Gennaio 2021 Edition
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IMMERSE Newsletter 03.

January 2021

If you want to keep up to date about the IMMERSE project and receive our Newsletter:

2nd Annual Progress Report and

Consortium (online) meeting

The 3rd General Assembly of the IMMERSE Consortium was held on November 2020. Research, technical and management members from the eleven entities of the consortium took part in the preparation of the 2nd IMMERSE annual report and, on this occasion, the meeting took place online. During the meeting, the achievements of the last reported period from December 2019 to November 2020 were shared, as well as the great challenges and difficulties that the project has endured because of the pandemic and the subsequent restrictions of mobility and meeting in most of the countries of the consortium. These restrictions have particularly affected the data collection of WP3, the development of the digital tools related to data collection, and some communication activities such as the first press conference and other networking and dissemination activities of the project.
Among the achievements of this last reported period, it is worth mentioning the following:
  • The approval of the three reports concerning the research on migrant and refugee children in the areas of intercultural competences and multilingualism, psycho-social and well-being and gender issues (working paper #1). These reports are already open-access available in CORDIS and the report on gender issues is already available in the publication section of the IMMERSE website. The rest of the reports will be shortly published in the website as well
  • The ecological validation of the dashboard by macro, meso and micro level stakeholders that resulted in the final development of a co-created set of indicators, as well as the methodological report on the results of the Evaluation System of Socio-educational Integration of Migrant Children.
  • IMMERSE Hub is already available with a growing community and regular content updates.
  • IMMERSE database Deployment on Cloud.
  • Online platform to gather information.
  • A paper abstract about the Digital Identity Concept in IMMERSE.
  • The publication of Digital On-boarding mobile application.
  • Two awareness-raising campaigns on social media.
  • The first report on dissemination and communication activities.
During the consortium meeting, the next steps of the project were also shared as well as alternatives to be able to carry out the empirical validation of the dashboard of indicators, which consist of testing migrant children’s degree of real integration using the final set of indicators in a piloting experience within the data collection. The closures of the educational centres due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented moving forward with the pilots, remaining these activities in standby until local COVID-19-related measures allow further engagement.

IMMERSE Dashboard of Socio-educational Indicators

about refugee and migrant children integration

The Dashboard of socio-educational Indicators is the first measure that quantifies key factors for the successful integration of refugee and migrant children in European societies. The final dashboard constitutes an index of 30 indicators straddling 5 dimensions of outcomes, which reflect the degree of integration of children (access to rights, language and culture, well-being, connectedness and educational achievements) and 6 clusters of determinants that shape the integration barriers and opportunities of children (political leadership, school segregation, learning support, mental health services, negative attitudes, school organisation and teachers).

The index has been designed as an innovative solution that unifies criteria for data collection about migration and childhood, providing a portrayal of the realities of migrant and refugee children at national and European levels. This dashboard will provide a solution to the issue of lack of comparable cross-country data about children’s integration, helping public authorities to shape effective evidence-based policies. Besides, the indicators have been co-created incorporating the voices of migrant and refugee children, their families, policymakers and those professionals who work directly with them in schools, NGOs, etc. under the consideration that their first-hand knowledge means a valuable contribution to academy, social inclusion and policy-making.

For the data collection and monitoring IMMERSE researchers will work in 330 schools and other educational environments in six European countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain) in order to gather the perspective of over 13.500 refugee and migrant children.

Report on Gender Issues regarding research on refugee

and migrant children integration

The report regarding research on refugee and migrant children integration has already been approved and published on CORDIS. Additionally, an open-access version of the report is available on the IMMERSE website. The Working Paper, written by Andrea Rutzen and Anne-Sophie Krys from the German partners DOZ e.V., is the first of three reports written as a result of interviews and workshops conducted by IMMERSE research partners. In this case, the report reflects qualitative research focusing on the theme of gender and its relationship to integration through the lens of migrant and refugee children’s experiences at formal and informal educational settings in the six consortium countries.

The report is available in a short version summarising the key points of the research and a full version, both available in English.
Gender 1
gender 2

The IMMERSE Conversations:

an open forum for discussion

An open group for discussion has been created within IMMERSE Hub: the IMMERSE Conversations group.

This group provides an open space to share experiences, ideas and concerns for members and non-members of the project, offering also a place to get relevant information, resources, best practices and initiatives related to migrant and refugee children’s integration.

In order to participate in the conversations, it is necessary to register in the hub simply with an email address. This online platform is aimed at building up a virtual community of those professionals, institutions and actors interested in the socio-educational inclusion of migrant and refugee children.

School and children rights

On the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day, in November 2020 IMMERSE launched the social awareness-raising campaign #MySchoolMyShelter to highlight the role of schools as guarantors of the rights of the children and the challenges they are facing due to COVID19. The campaign has focused on four rights stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child that are particularly reinforced at schools: Right to Survival, Right to Development, Right to Participation and Right to Protection. The campaign has reinforced the idea that when schools close, fundamental rights such as nutrition and health, inclusion, participation and social cohesion, education and personal development, protection from harm and violence are compromised.

Schools are much more than places of learning, for many children it is a lifeline to safety, health services and nutrition. 370 million children across 143 countries, nearly half of the world’s schoolchildren, may miss out on nutritious school meals due to school closures. In displacement settings, when schools close, nutrition, physical and mental health are compromised for migrant and refugee children.

The pandemic situation has threatened the right to development of many children. Over 90 per cent of the world’s students have had their education disrupted. At least 31 per cent of school children cannot be reached by online education and the impact is more severe on migrant children living in informal settlements with no access to the internet. Even before the pandemic, refugee children were twice as likely to be out of school than other children, especially girls.

Schools support the Right to Participation for children through the contact with new ideas, cultures, religions and languages, and there stereotypes, hate, biases and discrimination can be broken down. Schools provide children’s protection offering a safe place from harm and abuse. School closures and economic distress can force some children to drop out, to compel into child labour or to become child soldiers. Refugee and migrant children are especially vulnerable to exploitation, sexual violence, child labour and other harmful experiences. Therefore, schools are not only place for learning, schools are shelters for many children.
Children rights 1
Children rights 2

IMMERSE Consortium

IMMERSE consortium is formed by eleven partners from six countries:
  • Comillas Pontifical University (Spain)
  • Zabala Innovation Consulting (Spain)
  • INFODEF Institute for the Promotion of Development and Training (Spain)
  • Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations (Spain)
  • Informática el Corte Inglés (Spain)
  • Save the Children Italy (Italy)
  • DOZ e.V. International (Germany)
  • Active Citizen Europe (Belgium)
  • Panteion University of Social and Political Studies (Greece)
  • Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education of Crete (Greece)
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 745625. The dissemination of results herein reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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