In July 2022 our Association has finished an international project led by Science and Research Centre (Znanstveno-Raziskovalno Središč e Koper) in partnership with thirteen more participants under the name of “Migrant Children and Communities in a Transforming Europe” funded by European Commission under Horizon 2020 program(Grant Number 822664).
The overall objective of the project was to stimulate the inclusion of diverse groups of migrant children by adopting a child-centred approach to their integration at the educational and policy level. Stemming from the need to revisit the integration policies on the one hand and consistent with the specific focus of the call on the other hand, the research project aimed at comprehensive examination of contemporary integration processes of migrant children in order to empower them. The project started from the fact that European countries and their education systems encounter manifold challenges due to growing ethnic, cultural, linguistic diversity and thereby aims at: 1) Identifying existing measures for the integration of migrant children at the regional and local level through secondary data analysis; 2) Analysis of the social impacts of these integration programmes through case studies in ten countries applying qualitative and quantitative child-centred research; 3) Development of integration measures and identification of social investment particularly in educational policies and school systems that aim to empower children. The project was problem-driven and exploratory at the same time. Its exploratory part mainly concerned a child-centred approach to understanding integration challenges, migrants’ needs and their well-being. However, the findings of the open-ended exploratory research were used in an explicitly problem-driven way – with an aim to stimulate migrant inclusion, to empower migrant children and build their skills already within the (participatory) research. This was done through the activities of the Integration Lab and Policy Lab, where children’s voices, fieldwork and desk research findings were translated into practices and measures for educational professionals and practitioners as well as into a child-centred migrant integration policy framework to stimulate social inclusion and successful management of cultural diversity.