The seminar “Migration Day” was held at the Center for Migration Studies at the Faculty of Sociology, which was attended by the students of YSU and Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University.
The event was initiated by the International Center for Migration Policy Development in Armenia, which deals with migration and border management in many countries. Now, in addition to various projects, this organization is engaged in the activities, directed to the improvement of Meghri checkpoint. They also do everything possible for the liberalization of the visa regime between the EU and Armenia.
The event has a goal to provide students with the opportunity to analyze and discuss the consequences of economic migration and to learn about new developments in this sphere.
“We want to introduce students the current situation around migration in Europe, new phenomenon and some examples. To compare the experience of Armenia and Europe we have invited local and European experts,” - said the head of the International Center for Migration Policy Development in Armenia Carel Hofstra and added that if this initiative raises interest among the participants, it can then receive the format of summer school.
“In 1990s we dealt with immigration. It was a big problem for our weakened state after the earthquake to give shelter the 300,000 refugees, who came from neighboring republic. Their integration, if it can be said so, did not take place fully. Having these unsolved problems, we faced the outflow from Armenia. This negative trend is still continuing. On average, about 40,000 people leave our country annually and the major part forever. And now we have the problem with the integration of the refugees from Syria. Today, there are about 20,000 refugees, which is a big challenge for our small country. To do everything right in this whole process we need good teachers, and we should highlight the fact that such specialists are trained at YSU,” - said Dean of the Faculty of Sociology Arthur Mkrtichyan.
The main speakers of the seminar were the Associate Professor at Sorbonne University Biagio Speciale, representative of the NGO “Armenian Caritas” Lusine Stepanyan and Kristina Hayrapetyan, Head of the Armenian Office of “People’s International Development Committee.”
“Recently our center participated in the development of Armenia’s migration policy concept. Our initiatives are not limited to this seminar only; the events will last 2 months. We will try to bring together theory and practice,” - said the Director of the Center for Migration Studies Aram Vartikyan.