Category Archives: Blogs

January 12, 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. 29

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Saunders, Natasha (2017), International Political Theory and the Refugee Problem. Routledge.

The book explores the questions raised about how to address ‘the refugee problem’ if we recognise that there may not be just one ‘problem’, and that not all actors involved with the refugee regime conceive of their work as addressing the same ‘problem’. It argues that the international refugee regime is best understood as developed to ‘solve’ the refugee (as) problem, rather than refugees’ problems. The book strives to reframe ‘the refugee problem’ from the perspective of the refugee, rather than the state, and investigates the extent to which doing so can open up creative space for rethinking the more traditional solutions to the refugee (as) problem. Cases of refugee protest in Europe, and the burgeoning Sanctuary Movement in the UK, are examined as two sub-state and popular movements which could constitute such creative solutions to a reframed problem. available at:

Blitz, B.K.; d’Angelo, A.; Kofman, E.; Montagna, N. Health Challenges in Refugee Reception: Dateline Europe 2016 (2017). International of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, 1484.

This article considers the physical and mental health of asylum–seekers in transit and analyses how the closure of borders has engendered health risks for populations in recognised reception centres in Sicily and in Greece. Data gathered by means of a survey administered in Greece (300) and in Sicily (400), and complemented by in-depth interviews with migrants (45) and key informants (50) including representatives of government offices, humanitarian and relief agencies, NGOs and activist organisations, are presented to offer an analysis of the reception systems in the two frontline states. A key finding is that, given such disparity, the criteria used by the UNHCR to grade health services reception do not address the substantive issue that prevent refugees from accessing health services, even when provided on site. Health provision is not as recorded in UNHCR reporting but rather there are critical gaps between provision, awareness, and access for refugees in reception systems in Sicily and in Greece. Available online:

Stojanov, R., Kelman, I., Ullah, A. K. M., Duží, B., Procházka, D., & Blahůtová, K. K. (2016). Local Expert Perceptions of Migration as a Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh. Sustainability8(12), 1223.

This paper examines local expert perceptions of migration as a climate change adaptation strategy for Bangladeshis. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with local experts in Bangladesh and Assam (India) on environmental change and migration to understand the perspectives of those with formal education and expert-related jobs who come from the areas being directly affected by Bangladeshi migration. Findings show that local experts consider that migration is used and will be used for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, but migration is not solely for climate change adaptation, instead interweaving with all other factors influencing migration-related decisions.

 FMR thematic listings

Each thematic listing included in the link below provides a selection of FMR articles (and full issues) focusing on a specific topic. You will find for each article: the title, year of publication, the author(s), some introductory sentences, and links to where you can access the full article online. Most of the articles are available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. Articles are generally available online in pdf and html formats; more recent ones are also available in audio/mp3 format. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 From Syria to Spain: Syrian Migration to Europe via the Western Mediterranean route between 2015 and 2017

This report was produced by REACH Initiative in the framework of the Mixed Migration Platform (MMP) which is a joint-NGO initiative providing quality mixed migration-related information for policy, programming and advocacy work, as well as critical information for people on the move. Though the Western Mediterranean route is now being considered as a new entry point into Europe, the evidence base for such claims remains limited. Little is known about the Syrians who migrate to Spain in particular. This report seeks to increase understanding of the routes Syrians have taken to Spain between 2015 and 2017, why they chose these routes, and why they choose Spain as their entry point to Europe. Available at:

Left behind: How the world is failing women and girls on refugee family reunion

The report analyses refugee family reunion and reunification from a women’s rights perspective, and examines the implications for women and girls of the failure amongst governments to share responsibility in refugee-hosting and to provide safe and legal routes for refugee family reunion. Co-published with the Melissa Network in Greece, it highlights how refugee women activists are playing a key role in assisting, protecting and empowering refugee women and girls, and asks what might governments in Europe, and further afield, do differently to better assist and protect women fleeing violence and persecution. Available at:

IOM Regional Migration Report – West and Central Africa: April – June 2017

The IOM has established Flow Monitoring Points (FMP) as part of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in areas of significant migratory transit in West and Central Africa, Libya and Italy. Two tools are used as part of the FMP methodology: 1) the Flow Monitoring Registry (FMR) collects data at the group level in order to provide a better understanding of intra and inter-regional migration patterns and trends; 2) the Flow Monitoring Survey (FMS) collects individual data on a sample of migrants on their journey. Both tools are implemented in various locations across the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR). The narrative and map on this page provides details on data collection activities for the period April—June 2017. The full report is available at:

News Reports and Blogs

Year in Review: The Refugee Crisis in 2017 by Charlotte Alfred

This report looks back at the most significant developments that relate to refugees in 2017. Among the highlights are the rise of populist and nativist politics in Europe and the U.S. where Politicians focused instead on closing migration routes and stepping up migrant returns. Similarly, the number of people displaced continued to rise, albeit more slowly than in earlier years of the Syrian war. The rapid exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar and ongoing mass displacement of South Sudanese exposed once again the need for more resources and new thinking in response to crises. Available at:

Must-Read Stories on Refugees From 2017, by Charlotte Alfred, Daniel Howden, Kim Bode

Another review report collects the best stories on refugees from 2017, as selected by refugee and migration experts and the readers and editors of Refugees Deeply. Available at:

Egypt: The Escape Portal by Muhammad al-Kashef

Since mid-2013, as a result of the political crisis in Egypt, asylum seekers and refugees remain subject to numerous abuses and attacks. Egypt does not operate detention facilities specifically for migrants. Rather the country’s prisons, police stations and military camps have been used to detain migrants and refugees. This report reflects on the condition of the arbitrary detention of refugees in Egyptian prisons. Available at:

Rising in the Middle East: Forced Labor from Africa By Laura Secorun Palet

This piece highlights the widespread new pattern of labor exploitation of thousands of African migrant workers in the Persian Gulf States. A recent report by a Ugandan parliamentary committee revealed that, in 2017, at least 35 Ugandans killed themselves in the United Arab Emirates, mostly as a result of unpaid wages and abuse. Available at:

