Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis (MEDMIG): In 2015 over one million people crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in search of safety and a better life. Thousands died along the way. The MEDMIG project aimed to better understand these unprecedented movements in the region by interviews 500 people crossing the Mediterranean in 2015 about their journeys, motivations and aspirations of people. The MEDMIG project was led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham (UK), the University of Oxford (UK), ELIAMEP (Greece), FIERI (Italy), People for Change Foundation (Malta) and Yasar University (Turkey). It was part of the ‘Mediterranean Migration Research Programme’ which has been established through the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) £1 million ‘Urgency Grant’, co-funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). A book of the project's findings entitled 'Unravelling Europe's 'Migration Crisis': Journeys Over Land and Sea' was published by Policy Press in January 2018. We continue to work to ensure that this evidence informs EU and national policy making.
South-South migration, inequality, refugee protection, gender, migrant journeys, migrant decision-making, politics, policy making, knowledge production, decolonisation
My research is underpinned by concern about the inequalities with which international migration is often (but not always) associated: global, local and social inequalities that limit human potential and shape decisions to migrate; inequalities in opportunities to move safely, often linked to gender, ethnicity or age; inequalities in the opportunities to secure access to protection, work and rights; inequalities in the representation of concerns and interests around migration which often decontextualise migration from broader processes of social, political and economic change; inequalities in the construction of knowledge around migration processes and outcomes, in particular the marginalisation of migrants and scholars in the Global South in migration debates and policy analysis. I'm particularly interested in better understanding the relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South and currently lead the UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MIDEQ). The Hub works with academics, practitioners and international organisations in 12 countries to decentre the production of knowledge about migration and its consequences away from the Global North towards those countries where most migration takes place, in turn building the capacity of Global South scholars to build an evidence base and shape the issues that directly affect them. More at www.mideq.org @MIDEQHub #MIDEQ
Professor Heaven Crawley joined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University in September 2014 from where she leads the UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MIDEQ). The Hub is a global consortium of 18 research institutions, six international organisations and numerous local and regional partners which aims to transform knowledge and understanding of the relationships between migration, inequality and development in the context of the Global South.
Educated at the Universities of Sussex (1989-1994) and Oxford (1995-1999), Heaven has more than 25 years' experience of undertaking research on international migration in a wide range of institutional settings (government, voluntary sector, national and international organisations, academia). She was previously head of asylum and migration research at the UK Home Office (2000-2), Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) (2002-4) and managed an international research consultancy (2004-6) before returning to academia to establish the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University (2006-14).
Heaven has published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues including the drivers of migration and migrant decision-making, gender issues in forced migration, refugee and migrant rights, the experiences of children and young people on the move, attitudes towards migration and migrants and politics of migration policy-making. From 2015-18 her work focused primarily on the experiences of those crossing the Mediterranean during Europe's so-called 'migration crisis' and the failures of politicians, policy makers and the media to accurately reflect and respond to evidence on its causes and consequences. She has served as a specialist adviser to the UK's Home Affairs Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on three separate occasions and as a patron/trustee to the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile, Asylum Justice and Migrant Voice. In 2012 Heaven was conferred the title of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences and to evidence-based policy making. She nonetheless remains sceptical about the existence of a linear relationship between research evidence and migration policy making, preferring instead to engage a wide range of actors and audiences in the findings of research with a view to shifting political and policy narratives on migration and improving outcomes for migrants, their families and the communities in which they live.
- UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MIDEQ):
Migration between the countries of the Global South accounts for nearly half of all international migration, up to 70% in some places. South-South migration has the potential to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunities for decent work, in turn contributing to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. This potential has yet to be realised in the Global South:
- Inequalities at all levels determine who is (and isn’t) able to migrate, where people move to and the rights and resources that they are able to access
- There is a lack of evidence on the relationship between horizontal (social) and vertical (income) inequalities
- Current development approaches fail to take into account how migration is influenced by broader economic, political and social processes
- Existing research focuses on individual countries rather than flows of people, resources and knowledge between origin and destination countries
- Politicised migration narratives drive policies increasingly focused on migration management and border controls
- Disjointed and top-down policy and legal frameworks dehumanise migrants by focusing on economic outcomes to the neglect of human experiences and well-being
In this context, the UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MINEQ) unpacks the complex and multi-dimensional relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South. The Hub aims to transform understanding of the relationship between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South by decentring the production of knowledge about migration and its consequences away from the Global North towards those countries where most migration takes place. More at www.mideq.org. You can also follow the project on Twitter @MIDEQHub
- Migrants and the media: examining migrant voices in Britain's political debate: Immigration and its implications have long been among the most significant concerns of the British public, dominating the agendas of political parties and covered the pages of the print media. Following the 2010 General Election a number of organisations were established with the explicit objective of providing opportunities for migrant communities to engage with the media and contribute to the public and political debate. Funded by the Open Society Foundations, this project explored the engagement and representation of migrant voices within the 2015 pre-election debate, asking how the voices and experiences of migrants were represented in media reporting and whether migrants themselves were able to have a say.
