The second working group met in Ekerö, Sweden, in November 2019, addressing practitioners
The working group focused on a specific category of people engaged in the process of receiving people on the move – practitioners.
Practitioners have been defined as those who have one foot on the ground, directly taking part in the reception process, and one in the worldly structures, advocating in thedecision-making processes. They can be found at the train stations, in the docks, at the borders, at the airports, in the city centers, local neighborhoods, in their faith communities and at the demonstrations.
Preliminary research and site visits showed that they are often extremely skillful, and could well take on any other job, but they choose to do this particular kind of work. Many of them experienced dislocation in one way or another – either themselves, or through those they cared for. They often feel exhausted, are underpaid, and carry the burden of needs beyond those that can be met.
The participants of the working group noticed, that their primary tasks as practitioners focus around two elements: (1) accompaniment of people on the move, from their arrival, through primary reception, documentation and legalization of stay, to settling in, finding a job and building a community; and (2) social change, which can be effectuated in many ways.
By being involved in the reception processes, practitioners offer a valuable input in the wider discussion on migration issues. As they are involved in the process of recognizing needs, they can relate them to policymaking, and take an active part in advocacy and education.
Practitioners are the primary defenders of human rights in action – they are able to recognize their violation and react in an adequate way. They are able to act by themselves or engage necessary expertise to help those whose rights are not respected. They are able to offer guidance in difficult situation and emotional support in moments of crisis.
“For me, God tests us in different ways.
He challenges us to do the best we can with the means we have.”
Practitioners struggle with a number of issues. Most often they feel a lack of support – both institutional and communal.
There is also growing lack of understanding for the humanitarian work. The growing political pressures to resist migration, and the growth of radical nationalistic movements, additionally limit resources and force practitioners to find creative ways of engaging in the reception processes.
Download full report on Working Group Practitioners