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Human Rights practitioners’ approach to refugees and migrants. A therapeutic psychosocial perspective.

Federica Micoli, FM (2022) Human Rights practitioners’ approach to refugees and migrants. A therapeutic psychosocial perspective. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis advances the argument that the best way to address the needs of involuntarily dislocated populations is to develop a combined framework that includes both psychosocial and therapeutic perspectives as well as human rights principles. Based on my professional experience as a refugee lawyer, I argue that only such a combined framework can adequately respond to the complexity of the refugee realities. Moreover, I demonstrate that, in some circumstances, the application only of human right rules can violate the same rights that they are meant to protect. I suggest that human rights practitioners are more likely to become aware of the real needs of those we help and, thus, provide them with targeted interventions, once we add a psychosocial perspective to our work. It is in this sense that our endeavours become therapeutic, which should be distinguished from offering them psychotherapy. The added therapeutic dimension also benefits refugees by rescuing them from developing victim identities. This empowering and participatory model of interaction also assists them with an awareness of their existing resources as well as of those new strengths they acquire from their exposure to adversity. Finally, they benefit from an improved level of self reflexivity and a deeper consideration of the socio-political and cultural contexts that act as background to the migratory experience. This study examines various possible applications of this proposed combined framework, ranging from the enrichment of the refugee lawyers curricula with tenets of psychosocial perspectives to the addition of a therapeutic dimension to the hearings of migration/asylum courts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Federica Micoli
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 09:15
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32994

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