All posts by rrn_main_1

April 18, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 40

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Rajan, S. I. (Ed.) (2018). India Migration Report 2017: Forced Migration. Taylor & Francis.

The India Migration Report 2017 examines forced migration caused by political conflicts, climate change, disasters (natural and man-made) and development projects. India accounts for large numbers of internally displaced people in the world. Apart from conflicts and disasters, over the years development projects, often justified as serving the interests of the people and for public good, have caused massive displacements in different parts of the country, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The interdisciplinary essays presented here combine a rich mix of research methods and include in-depth case studies on aspects of development-induced displacement affecting diverse groups such as peasants, religious and ethnic minorities, the poor in urban and rural areas, and women, leading to their exclusion and marginalization. The struggles and protests movements of the displaced groups across regions and their outcomes are also assessed. Available at:

Zelalem B. Mengesha, Janette Perz, Tinashe Dune, and Jane Ussher (2018), Preparedness of Health Care Professionals for Delivering Sexual and Reproductive Health Care to Refugee and Migrant Women: A Mixed Methods Study, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15(1), 174

Past research suggests that factors related to health care professionals’ (HCPs) knowledge, training and competency can contribute to the underutilisation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care by refugee and migrant women. The aim of this study was to examine the perceived preparedness of HCPs in relation to their knowledge, confidence and training needs when it comes to consulting refugee and migrant women seeking SRH care in Australia. The majority of participants (88.9% of nurses, 75% of GPs, and 76% of health promotion officers) demonstrated willingness to engage with further training in refugee and migrant women’s SRH. The findings point to the need to train HCPs in culturally sensitive care and include the SRH of refugee and migrant women in university and professional development curricula in meeting the needs of this growing and vulnerable group of women. Available at:

Ghezelbash, D., Moreno-Lax, V., Klein, N., & Opeskin, B. (2018). Securitization of Search and Rescue at Sea: The Response to Boat Migration in the Mediterranean and Offshore Australia. International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 1-37.

This article compares the law and practice of the European Union and Australia in respect to the search and rescue (SAR) of boat migrants, concluding that the response to individuals in peril at sea in both jurisdictions is becoming increasingly securitized. This has led to the humanitarian purpose of SAR being compromised in the name of border security.  Part I contrasts the unique challenge posed by SAR operations involving migrants and asylum seekers, as opposed to other people in distress at sea. Part II analyses the relevant international legal regime governing SAR activities and its operation among European States and in offshore Australia. Part III introduces the securitization framework as the explanatory paradigm for shifting State practice and its impact in Europe and Australia. The article examines the consequences of increasing securitization of SAR in both jurisdictions and identifies common trends, including an increase in militarization and criminalisation, a lack of transparency and accountability, developments relating to disembarkation and non refoulement, and challenges relating to cooperation and commodification. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

Virtual Brief: Immigration Detention: Recent Trends and Scholarship by J. Rachel Reyes, Center for Migration Studies

Over many years, human rights and government watchdog organizations have reported on appalling conditions and abuses in immigration detention centers, particularly privately-owned and/or operated facilities. These conditions have included inadequate medical and mental health care, physical and verbal abuse, sexual violence, and punitive disciplinary procedures. Despite these reports, the Trump administration has aggressively sought to expand the US immigration detention system, and nations increasingly mimic the US detention model. In this “virtual brief,” the author outlines recent detention developments and CMS’s relevant publications and resources on detention conditions; privatization of the detention system; and the growth of immigration detention in the United States and globally. The brief also provides statistics on the expansion of this system, despite the problems and abuses that characterize it. Available at:

Rights in Exile policy paper: Host Community Perspectives of Uganda’s Lamwo Refugee Settlement, International Refugee Rights initiative.

This paper focuses on an area in northern Uganda where the government opened a refugee settlement in April 2017, without the inclusive consent of the community. It examines the process by which land was acquired from customary Acholi landowners in Lamwo district to open “Lamwo refugee settlement”. In December 2017, the international refugee rights initiative (IRRI) interviewed customary land owners, local government officials and broader host community members in order to examine aspects of Uganda’s refugee policy throughout the perspective of the host community who deals with the daily implications of sharing resources with refugees. Available at:

Alarm Phone Report: “The Struggle of Women across the Sea”, Watch The Med Alarm Phone

The Watch The Med Alarm Phone was started in October 2014 by activist networks and civil society actors in Europe and Northern Africa. The project set up a self-organized hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea. It offers the affected boat-people a second option to make their SOS noticeable. The alarm phone documents and mobilises in real-time. This latest Alarm Phone report focuses on the stories and experiences of migrant women, but also explores recent developments in the three Mediterranean regions and gives an account of the 25 emergency cases the initiative has worked on over the past 6 weeks. available on the website at: And on Facebook:

News reports and blog posts

Still in Talks With Uganda, Israel to Release Asylum Seekers Jailed for Refusing Deportation, By Lee Yaron

On Friday, Uganda announced it was “positively considering” taking in up to 500 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers from Israel, provided their relocation was voluntary. But with no final agreement by Sunday, Israel’s High Court ordered that 207 asylum-seekers jailed for refusing to leave Israel for Uganda should be released . The High Court also extended the suspension of the government’s deportation plan by two more weeks. More available at: 

How Canada’s immigration detention system spurs violence against women by Petra Molnar and Stephanie P. Silverman

The authors reflect on an April 2018 consultation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. Through their project, they highlight what an application of gender analysis reveals about the ripple effects of immigration detention on women and children. They demonstrate how Detention affects thousands, if not tens of thousands, of women in Canada. Detained women face trauma first-hand. Women are also negatively affected by the detention of family and community members. More available at:

Deeply Talks: Facebook and the Smugglers, by Charlotte Alfred

Europol, the E.U. law enforcement agency, says social media use in people smuggling witnessed “exponential growth over recent years.” This latest Deeply Talks spoke with IOM’s Leonard Doyle and transnational crime expert Tuesday Reitano about how companies like Facebook should respond to the use of their platforms by people smugglers. More available at:

NO ENTRY: How Japan’s shockingly low refugee intake is shaped by the paradox of isolation, a demographic time bomb, and the fear of North Korea, by Tara Francis Chan

Japan has the third-largest economy on the planet, but in the last five years, has granted refugee status to fewer than 100 people. Despite signing onto the 1951 Refugee Convention, Japan only recognizes refugees who are individually targeted and persecuted, regardless of whether they belong to a persecuted minority, or are fleeing war or conflict. This article looks into some factors that have shaped the current strict and hesitant asylum seeking policies in Japan. More available at:

April 11, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 39

Recent Publications and New Research

New book: Molloy, Michael J., Peter Duschinsky, Kurt F. Jensen, and Robert J. Shalka (2017). Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugees, 1975-1980. McGill-Queen’s Press

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos fell to communist forces in April 1975, creating a flood of refugees. This book focuses on the work of Canadian public servants in Southeast Asia and Canada to meet an unprecedented commitment to resettle tens of thousands of these refugees before the end of 1980.As the title indicates, by the end of 1980, after intense efforts selecting refugees from lonely Southeast Asian camps on tiny islands and in the depths of steaming jungles, welcoming them at reception centres in Montreal and Edmonton, matching them with sponsors and communities and sending them to small towns and big cities across Canada, public servants were exhausted, they were “running on empty.” The goal of this book is to record this great endeavour in the words of those who made it happen. For more information visit:

Pia Zambelli, (2018) “Paradigm Shift: Towards a New Model for Refugee Status Determination in Canada”, UBC law review

The alternative RSD model proposed in this article highlights the following: 1) a shift from a quasi-judicial decision making body towards a wholly-judicial one, similar to the Tax Court of Canada; 2) expansion of the protection grounds to include humanitarian considerations and other non-Convention related risks; 3) establishment of a system of reasonable timelines and 4) a new error correction mechanism that abolishes the Federal Court leave requirement and allows for a written appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal as of right. Available for purchase for $5 at:   

Crawley, H., & Skleparis, D. (2018). Refugees, migrants, neither, both: categorical fetishism and the politics of bounding in Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1), 48-64.

The use of the categories ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ has been used to justify policies of exclusion and containment. Drawing on interviews with 215 people who crossed the Mediterranean to Greece in 2015, this paper challenges this ‘categorical fetishism’, arguing that the dominant categories fail to capture adequately the complex relationship between political, social and economic drivers of migration or their shifting significance for individuals over time and space. It argues that those concerned about the use of categories to marginalise and exclude should explicitly engage with the politics of bounding, that is to say, the process by which categories are constructed, the purpose they serve and their consequences, in order to denaturalise their use as a mechanism to distinguish, divide and discriminate. Available at:

Sleiman, J., & Menon, M. (2018). The Changing of Arabic Terminology in Times of War and Displacement.

This paper traces the development and changes of the Arabic language through the journey of a Palestinian family as they find refuge in a variety of countries. Through different online resources and first-hand accounts from family members, this paper sheds light on the tribulations that the family has faced, and how these conflicts have influenced the way they speak Arabic to this day. Although the general Arabic spoken within the family is the same, there are underlying differences in the pronunciation of words. The specific goal of this paper is to show the impact of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the way this family speaks Arabic today in America. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

Country detention report: Immigration Detention in Ireland: Will Better Detention Mean More Detention?, Global detention project

Ireland does not emphasize detention in its migration and asylum policies, nor does it face the same migratory pressures as some of its EU partners. Nevertheless, because the country fails to separate its few immigration detainees, who are placed in prisons, from people in criminal procedures, the country has faced significant international criticism. Officials have long-standing plans to open a dedicated immigration detention facility, but while such a move may bring the country into compliance with some international norms, it may also lead to more people being detained. The full report is available at:

Working paper: Locked Up in a Liberal State: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Parliamentary Debates on the Detention of Asylum-Seeking Children in the United Kingdom, by Naomi C. Whitbourn 

This paper analyses the rhetoric used within UK parliamentary debates on the detention of asylum-seeking children. Their detention exposes a paradox: this practice is a human rights violation, yet the UK claims to be a liberal democracy. The paper asks, why do these practices of detention persist and how do politicians justify this? Through analysing parliamentary debates since 1997, the paper ultimately argues that politicians have sought to disguise this human rights violation using a political rhetoric, which also acts to appease a series of competing interests and actors. The paper is available at:

Rights in exile policy paper: Movement Restricted: Congolese refugees in Angola, by the International refugee rights initiative (IRRI)

The rights in exile series brings together publications that focus on key issues on refugee policy and refugee rights. Between March and July 2017, close to 35,000 Congolese refugees fled atrocities in the Kasai region and sought safety in Angola. While the Angolan government has offered many safety alternatives from militia and army attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), its treatment of those who have fled is troubling. Based on interviews with 45 Congolese refugees in Lunda Norte province in Angola, the report describes how unregistered refugees in Angola are living with serious restrictions on their freedom of movement, the ongoing threat of premature return and the risk of harassment, corruption and arbitrary detention. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Dozens killed in apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, rescue workers say, by Louisa Loveluck and Erin Cunningham

Over the past month, more than 130,000 Syrians have left Eastern Ghouta through evacuation deals between rebels and government forces. But nearly 150,000 people remain in Douma, where OCHA says the situation is severe and food is in short supply. Since Friday, attacks on Douma have intensified, with scores of people reportedly killed. On Sunday, dozens of people there apparently suffocated after a suspected chemical attack. The spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “particularly alarmed by allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations in Douma”. Available at:–rescue-workers/2018/04/08/231bba18-3ac0-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html  

Israel’s African migrants in limbo after Netanyahu reversal, By Tia Goldenberg

Netanyahu’s decision to cancel an agreement with UNHCR to resettle 16,000 Eritreans and Sudanese to Western countries and allow thousands of others to remain in the country has left the fate of the country’s 39,000 asylum-seekers in limbo once again. Some of those affected protested outside the Prime Minister’s office in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. UNHCR said that the deal, which had been negotiated “over an extended period”, represented a “win-win” for both Israel and the asylum-seekers. Available at:

Secret world: The women in the UK who cannot report sexual abuse, by Megha Mohan

Having fled sexual abuse in their home countries, many asylum-seeking women are highly vulnerable to more abuse and exploitation after they reach the UK. Fear of deportation means they rarely report it, but the #MeToo movement has led some women to start sharing their stories. The BBC met Grace, a West African woman who fled an abusive marriage to London where poverty and the lack of a legal status made her vulnerable to more abuse. Marchu Girma of London-based NGO, Women for Refugee Women, told the BBC that even women who have applied for asylum are often unsure of their rights and may avoid approaching the police. Available at: 

Viktor Orbán: re-election of Hungary’s anti-immigrant leader is major challenge for EU by Jennifer Rankin 

Viktor Orbán has won a third consecutive term as Hungary’s Prime Minister. Orbán ran a campaign largely focused on the threat posed by migration. Under his leadership, Hungary has built a fence along the southern border to keep out foreigners. Likeminded politicians elsewhere in Europe, notably in neighbouring Austria and in the German state of Bavaria, have endorsed Orbán’s approach on migration. available at:

Digital and social media

Toolkit for Optimizing Cash-based Interventions for Protection from Gender-based Violence

This toolkit assists practitioners in collecting the requisite situational protection information on risks for affected populations with an age, gender, and diversity (AGD) lens, identifying community-based or self-protection mechanisms, informing tailored and protective cash-based interventions, and preparing a monitoring system that is based on identified protection risks. More available at:

Photo essay: After Afrin: No Safe Haven Scenes from a week with civilians displaced by the battle for the Syrian-Kurdish enclave by Afshin Ismaeli

The UN estimates that 137,000 people fled a military operation to claim the city of Afrin and the surrounding area last month. In late March, photojournalist Afshin Ismaeli spent a week with some of the displaced families sleeping rough or in half-destroyed houses in Tel Rifaat and nearby villages. In this photo essay for IRIN, its clear that while they may have escaped the fighting, they are now faced with new dangers including hunger, sickness and the improvised explosive devices that litter the buildings where they are sheltering. Available at: 

March 28, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 38

Recent Publications and New Research

Steinhilper, E., & Gruijters, R. J. (2018). A contested crisis: policy narratives and empirical evidence on border deaths in the Mediterranean.

This study contributes to the understanding of border deaths in the Mediterranean region in three ways: it describes and evaluates the most recent data sources on migration and mortality; it provides a descriptive statistical analysis of absolute and relative mortality risks between 2010 and 2016; and it assesses the relationship between European border policy and border deaths. the findings challenge the dominant deterrence-oriented policy narrative and highlight the failure of European authorities to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Available at:

Morales, J. S. (2018). The impact of internal displacement on destination communities: Evidence from the Colombian conflict. Journal of Development Economics131, 132-150.

More than ten percent of the population of Colombia has been forced to migrate due to civil war. This study aims to estimate the impact that the arrival of displaced individuals has on local residents. It compares the effects on four different subgroups of the population, partitioned by skill (low-skilled versus high-skilled) and by gender. The analysis suggests that a conflict-induced increase in population leads to a short-run negative impact on wages. Though the impact tends to dissipate over time, it persists for one group, low-skilled women. The arrival of internally displaced people also affects local access to public goods. An open access version is available at:

Renner, W., Thomas, A., Mikulajová, M., & Newman, D. (2018). Threat Perception and Modern Racism as Possible Predictors of Attitudes towards Asylum Seekers: Comparative Findings from Austria, Germany, and Slovakia. International Journal of Business and Social Research7(12), 10-22.

This study intends to take a first step towards filling the research gap which resulted from recent demographic changes in the European Union as a consequence of forced migration from the Middle East. It has found that perceived cultural threat is the most powerful predictor of individual differences in the autochthon population’s attitudes towards forced migration. In comparison, perceived economic threat as well as racist attitudes contributes to the prediction to a clearly lesser extent. When trying to find out what makes people prone to perceived cultural threat, contrary to expectations, life satisfaction had only a small– though statistically significant– impact on anxious expectations or racist attitudes at the individual level and optimism has been found to have no predictive power at all. Available at:

Forced Dispersion: A Demographic Report on Human Status in Syria by Rabbie Nasser and others

This report diagnoses the population question in Syria before and during the crisis, by means of a rights-based participatory methodology. This diagnosis has involved a recalculation of some of the significant demographic indicators for the period prior to the crisis, including birth, mortality, and fertility rates, with one result being that population issues have been re-read from a different perspective. To overcome the lack of theoretical and applied studies and research during the crisis, this report used the results of a field multi-purpose survey. If you would like to support this research and receive a paperback, the book is priced at $16. In the interest of encouraging the free dissemination of this important information, this book is FREE in PDF form .

Reports, working papers and briefs

Report: The US Undocumented Population Fell Sharply During the Obama Era: Estimates for 2016, by Robert Warren, Center for Migration Studies

This report shows estimates of the undocumented population residing in the United States in 2016, by country of origin and state of residence. It shows the continued decline in the population from most countries and in most states since 2010. Major findings include the following: The undocumented population was 10.8 million in 2016, the lowest level since 2003; The number of US undocumented residents from Mexico fell by almost one million between 2010 and 2016; Population decline from Mexico in 2015 and 2016 was consistent with previous years. The Average annual undocumented population growth dropped from 15 percent in the 1990s to about 4 percent in 2000 to 2010. Since 2010, the numbers from most countries have declined. Available at:

Field report: Political Pressure to Return: putting northeast Nigeria’s displaced citizens at risk, by Alexandra Lamarche and Mark Yarnell, Refugee International

In January 2018, Refugee International (RI) conducted a mission to Nigeria to assess both the viability of the return plan of Nigerian IDPs and the wider humanitarian response. The RI team traveled to Abuja, Maiduguri, and Bama, and it interviewed a wide range of IDPs, returnees, international aid officials, and representatives of the Nigerian government and military. The team found that the overall conditions in Bama town are not conducive to sustainable returns at this time, especially on a large scale. Services for returnees are lacking, and the security situation is uncertain. However, political pressure for returns to continue is likely to increase with the approach of the 2019 national elections.  RI believes that the Nigerian government should refrain from carrying out large-scale organized returns to Bama and other LGAs until conditions are conducive to safe and dignified returns. Doing so prematurely would put lives at risk. RI is also concerned that large-scale return programs promoted by the government under current circumstances will inevitably create the likelihood that returns will be less than voluntary. Available at:

Working paper: International Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees by Susan F. Martin, Rochelle Davis, Grace Benton and Zoya Waliany (March 2018)

The KNOMAD Working Paper Series disseminates work in progress under the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD). The aim is to create and synthesize multidisciplinary knowledge and evidence; generate a menu of policy options for migration policy makers; and provide technical assistance and capacity building for pilot projects, evaluation of policies, and data collection. This working paper argues for a holistic approach to responsibility-sharing that enhances the protection of refugees as well as policy responses that address the needs of host communities. It focuses on several areas of responsibility-sharing, including efforts to address the underlying causes of displacement within and across borders; efforts to find solutions, including resettlement of refugees from host countries to third countries; and others. The paper examines these issues from the perspective of host country governments, other host country stakeholders, donor governments, service providers, and, most importantly, the refugees and internally displaced persons themselves. The paper includes a case study of attitudes toward responsibility-sharing among these actors in the Middle East and North Africa, where millions of refugees and internally displaced persons are located. It concludes with recommendations to enhance responsibility-sharing as well as mechanisms to alleviate the costs to host communities and broaden the benefits to refugees and hosts alike. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Why Are Syrian Refugees Returning to Their Homes? By Inside Syria Media Center

Even though it may seem like a positive development, a study by Durable Solutions Platform (DSP), found that these returns are due to unsafe, precarious living conditions in exile, especially in neighboring countries. The report also discusses the counter argument where some Syrian experts claim this might be a sign that the situation in Syria has in fact improved. To access copy and paste the following link:

Australians demand end to Manus Island and Nauru refugee centres by John Power

Under strict border control policies, asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Australia are sent to processing centres that the Australian government manages in the Pacific and permanently bans them from settling in Australia. Many have been waiting for a country to resettle in for years. Thousands took part in rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth among other cities to call on the Liberal Party-led government to allow refugees under its care on Manus Island and Nauru to come to Australia. Available at:

UNICEF predicts fresh outbreak of deadly cholera in Yemen by Patrick Wintour

On the third anniversary of Yemen’s conflict, aid agencies are warning that children’s health, safety and education are at more risk than ever as the country’s humanitarian crisis deepens. More than 5,000 children have been killed or injured by the fighting, but famine and disease pose an even greater threat. UNICEF’s Middle East Director Geert Cappelaere said one Yemeni child was dying every 10 minutes from preventable disease and that, with the rainy season due to start in a few weeks, cholera was likely to make a comeback. He added that months had been wasted negotiating with authorities for permission to begin a cholera vaccination campaign. He also highlighted Yemen’s education crisis, noting that nearly 2 million children are out of school, half a million more than before the conflict. Available at:  

‘Sense of duty’ sees Somali refugees head home, by Tracey McVeigh

Somalis who have spent decades in exile are returning with skills in engineering, medicine, building and other fields. Younger generations, who grew up in Canada, the UK or the US, see Somalia’s fragile peace as an opportunity to put their education to use and to learn about their culture. The Guardian reports that even those who don’t return are making important contributions to Somalia’s economy with the diaspora funding construction of hospitals and other infrastructure. Available at:–head-home-sense-of-duty-rebuild-country

Eritrea’s new normal: The tragedy and the struggle for change, by Meron Estefanos

Journalist and activist, Meron Estefanos, explains how years of exposure to abuses in countries such as Sudan, Egypt and Israel have desensitised Eritreans even to the horrors of slavery in Libya. The threat of being kidnapped and sold has not prevented young Eritreans from continuing to flee indefinite military conscription and human rights abuses in their country. Available at:

Digital and social media

In Pictures: Refugees find new roots through the power of gardening by Caroline Briggs

After escaping the horrors of war and persecution in countries like Syria, Iran and Eritrea, refugees and asylum seekers are using the healing power of gardening in Tyneside. Check the pictures at:

March 21, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 37

Recent Publications and New Research

Chizuru Nobe Ghelani (2012) Annotated bibliography Compiled for the Cluster on Methodology and the Knowledge Production in Forced Migration Contexts. References updated by Amélie Cossette (2018)

As part of the RRN-funded Cluster on Methodology in Forced Migration Contexts, in 2012, Chizuru Nobe Ghelani compiled an annotated bibliography of published, scholarly literature in English that specifically addressed methodological issues in forced migration. Amélie Cossette has now updated this bibliography and included some French-language references. Available at:

Mechili, E. A., et al (2018). Compassionate care provision: an immense need during the refugee crisis: lessons learned from a European capacity-building project. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 5(1), 2.

The overall aim of the European Refugees-Human Movement and Advisory Network (EUR-HUMAN) project was to provide good and affordable, comprehensive, person-centred, integrated and compassionate care for all ages and all ailments, taking into account the transcultural settings and the needs, wishes and expectations of the newly arriving refugees. This paper reports on findings to help establish what the nature of compassionate care for refugees consists of and implies and how its implementation could be promoted across European countries and healthcare settings. Notably, linguistic and cultural barriers exacerbate the effect of the lack of compassion, especially where healthcare information and psychological support are urgently needed but an appropriate supportive framework is missing. Available at:

Vidal, M. (2018). Painting Walls and Sculpting Barbed Wire: Art in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon (Master’s thesis).

the aim of this study is to highlight Palestinian forms of agency which resist constructions of the Palestinian refugee as a humanitarian subject disconnected from his political and historical context. Recognizing the criticism of researchers’ reduction of Palestinian refugees to victims and the increasing call for someone to write about the camps’ talents, this thesis focuses on Palestinian artistic creativity in Shatila, Burj al-Barajneh and Beddawi camps. The objective is to analyze the role of art in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. What is on the walls of refugee camps and what is the meaning of graffiti and paintings found there? What kind of claims is made on the walls? What does street art say about Palestinian identity in Lebanon? How are paintings and sculptures forms of reclaiming space and agency? How is Palestinian art in refugee camps a form of protest and resistance? Available at:

Ali, J. A., & Ocha, W. (2018). East Africa Refugee Crisis: Causes of Tensions and Conflicts between the Local Community and Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Journal of Social Science Studies, 5(1), 298.

The study investigates the refugee and host community conflicts in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. It classifies factors causing tension and conflicts between the refugees and the local community into four main categories; political and security, limited resources, social welfare and socio-cultural factors. It argues that three main outstanding points explain what causes tensions and conflicts; firstly, the host community feels refugees are more economically privileged because of the aid they get from refugee aid organizations. Secondly, the host community population has been outnumbered by the refugees’ population that has created fear and tension since the host can do less to stop refugees from doing anything harmful to them. Thirdly, competition as a result of the limited resources such as land, water and wood collection in the semi-arid area where the refugees and host community lives. The study recommends that in order to foster a better existence amongst the refugees and host community, refugees’ agencies should tailor their programs to development of both the host community and refugees. available at:

Rivillas, J. C., Rodriguez, R. D., Song, G., & Martel, A. (2018). How do we reach the girls and women who are the hardest to reach? Inequitable opportunities in reproductive and maternal health care services in armed conflict and forced displacement settings in Colombia. PloS one, 13(1), e0188654.

This paper assesses inequalities in access to reproductive and maternal health services among females affected by forced displacement and sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings in Colombia. First, the paper assesses the gaps and gradients in three selected reproductive and maternal health care services. Second, it analyzes the patterns of inequalities in reproductive and maternal health care services and changes over time. And finally, it identifies challenges and strategies for reaching girls and women who are the hardest to reach in conflict settings, in order to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being and gender equality by 2030. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

Country report: Immigration Detention in Norway: Fewer Asylum Seekers but More Deportees

While asylum applications are decreasing in Norway, the number of deportations is rising, and authorities have increased the country’s detention capacity. Since 2012, when amendments to the Immigration Act were introduced extending the list of grounds for detention, detention has increasingly been used in order to make return policies more efficient. Norway also continues to operate its sole detention centre in a militarised fashion. Scene to several riots and attempted suicides, the facility is run by uniformed police and has a prison-like regime that has included intrusive body searches and the use of security cells and solitary confinement. Rights observers have expressed concern that the centre’s excessive control and security measures are detrimental to detainees’ wellbeing. Available at:

Snapshot Survey: An Insight into the Daily Lives of the Rohingya in Unchiprang & Shamlapur

Xchange was established to investigate and document human movement in countries of origin, transit, and destination through on-the-ground engagement with all stakeholders, most of all migrants themselves, with a view to provide policy makers, State bodies, non-governmental organisations, and the public in general with accurate data which stems directly from field research.  The main objective is to advocate for better knowledge of migration through freely available data visualisation and analysis, as well as in-depth research and reports. Xchange data is the summary of thousands of individual journeys. This situational report, conducted in partnership with MOAS, was intended to shed light on the daily lives and struggles of both recently arrived Rohingya refugees and longer-term refugee residents, all of whom were beneficiaries of MOAS Aid Station services.  In doing so, the survey/report sought to uncover livelihood, protection and security issues within the camps. Available at:

Working paper: From market integration to core state powers: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis and integration theory, by Philipp Genschel and Markus Jachtenfuchs, Robert Schuman, Centre for Advanced Studies

The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) aims to develop inter-disciplinary and comparative research and to promote work on the major issues facing the process of integration and European society. This report addresses the Eurozone crisis and the refugee crisis as examples of problems associated with the EU’s shift from market integration to the integration of core state powers. The integration of core state powers responds to similar functional demand factors as market integration (interdependence, externalities and spill-over) but its supply is more tightly constrained by a high propensity for zero-sum conflict, a functional requirement for centralized fiscal, coercive and administrative capacities, and high political salience. The paper shows how these constraints structured the initial design of EMU and Schengen, made them vulnerable to crisis, and shaped policy options during the crises: they made horizontal differentiation unattractive, re-regulation ineffective, centralized risk and burden sharing unfeasible and the externalization of adjustment burden to non-EU actors necessary by default. The paper might appeal more to specialized readers and is available at:

News reports and blog posts

How to overcome religious prejudice among refugees by Kat Eghdamian

There has been much attention across Europe on the religious intolerance and prejudices held by far-right political parties and other groups towards refugees. But religious prejudice is also a feature and challenge of relations between refugees – and this must be better understood if it is to be overcome. This article sheds light on this issue. Available at:

Interview for ‘Notes from the Field’: Petra Molnar, by Alessia Avola

CARFMS have launched a new initiative called Notes from the Field. Each Note is based on a conversation between an undergraduate student finishing their degree or a postgraduate student starting off their degree, and a more established researcher in refugee and forced migration studies. The unifying thread connecting them is a focus on recent developments in research, law, policy, and approaches within Canada to issues of asylum, borders, and immigration. The example here focuses on how to navigate fieldwork ethically, the roles of different actors in shaping critical discourses, and the challenges facing refugees and their advocates today. Available at:

Chad: Funding shortfall threatens Central African refugees

Some 22,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) have fled to southern Chad since late last year. UNHCR warns that a funding shortage is hindering the response from humanitarian agencies, leaving many of the refugees and their host communities without sufficient food, shelter and access to healthcare. A number of refugees who have attempted to go back to CAR to gather food have been killed and many are now subsisting on leaves and wild fruit, which can be toxic. With malnutrition levels already high, especially among children, there is an urgent need to increase food distributions. More available at:

Canada struggles as it opens its arms to victims of ISIS, By Catherine Porter

Through a special refugee program, Canada has welcomed 1,200 Yazidis, members of a religious minority from Northern Iraq that were targeted by ISIS in 2014. This piece reports that Canada’s resettlement agencies are struggling to help the Yazidis, most of them women and children, recover from their extreme trauma. In some places, efforts to help the refugees seem to be working. In others, they are stumbling. Available at:

They are our salvation’: the Sicilian town revived by refugees by Lorenzon Tondo

On a more optimistic note the Guardian reports from Sutera, the Sicilian town that has reversed the rapid decline in its population by taking in dozens of asylum-seekers since 2014. The new arrivals have revived the local school and prevented local businesses from closing down. Sutera has become a symbol of integration and its model is now being emulated by other Sicilian municipalities at risk of disappear. Available at:

Digital and social media

Two inspiring women, Veeca Smith Uka and Florence Kahuro, are offering support and safety for asylum-seekers in the town of Halifax.

For those looking for inspiration as well as refugee role models view video at:

The true story of smuggling out of Syria, by Dr Luigi Achilli

Much has been written and said about the plight of Syrian migrants. But who are those behind their journeys? Luigi Achilli, Marie Curie Fellow from the Global Governance Programme explains in this pod cast. Available at:

March 14, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 36

Recent Publications and New Research

Kahn, L., & Fábos, A. H. (2017). Witnessing and Disrupting: The Ethics of Working with Testimony for Refugee Advocacy. Journal of Human Rights Practice9(3), 526-533.

While advocacy on behalf of forcibly displaced people often demonstrates the best of intentions, many human rights advocates grapple unsuccessfully with the power differentials at all stages of the process. Using techniques derived from drama and experiential learning, the authors of this note learned to recognize narrative strategies and ethical dilemmas inherent in sharing, choosing, and representing the difficult subject matter produced by many refugees and forced migrants. Drawing from the results of a series of workshops provided to a mixed group of refugee service professionals, community leaders, journalists, artists, and academics, this note reflects upon the use of these practices as a way to encourage empathetic listening and develop strategies of narrative disruption for refugee advocacy. Available at:

Robinson, C. (forthcoming) Making migration knowable and governable: Benchmarking practices as technologies of global migration governance

This article theorizes global migration governance as a governing technology that constitutes migration as an object of global governance. The article uses the illustrative example of the International Organization for Migration’s Migration Governance Index to make the case for a material-semiotic account of global migration governance more concrete.  Overall, the article seeks to examine and enhance the contribution practice-theoretical approaches make to the analysis of global governance. Available for members at:

Graziano Battistella, Return Migration: A Conceptual and Policy Framework, Scalabrini Migration Center

The paper offers a conceptual framework for analyzing return migration, both forced and voluntary, and developing appropriate policies to ensure that human rights are protected through the process. It identifies a continuum of types of return based on the time of return and the decision to return. These are: “return of achievement,” “return of completion,” “return of setback,” and “return of crisis (forced return).” The paper recommends particular return and reintegration policies which would benefit migrants and their communities of origin. It urges the member states negotiating the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration to not treat return as “an act that simply concludes migration,” but one that requires effective policies to protect and ensure the well-being of migrants, to facilitate their reintegration, and to maximize their contributions. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

 Akgündüz, Y. E., van den Berg, M., & Hassink, W. (2018). The impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on firm entry and performance in Turkey. Policy research working paper, The World Bank Economic Review.

