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Putting out Fires. The situation of undocumented migrants in Sweden and the role of civil society activism.

Hashemzadeh Baygi, Roza LU (2019) WPMM42 20191
Sociology
School of Social Work
Department of Sociology
Abstract
The migration politics in Sweden have changed drastically within the past years as it has introduced stricter asylum policies and higher securitisation of borders. As a result, an increased number of people are forced to live as undocumented migrants, meaning without a legal permit to stay in the country. This thesis aims to contribute to the analysis of this development by investigating the role of civil society activism in relation to undocumented migrants in Sweden. In order to do this, six semi-structured interviews and one focus group interview were performed with civil society activists active in Malmö and Lund. The interviews focused on the situation of undocumented migrants, how the activists engage in order to improve their... (More)
The migration politics in Sweden have changed drastically within the past years as it has introduced stricter asylum policies and higher securitisation of borders. As a result, an increased number of people are forced to live as undocumented migrants, meaning without a legal permit to stay in the country. This thesis aims to contribute to the analysis of this development by investigating the role of civil society activism in relation to undocumented migrants in Sweden. In order to do this, six semi-structured interviews and one focus group interview were performed with civil society activists active in Malmö and Lund. The interviews focused on the situation of undocumented migrants, how the activists engage in order to improve their situations and what challenges they could identify within their support. The empirical material gained from the interviews have been analysed by using critical border theory and critical citizenship theory. The main findings of this study demonstrate that a life in undocumentedness is severely restrained by the fear of becoming subject for control and deported. Further, the acts of professionals within the welfare field have significant effect on the lives of undocumented migrants. As for civil society activists, their support plays a crucial role in improving the situation of undocumented migrants, since they have become the main provider of fulfilling the basic needs of undocumented migrants. Their support also has a political character as they engage in combating restricted migration policies through demonstrations, protests and campaigns. However, their aim to act politically becomes challenged by the heavy workload they carry. (Less)
Popular Abstract
In 2015, high numbers of asylum-seekers came to Sweden and the rest of Europe. A lot of these people received rejections on their asylum applications and are therefore, according to law, not allowed to stay in Sweden anymore. However, because it is not possible for many of them to go back to the country they came from, they still choose to live in Sweden. They are called undocumented migrants in English, and papperslösa in Swedish. In order to learn more about how their situation is and what support they may get, I have interviewed ten civil society activists that are engaged in supporting them.

From the interviews, I found out that the situation of undocumented migrants living in Sweden is very difficult. They do not have the rights... (More)
In 2015, high numbers of asylum-seekers came to Sweden and the rest of Europe. A lot of these people received rejections on their asylum applications and are therefore, according to law, not allowed to stay in Sweden anymore. However, because it is not possible for many of them to go back to the country they came from, they still choose to live in Sweden. They are called undocumented migrants in English, and papperslösa in Swedish. In order to learn more about how their situation is and what support they may get, I have interviewed ten civil society activists that are engaged in supporting them.

From the interviews, I found out that the situation of undocumented migrants living in Sweden is very difficult. They do not have the rights that other citizens have, and they can also be found by the police anytime and in the worst case deported. When undocumented migrants come in contact with professionals within the welfare sector, for examples social workers at the social services, this can also be a risk because the police can be present at these places.

Civil society activists support undocumented migrants a lot. One example is that they fulfill their basic needs by helping them to survive financially, finding accommodation and offering them help in their legal process with the Migration Agency. Another important aspect of civil society activism is that they criticise the strict migration politics by demonstrating, protesting and campaigning. By doing this, they hope to put pressure on the politicians and through this, create a better situation for undocumented migrants. However, as they put so much time and energy in helping the undocumented migrants practically, they do not have much time and energy left to act politically. This is one of the biggest challenges within their engagement. (Less)
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author
Hashemzadeh Baygi, Roza LU
supervisor
organization
course
WPMM42 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
undocumented migrants, civil society activism, migration, borders
language
English
id
8994904
date added to LUP
2019-09-13 14:24:20
date last changed
2019-09-13 14:24:20
@misc{8994904,
  abstract     = {The migration politics in Sweden have changed drastically within the past years as it has introduced stricter asylum policies and higher securitisation of borders. As a result, an increased number of people are forced to live as undocumented migrants, meaning without a legal permit to stay in the country. This thesis aims to contribute to the analysis of this development by investigating the role of civil society activism in relation to undocumented migrants in Sweden. In order to do this, six semi-structured interviews and one focus group interview were performed with civil society activists active in Malmö and Lund. The interviews focused on the situation of undocumented migrants, how the activists engage in order to improve their situations and what challenges they could identify within their support. The empirical material gained from the interviews have been analysed by using critical border theory and critical citizenship theory. The main findings of this study demonstrate that a life in undocumentedness is severely restrained by the fear of becoming subject for control and deported. Further, the acts of professionals within the welfare field have significant effect on the lives of undocumented migrants. As for civil society activists, their support plays a crucial role in improving the situation of undocumented migrants, since they have become the main provider of fulfilling the basic needs of undocumented migrants. Their support also has a political character as they engage in combating restricted migration policies through demonstrations, protests and campaigns. However, their aim to act politically becomes challenged by the heavy workload they carry.},
  author       = {Hashemzadeh Baygi, Roza},
  keyword      = {undocumented migrants,civil society activism,migration,borders},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Putting out Fires. The situation of undocumented migrants in Sweden and the role of civil society activism.},
  year         = {2019},
}