Servizi e professioni del sociale di fronte alle migrazioni durante e dopo la pandemia (Social services and social workers and migration during and after the pandemic)

On September 7 and 8, Michela Semprebon, Serena Scarabello and Isabelle Johansson, co-organised a panel on the challenges that social workers and social services have been exposed to during the pandemic with specific reference to migrants and people who have been victims of trafficking and severe exploitation, together with Eduardo Barberis and Alba Angelucci of the University of Urbino.

The sessions analysed the specific role of social workers but also of other local actors, as well as the specific dynamic and configurations of collaboration that emerged during the pandemic in Italy, but also in other countries, such as Sweden, including the institutionalisation of initiatives, the experimentation of new initiatives and the revision of approaches. With specific reference to trafficking the following issues have emerged:
– sex workers have disappeared from the street during the lockdown, to slowly and partly re-appear afterwards and many have re-organised their work indoor – with higher risks and lower levels of access to protection
– the conditions of exploitation have worsened, particularly for people of migrant origins, also as a result of the re-organisation of criminal organisations
– difficulties have been recorded for people to access the vaccines
– discriminations have been perpetrated with reference to more or less deserving citizens – sex workers have not been granted access to the green pass in Sweden, although vaccinated
– pre-existing difficulties of access to socio-sanitary services have worsened, while, at the same time, pressure on the side of third sector actors has facilitated access – and can possibly lead to new integrated interventions and forms of collaboration between public and third sector
– differences have emerged across countries but also within them as far as conditions of access to support during the lockdown (and still now with the on-going pandemic) are concerned
– the important role of the third sector has been confirmed, to address gaps left by the public sector
– in some territories, local actors have become increasingly aware of the importance of multi-agency work

It reimans to be seen whether these open challenges will be effectively addressed in the coming months and beyond the pandemic.

Recordings of the plenary sessions of the conference and of the panels will be made available for participants. Do not hesitate to ask the INSigHT Research Team for any question on the specific panel: