Citizenship and Civic Education for Refugees and Migrants (2-2021)


Editors of this issue: Mehmet Açıkalın, Olga Bombardelli , Gina Chianese

The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in 2021 on the theme of ‘Citizenship and Civic education for Refugees and Migrants?' 

In this special issue of JSSE we would like explore the issues of refuges and migrants in terms of educational aspects and especially from the angle citizenship and civic education. Forced migration always has been issue that makes many people displaced from their home. Wars, religious, ethnic, and political conflicts, climate change, exist at many places on the world and the number of people affected by these issues/events significantly increased in recent years. According to United Nations (n.d.), just in 2018, 70.8 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to various conflicts and these creates nearly 30 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18, who have not been treated within their basic rights. Likewise, the migrant population has been increasing on the world and just recently the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration [GFMD] celebrates the world’s 272 million migrants and their important role and the contributions to countries of origin and destination (UNICEF, 2019).

Refugees experience terrible transfer condition, with risk of survival. In the Mediterranean area illegal migration is common, and only few humanitarian corridors support migrant movements. In many countries refugees and immigrants do not receive proper education, jobs and healthcare, freedom of movement. Sometimes refugees and migrants are not allowed to go the school, as they cannot present required documents to the authorities. Even when these documents are available, some host countries refuse to recognize certification issued in refugees’ country of origin (UNHCR, 2019). Other than barriers to reach proper education, refugees and migrants encounter various difficulties because of language difference, prejudices and discrimination (UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, 2019).

Therefore, it is clear that there are several issues regarding refugees and migrants that need close attention of the governments (Koehler & Schneider, 2019), in cooperation with international organizations (Global Forum on Migration and Development [GFMD]; International Organization for Migration [IOM]; United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]; United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR]) in order to find some solutions and at least to ease unwanted consequences of the refugee and migration status. Aside sheltering one of the most important issue is that providing proper education to the refugees and migrants at school age which may help them to understand and grasp common civic virtues. Receiving citizenship education and understanding the civic issues might help to promote integration of refugees in the society they live in, considering the hidden power of curriculum or the influences of migrational biographies on teaching  culture (Grammes, 2012).

In general the purpose of the special issue is to explore

  • how refugee hosting countries deal with the education aspects of this issue and how refugee issues are related to citizenship and civic education in the hosting country and/or globally;
  • how citizenship education is possible, appropriate and meaningful for young non-citizens to understand and develop civic virtues.

While we are expecting the results of national studies focused on the aforementioned main topics, we also welcome studies that focus on one or more of the themes stated below:

  • identity questions, linguistic, racial and religious problems, intercultural solutions;
  • good practices and models of integration at school;
  • methodology and effective tools for teachers in promoting integration, citizenship and civic education;
  • studies discuss the education of young non-citizens from philosophy of education angle.

Nonetheless, this call is not limited to these topics. We would like to encourage authors to submit any type of manuscript that focus on various aspects refugees, civic and citizenship education that explore these concepts altogether and/or discuss how are the dynamics of these concepts work with each other in different contexts.

The following schedule will be used:

First submission by authors: 31 October, 2020

Review and response to authors: 31 January, 2021

Final submission from authors: 20 March, 2021

Final reviewing and papers ready for layout: 30 April, 2021

Publication: 15 June 2021

Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at

Please use the online submission system to submit a paper.

The JSSE adopts the COPE Guidelines on publication ethics.

For matters about this special issue please contact:

Mehmet Açıkalın, e-mail:


Global Forum on Migration and Development [GFMD].

Grammes, T. (2002). Editorial: Different cultures in education for democracy and citizenship. Journal of Social Science Education, 11(2), 3-7.

International Organization for Migration [IOM]. 

Koehler, C., & Schneider, J. (2019). Young refugees in education: the particular challenges of school systems in Europe. Comparative Migration Studies 7, 28.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. (30 August, 2019). Refugee education in crisis: More than half of the world’s school-age refugee children do not get an education. Retrieved from

UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM. (September, 2019). Education for refugees. Retrieved from (11 December, 2019). The United Nations network on migration commemorates first anniversary of the adoption of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Retrieved from

United Nations. (n.d.). Refugees. Retrieved from

United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA].