Community Engagement as a Strategy to Facilitate the Immigrant-Local Cohesion

Community Engagement as a Strategy to Facilitate the Immigrant-Local Cohesion

Tshimangadzo Selina Mudau
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7099-9.ch015
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The hostility directed towards immigrants has been studied and reported through various forms of media and literature. Similarly, mitigating factors have been explored to establish and restore peace and immigrant-local cohesion. The chapter explored different community engagement strategies implemented to enhance immigrant-local cohesion. The chapter is anchored on Ubuntu philosophy. The philosophy has been integrated with the evolution of immigration and different policies and guidelines to promote and protect immigrants' lives globally. Data have been analyzed through critical discourse analysis. Critical discourse analyses assisted in deconstructing hegemonic social practices such as social practices, language, texts, and constructs as social-cohesion facilitators. Conclusions are that social constructs can create and perpetuate acceptance, integration, and formation of networks to enhance positive relationships between migrants and locals.
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Literature Review And Theoretical Framework

Migration has been part of human existence since ancient days. There has been noted evolution on migration bringing multiple perspectives, outcomes, reactions, and debates that necessitated government, civic organisations locally and globally to ensure the protection of both the locals and immigrants (Sehoole, Adeyemo, Ojo & Phatlane, 2019; Demireva, 2019). The cosmopolitan nature of migration has marked differences from the ancient and modern migration (Baker & Tsuda, 2015). The discrepancies are noted among various aspects of life, such as socio-economic factors, education, health, sharing, and exchanging daily resources such as housing, farming, and other parts of life (Meierotto, 2015; Muthuki, 2013; UNHCR-UNDP, 2015). There are various reasons for the internal and external human movement. Some people migrate from one place to another to seek better, leaving education, career, and economic development (Baker & Tsuda, 2015). However, others are forced to move or displace due to famine, political and civil conflicts, and human rights violations.

Globally, conflict and violence have caused the displacement of nearly 45.7 million persons in 2019 (United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2020). According to UNICEF, this number has increased from almost 25 million in the past ten years. Such displacement includes 19 million children. Those displaced (adults or children) may be in their own country or forced to cross borders seeking safety and survival (WMR, 2020). The causes of displacements include climate-related, resource scarcity, and internal political and civil conflicts. For example, the 2019 civil and political wars caused millions to leave their home's comfort to seek protection as refugees or asylum seekers in other countries (WMR, 2020). The Syrian Arab Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yemen reported 36 percent of all children internally displaced due to conflict and violence in 2019 (UNICEF, 2020). On the other hand, in countries such as Colombia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Sudan, a range of 1 to 1,5 million children are internally displaced from their homes (UNICEF, 2020). The number of refugees and asylum seekers has increased by about 13 million between 2010 and 2017 worldwide (UN, 2019).

Natural disasters such as extreme storms and floods accounted for 25 million human displacements worldwide in 2019. East Asia and the Pacific account for 39 percent, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and China accounted for 69 percent. The Sub-Saharan region had 4.6 million new displacements due to conflict and violence in 2019, with 1.6 million in Eastern and Southern Africa and 3 million in West and Central Africa (UNICEF, 2020). The number of refugees and asylum seekers has increased by about 13 million between 2010 and 2017 worldwide (UN, 2019). On the other hand, voluntary migrations related to labour or education have also largely contributed to such an influx of numbers. These movements lead to feelings of hopelessness, fears, and anxieties of settling-in on the migrants and acceptance by the host country. Resultantly, various organisations and governments have developed programs and policies to enhance the social cohesion of both the locals and migrants.

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