This report analyses how the Syrian refugee inflows into Turkey affected firm entry and performance. The results suggest that hosting refugees is favourable for firms. Total firm entry does not seem to be significantly affected. However, there is a substantial increase in the number of new foreign-owned firms. In line with the increase in new foreign-owned firms, there is some indication of growth in gross profits and net sales. Available at:

Country detention report: Immigration Detention in Lebanon: Deprivation of Liberty at the Borders of Global Conflict, Global detention Project

The Global Detention Project (GDP) is a non-profit research centre based in Geneva, Switzerland, that investigates the use of detention in response to global migration. This country detention report focuses on Lebanon, a country faced with extremely complex regional mobility dynamics and buffeted by the competing strategic goals of numerous global powers involved in the war in neighbouring Syria. Lebanon has adopted an increasingly restrictive regime for controlling the movement of migrants and refugees. Vulnerable to arrest and detention, non-citizens are regularly charged with violations of Lebanese law on account of their legal status. Although the country recently replaced a controversial dedicated immigration detention centre located in a former parking lot under a highway, rights observers continue to express concern at the conditions in which detainees are kept. Detainees are forced into overcrowded prisons with insufficient food, medical treatment, and legal aid, and harsh migrant labour laws have resulted in Lebanon-born children being detained and deported with their parents who had worked as domestic labourers. More available at:

News reports and blog posts

Neighbor nations can’t bear costs of Venezuelan refugee crisis alone by Dany Bahar and Sebastian Strauss

The ongoing massive exodus of Venezuelans into neighboring Colombia and other South American countries has the potential to become the largest refugee crisis since the eruption of the Syrian civil war. More available at:

‘All these flashbacks come’: Rohingya’s teens speak out on Myanmar brutality

Action Against Hunger, Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children are among more than 10 NGOs and aid agencies now providing mental health support to refugees in Cox’s Bazar. Their efforts, supported by the Bangladeshi government, have so far enabled almost 350,000 people to receive counselling. But men are less likely than women to put themselves forward for help. More available at:

Niger: humanitarian needs increase as migrants and refugees flock to Agadez

Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers trapped in Agadez—having failed to make it to Europe, via north Africa and across the Mediterranean Sea. In their attempt to reach Europe, most fell prey to smugglers and became victims of extortion of money, torture, abuse, prison, rape and slavery. For years, Agadez has been the transit point for migrants hoping to make their way to Europe through Libya. However, since the implementation of a law in 2016 in Niger criminalizing transport of migrants, the crossing of the Sahara Desert has become difficult. More available at:

Why climate migrants do not have refugee status?

Experts worry that adding climate refugees to international law would reduce protections for existing refugees. The article argues that if the UNHCR broadens its definition of “refugee” to support an entirely new category, it is unclear if the political appetite exists to provide the necessary funding. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

 Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project

This is a free, online training with capacity-building resource for settlement, social and health service providers. Building on the existing work with immigrants and refugees, the partaker will be able to: strengthen their knowledge; develop their skills; and build their networks. Growing from the success of the Refugee Mental Health Project, which trained over 6,000 service providers across Canada, the project has expanded to give evidence-based learning experience with practical activities, where the partaker can learn skills that they would use on the job. To learn more, check out the introductory video here and explore the project at:

MOAS Podcast: Rohingya Migrants Prepare for Extreme Weather

In a few short weeks, the cyclone and monsoon seasons will hit Bangladesh bringing with them wind speeds of up to 100 kilometres and almost two metres in rainfall in some places. This podcast explores what’s going on the ground, why this year could be deadly and how the aid agencies are preparing for a multitude of emergencies. Joins the dicussion are Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Dave Petley and WASH Officer for UNHCR, Emmett Kearney. Listen to the Podcast here:

February 28, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 35

Recent Publications and New Research

Gengo, R. G., Oka, R. C., Vemuru, V., Golitko, M., & Gettler, L. T. (2018). Positive effects of refugee presence on host community nutritional status in Turkana County, Kenya. American Journal of Human Biology, 30(1).

Refugee camps are often assumed to negatively impact local host communities through resource competition and conflict. This study asks instead whether economic resources and trade networks associated with refugees have benefits for host community health and nutrition. To address this question, it assesses the impacts of Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya, comparing anthropometric (human physical variations) indicators of nutritional status between Turkana communities in the region. The results show that Kakuma Refugee Camp is associated with better host community energetic status indicators, compared to other relevant, regional sites varying in development and resources. Based on global nutritional standards, observed differences likely represent meaningful disparities in overall health. Nevertheless, perceptions of refugees as illegitimate interlopers maintain a high psychological burden. Available at:

Labman, S., & Pearlman, M. (2018). Blending, Bargaining, and Burden-Sharing: Canada’s Resettlement Programs. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1-11.

The BVOR program was introduced in 2013 as a modified version of private sponsorship and middle ground between sponsorship and government-assisted resettlement. While the program was met with criticism and skepticism that the government was off-loading more resettlement responsibility to private sponsors, the Syrian crisis significantly impacted and changed the Canadian resettlement landscape. This comment outlines the program and surveys the benefits and concerns with such a model. BVOR is examined in relation to both private and government resettlement, in the current moment of Syrian resettlement, and in comparison, to the historical use of private sponsorship for Indochinese refugees. The comment serves to assess the direction of Canada’s future resettlement. Available for subscribers at:

Bansak, K., Ferwerda, J., Hainmueller, J., Dillon, A., Hangartner, D., Lawrence, D., & Weinstein, J. (2018). Improving refugee integration through data-driven algorithmic assignment. Science, 359(6373), 325-329.

The continuing refugee crisis has made it necessary for governments to find ways to resettle individuals and families in host communities. This article used a machine learning approach to develop an algorithm for geographically placing refugees to optimize their overall employment rate. The authors developed and tested the algorithm on segments of registry data from the United States and Switzerland. The algorithm improved the employment prospects of refugees in the United States by approximately 40% and in Switzerland by approximately 75%. Available:

FMR 57: Syrians in displacement

This issue of FMR explores new insights and continuing challenges relating to the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally and in neighbouring countries. Authors present new insights and reflect on continuing challenges, covering topics which include: local and refugee-led initiatives; identification and understanding of displaced people’s vulnerabilities and capabilities; stereotyping on the basis of gender, age or disability; child marriage; the contribution of education to social cohesion; legal identity; preparation for return and the challenges around restitution and property rights; and the potential of economic and development approaches (a topic to be explored more fully in our June issue on Economies, work and displacement). It contains 27 articles on ‘Syrians in displacement’, plus six ‘general’ articles on other topics. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

A call to action Protecting children on the move starts with better data 

Massive data gaps leave displaced children unprotected, warns UN. A lack of reliable data on the estimated 28 million children living in forced displacement is impacting the ability of aid agencies to assist them. This report that was released jointly by several UN agencies notes that information about age is only available for 56 per cent of the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate and that only 20 per cent of countries with data on people displaced by conflict break it down by age. The report aims to contribute to creating reliable, timely and accessible data and evidence for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families – and for putting in place policies and programmes to meet their needs. Available at: 

IDMC’s thematic series: UnSettlement – urban displacement in the 21st century

This case study/thematic series aims to explore the scale, nature and dynamics of urban internal displacement across the world. It also includes the first case study of the thematic series, exploring the challenges and opportunities for IDPs in Maiduguri, Nigeria and their participation in the city’s economy. Available at:

Marshall, K., et al. (2018). Religious roles in refugee resettlement: Pertinent experience and insights, addressed to G20 members (No. 2018-11). Economics Discussion Papers.

