When: 24 – 26 May 2022

WhereZoom Access Link:


Short introduction

Globalisation has made geo-politics not an isolated issue but it must be seen as part of wider transformative processes. New emerging forms of global governance, in particular migration governance, although still discussed as a central national policy instrument in the wider normative political dialogues, have been further developed as forms of control over people which, through externalization processes, go far beyond national borders or continental patterns. Its divisive dynamics have strengthened new forms of unilateralism, stronger nationalism, populism and xenophobia, especially in Europe and North America, affecting countries in the Global South through so called “containment politics”.

At the same time, economic mega-projects, extractive industries and land grabbing, as well as increasingly internal – often resource related – postcolonial conflicts, have led to more and more forced displaced people on the African continent. Examples thereof would be the new conflict in Northern Mozambique, which led to about 800.000 internally displaced people (IDPs) since 2017 or the so-called Anglophone Crises in Cameroon, which resulted so far in about half a million IDPs. Extractivism and exploitation of environmental resources without considering its environmental impact has also contributed to the worsening of the self-sustainability conditions of entire communities, forcing them to migrate.

Xenophobia, resulting from continued racism as well as from the negative consequences of neoliberal policies for large parts of the populations, has taken on dangerous proportions in what has come to be known as xenophobic violent attacks in South Africa. These violent attacks, perpetrated by South Africans, against fellow Africans from other parts of Africa, have resulted in deaths, injuries and destruction of property. Unfortunately, at the receiving end of such attacks are mostly poor, vulnerable 2

and marginalised groups such as refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants from the continent. Violent xenophobic attacks have contributed to the further displacement of sub-Saharan Africans in South Africa. What is worrying is that these attacks are becoming more and more frequent.

Despite these narrowing and inward looking tendencies, globalisation and related social, economic and cultural transformations are accelerating at a fast pace, making the world even more embedded and interconnected, a process in which digitalization plays a key part. In all these global upheavals, human development and social work should remain at the centre, given their mandate of advocating with and on behalf of the most marginalised (“option for the poor”). Thus, social justice, human rights and social inclusion across the world remain social work’s main mission and a very important task for the profession in terms of education, research and practice. Given this backdrop, it is imperative that social workers not only take critical note of the major shifts taking place momentarily and the various challenges and social ills that have global implications. Rather, they need to insert themselves into this global discourse by offering their unique social justice orientated paradigm and frameworks.

This international winter/summer school, taking place in South Africa, aims to support and enhance North-South as well as South-South exchanges of academics, students and organizations working in the field of social work and (forced) migration. Of critical importance, young people, especially social work students, from both the Global South and North, need to be equipped with appropriate and relevant analytical skills to be able to navigate these turbulent times and be better prepared for the numerous complex challenges faced by social work and community practitioners, migrants and refugees in the field. In addition, they need to be exposed to progressive worldviews as well as new innovative research and practices. Academics from the fields of social work and migration need to invest in arriving at context relevant curricula and decolonizing teaching and research methodologies that tackle the issues mentioned above while practitioners need to make themselves familiar with current research trends and innovative practice approaches by learning from other parts of the “interconnected” world. The symposium which is being organized as part of a two-week long summer/winter school addresses therefore the following topics:

Day 1 – 24.05.2022

09:00 – 09:15: Introduction and welcome, Johan Viljoen (Denis Hurley Peace Institute /DHPI, South Africa)

09:15 – 10:00: Social Work and Decolonization, Linda Harms-Smith (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

10:00 – 10:15: Break

10:15 – 11:00: Recovering Traces of Global Social Policy Otherwise: The Non-Aligned Movement and the New International Economic Order, Paul Stubbs (The Institute of Economics, Croatia)

11:00 – 11:15: Introduction to the book launch “Migration and Social Transformation: Engaged Perspectives” Tanja Kleibl (FHWS, Germany) and Maria do Carmo Gonçalves (CSEM, Brazil) followed by presentations of selected book chapters

