Written by Naohiko Omata and Dunya Habash, with Nuha Abdo, the latest RSC Working Paper presents findings from the first phase of a research project on Understanding the Integration of Syrian Refugee Families in Oxfordshire. The study aims to understand the ways and degrees to which Syrian refugee families who came to Oxfordshire via the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) are adapting to their new lives in the United Kingdom.
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis and calls for countries in the Global North to do more, the UK government launched the SVPRS in 2014. In 2015, the then prime minister David Cameron announced an intention to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from the Middle East and North Africa to the UK by May 2020 through the SVPRS. By the end December 2016, 5,454 refugees had been resettled through this scheme, spread across 200 local authorities. This study seeks to investigate the integration processes experienced by these Syrian families, with the aim of highlighting policy implications for local authorities and refugee-supporting agencies. At the inception of data collection in 2018, a total of 28 families had been received in Oxford via SVPRS. For this initial round of research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 families out of the 28, and staff members from Oxford City Council, community-based groups, and refugee-assisting NGOs were interviewed between January and July 2018.
Read the working paper here: RSC Working Paper Series, 129