Exile to Poverty: Policies and Poverty Among Refugees in Poland
International Migration 55.6 (2017) | pages: 56-72
Poverty is a well-known short-term outcome of migration in general and a long-term outcome of forced migration in a global context. Surprisingly, this outcome appears among refugees in welfare states which provide various asylum and social policies facilitating integration. The article aims to explore the relationship between asylum and social policies and poverty among refugees. The research results are drawn from two studies conducted among refugees, NGOs, national and local administration representatives, and caseworkers in Poland between 2006 and 2014. The results show that asylum policy contributes to the material and symbolic hardship experienced by refugees, and social policy is ineffective in its prevention. If refugees are settled in regions with high levels of poverty, unemployment, and ethnic-based prejudices, then they experience and continue to live in poverty. In such a context, and due to its weaknesses in addressing discrimination, social policy cannot successfully integrate refugees.