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Fafo’s research on international migration, integration and ethnic relations is performed by researchers within three fields of research: research on immigration, labour market inclusion and integration, research on labour migration and mobility of services, and research on international migration


Immigration, labour market inclusion and social participation

Research director: Hanne Cecilie Kavli

Immigrants and persons born in Norway to immigrated parents constitute almost 10 percent of the population in Norway. Immigrant’s encounters with and participation in the labour market, in different parts of the welfare-state and in local communities is a common theme in Fafo’s research. We conduct living conditions surveys and study the participation in training and working life among both refugees and family migrants. A central topic has also been if and how different introductory- and labour market programs has an impact on immigrant groups and their probability of gaining employment, the employers role in this process and the individual immigrants’ experiences and perceptions of the activities they are offered from the welfare state. We also study social participation and inclusion among children, gender relations and how policy and practice in the welfare state addresses the growing diversity of needs and preferences inherit in a population that is becoming continuously more heterogeneous.

Fafo has an especially rich experience with doing research on refugees and immigrants to Norway. In connection with the research on “Immigration, labour market inclusion and social participation”, we have interviewed almost 5000 refugees and immigrants from 11 different countries. In addition, Fafo has conducted qualitative interviews with representatives from asylum centers, refugee offices, the social services, adult educational centers and local employment services in over 40 Norwegian municipalities, as well as quantitative studies of municipal refugee managers and caseworkers and representative selection of the general public. The results are published in a series of reports and articles on the living conditions of immigrants in Norway and the interaction between immigrants and the Norwegian welfare state, labour market and local communities and organizations.


Transnational mobility of labour and services

Research director: Jon Erik Dølvik
Research coordinator: Line Eldring

Fafo’s research on transnational mobility of labour and services cuts across the institutes’ research groups and programmes. The EU enlargement in 2004 generated new research questions and it became evident that a multidisciplinary approach was needed. To understand the dymamics and consequences of the new wave of European labour migration from east to west it became essential to combine theories of migration with knowledge and theories on labour market regulations on both national and transnational levels. Core research themes have been:

· Impact and consequenses of EU enlargement for the Nordic labour markets
· Development and trends in labour migration to Norway
· Companies’ strategies towards recruitment of labour from Central- and Eastern European countries
· Working and living conditions among labour migrants
· Comparative analyses of regulations and mechanisms to combat social dumping


International migration

Group leader: May-Len Skilbrei

Fafo organizes a research group on international migration. The group is interdisciplinary and deals especially with issues of transnational lives, motivation for migration, forced migration and human trafficking, informal and/or illegal forms of migration and consequences of migration in ‘sending countries’, in the form of ‘care drain’ and social and financial remittances. Within the framework of the group and integrated in other research groups at Fafo, research is currently undertaken in several countries and contexts, comprising different forms of migration and vulnerabilities in migration. Fafo currently studies migration trajectories and experiences as well as discourses on and policies pertaining to different forms of migration. Fafo performs both policy oriented work and pure research on migration, and employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Read more about Fafo on their web pages.