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Migration Talks: a podcast by BIRMM

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Welcome to the podcast “Migration Talks”. This podcast presents and discusses migration research conducted by VUB and non-VUB scholars in an easily understandable language. The podcast is organised by BIRMM, in cooperation with the Jean Monnet Chair ‘Expand – Understanding Resilience in EU Justice and Home Affairs’. Our podcast is now also available on Spotify

Podcast 6: Over- or Underpopulation? Mobilization and Persistence of Malthusian Framings in Migration Debates

In today's episode, we discuss the idea of overpopulation. Where and how it originated, why it is so persistent, and how it got to be linked to migration, anti-migrant discourses, and migration policies.

We discuss this topic with Soumaya Majdoub, who is focusing on these topics as a Ph.D. researcher at Interface Demography, and at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She just published a truly inspiring and eye-opening essay called 'Consuming like rabbits', which is now available in Dutch from ASP. Joining the conversation are Florian Trauner, co-director of the BIRMM research center at VUB, and Sibel Top, Coordinator of the BIRMM research center.



Podcast 5: What NEETs need: hoe kan het beleid jongeren met een migratieachtergrond beter bereiken?  

In deze aflevering gaan we met Mariam Ait Hmeid (beleidsmedewerker LEVL) en Andrew Crosby (onderzoeker BIRMM) in gesprek over jongeren met een migratieachtergrond en de moeilijkheden die ze kunnen tegenkomen om een plaats te vinden op de arbeidsmarkt of in de maatschappij.

Vanuit het beleid wil men maar al te graag de afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt voor deze jongeren dichten, zeker nu, in tijden van arbeidsmarktkrapte. Maar wat gebeurt er daar eigenlijk? Kunnen we die kloof verklaren en waarom gaat het specifiek over jongeren met een migratieachtergrond? Werkt zo’n beleid? En ook, welke ervaringen hebben jongeren zelf? In deze aflevering vertellen Mariam Ait Hmeid en Andrew Crosby wat de belangrijkste uitdagingen zijn en wat het beleid beter kan doen.




Je kan de resultaten van het project van Mariam Ait Hmeid over en met werkloze jongeren met een migratieachtergrond vanaf december raadplegen op de website van LEVL. Je kan meer lezen over het onderzoek van Andrew Crosby en Géraldine André over NEET-jongeren in Brussel in dit artikel

Podcast 4: The EU's Temporary Protection Regime for Ukrainians: How does it work? 

In this episode, we talk about the EU’s response to the displacement of Ukrainians. The EU member states have opened their borders and welcomed Ukrainians. The EU as a whole has taken the decision to provide all newly arrived Ukrainians with a temporary protection status.

This has been a historic decision. Thus far, the EU’s asylum system was based on an individual assessment of protection claims. This will no longer be the case for Ukrainians – they will be protected as a group in the EU. What are the implications of such a temporary protection regime? What does this decision imply for the EU’s asylum policies at large?

We discuss this with Hanne Beirens, the director of Migration Policy Institute Europe, and Florian Trauner, co-director of the BIRMM research centre at VUB.




Podcast 3: Racisme en discriminatie in de zorg

In deze aflevering van Migration Talks hebben we het over racisme en discriminatie in de zorg. De covid-pandemie maakte duidelijk dat er ongelijke uitkomsten in de zorg en gezondheidszorg voor etnische minderheden zijn. Is er sprake van racisme en discriminatie in de zorg? Hoe uit zich dat, waar komt het vandaag en wat kunnen we ertegenover stellen? We gaan erover in gesprek met dr. Saloua Berdai Chaouni (onderzoeker aan het departement Psychologie en Educatiewetenschappen van VUB) en Enata Mushimiyimana (studente Farmaceutische Wetenschappen aan VUB, mede-oprichtster van AfroMedica).




Podcast 2: Big data and artificial intelligence for migration research

In the second episode, we discuss the potential and the risks of using big data and artificial intelligence (AI) for migration research. Asylum and migration authorities all over the world start to use more and more big data and AI. The European Asylum Support Office for instance uses machine learning to predict pressure on the asylum administrations of EU member states.  

It’s not only authorities that look at the potential of big data. New data sources such as mobile phones, digital applications and social media, as well as satellites can help creating new and more detailed insights into human mobility. Should researchers use these opportunities? Or do they risk repeating or contributing to the downsides of big data – such as a loss of privacy? 

Florian Trauner (BIRMM co-director and JM Chairholder) welcomes Tuba Bircan (research professor at Interface Demography - VUB) to discuss these questions.  




Podcast 1: Receiving and accommodating refugees in European cities : what shall – and shall not – be done?

In the first episode, we discuss how refugees are received and accommodated in European cities. This is a topical issue in Brussels, which has witnessed a reception crisis. In late 2021, refugees had to sleep on the streets in front of Belgium’s biggest reception centre due to a lack of accommodation. The Belgian federal instances failed to provide more place until the city of Brussels stepped in and offered hotel rooms. This situation raises question of wider relevance: Who is responsible for welcoming and accommodating refugees? Are there differences in the ways in which this is handled across Europe?

Hannah Vermaut (BIRMM coordinator) and Florian Trauner (BIRMM co-director and JM Chairholder) welcome two VUB researchers, who are highly qualified to discuss these questions: René Kreichauf (Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research - VUB) and Louise Hantson (project researcher at BIRMM for the Whole COMM project).


Want to read more on René Kreichauf's research? 

Kreichauf, R. & Mayer, M. (2021). Negotiating urban solidarities: multiple agencies and contested meanings in the making of solidarity cities, Urban Geography, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2021.1890953 pdf fileKreichauf & Mayer (2021).pdf (767 KB)
Kreichauf, R., Rosenberger, O. and Strobel, P. (2020). The Transformative Power of Urban Arrival Infrastructures: Berlin’s Refugio and Dong Xuan Center. Urban Planning, 5(3), 44-54. pdf fileKreichauf et al. (2020).pdf (954 KB)

Kreichauf, R. (2018). From forced migration to forced arrival: the campization of refugee accommodation in European cities. Comparative Migration Studies, 6(7), pdf fileKreichauf (2018).pdf (4.65 MB)

You can follow Louise Hantson's research on the Whole-Comm website and you can read an interview on what the Whole-Comm research project is about.