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13 Dec 2018

14-15 January 2019, Geneva, Switzerland: ​2nd World Council of Comparative Education Societies Symposium

Immigrants and Comparative Education: Call to Re/Engagement

The phenomenon of human migration is nothing new. Scientific research shows that humankind emanated in Africa and gradually migrated to other parts of the world. In recent centuries, Europeans migrated as settlers in the Americas and other parts of the world, causing internal population displacements in their new locations and leading to forced migration of other populations. Of particular significance are Africans in the Transatlantic Enslavement in the Americas and the Caribbean. The 19th Century European colonial rule in Africa and part of Asia was associated with massive European re-settlement and local population displacements. There are immense challenges in international migration, especially when families migrating include women, children and seniors. The level of uncertainty is huge in getting uprooted from one’s homeland and moving to an entirely new environment with different cultures, traditions, languages, food, dressing styles, and education systems, with limited or no source of living, at times with a totally different climate that may require substantial adjustments.  During their journeys and at their new destinations, migrants carry their complex, intersectional social identifiers that affect their migration experiences. One of the most vulnerable groups in this transition is composed of children, who face an uncertain future without any responsibility in causes and decision to migrate, especially when their chances for access to education as a basic human right and an investment in the future are limited. There are more than 60 million displaced people (refugees and internally displaced) in the world, among whom 1 out of 2 refugees is a minor and 75% of those that are in age to be in school are unable to do so. This symposium will therefore provide a suitable platform to comparative educationists to share their insights in dealing with this global challenge of “voluntary” migration in search of decent or better life and forced migration in terms of fleeing for the preservation of basic physical security.

Questions for Consideration
A number of questions, including (but not limited to) the following are raised as the guiding threads for this symposium:

  • How can education help in preparing people subjected to forced migration?
  • How can children experiencing forced migration be provided viable options for education during transitions?
  • How do migrants’ complex, intersectional identities and objective conditions affect their migration experiences?
  • What are the dimensions of comparative education that can be put to use for the benefit of migrants?
  • Which regions, countries and communities in the world are exemplars for researching the comparative aspects of education for migrants?
  • How can comparative education help promote the values of shared humanity so as to avoid forced migration?

The agenda of this symposium is to have collective deliberations on the various facets of the migration challenge and explore how comparative education may offer pragmatic solutions to some of them, especially pertaining to children.

Venue: UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE), Geneva, Switzerland
More information and registrations

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