Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership

A series of seminars featuring academics, practitioners, and politicians to encourage dialogue and debate across public, academic and voluntary sectors and generate questions for future research.

Throughout the migration policy seminar series, NISMP will provide videos, slides and documents shared with the audience and give an overview of past sessions and future seminars. A flyer for the seminar series can be downloaded here.

Seminar Title and Description
Speakers Relevant Content

That's a Devolved Matter: Immigration Law, Devolution and Northern Ireland

The first in the seminar series explored the  implications, gray areas, and misconceptions of devolved responsibility for migration related policy in Northern Ireland. It included an overview of devolution and historical examples of conflict between jurisdictions, as well as policy areas where the NI Assembly could have more of a voice.



Prof Derek Birrell, University of Ulster

Naomi Long, Alliance Party MP *

Prof John Barry, Queens University and NISMP

Video of the event available on request


*Please note, Naomi Long was unable to attend due to illness

Improving opportunities for migrant children in education
February 2014

This seminar featured presentations on research into the experiences of migrant children and parents in schools in the Republic of Ireland and potential long-term social ramifications of educational pathways, partnership work on children’s issues in NI and how they are addressing issues facing migrant children, and creative approaches to schooling and integration at one Belfast school with a diversifying population. The audience included a range of public and voluntary sector agencies, policy-makers and academics – most of whom participated in an open discussion and debate on how best to approach this issue through policy, creative resource allocation and innovative support packages.

Dr Merike Darmody, Research Officer with the Economic and Social Research Institute of Ireland


Jo Marley, Director Bryson Intercultural and NISMP Board Member


Maire Thompson, Principal of Malone College Belfast

Dr Darmody’s Presentation


Ms Marley’s Presentation




Ms Thompson’s Presentation

We ARE the Electorate!: Engaging Migrants and BME groups in the political system

May 2014

 This seminar will challenge the perception that ‘newcomer’ and BME communities are not active members of political constituencies. It will examine how BME and migrant groups participate in the political process in Northern Ireland, their relationships with political parties, public consultations and elected representatives. It will feature presentations on the newly formed BME parliament, the role of representative agencies in political integration, and more. The seminar will end with an open discussion and debate with the panel on how to translate voter registration and political interest into full political incorporation – exploring issues with politics in a divided society and the language of ‘two communities’ in NI political culture.

Elizabeth Nelson, NICEM and the BME Parliament

Dr Heather Johnson

Queens University, Belfast

Maciek Bator - Vote! You are Home! Campaign

Presentations Available on Request

Finding  the Balance: Immigration control and safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

June 2014

This seminar will take place during refugee week, and will look at theoretical and practical approaches to apparent conflicts between immigration law and issues of humanitarian and child protection. It will focus on vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied asylum children, victims of trafficking, and those migrants with irregular status and facing destitution. It will examine the health and social care duties in Northern Ireland in the context of new legislative changes, explore guidance and review best practice in other jurisdictions. It will provide an opportunity for those whose interest was piqued by the issues raised in the recent BBC Radio Ulster documentary ‘Nowhere to Go’ to learn more about refugee and asylum cases, and participate in discussion and debate. 

Liz Griffiths - Law Centre NI

Rebecca Dudley - Independent Researcher

 Joyce McKee - Health and Social Care Board

Stephen Long - Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, I am Roma

 Presentations available on request

Notes from the session

Building Diverse and Sustainable Communities

October 2014


This session will look at the role of diversity in creating economically and socially successful communities, as well as challenges with social cohesion, integration and community safety. It will examine integration and multiculturalism through a theoretical lens, provide best practice examples, and explore the role of social cohesion, good relations and racial equality frameworks in strong, safe and diverse communities.

Dr Ruth McAreavey - Queen's University Belfast


Dr. Jenny Muir - Queen's University Belfast

Ann Marie White - Lower Ormeau Resident's Action Group

DCI Gary Reid - Police Service Northern Ireland

Presentations available on request

Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership