Stream 14: Migrant and transnational families’ access to formal and informal welfare

Guðný Björk Eydal, Lenka Formankova and Dorota Szelewa

The European Union’s support of spatial mobility, motivated by specific needs of European labor markets, has resulted in an increase of migrant inflows. Currently, most migrants in the European Union (EU) are non-EU nationals (Eurostat 2017). Members of this group of migrants often work in low-skill jobs, face unfavorable working conditions and have limited access to social welfare (OECD 2015). Besides the working conditions of migrants, international or transnational migration poses questions about family life and social cohesion in local contexts. In the context of migrant families, a growing number of researchers conceptualize migrants and their kin as transnational families (Baldassar, Merla 2014). A series of recent studies has focused on the role that state policies and international regulations play in facilitating or hindering family solidarity across borders (Kilkey, Merla 2013).

The access to family policies however represents largely neglected phenomena in the social policy research (Williams 2012). Feminist literature, which locates social rights at the intersection of welfare regime, labor market and gender (Daly, 2011), applies this framework to the study of migrants’ care arrangements, adding the dimension of migration regimes (Lutz, Palenga-Möllenbeck 2012).

This stream encourages case studies and international comparisons, which explore the access to formal welfare same as informal care and protection practices of migrant and transnational families. In particular, we would welcome papers that would fit in any of the following topics:

– Access to social rights of the migrant populations;

– Work-life balance practices in the migrant and transnational families;

– Differences in access to social citizenship among the migrants with various ethnic and national backgrounds;

– Family formation and possibly shifting gender relations among the migrants;

– Transnational families, transnational parenthood/motherhood/fatherhood;

– Characteristics of migrants’ labor market participation;

– Care-workers, migration regimes and migration chains.