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The Role of NGOs in Refugee Integration in the Circumpolar Region: A Comparison of Norway and Canada

Authors: Kirill Gurvich*, Nord Universitet
Topics: Canada, Immigration/Transnationalism, Social Geography
Keywords: Refugee integration, Circumpolar region, Housing, Health, Education, Employment, NGO.
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In this article, I investigate the role of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the process of refugee integration in the Circumpolar region, on the examples of Norway and Canada. Both of them have experienced the refugee influx from the countries of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America; they have a well-developed range of public services aimed at refugee integration. However, in Norway, there is a social-democratic welfare regime with the institutionalized solidarity, equal treatment to all of the population groups regardless of their status and as a result, front-line refugee treatment provided by the state and NGOs. Whereas in Canada with the liberal welfare regime, the state provides only the minimal support reserved for the neediest population groups. The front-line refugee integration services are fully provided by the NGOs. Applying the theory of structural integration, developed by Ager and Strang, I analyze and compare employment, education, health and housing services offered to the refugees by the NGOs in Norway and Canada. In Canada the NGOs are under control of the state, follow the formal process of the problem-solving and strict evaluation procedure. Whereas in Norway, NGOs are the partners of the state, provide the services in the form of social gatherings, follow the loose procedures of problem-solving and evaluation.

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