Effective employment approaches for traumatized refugees in the Nordic countries
The number of refugees is the highest since the aftermath of World War II, and an increasing number of refugees get residence in the Nordic countries. In order to strengthen both integration and the economy it is very important to ensure that a large group of these refugees gain employment in their new country of residence.
Unfortunately, reports show that refugees and family migrants have difficulty gaining employment in the Nordic countries compared to other groups of migrants. An analysis by OECD shows that even when controlling for key socio-demographic characteristics, employment performance of family migrants and refugees is below that of other groups.
Recent Danish studies show that health might also be a factor when explaining refugees’ lower employment performance. It is estimated that 30-45 % of the refugees in Denmark are traumatized and other studies show that 13-25 % of refugees in high income countries suffer from PTSD. A Danish study shows that only 10 % of refugees in treatment of PTSD are employed. Apart from the trauma symptoms, trauma can also be an impediment for gaining employment due to its negative effect on the ability to learn a new language.
There are only few studies that highlight methods about how to support employment of traumatized refugees and none that includes all the Nordic countries in one study.
Therefore the aim of this project is to: “explore, qualify and strengthen effective employment approaches for traumatized refugees and reunified spouses and partners in the Nordic countries”
The project will study approaches which are evaluated and have evidence for its effect, as well as approaches which are yet to be evaluated but have shown promising results. The newly developed instrument of ‘promising practice’ from The Danish National Centre for Social Research will be used as a measuring tool to evaluate and categorize the approaches. The project period is from February to December 2017.
The project consists of a desk study of existing literature on effective approaches and a study of promising approaches* used in the Nordic countries. The knowledge generated by the study will be shared through various channels and in a publication. The publication will be published by October 2018.
The study will be carried out in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Representatives of each country will manage the project securing that new knowledge generated through the project will be disseminated and used in all of the Nordic countries.
Promising approaches is a term, that is developed and validated by the Danish National Research Center, VIVE (former SFI). To learn more about the tool go to this homepage (only in Danish)