This discussion paper sheds more light on the significant role played by Religious entities in the current forced migration crisis. These roles include innovative and experience-based ideas to address flawed aspects of the humanitarian system, overall advocacy on behalf of refugees and migrants based on humanitarian and spiritual principles, among other roles. Broadly, however, religious factors and contributions are poorly understood and insufficiently taken into account by policy makers and in think tank analyses of these issues. The paper is meant for G20 agendas and gatherings, as well as those of think tanks, that can benefit from purposeful attention to these often-neglected dimensions of a central global challenge. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

GDN Special Issue on “Migration, environment, and development”

Here are some featured posts by IMRC associates Yasmin Khan, Mohammad Moniruzzaman and Robert McLeman at the Global Development Network’s new blog series on migration, environment and development. Khan describes life in Rohingya refugee camps in eastern Bangladesh and the dietary and cultural impacts a lack of fish has on camp residents. Moniruzzaman writes about informal food systems in megacities and their importance in helping climate migrants adapt. McLeman outlines a sensible international policy for dealing with the reality that tens of millions of people will be on the move in coming decades because of climate change. Available at:

Six months on, Rohingya children voice their fears, Report from Save the Children, Plan International, and World Vision

A new report reveals the challenges and fears faced by Rohingya children living in camps and settlements around Cox’s Bazar. The report finds that the children are often fearful – they’re afraid of being attacked while collecting firewood in the nearby forest, of being abducted by traffickers or harassed while using the camps’ toilets at night. They also worry about missing out on school and the difficulty of staying clean and healthy. The children did report feeling comforted by the presence of aid organizations and the five-times daily calls to prayer. Available at: 

Australia’s shame: The men on Manus Island by Evan Jones

This is a simple read for anyone who wants a recap on what is taking place at Manus island, its origins, the Australian government stance, and the refugees’ conditions. Available at:

Press Release: Despite Global Refugee Crisis, Japan Accepts Only 20 Refugees in 2017

Over the course of 2017, despite 19,628 persons submitting asylum applications, the Japanese government only conferred refugee status to a total of 20 persons. This is a press release statement by the Asia Pacific Refugee rights initiative to condemn the Japanese position. Available at:

Villagers flee as India, Pakistan trade heavy border fire by Rifaat Farid

More than 1,000 people have fled their homes in the Uri sector of the disputed Kashmir region after India and Pakistan exchanged artillery fire on Saturday. Tension has been running high since an attack on an Indian army camp in Kashmir this month that left seven soldiers dead, but cross-border shelling has continued intermittently since the beginning of this year, displacing hundreds and leaving a 2003 ceasefire agreement in tatters. Available at:  

20,000 Israelis Protest Deportation of African Asylum Seekers

Haaretz estimates that 20,000 Israelis joined asylum-seekers in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the government’s new policy of deportation or detention. Last week, Israel began jailing asylum-seekers who refused deportation to a third country. Local residents in south Tel Aviv have long complained about the presence of asylum-seekers living there, but on Saturday protesters carried signed reading “Refugees and residents refuse to be enemies” and “No to deportation”. Available at: 

February 22, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 34

Recent Publications and New Research

Baker, S., Irwin, E., Freeman, H., Nance, S., & Coleman, J. (2018). Building cultural and linguistic bridges: Reflections on a program designed to support adult students from refugee backgrounds’ transitions into university. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(1).

This paper presents reflections on the design, delivery and evaluation of a program developed to facilitate Students from Refugee backgrounds (SfRBs’) transitions into an enabling education course at a regional university in Australia. A primary goal of this program was to purposefully and explicitly unpack the cultural expectations and linguistic requirements of higher education study. Reflections from the practitioners who designed and delivered the program shed light on the challenges of working with a responsive curriculum in real-time to attempt to fill the multiple gaps created by institutional assumptions and misrecognitions about who is in the higher education classroom. Available at:

Bartels, S. A., et. al. (2018). Making sense of child, early and forced marriage among Syrian refugee girls: a mixed methods study in Lebanon. BMJ Global Health, 3(1).

This study explores the underlying factors contributing to child marriage among Syrian refugees in Lebanon with the goal of informing community-based strategies to address the issue. Participants included married and unmarried Syrian girls, Syrian parents as well as married and unmarried men. Syrian girls and mothers were more likely to share stories about protection/security and/or education and were more likely to report that girls were overprotected. Male participants were more likely to share stories about financial security as well as sexual exploitation of girls and more often reported that girls were not protected enough. Despite these gendered perspectives, many of the shared narratives highlighted similar themes of financial hardship, lack of educational opportunities and safety concerns around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Available at:

Fegert, J. M., Diehl, C., Leyendecker, B., Hahlweg, K., & Prayon-Blum, V. (2018). Psychosocial problems in traumatized refugee families: overview of risks and some recommendations for support services. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health, 12(1), 5.

This article is an abridged version of a report by an advisory council to the German government on the psychosocial problems facing refugee families from war zones who have settled in Germany. The focus is on understanding the developmental risks faced by refugee children when they or family members are suffering from trauma-related psychological disorders, and on identifying measures that can be taken to address these risks. The following recommendations are made: recognizing the high level of psychosocial problems present in these families, providing family–friendly living accommodations, teaching positive parenting skills, initiating culture-sensitive interventions, establishing training programs to support those who work with refugees, expanding the availability of trained interpreters, facilitating access to education and health care, and identifying intervention requirements through screening and other measures. Available at:

Sandri, E. (2018). ‘Volunteer Humanitarianism’: volunteers and humanitarian aid in the Jungle refugee camp of Calais. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1), 65-80.

The informal refugee camp in Calais, reached an approximate population of ten thousand people in 2016 but did not receive aid from the French government or international aid agencies. As a response to the lack of institutional support, and given the squalid conditions of the camp, hundreds of volunteers and grassroots organisations took on the burden of delivering humanitarian aid and basic services in the Jungle. This grassroots humanitarian aid, referred to in this article as ‘volunteer humanitarianism’, has particular characteristics that will be explored. The article argues that volunteer humanitarianism can be interpreted as a symbol against the violent border practices across Europe and, because of its informality, provides an alternative to formal humanitarian aid. The article also shows that volunteer humanitarianism formed a connection between humanitarianism and activism that stands in tension with neoliberal governmentality.

Available at (please click on link):

Reports, working papers and briefs

Hodes, M., Anagnostopoulos, D., & Skokauskas, N. (2018). Challenges and opportunities in refugee mental health: clinical, service, and research considerations.

The influx of many refugees into Europe in 2015–2016 with awareness from earlier studies of their likely high levels of psychological distress and mental health needs prompted the European Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) to focus on the societal and mental health implications of the refugee crisis. ESCAP sought to become active in disseminating information about the mental health of refugees and established an ESCAP online forum. One proposal arising from this initiative was to develop a focused issue of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which appears in this report. Available at:

IDMC report: Escaping war: where to next? A research study on the challenges of IDP protection in Afghanistan

This new report from IDMC and NRC presents the findings of a comprehensive assessment of the protection needs of internally displaced people across Afghanistan. This follows on from a similar assessment carried out in 2012 when NRC/IDMC published the first in-depth study looking at the impact of displacement for Afghans. The report confirms that the ongoing conflict has taken on worrying intensity in parts of the country and is bearing a heavy cost on civilians. Since 2012, one alarming trend has been a sharp and steady growth in the levels of internal and external displacement: in the past five years a total of 1.7 million Afghans have been displaced – three times as many IDPs than we reported on five years ago. Available at:

Ratković, S., Kovačević, D., Brewer, C. A., Ellis, C., Ahmed, N., & Baptiste-Brady, J. (2018). Supporting refugee students in Canada: Building on what we have learned in the past 20 years. Report to Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON 

Between January 2015 and July 2017, over 84,000 refugees were resettled to Canada. This refugee population included 43% of school-age (17 years old and under) youth, arriving to communities and schools across Canada. The current educational system is ill-equipped to facilitate this transition and combat the socio-psychological challenges refugee students face as they enter Canadian schools. To understand refugee students’ education, social integration, and wellbeing in publicly-funded education systems in Canada, the report conducted a scoping review of recent Canadian refugee education literature and policy. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Suffering Syrians, trapped Venezuelans, and a Ugandan refugee swindle: The Cheat Sheet

