Ukrainian refugees on a train in Poland
© Mirek Pruchnicki

How to plan for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Nordic Region

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two. Millions have crossed Ukraine’s borders into neighboring countries in the west, and many will continue through Europe to get to their final destination in one of the Nordic countries.

Since 2020, NordForsk has funded seven international research projects on migration and integration with researchers from all the Nordic countries and the UK. In this brand-new report, researchers from these projects present results and analysis which could help us better understand the needs of Ukrainian refugees. Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk, explains:

“We believe that the Ukrainian refugees ought to be met by professional services with expertise and capabilities in many fields. Many of those who are responsible for planning and designing the services should have the latest knowledge about migration and integration issues, enabling them to plan and organise the refugees’ arrival and integration in the best way possible,” he says and elaborates:

“Therefore, we have invited researchers from seven projects under our 'Migration and Integration programme' to submit their insights to stakeholders within the field of handling refugees”.

About the articles

The articles are based on the results from the researchers’ own work on refugees and migrants in the Nordic countries and the UK and are supposed to provide valuable insight into how refugees think, feel, and should be met in order to facilitate their introduction to the Nordic societies.

An important topic in the report, and the main focus for several of the articles, is the reception and integration of children and young people.

Their future is uncertain, and many of these young people may have to settle long-term or even permanently in other countries. It is then important to facilitate safe development and good integration.

For example, in the article "Integrating young migrants", professor Carina Mood asks how her research team's knowledge can assist Nordic countries in helping Ukrainian children.

Her response is, among other things, that their research shows that refugee children are in remarkably good health, and are both optimistic and achievement-oriented. Therefore, policies and support must have a child perspective that emphasises the agency and potential of refugee children. At the same time, children who arrive in late childhood – especially boys – need special attention and intense school support. As a result, study and (host-country) language support for older children should be given high priority and commence as soon as practically possible.

Map of Europe with Ukraine in the center, hands placing toy bricks on the map.
Image from the article "Integration for young refugees in Finland, Norway and Scotland as seen through the lens of relational wellbeing" by professor Ravi Kohli. Migrants participating in an art workshop in March 2022, building corridors of safety from Ukraine to other countries using toy bricks as vehicles, bridges, and buildings.


Siri Bjarnar. Photo: NordForsk

Siri Jørgensen Bjarnar

Chief Operating Officer
Guttorm Aanes. Photo: NordForsk

Guttorm Aanes

Head of Communications

Guttorm Aanes is responsible for strengthening the visibility and impact of Nordic research co-operation through owned and earned communication channels.

Guttorm holds a degree in media studies from the University of Oslo. In 2023, he completed a master's programme in PR management and strategic communication at BI Norwegian Business School.

Guttorm has extensive experience from Norwegian ministries and research institutes.

Guttorm is good at a lot of things. For example, how to punctuate.

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