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Working Paper n.º 64/ 2023
Two sides of the same mirror: the point of view of implementers and recipients of public reception and integration policies, on the access to basic and public resources during COVID-19 pandemic of asylum seekers and refugees

March 21st | 2023

Ana Leão Varela | IPRI-NOVA
Teresa Rodrigues | IPRI-NOVA

KEYWORDS: migration; refugees; asylum seekers; COVID-19

We argue that crisis triggered by COVID-19 increased pre-existing vulnerabilities in what concerns to minorities’ access to basic and public social resources in receiving countries, taking the Portuguese reality as an example. Our conclusions are based on the investigation made under the scope of the PPEACE project (Public Policies and Reception of Foreign Citizens Project), which aims to contribute to scientific advance in public policies and to propose better-informed policy options for the reception of asylum seekers and refugees. Based on the results of 180 questionnaires applied from October 2020 to February 2021, to asylum seekers and refugees, public entities, and NGO representatives we confront migrants’ perceptions/experiences and service providers’ needs and views. Through their eyes we try to discuss the impact that the pandemic had on public policies for reception and integration, the obstacles upraised to guaranteeing the access of this vulnerable individuals to public resources, satisfaction of basic needs, and the most affected dimensions of their daily life. The results of our empirical study reveal that the perceptions of recipients and implementers of public policies in times of pandemic are two sides of the same mirror and differ considerably. Differences are substantial between receivers and givers but with no significant or fracturing discrepancies. In this sense, this methodologic exercise reinforces the importance of participatory processes for better understanding the impacts of public policies on vulnerable groups, on the access to fundamental rights and satisfaction of basic needs.

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