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On June 17, 2021 Kristin Dalen will defend her doctoral thesis for the PhD Degree at the University of Bergen. The title of the thesis is "Chinese Views on Welfare: Social Policy and Political Support".

This article investigates perceptions of secondary migration to Europe and North America among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, based on qualitative interviews conducted in 2019. Author Guri Tyldum describe the ambivalence many of these refugees express, when talking about moving on to Europe. The article demonstrates that secondary migration is not only associated with positive outcomes and suggests that there may be self-selection effects in what subgroups of refugees that end up seeking migration to Europe.

There is considerable knowledge about, and interventions that target, human trafficking and exploitation for prostitution. In labour trafficking, however, other actors are involved, the victims identified have more often been men, and assistance providers face other challenges than those that are known from trafficking for prostitution. Labour trafficking will also be encountered by other actors, and there is a considerable need for knowledge. This report is an updated summary of the original report Menneskehandel i arbeidslivet” [Labour trafficking”], published in 2019.

Ingunn Bjørkhaug will have her trial lecture and public defence on Thursday 10 June at 10:00 o'clock, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The title of the thesis is "Side by side, but far apart? Refugee–host relationships and narratives in a displacement economy". Everything will be broadcasted via Zoom, see NMBU's page for details.

The multi-year Fafo-led project "Nordic Future of Work" has examined the challenges and opportunities for the Nordic working life models. This final report first summarizes the six thematic reports, and then discusses the consequences the developments will have for the Nordic models. Fafo researchers Kristin Alsos and Jon Erik Dølvik also point to some adjustments needed to uphold the models in the future.

This TemaNord report concludes Pillar III on non-standard work under the Fafo-led research program "The Future of Work". With contributions from 18 researchers from all five Nordic countries, the report looks at both traditional forms of non-standard work, such as temporary contracts, part-time and solo self-employed, as well as emerging employment practices such as zero-hour contracts and freelancer companies – all within the context of the Nordic welfare and industrial relations models.

In a new article publicised in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Jon Horgen Friberg shows that youth of immigrant origin gradually adopt a stronger self-identity as Norwegians, regardless of geographical and religious backgrounds. However: While adolescents of European immigrant origin report being seen as more “Norwegian” than they identify themselves, children of immigrants from Africa and Asia are seen by others as far less “Norwegian” than how they perceive themselves.

On December 18, 2020 Olav Elgvin will defend his doctoral thesis for the PhD Degree at the University of Bergen – "Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The Islamic Council of Norway and the Challenge of Representing Islam in Europe".

In December 2016, the food industry and the Norwegian In December 2016, the food industry and the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services signed the Letter of intent for facilitating a healthier diet. The goal is to achieve a more comprehensive and overall collaboration between the health authorities and the food industry in order to make it easier for the consumer to make healthier choices. Fafo is commissioned by the Directorate of Health to evaluate the agreement. The evaluation includes an annual self-report from the parties who have signed the agreement. This memorandum is the mid-term report from the project and includes the third annual report from the project.

The Nordic 0-24 project has been a collaboration between all the Nordic countries and autonomous areas to improve follow-up of vulnerable children and young people. Fafo has carried out an evaluation of the project. A key point of the evaluation is the importance of putting children and young people at the centre and taking their perspective when creating and developing services, as well in the general follow-up.

On the 26th of November 2020 at 10:00–16:00 CET, the Danish Ministry of Employment is hosting a webinar on Nordic Future of Work under the auspices of the Danish chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers.


The Fafo-led project "The future of work: Opportunities and challenges for the Nordic models" examines a wide range of aspects of how our Nordic societies are prepared for the future. This report seeks to reveal whether there is a need to adapt Nordic labour law to future working relationships, and, if so, how such an adaptation can preserve the purpose and functions of the laws. The report is comissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Since 2004, migrant workers from Central and Eastern Europe have had a central role in maintaining Norway’s production level, especially in industries as construction and manufacturing. The covid-19 virus has made the situation very difficult for many labour migrants. They have experienced quarantines, travel restrictions and closed worksites. However, even before the “shut-down”, it seemed like the Norwegian labour market had become less attractive for the migrants. What can we expect in the years to come?

This article, written by Ingunn Bjørkhaug, discusses how Uganda’s refugee policies create economic profit for some but poverty for others. As a result, its welcoming open door is on the verge of collapse.

An article by Roy A. Nielsen and Tove Midtsundstad investigates whether introducing workplace health-promotion interventions targeting employees with health problems or reduced work ability, as is the aim of the Norwegian establishments’ Inclusive Working Life (IWL) agreement, affected overall sick leave and disability risk.

Based on data from 2000 to 2010, the study finds that such interventions affected overall sickness absence and disability risk only to a minor degree. However, this was mainly due to interventions only having an impact in parts of the labour market. Furthermore, the interventions reduced disability risk but increased sickness absence. Retaining employees with health problems may then cause an increase in sickness absence, although the study suggests that they prolong working careers for some.

During the corona situation many of Fafo's employees will be working from home. Our employees can be reached on telephone or e-mail.

We are pleased to announce that we once again can hold seminars on Fafo’s premises at Borggata 2B. Our seminars will be in compliance with the Public Health Institute's guidelines concerning number of attendees and social distancing. This entails an upper limit of 25 guests, but all our seminars can be watched as live or archived broadcasts. Join our invitation list to receive information and updates.

Questions can be directed to our information department.

The regulation of migration and mobility has become one of the more salient political issues of our time. Yet, despite the massive focus on migration and its consequences, we still know relatively little about many migrant groups.

In an article published in International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Guri Tyldum summarises the pro and cons of using so called respondent-driven sampling (RDS) as a methodology for sampling and analysing survey data from rare and elusive populations such as migrants.

Different countries draw different lines for when and how to regulate expressions of religious norms and practices. Norwegian politicians have mainly chosen to be careful and constrained when it comes to introducing restrictions within this field – at least until the conflict level reaches certain levels, according to the ph.d. thesis of Ragna Lillevik. She is defending her dissertation August 25.

An article by Paul Marginson and Jon Erik Dølvik addresses developments in collective wage bargaining arrangements in northern Europe in the light of two major political-economic challenges: EU eastern enlargement and the financial and economic crisis which broke in 2008. They draw on findings from five countries and four sectors.

The analysis undermines the proposition that developments exhibit a common liberalising trajectory, amongst other by finding no uniform trend in national and sectoral policy responses, nor in wage inequality outcomes.

This report, conducted in collaboration between Fafo and ILO, highlights issues related to employment, income, economic conditions, and prospects for the immediate future amongst Iraqi workers. In addition, the assessment addresses the effects of the pandemic on the country’s small-scale enterprises, including how they are adapting to the challenges that the pandemic presents and the implications for their employees.

The report is part of a series of the effect of COVID-19 in the Arab world, following similar reports on Jordan and Lebanon.

The world is facing major nutritional challenges, with millions of people suffering from starvation or malnutrition. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have asked Fafo to update our knowledge about these issues and how Norwegian aid and policy could be optimized to helt.

The report, written by Ellen Cecilie Andresen and Anne Hatløy, finds that through increasing its nutrition efforts, Norway can help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2, which aims to eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. They also advice Norway to support governments, civil societies, and national/local efforts that engage in nutrition-specific interventions to reduce all forms of malnutrition, as well as organisations and processes that promote nutritional sensitivity through all parts of the food system to ensure better access to varied, healthy and sustainable food for more people.

This article, co-written by Jon Rogstad, explores the relationship between labor market discrimination, stereotypes and employers’ experiences with immigrant workers. The article finds that experience – or lack thereof – matters distinctively when considering applications from immigrant workers.

