From the 14th to 20th of August I participated on the Summer School on Migration and Development, organized by GEOMIGRACE, a research institute collaborating with the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development at Charles University of Prague together with the support of IMISCOE (International Migration Research Network). The school invited experience and well-known scholars and experts, from international and non-governmental organizations, who delivered lectures, seminars workshops and panel on migration and development issues on different part of the globe. The topics that have been discussed during the week-school have ranged from Migration Theories and Myths, providing a solid theoretical base in order to understand the different types of migrations as well the correct terminology used in the academic field we assigned, from relevant example of migratory flows currently happening in the world. For instance, the Venezuelan case was discussed as an example of flow where millions of people were forcibly displaced worldwide, without UNHCR recognising them as refugees; on the contrary experts from IOM illustrated us the current case of the Ukraine refugees crisis showing how the UNHCR and EU approach to it was completely different.

Through the participation of various specialist coming from the field, I was able to get a clearer picture on how migratory flows have been managed over the years, how the integration of these populations is still a big challenge for the majority of the world countries, and finally still the existence of double-standards and prejudices when it comes to welcome certain flow of possible asylum seekers.

Finally, since we were 80 participants, including master’s degree students, PHD candidates and experts with several years of experience in the field, the discussions emerging during the lectures have been extremely interesting and motivating for me. I got the chance to understand how refugees and migration “crisis” are handed by relevant  IOs and which aspects are prioritised; as my future goal would be to work on refugees matter in the Central Mediterranean route it was a fruitful opportunity for me to take part in this summer school.

By Meron Ghebreigziabiher