Maltese professor shares study’s refugee perspectives

Critical analysis on the hierarchies of power in research was offered in a lecture by University of Malta’s Professor of Youth and Community Studies Maria Pisani. The lecture was organized on on April 6, 2017 by Birzeit University’s Institute of Community and Public Health.

Pisani presented reflections that drew on Participatory Action Research conducted on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malta. The research offers a sound understanding of the situation of refugees, which provides a basis to build effective and equitable protection strategies for all individuals and groups, including refugees.

“There is an apparent increase in the number of refugees coming from Libya, Eastern Africa and Syria, especially in the past ten years. They vary in their ages, gender, and race, and therefore, there must be certain ways to help each category integrate as they find asylum.”

Pisani indicated that this Participatory Action Research aims to carve out a space for the voices of refugees to be heard. The research, according to the professor, focuses on joint planning means and accurate tools to help attain justice around the world.

“The refugees themselves helped in completing the research. It was thus characterized by a strong participatory component and democratic principles, wherein the voices of persons of concern are prioritized,” she said. “The research sample was studied carefully to focus on all groups: women and children, in addition to the different nationalities and races.”