Conceptualising destitution with focus on Central and Eastern European citizens living in Switzerland
05 - Forschungs- oder Arbeitsbericht
Destitution can be understood as a severe form of systemic social deprivation in which people are unable to sustain themselves and their families through their own work activities because they encounter various administrative and legal obstacles. Destitute people are therefore excluded from most state-run social and medical services and their access to public resources and institutions is very limited. This new form of extreme poverty and social exclusion has posed several novel challenges to the Swiss welfare state, in which traditional, residence-based institutions are only moderately able to handle the issues. In the first chapter, we depict the theoretical development of destitution from the early studies on absolute poverty to the modern, multifaceted thinking on relative poverty and social exclusion. In this chapter we primarily focus on the vulnerable situation of undocumented migrants and homeless people to exemplify the most precarious forms of destitution in Western societies. In the second chapter, we scrutinise the precarious living circumstances of destitute European migrants both in their home countries and Switzerland. We explore the role of penalising social policies and the increasing social exclusion of the Roma and/or poor people in the CEE region. After that, we analyse their living conditions in Switzerland from the viewpoint of the availability and accessibility of social institutions. The chapter concludes that destitute CEE migrants encounter substantial difficulties in living in Switzerland, are invisible to the institutions of the Swiss welfare state, and their fundamental human rights are often questioned in the areas of housing, healthcare, and the labour market.
DOI der Originalausgabehttps://doi.org/10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2022.92
Verlag / Hrsg. Institution
LIVES Swiss Centre of Expertise in Life Course Research
Verlagsort / Veranstaltungsort