MRM team visits Kosovo and Albania

by HIT Foundation on 01/05/2013

Last week HIT went to Kosovo and Albania to work on the Monitoring of Returned Minors (MRM) project. During three full days the team discussed progress with its local and other European project partners. It also made new connections to advance the project. An intense and fruitful visit.

The main purpose of the visit was to discuss progress with our local partners, the Kosovo Health Foundation and APPK. The four interviewers -two from each organisation- had since their appointment interviewed almost 30 young returnees, between the ages of 12 and 17. For this they used an interview protocol based on the Best Interest of the Child criteria developed by the University of Groningen (Kalverboer & Zijlstra).

Researcher Danielle Zevulun from Groningen and Hermann Schönmeier from Micado Migration made a first analysis of the data to reveal shortcomings and to give insight in the outcomes the project may deliver. Although it is too early to draw any conclusions; the analysis allowed the project team to discuss obstacles and to further fine-tune the method.

To fully understand how the interviews are conducted in practice, part of the team went along with the interviewers on a family visit. Afterwards they discussed at length the Best of the Interest of the Child conditions (BIC-model) to gain a common understanding of the grading of each criteria.

The other half of the project team took off for Albania. Some visited the municipality of Shkodra, a town in the north of Albania, where there are many returnees. They were able to make arrangements with the authorities to obtain access to minor returnees. Others visited a local delegation of the European Union and  local representatives of Unicef.

On the last day of the visit the team discussed the steps to be taken in coming months.

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