The status of homelessness: Access to housing for asylum-seeking migrants as an instrument of migration control in Italy and Sweden
Summary, in English
Homelessness and other forms of destitution among asylum-seeking migrants are currently on the rise across Europe, as migrants’ access to social rights, including housing, has been restricted through repressive migration policies, fuelled by the welfare nationalism and chauvinism that surge among European states. This article explores the largely overlooked homelessness experienced by migrants seeking asylum in two different geographic and political contexts: Italy and Sweden. Building on research conducted over six years, including interviews with state officials, social and NGO workers, and testimonies of asylum-seeking migrants, we trace the logics and effects of policies that not only fail to deliver minimum welfare provisions to asylum-seeking migrants, but which produce and use homelessness as a way of controlling this group. The implications for asylum-seeking migrants include racialised discrimination, class-based and poverty-related health issues, and other harms, which are the direct result of policies that render access to fundamental social rights, including housing, into instruments of migration control.