Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations where she leads a team of researchers working on issues of migration, displacement and belonging. Heaven was previously head of asylum and immigration research at the UK Home Office and Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr).
Over the past 25 years Heaven has worked with refugees and asylum seekers from a wide range of countries and backgrounds. Her main interests are in better understanding the experiences of forced migrants including the reasons why people feel compelled to leave their countries of origin, their experiences of the journey to their new country and how they adapt to the social, economic and personal challenges and opportunities that living in a new country inevitably brings. She is also interested in the way in which the experiences of refugees are understood and represented, by policy makers, the media and society more generally. She believes that good quality legal advice and representation plays a vital role in enabling asylum seekers to have their stories heard and in securing protection under international law for themselves and their families.
Heaven has written and published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues including the causes of forced migration to Europe, gender issues in procedures for Refugee Status Determination, access to legal advice and representation, public attitudes towards asylum and immigration issues and children’s experiences of immigration controls, including detention, guardianship and the process of age assessment. She has served as a specialist adviser to the both the Home Affairs Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) and in 2012 was conferred the title of Academician (FAcSS) by the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences and to evidence-based policy making.