3/2015

ERIS Journal – Summer 2015

Taking advantage of a comparative study, this paper discusses the concept of ethnic attitudes paying attention especially to the challenges of measuring. The concept of ethnic attitudes proved complex and troublesome to be measured. In a cross-national comparison a big number of lingual nuances must be considered in order to create a valid measurement shared by each individual country. The comparative study, on which this paper is based was about ethnic attitudes of young people on three countries, Estonia, Finland and Russia. The characteristics of the questionnaire used in the study were analysed using Principal Component Analysis. The analysis indicated the key factors of ethnic attitudes. Clarifying the concept by providing information about the basic dimensions of ethnic attitudes, this paper contributes both to research, education and practices of social work with people from different ethnic background.Zobrazit text

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, nearly half of the thirty four million people registered as refugees are children. In 2011, 2657 separated and/or unaccompanied children arrived in Sweden, which was the highest number ever registered in the country. This research has been developed in order to understand and acknowledge the care provided to separated and/or unaccompanied children in Sweden using the perspectives and experiences of professionals working with this field, with a special focus in the Västra Götaland region.For this purpose a qualitative research strategy has been followed using the methods of documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews of 25 professionals. From the findings of this research an effort has been made to highlight: the impact of national and international instruments on the ‘best interest of the child’, implementation of the children’s rights and participation in decision-making; professional experiences and challenges within this field and the identification of the differences between care provided in foster and residential care. ‘Resettlement’, ‘integration’, ‘social inclusion’ and ‘reunification’ are important concepts, which have also been discussed during the interviews and have been analysed by professionals according to their own perspectives of ties of kinship, resettlement and social inclusion/exclusion.Zobrazit text

This article focuses on human rights abuses encountered by refugees in Germany and other countries of the European Union, which are frequently witnessed by social workers in the field – but seldom analysed using UN human rights as a source of reference. I describe this and other core elements and resources for an understanding of social work as a human rights profession and apply them to the situation of refugees in Germany, introducing minimum standards that states must fulfil in order to guarantee a human rights based approach towards refugees. Activities of the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in the context of an asylum seekers’ accommodation in Berlin in response to racist attacks against refugees in the same neighbourhood are described as an example of the use of structural power. The activities (classes in the accommodation facility, counselling for refugees, raising public awareness, critical monitoring, –interpreting services, etc.) show how universities can take up social responsibility in their communities, thus making the political mandate of social work visible and the gap between theory and practice negligible. This raises the question of whether these activities can be seen in the tradition of the Hull-House and generates questions for further discussion. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) contains 26 human rights, of which 24 have been codified in UN conventions, and thus justifiable through complaint mechanisms and monitoring bodies. Shamefully one can determine that one of the two rights that have never been codified in a binding document by the international community is the Right to Seek Asylum as stated in Article 14.1 of the UDHR. The implication of this failure is that asylum seekers can refer to their violated human rights and also take action against such violations, but they cannot claim a right to actually seek asylum. Their access to justice and protection depends on their immigration status. If they do not have a legal immigration status the state has basically nothing to offer them.Zobrazit text