11 Feb Past UK experience of the arrival of populations displaced by extreme events
Past UK experience of the arrival of populations displaced by extreme events
Government Office for Science UK
The aims of this paper are twofold. First, the paper explores the circumstances under which policies have been introduced to resettle or provide temporary protection for some populations displaced by extreme events, and examines the evidence on what does and does not work in refugee resettlement, with a particular focus on housing and resettlement patterns, employment and social integration. Second, the paper considers the headline messages and lessons to be learnt for government when reflecting on these past experiences in thinking about how it might respond to increased arrivals associated with environmental change and asks whether there are critical issues, or ‘tipping points’ that would turn a manageable problem of population movement into a political disaster. It is suggested that although there are gaps in the evidence on what does and does not work in refugee resettlement, there are nonetheless lessons to be learnt from past experiences in terms of responding to any future large-scale arrivals resulting from environmental change. It is also clear that negative media images and public debates on the economic and social consequences of large-scale migration have the potential to turn a manageable problem into a political disaster.
Crawley, H. (2011). Past UK experience of the arrival of populations displaced by extreme events. London : Government Office for Science UK.