Migration has many positive impacts. For individuals, it improves economic opportunities; for the private sector, it expands markets and increases labour supply; for origin countries, it brings remittances/reinvested income; and for different cultures, it provides an opportunity for understanding differences and increasing tolerance.
But migration also has a negative impact, particularly affecting urban safety: excessive urbanization can lead to high rates of city congestion, crime and poor infrastructure; unplanned migration can cause the continued growth of slums and shanty towns, as many new migrants find it difficult to obtain proper housing; and unemployment and poverty can lead to insecurity and inequality based on ethnic and migrant background. In addition, some migration processes may decrease the possibility of establishing communities, community institutions and cultural norms that would otherwise govern and regulate social coexistence. Additionally, for citizens of receiving countries, the presence of migrants may sometimes create feelings of insecurity, often based on misconceptions and lack of knowledge related to migrants.
UNICRI is implementing a new research project aimed at shedding light on this “invisible” phenomenon. The project, entitled Migrant Flower Street Vendors in Turin, is a pilot project studying the wider group of self-employed migrants and their vulnerabilities in the context of UNICRI programmes on urban security and crime prevention, paying particular attention to their vulnerability to violence, possible exploitation and victimization. The study will also be used as a pilot test to a larger research on self-employed migrants and their vulnerabilities. The results of the study will be published and disseminated at the local, national and international levels.