11:15 – 11:45: Interrogating Migration and Social Transformation: A Social Work Perspective, Mziwandile Sobantu (University of Johannesburg, South Africa) 11:45 – 12:15: LGBTI in Africa: Out of the Closet and into the Prison Cell, James Ekene Obi

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch 3

13:15 – 13:45: From the Micro to the Mesa: The Role of Social Work in developing migration-aware HIV responses for young migrant men in Johannesburg, Thobeka Nkomo and Oncemore Mbeve (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)

13:15 – 15:00: Social Security Exclusions in the Wake of a Deadly Covid Pandemic: Narratives of Migrant Domestic Workers in South Africa, Janet Munakamwe (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)

16:00 – 18:00: Political afternoon tour through Pretoria and/or Johannesburg about anti-apartheid struggles (for logistical reasons most probably only for FHWS students)

Day 2 – 25.05.2022

09:00 – 09:30: Introduction: Lessons learned from doing research with people on the move affected by conflict and violent displacement, Rose Jaji (German Institute for Development Politics, Germany)

09:30 – 10:15: The War in Northern Mozambique: A Political-Economy Analysis, Johan Viljoen (DHPI)

10:15 – 10:30: Break

10:30 – 11:00: Participatory Action Research and Empowerment in Northern Mozambique with conflict induced displaced people and host communities, Boia Efraime (Association Reconstructing Hope, Mozambique) and Tanja Kleibl (FHWS, Germany)

11:00 – 11:30: Experiences of working with people on the move in Mozambique from church actors, Sister Carla Frey Bamberg (Scalabrinian Sisters)

11:30 – 12:30: Xenophobic attacks against migrants in South Africa. How to create solidarity in a divided society? Panel discussion moderated by Robel Afeworki Abay (Humboldt University, Germany) with civil society organizations: Julekha Latib (The Informal Traders’ Network / One Voice Of All Hawkers Association), Nobuhle Virgie Ajiti (Africa Awake); Mametlwe Sebei (General Industries Workers Union of South Africa/GIWUSA)

12:30 – 13:30: Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:00: Social work remedies for the crisis in southeast Nigeria: Rebalancing the wheels of internal displacement and irregular migration, Uzoma Okoye (University of Nsukka, Nigeria)

14:00 – 14:30: Refugee policy and practice in Uganda, Janestic Twikirizi (Makerere University, Uganda)

14:30 – 15:00: War Induced Displacement and its Impact on the Human Living: the Current Situation in Ethiopia, Demelash Debalkie Kassaye (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & FHWS, Germany)

15:00 – 16:00: World Café What are the special needs of people on the move affected by conflict? What structural and personal issues do social workers need to take into account?

18:00 – early dinner in Soweto 4

Day 3 – 26.05.2022

10:00 – 11:00: Only FHWS students: Introduction to placements – ethical considerations & research orientation, Rose Jaji, Maria do Carmo Gonçalves, Tanja Kleibl

13:00 – 13:05: Overview of the day and reflections into the future of Social Work in Africa, Shahana Rasool (University of Johannesburg)

13:05 – 13:10: Welcome to UJ

13:10 – 13:20: Introduction of Speakers

13:20 – 13:25: Introduction to the book launch “The Coronovirus Crisis and Challenges to Social Development: Global Perspectives” Janestic Twikirizi (Makerere University, Uganda)

13:25 – 13:35: COVID-19 Safety measures and Socioeconomic Status in Urban Zimbabwe, Rose Jaji (DIE, Germany)

13:35 – 13:45: COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria: A Story worth telling from the eyes of Social Workers, Uzoma Okoye (University of Nsukka, Nigeria)

13:45 – 13:55: Lockdown in a Dual Society: Exploring the Human Capability Implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, Minenhle Matela (Southern African Policy and Development Nexus, South Africa)

13:55 – 14:30: Panel discussion: Lockdown in diverse societies: patterns of exclusion, human categorization and Social Work responses – Southern Perspectives

14:30 – 14:45: Break

14:45 – 16:00: World Café What did social workers play during the Corona pandemic? What would we like to change or remain as a response to this global crisis experience?

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