Digital and social media

Media-Friendly Glossary on Migration: Middle East Edition

This glossary serves as a guideline for journalists and other actors writing about migration across the Middle East. Globally the migration debate has become increasingly negative. Our words matter more than ever. Use this glossary to make sure that your words are not discriminatory or inflammatory, that your reporting is accurate, and that you are considering the full range of diverse issues inherent in the migration debate. Noting that terminology is dynamic, particularly within the highly politicised topic of migration, this glossary is seen as ‘living’, and will be periodically updated. Available at:–en/index.htm

The Good Postman (documentary)

In a Bulgarian border village, the postman runs for mayor with a plan to combat depopulation by offering homes to Syrian refugees. The movie screened during the International documentary film festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2017. Watch the trailer here:

Webinar: A Catholic Response to Exclusionary Nationalism

On December 12, 2017, the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) hosted a webinar devoted to a discussion of Catholic teaching on migrants, refugees, and newcomers. Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, discussed the Biblical touchstones of Catholic teaching on migrant and refugees, key principals that guide the Church’s analysis of this timeless issue, recent developments in US immigration policy and refugee protection, and how the Catholic community views and can respond to them. The presentation drew on CMS’s scholarship and research. Watch the full webinar here:

December 6 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. 28

Recent Publications and New Research

Abrego, Leisy J., et al. “Making Immigrants into Criminals: Legal Processes of Criminalization in the Post-IIRIRA Era.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5.4 (2017).

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 in the US. It draws on quantitative and qualitative research to underscore ways immigrants experience criminalization in their family, school, and work lives. The first half of the analysis is focused on immigrant criminalization from the late 1980s through the Obama administration, with an emphasis on immigration enforcement practices first engineered in the 1990s. The second section explores the social impacts of immigrant criminalization, as people’s experiences bring the consequences of immigrant criminalization most clearly into focus. Available at:

 Betts, Alexander, Naohiko Omata, and Louise Bloom. “Thrive or Survive? Explaining Variation in Economic Outcomes for Refugees.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5.4 (2017).

This paper asks three questions about the economic lives of refugees: 1) what makes the economic lives of refugees distinctive from other populations; 2) what explains variation in refugees’ income levels; and 3) what role does entrepreneurship play in shaping refugees’ economic outcomes? In order to answer these questions, the paper draws upon extensive qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Uganda by the Humanitarian Innovation Project at Oxford University. The quantitative data set is based on a survey of 2,213 refugees in three types of contexts: urban (Kampala), protracted camps (Nakivale and Kyangwali settlements), and emergency camps (Rwamwanja). It supplements this with qualitative research from other parts of Africa and the Middle East. Available at:

Martin, Susan F. “Environmental Change and Human Mobility: Trends, Law and Policy.” Comparative Population Studies 42 (2017)

This article identifies practical solutions, many of which are currently under consideration by governments and international organizations, to improve the lives of millions of people affected by environmental crises. It begins with a brief overview of why people move, the nature of those movements, and the relationship between human mobility and adaptation to environmental change by highlighting three types of mobility – migration, displacement and planned relocation. Next, the international and regional level will be discussed, with particular focus on legislative and policy frameworks for addressing human mobility in the context of environmental change. The article concludes that efforts to improve responses require a better evidence base than currently exists on issues such as the environmental determinants of migration, displacement and planned relocation; the multi-faceted ways in which environmental factors relate to the many other causes of population movements in the cases of human mobility; and the impact of such movements on the well-being of migrants, communities of origin, and communities of destination. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

IOM 2018 World Migration Report  

The ninth world migration report presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. The two parts are intended to provide both overview information that helps to explain migration patterns and processes globally and regionally, and insights and recommendations on major issues that policymakers are or soon will be grappling with. Available at:

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity: Key Results from the 2016 Census, Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada released results from the 2016 Census which provide a new national statistical portrait of immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada. The full report can be found at:  but here are some highlights:

  • On Census Day, 21.9% of the population reported they were or had ever been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada.
  • In 2016, Canada had 1,212,075 new immigrants who had permanently settled in Canada from 2011 to 2016. These recent immigrants represented 3.5% of Canada’s total population in 2016.
  • The majority (60.3%) of these new immigrants were admitted under the economic category, 26.8% were admitted under the family class to join family already in the country, and 11.6% were admitted to Canada as refugees.
  • In 2016, the majority (61.8%) of newcomers were born in Asia.
  • Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal are still the place of residence of over half of all immigrants and recent immigrants to Canada. More immigrants are settling in the Prairies and in the Atlantic provinces.

OCHA: Agenda for Humanity – 2017 Synthesis report, No Time to Retreat 

The new agenda for humanity resulting from the World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, May 2016) consists of 5 Core Responsibilities and 24 transformations that are needed to achieve progress to address and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability. Those 5 responsibilities include: (1) prevent and end conflict; (2) respect rules of war; (3) leave no one behind (which addresses displacement and statelessness); (4) work differently to end need; (5) invest in humanity. More details available at:

News reports and blogs 

Travel Ban: What is Trump’s major immigration policy, and why is it called a ‘Muslim ban’? All you need to know by Clark Mindock

President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban is set to go forward after the Supreme Court ruled this week in favour of the beleaguered measure… the ban targets travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It restricts admission into the US from those countries unless the individual travelling can prove they have a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States. The bans have all included restrictive language on refugee admission as well, and have resulted in significant cuts to those programmes this year. Available at:

Expert Views: What Would Refocus Attention on Internal Displacement? By Written by Kim Bode, Charlotte Alfred

The number of people displaced inside their own countries is nearly double the global refugee population, yet this has slipped off international agendas. Refugees Deeply asked several experts what’s needed to refocus global attention on internally displaced people. Available at: 

Libyan slavery: Don’t be fooled by the ‘shock’, we’ve known about this for a while now by Sophia Akram

A recent undercover investigation by CNN revealed that black African migrants were being sold into slavery in Libya. Since the report broke, news on it has gone viral and world leaders have expressed outrage. The article argues the news wasn’t really a shock. More details available at:

Digital and social media

RLP video advocacy documentaries

Refugee Law Project, through its Media for Social Change Programme uses audio-visual medium as a tool to show the work being done at RLP as well as highlight the plight of forced migrants in Uganda. A selection of documentaries of the initiative are available at:

The Climate and migration coalition resources

The Climate and Migration Coalition is an alliance of refugee, human rights, development and environmental organisations. It offers many resources including short videos on documentaries on how climate change affects migration and internal displacement all over the world. Available at:

November 29 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. 27

Recent Publications and New Research

Allen, William L., and Bastian A. Vollmer. “Clean skins: Making the e-Border security assemblage.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2017): 0263775817722565.

This article analyses the notion of e-Borders in the UK context. It draws upon interviews with former and currently serving senior staff from the UK Home Office, UK Border Force, intelligence services, and private sector suppliers. Practitioners’ reflections reveal how political, social, and human factors—including intuition and management cultures—both construct the e-Border assemblage and introduce discontinuities and frictions within it. Using a more tightly specified theory of assemblage, we highlight how human agents contribute to datafied phenomena like border control. Available at:

Anderson, Bridget. “Towards a new politics of migration?” Ethnic and Racial Studies 40.9 (2017): 1527-1537.

This paper reconsiders Stephen Castle’s classic paper Why Migration Policies Fail. Beginning with the so-called migration crisis of 2015, it considers the role of numbers in assessing success or failure. It argues that the UK public debates about immigration changed with European Union (EU) Enlargement in 2004, when the emphasis shifted from concerns about asylum to concerns about EU mobility. Concerns were exacerbated by the government’s failure to meet its promise to reduce net migration. It suggests that a new politics of migration must make connections between migrants and citizens, but also between migration and other global processes, particularly outsourcing and the exploitation of labour and resources in the global south. Available:

Moreno-Lax, Violeta, and Efthymios Papastavridis. “Boat Refugees’ and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach: Integrating Maritime Security with Human Rights.” (2017).

This book aims to address ‘boat migration’ with a holistic approach. The different chapters consider the multiple facets of the phenomenon and the complex challenges they pose, bringing together knowledge from several disciplines and regions of the world within a single collection. Together, they provide an integrated picture of transnational movements of people by sea with a view to making a decisive contribution to our understanding of current trends and future perspectives and their treatment from legal-doctrinal, legal-theoretical, and non-legal angles. The final goal is to unpack the tension that exists between security concerns and individual rights. Excerpts from the book available on google book. More information available at:  

Middle East Law and Governance Volume 9, Issue 3

MELG is a peer-reviewed venue for scholarly analysis on issues of governance and social change in the Middle East and North Africa region. Filling a gap in the academic literature, MELG tackles with breadth and depth compelling governance issues generally, and in the Middle East specifically. This recent special issue of MELG focuses on the political and institutional impacts of Syria’s displacement crisis. This is not an open access source but more information available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Mapping Refugee Skills and Employability: Data analysis from the talent Catalogue, by Talent Beyond Boundaries

Talent Beyond Boundaries’ (TBB) is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization. With this analysis, TBB aims to demonstrate the breadth and depth of talent among refugees in first countries of asylum, that could otherwise be deployed to meet skills gaps in, and contribute to the economies of third countries. The data used in this report was collected between July 12, 2017 and August 15, 2017. As of August 15, 2017, a total of 9,685 profiles have been created in the Talent Catalog. While outreach was limited to Lebanon and Jordan, some participants are currently located in other countries. Available at:

Climate change, migration and displacement: The need for a risk-informed and coherent approach

This recently launched joint UNDP-ODI report unwinds the complex relationship between human mobility and climate change. With a view to inform the global discourse surrounding these matters, the report provides evidence based insight on the presented challenges and how they can be adequately and appropriately addressed in international and national policies. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

EU fails to identify and protect gay, lesbian, and transgender asylum seekers by Nidzara Ahmetasevic

Under EU law, people who have been persecuted or face persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation and gender identity qualify for refugee status and potentially asylum. But a weeks-long IRIN investigation has found that EU governments are often failing to even identify gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers, much less afford them special protections that, as a vulnerable group, many desperately need. Available at:

Seven things you need to know about the Manus crisis, Compiled by Zebedee Parkes, a Socialist Alliance member and activist with the Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney

1)Refugees are staying inside Manus Island detention centre to make a political statement; 2) Australia is denying the men water, food and electricity; 3) Australia has also withdrawn medical support to the men in the detention centre and the support available to people living in the three alternative areas is inadequate; 4) The men fear attacks by locals if they move to any of the alternative accommodation sites. Already, a number of them have been viciously attacked by locals wielding machetes. 5) Alternative accommodation is not even ready. One of the sites, West Haus, is reported to not have water and electricity; 6) Australia has rejected New Zealand’s offer to take 150 people, saying it wants to see out the US deal first. Only a few dozen people have gone to the US under the refugee swap. Both offers are not enough. Even if the deal is completed, this would still leave a number of the refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru behind. 7) It’s not about the boats. The boats have only stopped in so far as they have been turned back at sea to danger – the Manus Island detention centre has not acted as a deterrent. Available at:

Refugees, Mental Health and the Work Place, By Yusrah Nagujja, Anthony Ochora & Jaclyn Kerr

With over 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide and 260 million suffering with anxiety disorders (WHO, 2017), it is estimated that these disorders result in approximately US$1 trillion in lost productivity within the global economy (WHO, 2017). Secondary trauma occurs when a service provider relates to someone who has undergone a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events to the extent that they begin to experience similar psychological and somatic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further discussion, studies and recommendations on Secondary trauma affecting Employees who are not involved in direct service provision with refugees are discussed at:,-mental-health-and-the-work-place

Digital and social media

Podcast: when people move. Understanding how climate change creates the movement of people

Over the last two years Climate Migration have collected testimonies from people who have moved as a result of climate-linked disasters. By exploring these stories, we can begin to answer questions about how climate change is creating new patterns of migration and displacement. We can also begin to ask how life on a hotter planet might mean living with new kinds of disasters, and coping with the displacement they create. Available at:

Tarjimly (Translate for me)

Tarjimly is a Messenger bot that connects volunteer’s translators to refugees and immigrants in need of translation services. They’re connected instantly and anonymously, anywhere in the world and at any time. Tarjimly’s mission is to put a translator in the pocket of every person in need. Their Facebook page is: and website:

November 22 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. 26

Recent Publications and New Research

Namer, Y., & Razum, O. (2017). Settling Ulysses: An Adapted Research Agenda for Refugee Mental Health. International Journal of Health Policy and Management6.

Refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Europe during the 2015/2016 wave of migration have been exposed to war conditions in their country of origin, survived a dangerous journey, and often struggled with negative reception in transit and host countries. The mental health consequence of such forced migration experiences is named the Ulysses syndrome. Policies regarding the right to residency can play an important role in reducing mental health symptoms. The authors propose that facilitating a sense of belonging should be seen as one important preventive mental healthcare intervention. A refugee mental health agenda needs to take into account the interplay between refugees’ and asylum seekers’ mental health, feeling of belonging, and access to healthcare. Available at:

New book: Belonging and Transnational Refugee Settlement: Unsettling the Everyday and the Extraordinary, by Jay Marlowe

This book examines the implications of ‘belonging’ in numerous places as increased mobilities and digital access create new global connectedness in uneven and unexpected ways. The book positions refugee settlement as an ongoing transnational experience and identifies the importance of multiple belongings through several case studies based on original research in Australia and New Zealand, as well as at sites in the US, Canada and the UK. Demonstrating the interplay between everyday and extraordinary experiences and broadening the dominant refugee discourses, this book critiques the notion that meaningful settlement necessarily occurs in ‘local’ places. The author focuses on the extraordinary events of trauma and disasters alongside the everyday lives of refugees undertaking settlement, to provide a conceptual framework that embraces and honours the complexities of working with the ‘trauma story’ and identifies approaches to see beyond it. Excerpts from the book are also available on google books. More information available at:

Brooten, L., & Verbruggen, Y. (2017). Producing the News: Reporting on Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis. Journal of Contemporary Asia47(3), 440-460.

Based on personal observations of a freelance reporter in Myanmar, and interviews with journalists and “fixers” working in the country, this article analyses the news production processes in reporting on the conflict. The article maps out the various actors involved in the production of news, such as foreign and local journalists, local producers (the “fixers”) and interpreters, and the various challenges and limitations they face. These challenges function to perpetuate a familiar set of reporting routines and “us vs them” or binary narratives, with consequences for the de-escalation or perpetuation of the conflict. This article is not open access, but more information can be found at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Challenging Trafficking in Canada: Policy Brief

This policy brief tries to go beyond sensationalism and heart-rending accounts of violence. It speaks to the complexity of the issue, attempt to correct some of the common mistakes that circulate, and offer what is thought by the contributors as sound recommendations. It also offers an antidote to misinformation, exaggeration, and unfounded reports and that it can serve as a guide for people who are genuinely interested in creating a safe, just, and gender-equal world where human rights and dignity are respected for all. It draws on recent research undertaken in Canada by recognized feminist scholars as well as the expertise of community workers and organizations that are engaged with anti-trafficking around the country.

Available at: 

IDMC Thematic Report: Global Disaster Displacement Risk – A baseline for future work

Internal displacement is one of the least reported impacts of sudden-onset disasters, and its consequences on people’s lives, local communities, countries and the international community are often not taken into account. The current scale of the phenomenon, its trends, patterns and future risks are poorly understood, which hinders the effective reduction of both displacement and disaster risk. This thematic report lays the groundwork for addressing this gap and presents the first results generated by IDMC’ Global Displacement Risk Model. It frames displacement through the lens of future risk rather than as something to be addressed only after it has occurred. Available at:

Protection for refugees not from refugees: Somalis in exile and the securitisation of refugee policy
This report looks at the impact the increased securitisation of refugee policy has had on the lives of refugees. Between March and June 2017, IRRI interviewed Somali refugees living in Kenya, Uganda and the United States, as well as relevant NGO, UN and government actors. The findings highlight some of the realities that refugees face when governments fashion a correlation between forced migration and insecurity that is both fundamentally flawed and has serious implications for people’s lives. Available at:

News Reports and Blog posts

ESPMI discussion series: What are the most significant impacts of disrupted education on refugee children & youth and what are solutions to address them?

The ESPMI discussion series focus on specific themes and topics where a diverse range of authors such as established scholars, researchers, practitioners, and activists share their experiences and opinions; speak to the lived experiences of migration; interrogate dominant modes of thinking and operating; and make recommendations on policy and action. In the disrupted education discussion series, contributors from various backgrounds engage in the question of disrupted education of refugee children and youth to understanding the full immediate and long-term effect of forced migration worldwide. According to UNHCR, 50% of refugee children attend primary school, just 22% of refugee adolescents receive a secondary education, and only 1% of refugee youth attend post-secondary education. Available at:

How a fingerprint can change an asylum seeker’s life By Eric Reidy

The EU asylum process is governed by the Dublin Regulation, which requires people to apply for protection in the first country they enter. But many don’t want to remain in Italy or other southern European countries, such as Greece, where most asylum seekers arrive. Social support systems in these countries are weak compared to northern Europe and there are high levels of unemployment even among citizens. New arrivals also often have connections elsewhere – family and friends who came before them – that encourage them to move on. But once someone is registered as having arrived in one country, and their fingerprint is taken, they cannot apply for asylum anywhere else – barring a few exceptions. Their fingerprint is entered into a database that is searchable by police throughout the EU. This report takes an up-close look of how this system impacts refugees’ lives. Available at:

Turkey’s forgotten refugees by Izza Leghtas

While Turkey hosts 3.2 million refugees from Syria, there are around 300,000 men, women and children from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and other countries who fled their homes due to war or human rights abuses. This blog post looks at the lives of non-Syrian refugees in Turkey and how it was affected by the Syrian overflow. Available at:

November 15 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. 25

Recent Publications and New Research

Discretion to Deport: Intersections between Health and Detention of Syrian Refugees in Jordan by Petra Molnar

This article looks at Jordan’s policies to detain and deport Syrian refugees. Documented reasons for detention and deportations include work permit infractions, including the deportation of Syrian doctors and medical practitioners, as well as deportations for communicable diseases. Detention and deportation policies in Jordan are highly discretionary, making interventions and advocacy on behalf of those detained difficult. Detention and deportation can also have disproportionate impact on populations that are already marginalized, including members of the LGBTI community, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and those engaged in sex work. Available at:

 Migrant and asylum-seeker children returned to Kosovo and Albania: predictive factors for social–emotional wellbeing after return by Daniëlle Zevulun, Wendy J. Post, A. Elianne Zijlstra, Margrite E. Kalverboer & Erik J. Knorth

This study aims to gain knowledge about the child-rearing environment and the social–emotional wellbeing of migrant children who have returned to Kosovo and Albania after a stay in a European host country. Based on a sample of 106 returned families, the study investigated the predictive factors for children’s social–emotional wellbeing using regression analyses. The findings indicate that the wellbeing of returned children is not only dependent on conditions after repatriation, but also on the conditions which the families left in the host country. To enable sustainable return in a child’s best interests, the needs of vulnerable families and children should be thoroughly assessed prior to return, and reintegration support should be tailored to their situation. Available at:

Oxford Monitor of forced migration Vol. 7 No. 1

The Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration (OxMo) is a bi-annual, independent, academic journal that engages with issues of forced migration. This current publication covers 5 sections/monitors. The policy monitor offers critical analyses of current and emerging policies and practises undertaken by governments, NGOs and organisations. In the field monitor, we hear from those who have had direct experience with forced migrants. Third is a section that offers a platform for individuals with lived experiences of forced migration to offer their views and insights. In this issue, Jasem AlWrewir, a Syrian refugee living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, reflects on the opportunities and limitations of cash-for-work programmes. Fourth, the law monitor analyses laws, policies, as well as practices and their possible implications for the rights of forced migrants. Here, James Wookey seeks to show the impact of legal developments by describing the encounters of three fictional refugees with Hungarian law.  Lastly, in this issue’s academic article, Christoph Tometten closely analyses the legal entry schemes for forced migrants to Germany and warns that resettlement may be turning into a tool for containment. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Refugee Self-Reliance Moving Beyond the Marketplace, RSC Research in Brief 7

This Research in Brief presents new research on refugee self-reliance and addresses areas not commonly included in current discussions. In particular, it focuses on social and cultural, practical, and programmatic aspects of refugee self-reliance. In so doing, it rethinks the concept of refugee self-reliance and aims to contribute recommendations to help achieve positive outcomes in policy and practice. Available at:


Tackling the root causes of human trafficking and smuggling from Eritrea: The need for an empirically grounded EU policy on mixed migration in the Horn of Africa

In 2014, in recognition of the challenges of “mixed migration”, 37 states in Europe and Africa, along with the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU), formed a policy platform (the “Khartoum Process”), with a particular focus on tackling smuggling and trafficking. The platform’s aim is to strengthen cooperation and create a sustainable regional dialogue on mobility and migration. This paper, based on 67 qualitative interviews conducted in Ethiopia, Sudan and Europe with Eritreans on the move, directly engages with this framework. It analyses the approach taken by states in the region, in cooperation with regional and international actors, to more effectively combat trafficking and smuggling in light of the experiences and decision-making processes of the individuals interviewed. Available at: 

Responding to Refugee Crises in Developing Countries: What Can We Learn From Evaluations?
This working paper draws from the evaluation work of OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members and aims to strengthen the evidence base to help improve future responses to refugee crises in developing countries.  the paper provides evidence from evaluations to feed into guidance on better programming that is being developed through the DAC Temporary Working Group on Refugees and Migration. Available at: 

News Reports and Blog posts

In this edition we present three articles that tackle the issue of off-shore processing of Asylum claims.

External EU Hotspots: The cat keeps coming back by Marie Walter-Franke

The idea to set up EU hotspots in North Africa keeps coming up as European leaders seek enhanced control of mixed migration in the Mediterranean. Like the cat in Harry Miller’s comical song, external processing of asylum claims just won’t stay away. How realistic is it for the EU to establish external hotspots? This blog post outlines political, legal and practical issues related to the hotspots idea. Available at:

Offshore Processing and Complicity in Current EU Migration Policies (Part 1&2) by Daria Davitti and Marlene Fries

In the first part of this blog post, the authors reconstruct a complex web of migration policies that indicate a shift towards offshore processing of asylum claims in Niger and possibly Chad. In the second part, they seek to answer an obvious yet difficult legal question, namely who bears responsibility in scenarios of extraterritorial complicity such as this one? They argue that the new plan could not be implemented without the close cooperation of various actors: European Union (EU) institutions and Member States, third countries (Niger and/or Chad) and UN organisations (IOM and UNHCR). The two parts of the blog are available at: and  

Why Some E.U. States Want Hotspots in the Sahel by Marie Walter-Franke, and Shani Bar-Tuvia

The idea of sifting refugees from economic migrants far from Europe’s borders is an old idea gaining renewed currency. The prospect of processing camps in the Sahel came a step closer in August when France, Germany, Spain and the E.U. sealed a migration deal with Niger, Chad and Libya. The agreement foresees camps where the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) would identify refugees for resettlement to Europe. This article looks into the growing externalization attempts by European countries. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

Palestinians Podcast

This is a podcast dedicated to telling everyday stories about Palestinians living all over the world.  It aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the strife of Palestinians worldwide and to improve public opinion and perception of this displaced population. This podcast is about the PEOPLE of Palestine. Stories about Palestinians’ experiences, stories, memories, and lives will be shared. You can find the initiative on Facebook at: or you can listen to the podcasts at:

November 8 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. 24

Recent Publications and New Research

Refugee Review Vol. 3

Refugee Review is an open-source, peer-reviewed journal that aims to showcase unique perspectives and emerging voices in refugee studies. In its third edition, it presents 18 academic articles, practitioner reports and multimedia pieces that cover a range of issues impacting refugees and migrants. The volume is available at:

Below are two articles to highlight this production:

 “A dignified standard of living” for asylum-seekers? An analysis of the UK’s labour market restrictions for asylum-seekers by Sara Palacios-Arapiles and Roda Madziva

Drawing on the case of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers in the UK, the article argues that the absolute denial of their right to work implies a lack of full recognition of their human dignity and a “dignified standard of living.” It starts by exploring how the Refugee Convention “implicitly” grants asylum-seekers the right to work. It then analyses core international human rights standards, thereby identifying that the right to work applies to everyone regardless of their legal status. It then moves on to illuminate that the EU asylum acquis, particularly the Reception Conditions Directive, frames the right to work strongly linked to human dignity and to a dignified standard of living, inter alia. The article further explores legal and administrative barriers within the UK that prevent asylum-seekers from participating in paid work. Available at:

Human Security and Gender Development:  A Comparative Analysis of Internal Displacement in Colombia and Palestine by Charla M. Burnett and Adriana Rincón Villegas

