The theme of the Visiting Research Fellow workshop of IGS / CCCRW, held on Monday 25th of October 2002, was Migration and Integration. This is a theme that the four Visiting Research Fellows of IGS / CCCRW have in common in their research.
After a short introduction with some general facts about international migration and integration, Marian van Bakel presented four adaptation strategies for expatriates: integration, assimilation, separation and marginalisation. Similar to these four strategies, four types of expatriates are identified in literature, ranging from a high allegiance to both the parent and the local company (dual citizens), to a low allegiance to both the parent and the local company (free agents). These types are also applicable to diplomatic officers. Marian ended her presentation by raising some questions about the adaptation and integration of Dutch diplomatic officers and their partners in the United Kingdom, that would be interesting to explore in her coming research.
Hilde Liden started her presentation with an analysis of the media discussion on integration in Norway. The media discourse is highly gendered, placing issues such as power relations between men and women and between generations at the core of the debate. Women are seen as victims, in the way they are defined by the concept of culture and by Islam. In the media the migrant women were positioned in opposition to human rights and women's right presented as universal and superior over other value systems. The second part of the paper discussed how two migrant girls, Leyla and Reza, themselves see their agency, their considerations and conflicting loyalties, and how they cope with expectation of relationship in different settings.
Noorul Ainur looked into a country case study entitled "Influx of Female Migrant Workers: Socio-economic Impact on Malaysia." She traced the historical background of the presence of migrant workers in Malaysia in the early 1970s and an exodus of this category of workforce in the mid-1990s. Noorul also set 'two categories of working sector '- the formal and informal sector. The formal sector consists of those working in manufacturing, plantation, services and domestic areas. The informal sector involves the prostitutes and small business enterprises. Most of the female migrant workforce came from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.
Theras Hagos gave a presentation of the reintegration and demobilisation programme in Eritrea. Now with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the deployment of UNMEE peacekeepers, Eritrea will start demobilising its troops. The Demobilisation and Reintegration Program is a three-stage process: 1. Demobilisation: which means the process of discharging 200 000 soldiers from the national service over 18 months. 2. Reinsertion: this component will provide financial assistance to demobilised soldiers to enable them to meet their immediate needs and those of their families. 3. Social and economical reintegration: includes sensitisation of home communities and society at large.
After each presentation there was a rich, lively and, for each of us, useful discussion.
Marian, Noorol, Theras and Hilde