According to the data provided by United Nations, less than one third of the world population lived in urban areas in 1950. Today, more than half of the world population lives in cities. By 2050, this ratio is expected to surpass 65 percent. There is no doubt that the basic factor behind this rapid urbanization is migration. In modern times, almost all migrations are rural-to-urban. This tendency applies for mass immigrations as well. The Syrian immigrants in Turkey, for instance, prefer urban environments rather than rural regions as long as they are not settled in refugee camps by the authorities and have a chance to make a choice. Currently, there are 2.7 million Syrian immigrants in Turkey and most of them (except the 10 percent who are located in temporary protection camps) are disseminated along urban areas.
Migration profoundly changes the social, cultural, economic and demographic structures of cities. The problems that emerge together with rapid massive migrations are twofold. On the one hand, there are problems which are caused by the deep changes in the established structures of the city along with immigrants’ influx; on the other hand, there are problems experienced by the immigrants per se. Together with massive influx of immigrants, the organically interconnected structures of cities, such as health, education, housing, work, production, consumption, transportation and security systems, go under pressure. This shapes the attitude of the host population towards immigrants. When the established resources of a city go insufficient, or any malfunction emerges, some xenophobic attitudes can develop as part of different types of social conflicts. The immigrants, on the other hand, face the harsh conditions of housing, health, education, training and working. The immigrants who undergo loss of orientations together with migration have important difficulties in adapting to the new urban environment, without ever knowing that they ultimately cause big changes in that environment. For these reasons, the local, national and international policies regarding immigrants are crucial. It is very important for local, national and international immigrant policies to be in harmony.
The 1st International Conference on Migration and Security, which is organized by the Center for Research on Immigration and Border Security (CRIBS) of Turkish Police Academy, will be held with the topic of “immigrant influx and the city”. The conference will focus on the massive immigrants who live in urban environments around the world, and will be held in Antalya/Turkey, on 11-12-13 November 2016. The aim of the conference is to make contributions to the policies of massive immigrants, by means of exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge on the impacts of immigrant influx on urban structures. From this perspective, the conference will be open to contributions (which are directly related to the list of themes below) regarding the massive immigrants in general and the Syrian massive immigrants in particular. For this purpose, the conference will bring different disciplines and agents (academics; policy makers; journalists and experts) together to promote wide discussions and deep analyses on the topic.
The conference will give priority to the following themes (proposals irrelevant to the following list will not be taken in consideration):
- Immigrant inflow and urban security
- Immigrant inflow and border security
- The housing and sheltering problems of massive Syrian immigrants
- The spatial distribution of massive Syrian immigrants
- Massive immigrants and the problems of spatial planning
- The temporary protection camps in Turkey
- The refugee camps in Lebanon
- The refugee camps in Jordan
- City administration and massive immigrants
- Policies and applications in European countries of immigrant relocation and resettlement
- Health problems of massive immigrants
- Education of massive Syrian immigrants
- Problems regarding the labor market in connection with immigrant influx (such as legislations about work; cheap labor; illegal workers and the informal economy)
- Massive immigrants and the financial/fiscal questions (such as taxation and administrative penalties)
- Urban poverty and massive immigrants
- Best practices regarding the solutions for immigrants’ health, education, sheltering and work problems
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