All posts by rrn_main_1

October 4 2017: 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. 19

Recent Publications and New Research

Making Immigrants into Criminals: Legal Processes of Criminalization in the Post-IIRIRA Era, by Leisy Abrego, Mat Coleman, Daniel E. Martínez, Cecilia Menjívar, and Jeremy Slack

A recent report by the Migration Policy Institute suggests that just over 800,000 (or 7 percent) of the 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States have criminal records. Of this population, 300,000 individuals are felony offenders and 390,000 are serious misdemeanor offenders. This article critically reviews the literature on immigrant criminalization and trace the specific laws that first linked and then solidified the association between undocumented immigrants and criminality. To move beyond a legal, abstract context, it also draws on quantitative and qualitative research to underscore ways immigrants experience criminalization in their family, school, and work lives. Available at:

SOGICA – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European human rights challenge (2016-2020)

This project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), explores the social and legal experiences of asylum-seekers across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Focusing on Germany, Italy and the UK as case studies, the project aims to determine how European asylum systems can treat asylum claims based on the claimant’s SOGI more fairly. The SOGICA team are now starting the fieldwork phase of the project and inviting people to participate. More information about the project and the call for participants available here:

Book Review: Should we build a wall around North Wales? By Daniel Trilling

This article reviews three books addressing the refugee crisis. Border policies, whether made by the EU or by individual states, are usually justified on the grounds of safety and security. They protect the public from terrorism, or from threats to identity and culture. They protect migrants from unscrupulous smugglers and risky journeys. Or they protect Europe from itself by keeping far-right political movements, which have been trying to exploit the chaos, out of power. The review critiques this advertised rhetoric and demonstrates how it could back fire. In the first book, the author asks in what sense is ‘the border’ the problem? the author, following a well established sociological tradition, makes a distinction between ‘direct’ violence, which can be traced to specific people or groups, and ‘structural’ violence which ‘shows up as unequal power and consequently unequal life chances’. The second book addresses the question of why the refugee system isn’t working. Tracing its historical origins, the 1951 convention was designed to respond to a particular kind of refugees: political dissidents from the Eastern Bloc. Paying more attention to the refugees’ needs and treating them as more than just mouths to feed is essential to overcoming the failure of the system. The final book highlights the more radical end of migrant solidarity, which includes ‘anti-deportation campaigns, detention visitor projects, language clubs, No Borders camps and detention prison blockades’. Available at:

New Book: Accessing Asylum in Europe: Extraterritorial Border Controls and Refugee Rights under EU Law, by Violeta Moreno-Lax

This book examines the interface between the EU’s response to irregular flows, in particular the main extraterritorial border and migration controls taken by the Member States, and the rights asylum seekers acquire from EU law. “Remote control” techniques, such as the imposition of visas, fines on carriers transporting unsatisfactorily documented third-country nationals, and interception at sea are investigated in detail in a bid to assess the impact these measures have on access to asylum in the EU. The fundamental focus of the book is the relationship between the aforementioned border and migration controls and the rights of asylum seekers and, most importantly, how these rights (should) limit the scope of such measures and the ways in which they are implemented. The ultimate goal is to conclude whether the current series of extraterritorial mechanisms of pre-entry vetting is compatible in EU law with the EU rights of refugees and forced migrants. Available at:

New Book: Gender, Violence, Refugees, Edited by Susanne Buckley-Zistel and Ulrike Krause

Providing nuanced accounts of how the social identities of men and women, the context of displacement and the experience or manifestation of violence interact, this collection offers conceptual analyses and in-depth case studies to illustrate how gender relations are affected by displacement, encampment and return. The essays show how these factors lead to various forms of direct, indirect and structural violence. This ranges from discussions of norms reflected in policy documents and practise, the relationship between relief structures and living conditions in camps, to forced military recruitment and forced return, and covers countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

On the edge of disaster: Somalis forced to flee drought and near famine conditions, By Mark Yarnell and Alice Thomas

At present, Somalia remains in the chokehold of a severe, protracted drought. More than 800,000 people have been forced to flee in order to reach lifesaving assistance. Many of these internally displaced persons (IDPs) have gone to urban centers that are under the control of the government and African Union peacekeeping forces. In cities like Mogadishu and Baidoa, the humanitarian community is struggling to keep pace with thousands of new arrivals in a challenging operating environment. Many of the displaced are currently living in squalid conditions where they not only lack adequate food, nutrition, water, shelter, and healthcare, but also are exposed to risks that threaten their health and physical safety, including gender-based violence (GBV). This report reflects on the crisis and offers recommendations to overcome the over-exhaustion of international and local aid providers. available at:

Working Paper: The impact of hosting refugees on the intrahousehold allocation of tasks: A gender perspective by Isabel Ruiz and Carlos Vargas-Silva

This paper examines whether the presence of refugees alters the intra-household allocation of tasks across genders in the hosting population. Using panel data (pre- and postrefugee inflow) from Kagera, a rural region of Tanzania, the refugee shock led to women being less likely to engage in employment outside the household and more likely to engage in household chores relative to men. This is probably the result of the environmental degradation that accompanied the arrival of refugees and the additional competition for natural resources such as wood and water. However, the results differ by (pre-shock) literacy and maths skill. For women who could read and perform simple written mathematical operations the refugee shock resulted in a higher likelihood of engaging in outside employment. On the other hand, higher exposure to the refugee shock resulted in illiterate women being more likely to engage in farming and household chores. Available at:

Responsibility Sharing for Refugees in the Middle East and North Africa: Perspectives from Policymakers, Stakeholders, and Refugees and Displaced Persons, Report and Policy Brief, By Susan Martin, Rochelle Davis, Grace Benton and Zoya Waliany, 

This Delmi report focuses on responsibility sharing for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. This area receives a considerable amount of refugees from neighbouring countries. In the New York Declaration adopted at the High Level Meeting Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016, governments reaffirmed their commitment to the notion of responsibility-sharing. However, the High Level Meeting did not arrive at a Global Compact on Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees, leaving its consultation for a second summit to take place in 2018. The study analyses the perspectives of policymakers, other stakeholders, and refugees and IDPs, based on qualitative data collected in situ. It identifies different areas requiring greater international cooperation. Available at:!/en/responsibility-sharing-for-refugees-in-the-middle-east-and-north-africa-report-and-policy-brief-2017

News Reports and Blog posts

Scholar Spotlight: What Everyone Should Know about the Integration of Immigrants in the U.S., by Carola Suárez-Orozco

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nongovernmental institution established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln. NAS’ mission is to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. For two years, a NAS panel of 18 distinguished social scientists representing an array of disciplines including sociology, economics, demography, psychology, and anthropology considered whether and how immigrants were integrating into American society. In the fall of 2015, they released an extensive report of their findings covering an array of topics entitled The Integration of Immigrants into American Society. In an interview Harvard sociologist Mary Waters, the chair of the distinguished NSA panel and the co-author of the resulting report, featured above, shared some of the key findings from the report. Available at:

My body is my piece of land, by Sine Plambech

This article reports on the Stories of migrant sex workers that often cast human smugglers as the villains, yet, the article argues, the biggest evil many migrants face is their hopeless debt in their home country, available at:

Pregnant refugees must have access to better care, say doctors, By Sarah Boseley

Pregnant refugees who have fled across the Mediterranean to Greece are at risk of harm to themselves and their babies because they are not routinely given the care they need before, during and after the birth, say doctors. Available at:

September 27 2017: 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. 18

Recent Publications and New Research

Daily stressors, trauma exposure, and mental health among stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by Andrew Riley and others.

This cross-sectional study examined: trauma history, daily environmental stressors, and mental health outcomes for 148 Rohingya adults residing in Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Bangladesh. Results indicated high levels of mental health concerns: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, somatic complaints, and associated functional impairment. Participants also endorsed local idioms of distress, including somatic complaints and concerns associated with spirit possession. The study also found very high levels of daily environmental stressors associated with life in the camps, including problems with food, lack of freedom of movement, and concerns regarding safety. Available at:

Health, well-being, and urban refugees: an agenda paper by Kelly Ann Yotebieng

Health and well-being have been historically uncommon areas of focus in studies of forced migration within the social sciences, where the focus has more often been focused broadly on identity, liminality, and social suffering. Urban refugees have also been largely excluded from the narrative. Yet, urban refugees represent the majority of the world’s refugees, which means we are effectively excluding the majority of the refugee experience from our research. Health is often a central marker of inequality and marginalization. Understanding the entanglement of forced migration to urban areas and health bears enormous potential for policy and practice. This paper will outline what we know, and set an agenda for the study of urban refugee health. Available at:

 Return Migration and Psychosocial Wellbeing: Discourses, Policy-Making and Outcomes for Migrants and their Families, Edited by Zana Vathi and Russell King

This new book problematizes the widely-held assumption that return to the country of origin, especially in the context of voluntary migrations, is a psychologically safe process. By exploding the forced-voluntary dichotomy, it analyses the continuum of experiences of return and the effect of time, the factors that affect the return process and associated mobilities, and their multiple links with returned migrants’ wellbeing or psychosocial issues. More information available at:

Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees by Cathryn Costello (with Yulia Ioffe and Teresa Büchsel)

The aim of this paper is to clarify the correct interpretation of Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the 1951 Refugee Convention). The interpretation proposed is based on the binding international precepts relating to treaty interpretation, as reflected in Articles 31 to 33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 The Asylum Information Database (AIDA)

AIDA is a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection across 20 European countries. This includes 17 European Union (EU) Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom) and 3 non-EU countries (Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey). More information and reports available at:

Too Much too soon: Displaced Iraqis and the push to return home, By Daryl Grisgraber

The ten-year reconstruction plan for Iraq announced by the Prime Minister in late June includes a goal “to return all displaced persons to their places of origin,” and in some locations, local authorities have shown themselves eager to start that process. However, there are serious concerns about how, when, and where these returns can or should take place. This report addresses these concerns. Available at:

 News Reports and Blog posts

 New York Declaration on Refugees: A One-Year Report Card by Jeff Crisp

A year after the first ever U.N. refugee summit, policy expert Jeff Crisp examines the four key objectives of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework agreed in New York, and the major questions and obstacles that remain to be resolved. Available at: 

Step Up: How to get refugees into work quickly, by Philippe Legrain

Governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and businesses provide many different schemes to help refugees get jobs, often without knowing how effective they are. However, there is plenty that they can learn from what works well elsewhere. From research, analysis and evidence from 22 advanced economies that receive substantial numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, this news report reflects on a study that sets out 16 key policy recommendations, and highlights best practices and promising new approaches. Available at: 

Levaiathan’s Maw

This piece, by George Mantzios offers a visual representation of the Mediterranean ‘Migration Crisis’. His work also reflects on the role of art as a form of hosting, capable of articulating meaningful encounters that are built on ‘vernacularised’ art practices. The Refugee Hosts project presents a series that highlights creative approaches as a means of challenging or questioning more traditional forms of refugee representation. More artistic production can be found at the refugee host creative archive, including other pieces published as part of the Representations of Displacement series covered in the last RRN edtion. Available at:

 Digital and Social Media

 RSC SoundCloud channel

This links to the Refugees Studies Center (RSC) SoundCloud channel that comprises tens of audio files for lectures, seminars, and conferences:

September 20 2017: 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. 17

Recent Publications and New Research

Feeling the Scope of Solidarity: The Role of Emotions for Volunteers Supporting Refugees in Germany by Serhat Karakayali

In recent political debates in Germany, volunteers and citizens who support the cause of refugees are often accused of being “too emotional”. Based mainly on empirical evidence from 10 group discussions and 35 individual interviews with volunteers, conducted in 2016, this article undertakes a sociological analysis of the role of emotions for volunteers. Available at: 

Palestine as ‘a state of mind’: second-generation Polish and British Palestinians’ search for home and belonging by Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek

This article reflects on the ways in which children of Palestinian exiles born in Poland and the UK relate to their ancestral homeland and how they make sense of their Palestinian inheritance in the present. It argues that while the second generation of Palestinian diasporic subjects maintain links with their parents’ homeland these connections are not limited to the intergenerational transmission of cultural identity. The article explores how Palestine ‘becomes’ important for second-generation Palestinians. It argues that it is the re-occurring waves of violence inflicted on Palestinians that activate and shape their engagement with Palestine. Available at:

New Book: Noncitizenism, Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens by Tendayi Bloom

Often hard to situate within traditional frameworks that prioritise citizenship, noncitizens can appear voiceless and rightsless, which has implications for efforts towards global justice and justice in migration. This book proposes an alternative. It identifies an analytical category of noncitizenship. While maintaining the importance of citizenship, noncitizenship is another form of special individual-State relationship. It operates far from a State, at its borders, and within its territory, providing a tool for examining the continuity between sites of engagement and the literatures, questions, and conclusions relating to them. Available at:

Tracking the Interregional Mobility of Recently Arrived Refugees in Canada: Data Snapshots from the IMDB, by Fernando Mata

Using data from the Immigration Database (IMDB) which links tax-filer information to provinces of landing and their current provinces of residence, this conference paper tracks the interregional mobility among three cohorts of refugees arriving in Canada between 2000 and 2013. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Immigration Detention through the Lens of International Human Rights: Lessons from South America, Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 23 By Pablo Ceriani Cernadas

South America has not witnessed the same growth in immigration detention systems that has occurred elsewhere. This Global Detention Project Working Paper discusses developments across the region through the lens of international human rights standards to argue that while the failure of many Latin American countries to implement aggressive detention regimes may appear to be anomalous, this helps underscore how detention has become legitimated across the globe as a tool to respond to the complex phenomenon of irregular migration. Available at:

Migrant Voices: Regional Forum on Migrant Worker Issues

Hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees and Migrants in Alberta (June 4, 2017, Edmonton), the forum provided an opportunity to share information, experiences, and best practices among migrant workers and people in diverse sectors across Canada who work with or advocate for the rights of migrant workers. This report reflects on the objectives, the proceedings and the results of the forum. Available at:

How to Get Refugees into Work Quickly

From research, analysis, and evidence from 22 advanced economies that receive substantial numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, this study sets out 16 key policy recommendations, and highlights best practices and promising new approaches. Available at: 

News Reports and Blog posts

The Forgotten Refugees: Survivors of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, by Swee Chai Ang

Thirty-five years ago, as Israel overran West Beirut, Lebanese Christian militiamen entered the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in West Beirut. Over three days, Israeli forces sealed the camp and allowed them to slaughter several thousand refugees. In 1982, Dr. Swee Chai Ang, a refugee living in the U.K., was working as a young volunteer medic in the camp. On the 35th anniversary, Ang describes her memories and unanswered questions. Available at:

From ‘tolerated’ asylum seeker to ‘accepted’ refugee: Reflections on refugee integration in Scotland, by Helen Baillot (IGHD)

Baillot reflects on her experience working with the Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) in 2015 as a Research Assistant for the evaluation of Scotland’s Holistic Integration Service. This partnership project, led by Scottish Refugee Council, provided advice, advocacy, access to English language assessment and classes; and employability support to newly granted refugees in Scotland from 2013 to 2016. Her experience and the data she worked with showed that as a society, Scottland still has a long road to travel to meet the governmental rhetoric that promotes integration and social cohesion. New refugees may in theory be able to enjoy many of the same rights as other UK residents, but systemic barriers continue to interrupt their integration journeys. She argues that, the voluntary sector’s role in plugging these gaps and highlighting systems failures continues to be of vital importance. Available at:

Disrupting Humanitarian Narratives?

Representations of Displacement is a new blog series which aims to offer critical and creative insights into the politics, ethics, poetics and aesthetics of representations of displacement. In disrupting humanitarian narrative, the aim has been to disrupt mainstream humanitarian narratives which have traditionally represented, and therefore constituted, refugees as individual suffering victims, passive recipients of aid and/or as unique ‘ideal’ refugees who are truly worthy of international sympathy, assistance, and protection. By disrupting these and other established narratives and representational strategies, the project ultimately aims to document, trace and examine alternative ways of seeing, knowing, feeling, listening to, writing, reading, drawing, conceptualizing, and otherwise responding to displacement. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

Refugees Jobs Agenda – Videos and Resources

This is a four-part webinar series hosted by Cities of Migration, Hire Immigrants, and Bertelsmann Stiftung that explores good ideas, promising practices, and the opportunities of refugee labour market integration with international experts. Available at:

Migration Experts Series – Michael Doyle

In this Migration Experts Series interview, Professor Doyle speaks about the need for a comprehensive legal framework to address various movements across borders, the development of the Convention to meet this need, and the efforts to circulate the document and enlist support for its adoption. Available at:

September 12 2017: 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. 16


Recent Publications and New Research

African Human Mobility review, Vol.3, No. 2 (May-Aug. 2017)

With a special focus on South Africa, this special issue on migrant entrepreneurship (and the projects on which they are based) test three foundational migration myths. The first myth is that sovereign territories and local labour markets are being “swamped” by migrants to the detriment of citizens. The second is that all migration is driven by poverty in countries of origin. And the third is that migration is economically negative for receiving countries. Available at:

Climate and Environment-Induced Inter-Village Migration in Southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa by Safiétou sanfo et. al

This study investigates key environmental factors causing inter-village migration by farmers. Therefore, it used household data from surveys, semi-structured interviews, life histories and focus group discussions in southwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa. The results showed that (1) when referring to the experienced historical weather and climate, farmers were aware of the effects of on-going climate and environmental change; (2) soil degradation, land tenure insecurity and lack of rainfall were major drivers of environment-induced migration; and (3) soil fertility, productivity, rainfall and humidity, as well as land tenure security were major pull factors. Available at:

Trapped in Statelessness: Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh by Abul Hasnat Milton et. al

This article addresses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, with special emphasis on the living conditions of this vulnerable population. It reviews several documents on Rohingya refugees, visited a registered refugee camp (Teknaf), collected case reports, and conducted a series of meetings with stakeholders in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. A total of 33,131 registered Rohingya refugees are living in two registered camps in Cox’s Bazar, and up to 80,000 additional refugees are housed in nearby makeshift camps. Available at: 


Refugia is a term coined by Robin Cohen within the discussion of the limits and possibilities of creating a nation-state or a ‘Refugee Nation’ as a utopian solution of the migrant and refugee crisis. Below are a set of articles and blogs that reflect on this notion:

R Cohen and N Van Hear 2017 ‘Visions of Refugia: territorial and transnational solutions to mass displacement’

R Cohen (2015). “Refugia: the limits and possibilities of Buzi’s Refugee Nation”, 

N Van Hear (2016) ‘Imagining Refugia’

R Cohen 2017 ‘Refugia: a Utopian solution to the crisis of mass displacement’

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Scaling Canada’s Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) Model for Proactive Refugee Resettlement
LIPs are a community-based collaborative model for newcomer resettlement and integration that has proven successful in many local communities across Canada. Most importantly, LIPs played an important role in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in several communities across Canada in 2015-2016. The recommendation in this brief aims to offer details to scale up LIPs, a Canadian model of local community involvement in refugee resettlement for the international community. Available at:

The concept of vulnerability in European asylum procedures, European Council on Refugees and Exiles

This report discusses the concept of vulnerability and the complexities underlying its use in asylum procedures in Europe. Vulnerability bears different meanings and dimensions in asylum systems. Beyond being a concept, vulnerability can be a tool for categorisation of the asylum-seeking population, which may create ground for procedural fragmentation at European Union (EU) and national level. Available at:

News Articles and Blogs

Statelessness and the global compact for migration by Tendayi Bloom

The global compact for migration will be the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. This blog post looks into statelessness within the context of this agreement. It highlights some important considerations such as the fact that citizenship is a right not a privilege, and that trafficking is a particular risk for stateless people. Available at:

Hurricane Irma highlights the great divide in disaster vulnerability by Philippa Garson

This piece reflects on the recent hurricane to draw links between climate change, poverty, vulnerability and disaster management. Available at:

Central Mediterranean situation: UNHCR calls for an additional 40,000 resettlement places

UNHCR called for an additional 40,000 resettlement places to be made available for refugees located in 15 priority countries along the Central Mediterranean route. The 15 priority countries are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.

Digital and Social Media

Should humanitarian organizations help with coerced repatriation? by Mollie Gerver

Listen to the podcast of the 17 May seminar, part of the Trinity term 2017 Public Seminar Serie:

 Helping newcomers work

This Facebook page complements the initiative’s website. The mission of is to be the ‘go-to’ digital hub for non-professional stakeholders wanting to help with the training and employment of refugee and other newcomers to Canada who face significant linguistic, educational, and cultural hurdles in finding work. The website provides helpful information, suggestions, and links on a wide variety of employment-related topics. Check:

Report: Canada gets refugees to work faster than anyone in the West

A unique program in which communities privately sponsor refugees arriving from the Middle East and elsewhere has resulted in Canada absorbing them into society — including jobs — faster than any country in the West, according to a comprehensive new report comparing 22 nations.

What sets Canada apart: Its flexible labor market, decentralized settlement services and welcoming culture, which combine to get refugees into jobs rapidly, according to the report by the Tent Foundation and the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN). “There’s a perception in the world that taking on refugees can be a burden to a country … [but] they really do make serious contributions to the economy,” Tent’s Gideon Maltz told Axios.

Other main findings: Getting to work in most of Europe takes much longer, due to a highly regulated labor market that leaves asylum-seekers “in limbo for years,” the report’s authors write. Switzerland is the exception. Look where the countries stack up:

Note: Some countries place further restrictions on asylum seekers’ right to work; Data: OECD; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Canada and the U.S. have the least-restrictive regulations on temporary employment, compared to Norway and France, which are toughest on temporary jobs.

Bottom line: For every dollar or euro spent on welcoming refugees, economies receive nearly twice that in five years, Tent and OPEN reported last year.

For full report: