Dr Lucy Williams is a freelance researcher and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Kent. She has been involved in community work and research with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK since 1998. Her current research is with refugees denied asylum facing enforced return to countries of origin. Her most recent work is with young people who arrived in Europe as unaccompanied children who are now reaching adulthood.
Lucy holds a PhD in Migration Studies from the University of Kent (2004) and has designed and taught modules at MA, BA and Certificate level promoting the health and social care of migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers. She has supervised PhD studies on mental wellbeing in refugee communities, on sex trafficking and on social work responses to migrant and refugee clients.
Lucy has carried out consultancy for the International Organisation for Migration, the UK Quality Care Commission and the South East Strategic Partnership for Migration as well as for voluntary organisations. She has published on interpreting services for refugees, on social networks and help seeking behaviour, domestic violence, cross-border marriage migration, on refugee youth and on the situation of former immigration detainees.
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Williams, L. (2015). From Immigration Detention to Destitution. Criminal Justice Matters [Online] 99:12-13. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09627251.2015.1026220.
Klein, A. and Williams, L. (2012). Immigration Detention in the Community: research on the experiences of migrants released from detention centres in the UK. Population, Space and Place [Online] 18:741-753. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1725.This paper argues that immigration detention results in immigration detainees being treated as anomalies within the liberal, democratic state – not only within detention centres but also post-release. Given that most released detainees remain destitute and without entitlement or resolution of their immigration cases, many report feelings of being continuously 'detained' even after release. This paper addresses a gap in the literature on the ongoing experience of released detainees. The authors draw on qualitative interview data from former detainees as a first step towards a better understanding of the issues. We discuss wider questions of why the detention regime fails to prepare detainees for release as well as how this omission can undermine their capacity to lead productive and socially meaningful lives. This paper argues that the lack of concern for the well-being of former immigration detainees has considerable and far-reaching implications for the former detainees and their communities. Finally, we link the situation of former detainees and their liminal states of exception, to discourses of slavery and civil death.
Williams, L. (2006). Social Networks of Refugees in the United Kingdom: Tradition, tactics and new community spaces. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies [Online] 32:865-879. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691830600704446.This study is based on three years of participative, ethnographic fieldwork with asylum-seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom. Through participant observation and analysis of ego-centred networks, I attempted to build trusting research relationships with individual refugees coming to terms with life in exile. Refugees themselves have played an integral part in the innovative research design which has evolved in response to their contributions. The research demonstrates that, contrary to some stereotypes, refugees endeavour to be proactive social actors. This counters the predominant assumption of refugee dependency. Furthermore, the research adds to existing work on the social networks of refugees by providing an intimate picture of a small group of refugees. It describes their tactics in meeting practical and emotional needs, describes how these networks spread across continents and from home country to countries of exile, and proposes a new typology based on the strength of network ties.
Williams, L. (2005). Refugees and asylum seekers as a group at risk of adult abuse. Journal of Adult Protection 1:??-??.
Williams, L. (2005). Interpreting services for refugees: Hearing voices?. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care 1:37-49.This article examines current issues in the use of interpreting services, as experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. The paper begins with a review of relevant literature on interpreting services and relates it to the service context and the specific needs of refugees and asylum seekers. There follows a discussion of a small-scale research project carried out with interpreters working in these services. Recommendations are made which include the need to educate all three parties (the professional employing the interpreter, the interpreter and the client) in not only best practice and practical techniques of working with interpreters, but also broader issues such as the complexity of the interpreting process, the importance of establishing trust, competing agendas and negotiation of meaning that are implicit in the interpretation process.
Cambridge, P. and Williams, L. (2004). Approaches to advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers: a development case study for a local support and advice service. Journal of Refugee Studies 17:97-113.
Hatzidimitriadou, E. and Williams, L. (2007). Evaluation of Support and Counselling WSS Project for Children Affected by Domestic Abuse. European Centre for the Study of Migration and Social Care, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.