FlashASI - Flash Asile

Refugees, migrants and their languages in healthcare encounters – REMILAS

Submission summary

The project concerns the reception of refugees and migrants (R&Ms hereafter) in France, and the linguistic issues that such population confronts in the physical and mental consultations that are compulsory for the asylum visas or refugees status request. Today, almost all first-time arrivals in France (excluding student and family reunification cases) arrive via asylum application procedures, which have increased by more than 85% between 2007 and 2014. This administrative procedure is very long (2 years on average). Furthermore, when the asylum request is rejected (75% of cases), R&M can have access to the Aide Médicale d’État, and to the Permanence d'Accès aux Soins de Santé. All these procedures are accomplished in interaction, and they imply talk-in-interaction with institutional participants. It is how interlinguistic and intercultural communication is handled in these contexts that the project will investigate.
The study will focus on three main issues. First, the general difficulties that participants face when building mutual understanding in any of the institutional situations concerned. Second, the means mobilised to overcome language differences, with a specific attention to the participation of interpreters. Third, the representations that the participants (healthcare practitioners and interpreters) have of the successful procedures for dealing with the problems faced in these situations, and of the roles and positions of the interpreter.
On an applied level, the identification of the resources used to cope with the difficulties faced in the interactions will be used for developing concrete achievements: training courses and awareness campaigns addressed to professionals (practitioners and interpreters), as well as a website.
The project will be developed over 36 months through the collection of different types of data and their analysis: interviews with practitioners and interpreters, focus groups, detailed analysis of video-recorded naturally occurring interactions between R&Ms and healthcare practitioners, with and without interpreters. With this methodological apparatus we will examine the link between misunderstandings, forms of inequality, conflicts, etc., and the participants' identity, as they are constructed in the social encounters.
The research partnership consists of one academic institution (the CNRS-ICAR laboratory in Lyon) and a healthcare institution (the Vinatier Hospital Centre-Orspere-Samdarra in Lyon). The research partnership has acquired first-hand research experience in the field of healthcare interactions in mono and multilingual contexts (Traverso 2002, 2003, Ticca 2011, 2013, Ticca & Traverso 2015), and in the field of migration and health (Beal & Chambon, 2015, Zeroug Vial & Chambon 2015, Chambon, 2013). The project also draws on established collaborations with other healthcare centres (i.e. PASS, Mission Santé Ville de Lyon, Médecins du Monde) and agencies for interpreting services (i.e. ISM Corum), and strong academic collaborations with the leading experts in the field of Interpreting Studies (Gutenberg-Universität Mainz; AIM Inter-university Network; Stockholm University).
The REMILAS project matches several issues outlined in the framework of the Societal Challenge 8 by focusing on the multidimensional expression of inequality as a barrier to social inclusion through the difficulties for migrants to access healthcare services. The expected outcomes of the project include a comprehensive understanding of the situation in all its complexity, and the identification of bottlenecks and obstacles existing in an oversaturated system for the integration of allophone migrants. We believe that a deeper understanding of this situation can contribute to reducing inequalities that R&Ms face when confronted to healthcare systems.

Project coordinator

Madame Véronique Traverso (Laboratoire ICAR/ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE LYON)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Orspere-Samdarra CH Le Vinatier / Orspere-Samdarra

Help of the ANR 191,861 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2016 - 36 Months

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