Every week, IRIN’s team of specialist editors scans the humanitarian horizon to curate a reading list on important and unfolding trends and events around the globe. This week’s topics discuss the potential new wave of displacement in northwestern Syria thanks to dual offensives by the government of President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey as well as the escalating situation in Venezuela, Uganda, Afghanistan and the Philippines. Available at:

Dozens of refugee resettlement offices to close as Trump downsizes program by Mica Rosenberg

Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations. Read more at:

Will the Rohingya ever return home? By Hannah Beech

The New York Times reports that the meetings between Myanmar’s home affairs minister and his Bangladeshi counterpart in Dhaka about plans for the repatriation of nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees who fled attacks in Myanmar and are now in Bangladesh. The report speculates that those meetings are not expected to elicit much action, with each country blaming the other for delays in implementing the repatriation agreement but neither side asking the refugees themselves whether and under what conditions they would want to return. Available at:

Digital and Social media

1 in 6 children now living in areas affected by conflict, Save the Children report says

This short video touches on the issue using direct testimonies from children impacted by conflict. Watch at:

ReDSS white board animation on displacement and durable solutions in East Africa with a focus on Somalia 

This 5-minute whiteboard animation provides Information on displacement situations and trends in East Africa and Somalia in particular, a brief overview of key durable solutions concepts and definitions and a quiz to assess learning. Available at:

New Publication – Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugees, 1975–1980


Michael J. Molloy, Peter Duschinsky, Kurt F. Jensen, and Robert J. Shalka

McGill-Queen’s University Press, April 2017

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos fell to communist forces in April 1975, creating a flood of refugees. Forty-two years later, McGill-Queen’s University Press released a major new work, Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugee Movement 1975-1980, written under the auspices of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society. The book focuses on the work of Canadian public servants in Southeast Asia and Canada to meet an unprecedented commitment to resettle tens of thousands of these refugees before the end of 1980.

Responding to intensive media reports of dramatic outflows of Vietnamese “boat people” and massive population displacements from Cambodia and Laos, Canada’s federal government committed to the admission of first 5000, then 12,000, then 50,000 and ultimately 60,000 refugees. In a remarkable outpouring of humanitarian concern, thousands of Canadians from every field of endeavor took advantage of a new and unique private sponsorship program to support the admission and resettlement of 40,000 of the refugees, people whose cultures and languages were profoundly different from those of the Canadian mainstream.

This massive humanitarian undertaking relied on the efforts of a rather small number of government employees, immigration officers, doctors, RCMP officers and members of the Canadian forces. As the title indicates, by the end of 1980 — after intense efforts selecting refugees from lonely Southeast Asian camps on tiny islands and in the depths of steaming jungles, welcoming them at reception centres in Montreal and Edmonton, matching them with sponsors and communities and sending them to small towns and big cities across Canada — public servants were exhausted, they were “running on empty.”

The goal of this book is to record this great endeavour in the words of those who made it happen.

This is not a dry academic book. Its stories are often heartwarming, sometimes tragic and occasionally humorous. In gathering accounts from many sources, Running on Empty describes the immediacy and challenges of resettling refugees. Contemporary photographs provide the visual backdrop to the dramatic events in Southeast Asia. Some typical narratives contained in the book:

  • The story of visa officers, military pilots, NGO personnel, provincial bureaucrats, and the wives of diplomats rescuing Vietnamese and Cambodian babies from Saigon under siege.
  • Interviews with two visa officers recalling their adventures on the dangerous back roads of Malaysia and Thailand.
  • High sea rescues by freighter captains, the odysseys of these boat people across oceanic distances and how Canadian officers travelled from distant embassies to accept them.
  • Canada’s leading role in accepting refugees off the Hai Hong, a freighter with 2,500 refugees on board, stranded near the coast of Malaysia.
  • The recollections of three visa officers helicoptered to a tiny, remote island in the South China Sea to interview a thousand stranded boat people.
  • The arrival of the first refugees at CFB Longue Pointe in Montreal and the efforts of Canada’s military to help them during their first days in Canada.
  • The effective cooperation between federal and Quebec officers in the field.
  • A refugee liaison officer in Kitchener handling a difficult question posed by a newly arrived Hmong refugee from Laos: “what does it mean to be a good woman” in Canada?

A country founded by immigrants and their descendent, first French and then British, Canada resolutely resisted admitting people from non-European sources for the first half of its existence. In 1947, Prime Minister Mackenzie King insisted that “the people of Canada do not wish, as a result of mass immigration, to make fundamental changes in the character of our population.” But by the 1960s, Canada’s social framework was undergoing major change: it was becoming multi rather than bicultural. British imperial values yielded to an awareness of equality, fairness and human rights and an emphasis on pluralism and ethnic diversity, opening the door to immigrants from all parts of the world.

From the 1960s through the late 1970s Canada’s refugee policy framework was brought into line with an evolving multicultural value system. The most dramatic expression of this change in values was the response of the government and so many Canadians to the unfolding refugee tragedy in Southeast Asia.

In addition to first-hand narratives by public servants, Running on Empty, through an analysis of archival records describes the evolution of Canada’s immigration and refugee legislation and its implementation. The new legislation, as well as the leadership provided by successive Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative, created the domestic and international policy framework which embraced ethnic diversity, through which Canada’s public servants selected and resettled refugees from Southeast Asia between 1975 and 1980. One of the most important elements of the new Immigration Law of 1976 was the private refugee sponsorship system allowing ordinary citizens to assume responsibility for resettling these refugees. That these non-European refugees were enthusiastically embraced by Canadians contributed decisively to the success of this movement. That generosity triggered the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to award the Nansen Medal, the refugee equivalent of the Nobel Prize, to the “People of Canada” in 1986.

As Canadians recently rallied to the cause of the Syrian refugees, the Indochinese precedent has been repeatedly cited. We hope that this example from the past, described in Running on Empty, will inspire sustained efforts on behalf of victims of persecution and displacement in a troubled world.

Order online at

Or by post to: Direct Mail Manager, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1010 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 1720, Montreal, QC H3A 2R7 Canada

February 14, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 33

Recent Publications and New Research

Wasem, R. E. (2018). Immigration Governance for the Twenty-First Century. JMHS 6 (1): 97-120

At the crux of understanding immigration governance is acknowledging that immigration is not a program to be administered; rather, it is a phenomenon to be managed. This paper studies the administration of immigration law and policy with an eye trained on immigration governance for the future. It opens with a historical overview that provides the backdrop for the current state of affairs. It then breaks down the missions and functions of the Immigration and Nationality Act by the lead agencies tasked with these responsibilities. The paper concludes with an analysis of options for improving immigration governance. Each of these options poses unique challenges as well as political obstacles. Download the PDF of the article

Bruno, G. C., et. al. (2017). Migration and the Environment: Some Reflections on Current Legal Issues and Possible Ways Forward.

This paper aims at examining legal options to fill the protection gap affecting environmental migrants in the EU. It starts with a discussion about the (limited) scope of application of EU harmonised protection statuses. Options based on humanitarian grounds and on EU human rights obligations will be evaluated. It takes a closer look to further means of protection within (resettlement programmes, humanitarian admission schemes, private sponsorship) and outside (Regional Development and Protection Programmes) the EU territory. It argues that existing means of protection in the EU are very limited in scope and not designed to fill in a satisfactory way the protection gap of EMs. Available for members at:

Kerwin, D. and Warren, R. (2018). The Legally Resident Foreign-born Population has the Same Percentage of Skilled Workers as the US-Born Native Population

This paper outlines the results of a study on young immigrants, known as the Dreamers, who would be eligible for conditional permanent status under the DREAM Act of 2017. The study paints a portrait of a highly productive, integrated group of young Americans, who are deeply committed to the United States. The paper highlights potential DREAM Act recipients’ large numbers, prevalence throughout the country, high levels of employment and self-employment, long residence, US families, English language proficiency, and education levels. It argues that with time and, particularly, with a path to citizenship, the Dreamers would be able to contribute significantly more to their communities. Finally, the study finds that a large number of TPS recipients, who will soon lose this status, would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act. To read more, visit

Lucassen, L. (2017). Peeling an onion: the “refugee crisis” from a historical perspective. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-28.