This article seeks to deconstruct the political, economic, and social impacts that law and international organisations have on internally displaced persons in two different regions of the globe. The contradictory impacts of (in)security and the relationship between government and citizen is discussed in this paper by critically theorising the historical and contemporary construction of internally displaced persons as a legal category in Palestine and Colombia. Applying a critical feminist approach to this comparative analysis, it becomes clear that various aspects of human security have been disregarded in the wake of greater political interests. The results of this analysis call into question the current migration paradigm that is pioneered by peace and security institutions and the failures within the conceptualisations of statehood and sovereignty. Available at:

Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law Edited by Benoît Mayer, François Crépeau, Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer

This comprehensive Research Handbook provides an overview of the debates on how the law does, and could, relate to migration exacerbated by climate change. It contains conceptual chapters on the relationship between climate change, migration and the law, as well as doctrinal and prospective discussions regarding legal developments in different domestic contexts and in international governance. More information about the book available at: 

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Protect the Children! Boys and girls migrating unaccompanied from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Background and ICMC Perspectives on Responses and Recommendations by Karla Estrada Navarro

The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) released a new publication entitled “Protect the Children! Boys and girls migrating unaccompanied from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras,” which highlights the movement and protection of unaccompanied migrant children from the Americas moving within and from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, through Mexico to rejoin family members in the US. Available at:

Center for Migration and Refugee Studies database

The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo announced the launch of a database for migration and refugee research material – especially, but not exclusively – on the Middle East region. CMRS database can be accessed through the following link:  

News Reports and Blog posts

Refugees Deeply Executive Summary for November 8th

The summary reviews the latest refugee-related issues, including the release of U.N. data on the vulnerability of Rohingya in Bangladesh, China’s arrest of North Korean refugees and the International Labor Organization closing a complaint on migrant labor exploitation in Qatar. Available at:

Thousands of Mass. immigrants on edge over legal status by Cristela Guerra

An up-close report on the life of precarious migrant from Haiti while she awaits a Trump administration decision to eliminate TPS for immigrants from Haiti and Central America. Her legal status, along with that of hundreds of thousands of others, hangs in the balance. Revoking TPS could mean the deportation of thousands of immigrants who’ve lived in the United States for decades.  Available at:

Digital and Social Media

New book: Strategic Choices of International NGOs by Sarah S. Stroup, Wendy H. Wong

And innovative way to promote and discuss a new book entitled The Authority Trap: Strategic Choices of International NGOs where the authors discuss how INGOs must constantly adjust their behavior to maintain a delicate equilibrium that preserves their status. Video available at:

Latest Refuge Issue Now Available Online

[Posted on behalf of Refuge]

On behalf of the Refuge editorial team, I am pleased to announce that our latest general  issue, 33.2, has just been published. The issue may be accessed using the hyperlinked table of contents below or on our website :…/issue/view/2317

Au nom de l’équipe de rédaction de Refuge : Revue canadienne sur les réfugiés, je suis heureuse d’annoncer que notre dernier numéro, le 33.2,
vient d’être publié. Vous pouvez maintenant accéder au numéro en entier en suivant les liens ci-dessous ou sur notre site Web à l’aide de ce lien :…/issue/view/2317

Christina Clark-Kazak, Editor-in-Chief
Johanna Reynolds, Managing Editor
Dianna Shandy, Book Review Editor

Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees

November 1 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. 23

Recent Publications and New Research

Metropolitan nomads: a journey through Jo’burg’s “little Mogadishu”, by Nereida Ripero-Muñiz

Mayfair, a Johannesburg suburb, is a multi-layered site where Somali migrants, as urban refugees, renegotiate their cultural and religious practices in a foreign, metropolitan context; where spaces and customs that were left behind are recreated in the daily life of the neighbourhood. Using photography and an ethnographic approach, “Metropolitan Nomads” is a collaborative project between researcher Nereida Ripero-Muñiz and documentary photographer Salym Fayad. The project takes an intimate look at the everyday life of Somali migrants in Johannesburg, where collective stories of migration and survival interweave with individual desires and hopes of seeking a better life outside a country shattered by decades of internal conflict. Available at:

Humanitarian Pedagogies of Transit by Estella Carpi

Among displaced communities, education often loses its own acknowledged potential to bring refugees closer to the civic and political fabric of host countries. In early 2015, the author observed this challenge first-hand while visiting Za‘atari and Mrajeeb el-Fhood refugee camps in northern Jordan, which are currently home to approximately 142,000 Syrian refugees. In this context, looking at schooling curricula and materials offers interesting research avenues. Available at:

Latest issue of International Journal of Middle East Studies: Forced Displacement and Refugees

The articles in this special issue of IJMES address both the historical understandings of forced migration in the region as well as contemporary legal and social challenges. The seven papers in this issue span the history of the modern Middle East and the transformation of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire into neocolonial Mandate states and then, after World War II, nation-states of varying degrees of independence. This history has witnessed the displacement and dispossession of peoples commencing with the Circassians of the Trans-Caucuses and most recently Syrians fleeing the complex civil and proxy war in their country. Hospitality and hostility have emerged as features of this displacement from within the neighboring states of the region to as far away as Norway. Within the region, Syria’s neighboring states for instance, have addressed the mass influx of Syria’s displaced people in political, juridical, and social terms that are deeply embedded in their own sociopolitical and economic histories. The articles are available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

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

This report is a historical analysis of the criminalization process in the US. It moves beyond a legal, abstract context, and draws on our quantitative and qualitative research to underscore ways immigrants experience criminalization in their family, school, and work lives. The first half of the analysis is focused on immigrant criminalization from the late 1980s through the Obama administration, with an emphasis on immigration enforcement practices first engineered in the 1990s. Most significant are the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). The second section explores the social impacts of immigrant criminalization, as people’s experiences bring the consequences of immigrant criminalization most clearly into focus. Available at:

 Mapping Refugee Media Journeys by Marie Gillespie and others

The “Mapping Refugee Media Journeys” project investigates the parallel tracks of the physical and digital journeys of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. It documents the media and informational resources that refugees use from the point of departure, during their journeys across different borders and states, and upon arrival (if they reach their desired destination). By identifying the news and information resources used by refugees, and where they experience gaps or misinformation, we intend to make recommendations to European Commission, to European Member states and their state funded international news organisations about what resources might they might provide not only to help refugees make better-informed decisions but to offer protection as required to fulfil their obligations under the UN Refugee Convention 1951. The report is available at:

PR2: Refugee Resettlement Trends in the Northeast by Pablo Bose and Lucas Grigri

This report focuses on refugee resettlement trends from 2012-2016 for the Northeast region of the United States. It analyzes resettlement on a regional scale, looking at cities listed as official resettlement sites within each region in terms of the absolute number of refugees approved for settlement in each site and how that figure compares to the city’s overall population and foreign-born population. The existing practice is that the US federal government announces an upper limit (a ‘ceiling’) on refugees it will accept for each fiscal year, a number that is then revised based on both local capacity and global conditions – such as new or changing migration crises. Available at:

 News Reports and Blog posts

How Europe exported its refugee crisis to north Africa by Mark Rice-Oxley and Jennifer Rankin

Separately the European commission has signed migration deals with five African countries, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Ethiopia. These migration “compacts” tie development aid, trade and other EU policies to the EU’s agenda on returning unwanted migrants from Europe. This article highlights the ramifications of this new EU approach. Available at:

The Supreme Court Justices Need Fact-Checkers by John Pfaffoct

The court has historically relied on amicus briefs, written by outside experts, to provide it with that broader empirical background and help compensate for its own institutional shortcomings. Unfortunately, these briefs are easily abused. This article explores the possibility and implications of relying on “in-house” fact checkers. Available at:

Powder keg on Manus Island as refugees refuse to leave immigration center By Hilary Whiteman

This article reports on the confrontation that is looming in Papua New Guinea (PNG) between local authorities and more than 700 men who are refusing to leave an Australian-run immigration processing center in Manus Island. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

Soundcloud: ‘Livelihoods in displacement: from refugee perspectives to aid agency response’ Speaker: Dr Veronique Barbelet (Overseas Development Institute)

As part of RSC Public Seminar Series, Michaelmas Term 2017 Dr. Barbelet shares her ideas and research about the lives and livelihoods of refugees living in protracted displacement. Available at:

October 25 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. 22

Recent Publications and New Research

Speaking Back to a World of Checkpoints: Oral History as a Decolonizing Tool in the Study of Palestinian Refugees from Syria in Lebanon by Mette Edith Lundsfryd

This article questions the validity of conventional notions of borders as fixed territorial areas. It examines the narratives of eight persons who are Palestinian stateless refugees from Syrian who have escaped to neighboring Lebanon since 2011. The narrators often experience border crossing as a pervasive part of their reality one that can be described as “social death,” a result of the limitations imposed by borders on the lives of stateless people. The article argues that the accounts presented speak back to a world of borders whilst challenging the nation-state driven order of borders as fixed spaces. The authors also use reflexivity to discuss how to use privilege, for example the privilege of possessing a European passport, and having the recourses to document experiences across geographical areas, as a way of speaking back to a world of checkpoints whilst advocating a process of research decolonization. Available at:

Groningen Journal of International Law vol. 5, ed. 1

This edition on Migration and International Law was published on 20 September 2017 and all content is provided free of charge. In this issue the Journal aimed to highlight scholarship on a broader spectrum of international migration law rather than to merely focus on the global refugee crisis of recent years. The articles cover topics such as the development of the right to nationality and statelessness under the international migration law framework as well as the omission of development-induced displacement in Colombian internal displacement policies and look at factors beyond the internal armed conflict at the root of Colombia’s record number of internally displaced persons. Some articles propose strategies such as those to enhance the protection of migrants through international law by shifting the discussion from regulation of migration to protection of migrants using human rights, soft law and regional approaches. More articles and details available at:

The Dominant Discourses of Refugees, Recognition, and Othering in Malaysia: Regimes of truth versus the Lived Reality of Everyday Life by Gerhard Hoffstaedter

Refugees in Malaysia rely on the UNHCR for recognition and on the Malaysian authorities for tolerating them. The paper argues that in Malaysia newcomers such as refugees are usually cast into subjectivities that either align or juxtapose with a particular Malaysian identity. In addition, the socio-legal indistinctiveness of refugeeness in Malaysia has resulted in several regimes of truth that capture refugees of varying religious and ethnic backgrounds differently. This paper will unravel the current discourses that engage refugees based on their ethnic and religious background differently. The paper also demonstrates ways and practices refugees themselves employ that circumvent, challenge, and acquiesce to these discourses. Available at: 

New book: Challenging Immigration Detention: Academics, Activists and Policy-makers. Edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn

Immigration detention is an important global phenomenon increasingly practiced by states across the world in which human rights violations are commonplace. Challenging Immigration Detention introduces readers to various disciplines that have addressed immigration detention in recent years and how these experts have sought to challenge underlying causes and justifications for detention regimes. Contributors provide an overview of the key issues addressed in their disciplines, discuss key points of contention, and seek out linkages and interactions with experts from other fields. More details available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Never in a child’s best interests: A review of laws that prohibit child immigration detention, International detention coalition

This briefing paper reviews the applicable human rights standards regarding child immigration detention, highlighting expert clarifications that the detention of children in the context of migration is never in their best interests and always a child rights violation. The paper then reviews the ways in which this standard is implemented in legal frameworks by describing laws in over 15 countries that establish safeguards against child immigration detention. Available at:

Urban refugees in Delhi: Identity, entitlements and well-being by Jessica Field, Anubhav Dutt Tiwari and Yamini Mookherjee

This detailed report reflects on the study of two connected, contemporaneous realities in India – urban refugees in India (in this case, specifically, refugees in India’s capital city of Delhi), and India’s lack of a legal framework, domestic or international, that guarantee their protection. Seeking to understand the aspirations and desires of Sikh and Christian Afghan refugees and Rohingya refugees leading incredibly precarious lives in Delhi, the study engages in an exploration of the various factors that contributed to their state of insecurity, and proposes its own take on Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach to formulate long-term, sustainable development and security goals for urban refugees based on the notion of ‘self-reliance’. Available at:

News Reports and Blog posts

The Balkans: Children repeatedly abused by border authorities

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has exposed the violence that continues to be perpetrated on children and young people by European Union Member State border authorities and police on Serbia’s borders with Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia in a new report titled Games of Violence. The report uses medical and mental health data and the testimonies of our young patients in detailing the violence. Available at:

 Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Pledging Conference

A ministerial-level pledging conference was held in Geneva on 23 October. Co-hosted by the European Union and the Government of Kuwait, and co-organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and OCHA, it aimed to raise the necessary resources to enable the humanitarian community to meet the most urgent needs of Rohingya refugees who sought shelter and safety in Bangladesh. Available at:

 Will DACA Parents Be Forced to Leave Their U.S.-Citizen Children Behind?

