Policy and Practice; a Development Education Review
A positive response to migration requires a joint effort from both the migrants and citizens of the host countries. Migration, especially forced migration, engenders negative personal and socio-psychological impacts on refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. The traumatic experiences they encounter on the journey from their homelands to host countries cause helplessness, fear and dependency. On the other hand, citizens of the host countries often have a negative psychological disposition toward migrants. This has been more distinct with the increased flow of migrants and refugees into Europe following conflict, civil wars and economic inertia in Africa and the Middle East. For effective and positive migration governance, citizens of host countries need to transform their negative socio-psychological attitudes and dispositions towards migrants, and the migrants need to restore their confidence as well as increase trust with the host countries to facilitate social cohesion. Thus, both the host country citizens and the refugees require a cognitive, emotional and moral transformation. Support of migrants has mostly focused on how to integrate them into the host countries through social programmes, with less emphasis on the socio-psychological dimension at play involving the migrants themselves and the host country citizens. This article argues that development education, encompassing a philosophy of critical consciousness and transformative learning, is a strategic methodology to facilitate this transformation towards a public understanding of, and positive action on, migrant issues.