- Beyond fear and hate: mobilising people power to create a new narrative on migration and diversity: Across Europe political and media debates on migration and diversity have become increasingly negative. There is growing evidence that narratives of fear and hate have moved from fringe positions to occupy the mainstream, changing the terms of the debate in many countries. This project, undertaken with Ben and Jerrys, asked questons about who is driving dominant narratives on migration and diversity - and their purpose. We examined the factors that shape attitudes to migration and diversity in four case study countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, focusing in particular on the development of alternative narratives by a growing number of civil society and grass roots organisations, based on values of diversity, solidarity and human compassion.
- Evaluation of guardianship for separated asylum seeking children in Scotland: Between 2010 and 2013 Professor Heaven Crawley and Ravi Kohli undertook a formative evaluation of the Scottish Guardianship Service, delivered in partnership between the Aberlour Childcare Trust and Scottish Refugee Council. The evaluation provided an opportunity to observe the model for Guardianship that has been established in Scotland and to make recommendations both for the service in Scotland and for an appropriate model of support for separated asylum seeking children more generally. It contributed to the decision made by the Scottish Government to introduce a statutory requirement that unaccompanied children suspected of being trafficked are provided with an independent guardian.
- European network of cities for local integration policies for migrants (CLIP): CLIP is a network of 30 European cities working together to support the social and economic integration of migrants. By encouraging the structured sharing of experiences through the medium of separate city reports and workshops covering four research modules, the network enables local authorities to learn from each other and to deliver a more effective integration policy. This research included work in five European cities for two of these research modules: intercultural policies and intergroup relations and ethnic entrepreneurship
- Understanding and changing public attitudes to migration: There is evidence of increasingly negative public attitudes towards asylum and immigration issues in the UK. This review aims to assist those working in the migration sector (and beyond) to better understand the dynamics of attitude formation. These include not only factors relating to an individual (his or her psychological makeup, political values and ideology and social-demographic attributes) but also the social, economic and demographic context within which an individual lives (i.e. factors associated with locality) and the socio-economic and political imperatives of local and central government.
- Chance or choice? Understanding why asylum seekers come to the UK: There is considerable interest among policy makers in the UK and elsewhere in the decision making of asylum seekers and the factors affecting the place in which they claim asylum. This research, commissioned by The Refugee Council, examines the decisions made by asylum seekers who come to the UK and explores the extent to which these decisions are a reflection of chance or choice. It builds upon the growing, but as yet still limited body of evidence about the ‘choices’ that individuals are (or are not) able to exert over the country in which they will seek asylum, and the factors that might contribute to the decision making process.
- Refugees living in Wales: a survey of skills, experiences and barriers to inclusion: This survey of refugees living in Wales represents a pragmatic response to the lack of information available to inform policy and practice in relation to refugee integration and issues of community cohesion in Wales. The survey was devised in consultation with policy makers and practitioners and is located within the framework for thinking about integration developed by Ager and Strang (2004)
- Coping with destitution: survival and livelihood strategies of refused asylum seekers living in the UK: Coping with Destitution uncovers how the hundreds of thousands of refused asylum seekers currently living in the UK, with no access to legitimate means of securing a livelihood, survive on a day-to-day and longer-term basis. The strategies adopted by destitute asylum seekers are analysed within a sustainable livelihoods framework, to ensure a systematic understanding of the different types of resources to which asylum seekers do – and do not – have access, and the impact this has on their lives.
- Children in immigrant families in eight affluent countries: their family, national and international context: This research presents, for the first time, internationally comparable data addressing the number, share and family circumstances of immigrant children in eight affluent nations. It contributes statistical evidence and enables a deeper understanding of the magnitude and diversity of national and social backgrounds, as well as living conditions and opportunities for migrant children in destination countries.
- When is a child not a child? Asylum, age disputes and the process of age assessment: Every year thousands of individuals who arrive in the UK and claim asylum as separated children are age disputed and treated as adults. This research examines the reasons why age is disputed, current policy and procedures for the assessment of age by local authorities, and the implications of age disputes for separated children seeking asylum in the UK.
- No place for a child: children in UK immigration detention – impacts, alternatives and safeguards: This research explored the experiences of children who are detained for the purpose of immigration control including: the impacts of detention on children; the alternatives to detention; and the safeguards that are needed to ensure that detention does not become prolonged.
Doctorate, University of Oxford
1995 → 1999
MA, University of Sussex
1993 → 1994
Degree, University of Sussex
1989 → 1992
Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute1 Oct 2016 → 1 Jul 2018
Patron, Asylum Justice2015 → 2019
Senior Research Associate, University of London1 May 2013 → 2017
Specialist Adviser, Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR)2012 → 2013
Trustee, Migrant Voice2012 → 2016
Resource Person, International Refugee Rights Initative - Rights in Exile Programme2011 → …
Patron, Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile2009 → …
Specialist Adviser, Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR)2006 → 2007
Trustee, Welsh Refugee Council2006 → 2008
Specialist Adviser, Home Affairs Committee2005 → 2006
National Adviser to Bradford Research and Development Programme (BRAD), Joseph Rowntree Foundation2005 → 2007
- JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Research Output per year
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Common agenda or Europe’s agenda? International protection, human rights and migration from the Horn of AfricaCrawley, H. & Blitz, B., 31 May 2018, In : Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 45, 12, p. 2258-2274 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Review of The Child in International Refugee Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017, by Jason PobjoyCrawley, H., 22 Mar 2018, In : European Journal of Migration and Law. 20, 1, p. 109-114 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Book/Film/Article review
Activities per year
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in conference