social aspects such as safety and belonging and issues around security of tenure. Asylum seekers in particular reported that living in housing in poor condition negatively affected their health. Our research reinforces the importance of housing for both the physical and mental health for asylum seekers and refugees living in resettlement countries. Improving housing quality, affordability and tenure security all have the potential to lead to more positive health outcomes.

Concepts: Demography, Immigration, League of Nations, Canada, Europe, Refugee, Right of asylum, Australia

5

The aim of this study was to survey refugees and asylum-seekers attending a Refugee Health Service in Melbourne, Australia to estimate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders based on screening measures and with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) specifically highlighted. A secondary aim was to compare the prevalence findings with Australian-born matched comparators from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being.

Concepts: France, Displaced person, Canada, Right of asylum, Refugee, Mental disorder, Australia, Vietnam War

4

The mental deterioration of the so called ‘legacy caseload’ (asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat between August 2012-December 2013) has become a national concern and is garnering international attention. Prolonged uncertainty is contributing to mental deterioration and despair. There have been at least 11 deaths by suicide since June 2014. Social support services have been limited and legal assistance in short supply; this is associated with lengthy delays with visa applications. Thwarted belongingness, purpose and identity, a shortage of available services, and barriers to legal support for processes attendant upon Refugee Status Determination increase the likelihood that the mental health of asylum seekers will deteriorate further, potentially developing into worsening decline, which will lead to increased self-harm and suicide. This article summarises recent suicide deaths in Australia, positing practical assistance and support for asylum seekers living in the community. Therapeutic engagement should be trauma-informed wherever possible, helping asylum seekers to reframe their sense of lethal hopelessness.

Concepts: France, Displaced person, Europe, Canada, Right of asylum, Suicide, Australia, Refugee

4

Wars and violent domestic conflicts have forced millions of people to move outside their homes. Meeting the basic health needs of those people requires an understanding of research activity and research output on this topic. The objective of this study was to shed light on the quantity and impact of medicine - related publications on refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people (IDP).

Concepts: Violence, Right of asylum, Darfur, Forced migration, Displaced person, Refugee, Internally displaced person

3

Improving the oral health of refugees and asylum seekers is a global priority, yet little is known about the overall burden of oral diseases and their causes for this population.

Concepts: Refugee, Population, Immigration, Canada, Right of asylum, Demography