Thus, Norwegian employers seemed to update their attitudes, which implies their decision making is flexible, allowing positive experiences to influence hiring decisions. At the same time, their consideration seems to be quite sensitive to negative experiences.

The assessment, based on interviews of 1,190 enterprises across Jordan in late April, sheds light on the significant impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown measures on enterprises and employees.

Tewodros Aragie Kebede, Svein Erik Stave and their two co-authors find that only 7 per cent of surveyed enterprises reported operating as usual at the time of the survey and only 13 per cent indicated that under the conditions at time of the survey they would be able to stay operational for more than six months.

This article by Anne Inga Hilsen and Tonny Kværne explores how to promote inter-professional collaboration between health professionals and welfare professionals in a project organisation (the Inter-professional collaboration project IPC-project) aimed at work life inclusion for people with reduced work ability.

Through a participative research design (action research) centred on a series of three workshops during a 6-month period, the project members explored how they could improve their practice and better support the users of the services.        The article is based on a Master thesis at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

The Norwegian government has awarded a contract to a travel agency that offers hotel deals to Israeli settlements in the occupied territories on the West Bank and Golan. In an op-ed on (in Norwegian), Mads Harlem and Mark Taylor suggest that Norwegian companies and public agencies do not understand their legal responsibilities and need to do more to ensure they respect the rights of civilians caught up in wars and conflicts.

Using detailed insights from those with first-hand experience of conducting research in areas of international intervention and conflict, a new handbook provides essential practical guidance for researchers and students embarking on fieldwork in violent, repressive and closed contexts.

Ingunn Bjørkhaug has written a chapter about “Sexual exploitation, rape and abuse as a narrative and a strategy”. Her contribution reflects on a number of ethical challenges of doing refugee research, and the dilemmas of listening to stories of suffering, sexual violence and abuse, without being able to make an immediate difference to the people in dire needs. She discusses how the role of the researcher is not to be a humanitarian worker, but to produce sound research-based knowledge that can influence to the policies that involves the lives of refugees.

Fafo and ILO have conducted a study on the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable workers in Lebanon.

The country was already experiencing serious financial, economic and political challenges when hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic added yet another challenge to vulnerable workers in Lebanon, particularly Syrian refugees. The majority of workers were employed without written contracts, social security coverage or health coverage before the onset of the pandemic. 60 percent of Syrians and 39 percent of Lebanese workers have already been permanently laid-off since the outbreak of the pandemic.

To follow the situation further, this study will be complemented by new surveys in the months to come.

An extended and updated paper in the Nordic Future of Work project studies whether the occupational structure in Nordic labour markets is changing in the direction of upgrading or polarization. Based on data from 2000 to 2015, the results show clear tendencies towards polarization in Denmark, especially after the 2008 crisis, while upgrading is the dominant tendency in Norway in recent years. The tendencies in Finland and Sweden lie between these two countries.  In Sweden, clear upgrading is found in the public sector and in production of tangible goods, while modest signs of polarization is found in the private sector as a whole.

By studying the occupational changes in more detail, the researchers find some evidence suggesting that technological change is a main driver of change, but also indications that political and economic factors should be taken into consideration to understand occupational change in the Nordic region.

Platform work can be seen as one important case in which many key aspects of the changing world of work coalesce. As part of the ongoing project Nordic Future of Work, this report explores the development of platform work in the Nordic countries and the central issues of concern related to it.

The report also connects some of the themes explored in the other research subjects in the project, such as digitalization, new forms of employment and the legal and regulatory challenges currently faced by the social partners, governments and Nordic labour market models.

The pan-Nordic project as well as the report is commissioned by The Nordic Council of Ministries and led by Fafo.

In an article in Journal of Education and Work Tove Mogstad Aspøy explores the role competence upgrades may have in improving job quality in occupations characterized by poor working conditions. In light of institutional theory, the author discusses the reasoning behind the introduction of the certificate in cleaning. Why did one think that this could improve job quality in the profession?