This paper asks: why did Western and other European politicians become so alarmed and, in some cases, downright apocalyptic at the rise of asylum seekers in 2014–16, especially compared to the previous refugee crisis in the 1990s? This paper argues that in 2014/2015, a “perfect storm” developed, bringing together factors that in the past had been largely unrelated and then converged with new ones. Peeling the onion of societal discontent with migrants and refugees has revealed five necessary and sufficient conditions: (1) discomfort with immigration and integration of colonial and labour migrants from North Africa and Turkey (1970–80s); (2) growing social inequality and widespread pessimism about globalization (1980s–); (3) A growing discomfort with Islam (1990s–); (4) Islamist terrorism (2000s–) and (5) the rise of radical right populist parties (2000s). available to subscribers at: 

Reports, working papers and briefs

IDMC Case Study: Going “home” to displacement – Afghanistan’s returnee-IDPs

Up to half a million Afghans are expected to have returned from Pakistan and Iran back to Afghanistan by the end of this year, with most returning directly into a situation of internal displacement. Afghans who have returned to their country but cannot go back to their area of origin because of violence, known as “returnee-IDPs”, struggle to secure basic living conditions, livelihoods or basic services. This case study reports on research conducted on the ground, hearing from returnee-IDPs and IDPs on their reintegration needs and the obstacles they face in securing durable solutions. Available at:

Working paper: Involuntary migration, context of reception, and social mobility: The case of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the United States by Carl L. Bankston III and Min Zhou

This study examines the Vietnamese population of the United States as a case study in the integration of a refugee group in a host country. It starts by offering a brief review of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the US and the making of a new ethnic community. It then provides a quantitative analysis of socioeconomic mobility among Vietnamese refugees using American Community Survey data from 1980 to 2015 and survey data. It examines how this ethnic population has changed over time by focusing on key socioeconomic indicators, such as poverty rates and levels of education, occupation, and income. Finally, it seeks to explain what enables Vietnamese refugees and their children to overcome initial disadvantage and move up in society based on our own work over the span of 20 years with in-depth qualitative data. The study considers how policies, institutions (government, civil society, and ethnic), and patterns of social relations in the Vietnamese American community have interacted with individual agency to shape mobility. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Trump’s Misuse of Barbara Jordan’s Legacy on Immigration by Susan Martin

In this essay, Susan Martin, Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration Emerita at Georgetown University and CMS board member, explains how the White House misconstrues the recommendations of the Jordan Commission and how, in fact, the commission’s approach on immigration and refugee policy is considerably at odds with Trump policies. Available at:

Stanford Refugee Research Project explores ways University can aid refugee crisis by Olivia Mitchel

Launched in Aug. 2017, the Stanford Refugee Research Project (SRRP) explores how Stanford can have a positive impact on the refugee crisis in the Middle East. The campus-wide initiative focuses on health, education, resettlement, employment and more. It comprises a team of Stanford undergraduate and graduate research fellows, a Stanford faculty steering committee and a non-Stanford advisory committee. More about the project available at:

Subscribe to The Refugee Brief, the UN Refugee Agency’s daily news digest

This daily newsletter covers the day’s top refugee stories and highlights some of the best refugee-related reporting, analysis and videos from across the web, all in a highly readable, concise format. Subscription link available at:

Digital and social media

OCASI’s Working for Refugees

OCASI has launched a new online discussion forum on The forum titled, Working for Refugees: Discussions with Settlement Workers & Sponsors, will provide the space for sponsoring groups and the settlement sector to connect, share and support one another on issues related to serving privately sponsored refugees. To join this conversation today, visit If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at

February 7, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 32

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Bakewell, O. and Landau, L. B. (eds.) (2018) Forging African Communities: Mobility, Integration and Belonging. London: Palgrave. 

This book draws renewed attention to migration into and within Africa, and to the socio-political consequences of these movements. It sheds new light on how human mobility redefines the meaning of home, community, citizenship and belonging. The authors ask how people’s movements within the continent are forging novel forms of membership while catalysing social change within the communities and countries to which they move and which they have left behind. More information available at:

Juárez, M., Gómez-Aguiñaga, B., & Bettez, S. P. (2018). Twenty Years After IIRIRA: The Rise of Immigrant Detention and Its Effects on Latinx Communities Across the Nation. Journal on Migration and Human Security6(1).

This paper studies the dynamics of detention, deportation, and the criminalization of immigrants. The analyses and discussion focus on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996’s (IIRIRA’s) detention mandate, the role of special interest groups and federal policies. It argues that these special interest groups and major federal policies have come together to fuel the expansion of immigrant detention to unprecedented levels. The study analyzes two main questions: What is the role of special interests in the criminalization of immigrants? And does the rapid increase in detention pose challenges or risks to democracy in the United States? Available at:

McDonald, C. (2018). ‘We became British aliens’: Kindertransport refugees narrating the discovery of their parents’ fates. Holocaust studies: A journal of Culture and History

This article explores the post-war lives of Kindertransport refugees. How the Kinder learnt of their parents’ murders or were reunited with them following years of separation. The article argues that distance and proximity are key to how the Kinder frame these difficult memories. While the parents may be absent in the public memorials dedicated to a redemptive portrayal of the scheme, they are certainly present within the Kinder’s own narratives. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Refugee Integration and Long-term Health Outcomes in Canada (SyRIA.lth)

This is a pan-Canadian longitudinal study funded by The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and housed in the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University. It looks at how different resettlement programs support the social integration of Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) and the impact of integration pathways on their long-term physical and mental health. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of new Canadians by understanding what leads to successful integration outcomes and for whom so that we can tailor resettlement programs to best suit newcomers’ needs and circumstances. More information and updates about the initiative available at:

IDMC 2017 Africa Report on Internal Displacement 
This report highlights the severity of the continent’s displacement crisis. As the world focuses its attention on preventing irregular migration and protecting refugees coming out of Africa, the displacement that happens behind its own borders persists at an alarming rate. Since the beginning of 2017, 2.7 million people have been displaced by conflict, violence or disasters, and have not crossed an international border. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

Deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers from Israel and the legality of relocation/transfer agreements Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler

On 1 January 2018, the Israeli government announced plans to indefinitely detain or forcibly ‘relocate’ thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to ‘third countries’ in Sub-Saharan Africa, should they refuse to leave voluntarily (and receive a lump sum payment of USD 3500) by 31 March 2018. Israel’s Population, Immigration, and Border Authority (PIBA) advertised 100 new posts for inspectors to work in the ‘voluntary repatriation programme’ and others to enforce laws against asylum seekers and their employers. This blog reflects on three elements that make the context and content of Israel’s plans particularly troubling. Available at:

Tests to prove gay asylum seekers are telling the truth about their sexuality break EU law by James Crisps

Judges in Luxembourg said that basing an asylum decision solely on the result of a psychological evaluation broke EU law because their infringed on the human right of privacy and dignity. This news reports highlights the details of this test as well as the ruling. Available at:

New Zealand Proposes Humanitarian Visa for ‘Climate Refugees’ by Alex Randall

This article commends the New Zealand proposal for a new visa for climate refugees but affirms that the issue of climate-linked migration is both vast and complex; that it cannot be “fixed” with merely a new visa system. Available at:

“The applicant, a stateless person” – Roma, statelessness and the European Court of Human Rights by Ivan Kochovski

On 15 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), communicated the case HASANI v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Application no. 4558/17). This is the most recent case which deals with a stateless Roma applicant, portraying the crippling effects statelessness and lack of documentation has on the Roma community in the Western Balkans. This blog reflects on this case. Available at:

Digital and social media

Are you working at the intersection of humanitarian and development programming and want to facilitate the economic inclusion of refugees? This video promotes the ILO-UNHCR training course on ‘Market-based livelihoods interventions for refugees’ where it introduces how to design market-driven livelihoods programmes. Available at: