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Legal Conditions for Refugees’ Mental Health: Implications of Legislative Changes in Programs for Newly Arrived Refugees in Sweden
Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Södertörn University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3848-0869
Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Södertörn University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0981-2430
2023 (English)In: Challenges, E-ISSN 2078-1547, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 1-16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As the number of refugees in the world is increasing and it is known that social inequality negatively impacts mental health, it is important to study integration policies, such as labour market measures. In this article, the strategic interventions of the Swedish Public Employment Service are analysed to determine how the agency’s management handled and implemented the legal changes in the new support document for its case workers. The focus is on the effects of the changes in the legal text that transferred the responsibility for establishment initiatives for newly arrived migrants to the agency and, as a result, changed the conditions for newly arrived refugees’ mental health in the new establishment programme. Eight people representing different management functions at the agency were interviewed. The results show that the intention in the new programme to view newly arrived refugees in the same way as all other unemployed people, rather than as a special category, has meant that less attention is paid to the refugees’ mental health, and the opportunities for the agency’s street-level bureaucrats to help clients have decreased. In the face of predicted growing numbers of people having to abandon their homes due to conflicts and climate changes, governmental strategies such as these needs to be revisited in order for societies worldwide to be better prepared for that challenge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel: MDPI, 2023. Vol. 14, no 3, p. 1-16
Keywords [en]
mental health; social participation; labour market; newly arrived refugees; the Swedish Public Employment Service; establishment programme; street-level bureaucrats
National Category
Social Work International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-4670DOI: 10.3390/challe14030032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:rkh-4670DiVA, id: diva2:1790778
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-07194Available from: 2023-08-22 Created: 2023-08-23 Last updated: 2024-04-30Bibliographically approved

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Gunnarsson, DavidLarsson, SofiaVikdahl, Linda

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