Different regions around the world face serious and enduring problems, ranging from natural disasters triggered by climate change to armed conflicts, famines, or economic hardship that force people to leave their countries in search for security and a better life. All of us are exposed to these problems, but under-served communities are the most vulnerable, poorly-equipped to successfully navigate these socio-economic, political, or environmental hazards.
A required dimension of global social development is the advancement towards the development of these under-privileged communities. Advancing sustainably in this direction requires promoting that these citizens are both individually and collectively protagonists of their own lives. To do this, vulnerable communities not only need scientific evidence that enables this in an efficient way, but also need to have a voice in the creation of such knowledge. International research programs like Horizon Europe (European Framework for Research and Innovation) already include the co-creation of scientific knowledge by researchers and citizens as a priority.
Framed in this context, this Special Issue will particularly pay attention to the analysis of the current evolution of the above-mentioned global societal challenges, discussed in the light of transformative approaches. In this sense, besides expecting analytically robust descriptions of these situations, evidence about those actions and strategies that are taking place on the ground and contributing to overcoming them by movements, organizations, governments, companies, or other types of institutions are especially welcomed.
Some of the topics to be considered are the following:
- New racism emerging in the context of COVID-19.
- Refugees and displacement in the Middle East region, challenges and opportunities for social inclusion encountered in host societies, and the case of unaccompanied refugee minors.
- Social and cultural dynamics of the sexual harassment of teenagers through the Internet and social media.
- Persisting patterns of exclusion and marginalization of the Roma people in Europe, and especially the double exclusion faced by Roma women in both women’s movements and in the scientific literature.
- Human trafficking and the strategies implemented on the ground to prevent and stop it.
- Child abuse and neglect, particularly mechanisms to identify and prevent situations within educational centers.
- Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Trends and patterns of homelessness, particularly its public health dimension.
Prof. Dr. Ramon Flecha
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