With the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an estimated 200,000 children are at risk of losing their parents. Available at:  

Digital and Social Media

Movie review: ‘Human Flow’ Offers A Searing Look at The Global Refugee Crisis

Human Flow is a documentary directed by Ai Weiwei that explores the everyday lives of people fleeing various conflicts around the world. The review available at:

October 18 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. 21

Recent Publications and New Research

Negotiating Identity and Belonging through the Invisibility Bargain: Colombian Forced Migrants in Ecuador, by Jeffrey D. Pugh

This article argues that an “invisibility bargain” constrains migrants’ identities and political participation, demanding their economic contributions plus political and social invisibility in exchange for tolerance of their presence in the host country. In response, migrants negotiate their visible identity differences, minimize social distance from the host population, and build informal coalitions with non-state brokers to avoid citizen backlash against overt political activism. Examining Colombian forced migrants in Ecuador, the article challenges state-centric governance approaches, underscoring migrant agency in negotiating identity to influence social hierarchies, coexistence, and human security. Its findings advance the broader understanding of migration in the Global South. Available at:

Promises and pitfalls: the SIEV 221 incident and its aftermath by Andreas Schloenhardt and James Johnston 

Abstract: On 15 December 2010, 50 asylum seekers drowned when the wooden fishing vessel used to take them from Indonesia to Australia, referred to as SIEV 221 by Australian authorities, crashed against the cliffs of Christmas Island and sank. This incident, which unfolded before the eyes of many locals and was broadcast around the world, shocked the Australian public and led to calls for a radical change of Australia’s response to irregular maritime arrivals and migrant smuggling. This research note documents and examines the background and events of the SIEV 221 tragedy and its aftermath, including relevant official reviews, inquests, criminal and civil proceedings. The paper explores the pitfalls that led to this incident and assesses the response to the tragedy against the promises made by the Australian Government at that time. Available at:

“City Margins and Exclusionary Space in Contemporary Egypt: An Urban Ethnography of a Syrian Refugee Community in a Remote Low-Income Cairo Neighborhood”, an MA thesis by Samir Shalabi

This study investigates how a low-income Syrian refugee community negotiates its precarious location in a neighborhood on the periphery of one of Cairo’s desert ‘New Towns’. It also examines the way in which urban spatiality shapes the everyday lived reality of this particular community of Syrians. It argues that although these Syrian refugees lack access to transportation and other types of social services, they nevertheless manage to disrupt the spatial status-quo by devising creative solutions to problems concerning amenity availability in the neighborhood where they live. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Research in Brief ‘Refugee Self-Reliance: Moving Beyond the Marketplace’

Refugee self-reliance, livelihoods, and entrepreneurship have considerable salience – yet there remain notable gaps in understanding and supporting non-economic dimensions of refugee self-reliance. Academic and policy literature often focuses on technical economic outcomes at the expense of social and political dimensions and the use of holistic measurements. This latest RSC Research in Brief, presents new research on refugee self-reliance and addresses areas not commonly included in current discussions. In particular, it focuses on social and cultural, practical, and programmatic aspects of refugee self-reliance. In so doing, it rethinks the concept of refugee self-reliance and aims to contribute recommendations to help achieve positive outcomes in policy and practice. Available at:

Conference Report: Forced to flee: A multi-disciplinary conference on internal displacement, migration and refugee crises

“Forced to Flee” was a multidisciplinary two-day conference on internal displacement, migration and refugee crises, jointly organized by SOAS University of London, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the University of Exeter, the British Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It brought together some sixty researchers, independent and UK government policy-makers, and senior humanitarian practitioners. The conference report is available at:

Proposed refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018, Report to the congress

This report presented on the behalf of the president of the United States to the congress. It aims to provide information and recommendations about the nature of the refugee situation in the US, A description of the number and allocation of the refugees to be admitted and an analysis of conditions within the countries from which they came; A description of the plans for their movement and resettlement and the estimated cost of their movement and resettlement; An analysis of the anticipated social, economic, and demographic impact of their admission to the US,  amongst other information. Available at:

News Reports and Blog posts

‘Leaving the Cold War Behind’: Crime and Forced Migration in Latin America by David James Cantor

Compared to many other regions of the world, the number of forced migrants in Latin America is low. Moreover, sometimes its refugee challenges can be seen by outsiders as marginal and parochial; its laws and institutions for refugees as settled and well-established. Below the surface, though, all is in flux as hotspots of violent criminality across the region provoke new and acute forced migration challenges. This blog reflects on some of these challenges. Available at:

Europe’s Migrant Trail, Through the Instagrams of Refugees by Nicolas Niarchos

This article reports on The Belgian photographer Tomas van Houtryve who offered a new approach by following the “digital breadcrumbs” left by refugees on social media as they passed through Turkey, Greece, and France. Van Houtryve, who has covered wars in Nepal and Afghanistan as a traditional photojournalist, became interested in the ways in which digital technology affects photography when, in 2013, he began working on a series of photographs of the United States taken from drones. For his current project, which he has called “Traces of Exile,” he shot video footage of sites along the migrant trail in Europe. Then, using an augmented-reality app called Layar, he overlaid his footage with screenshots of images posted by refugees on Instagram from those same sites. Available at:

 Refugees Deeply Weekly Summary

This week’s summary covers the concerns and preparations by and for refugees for the coming Winter. The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR warned that it’s only received one-quarter of the funds it needs to properly shelter 4 million vulnerable displaced Syrians and Iraqis from the winter weather. Meanwhile, Médecins Sans Frontières is warning of a “mental health emergency” on the Greek islands. The summary also addresses the situation in Libya where a Libyan militia seized control of a key smuggling hub from rival armed groups who had recently cracked down on migrant boats leaving Libya under an Italian-backed deal. UNHCR said thousands of migrants were found trapped in Sabratha after the fighting, including unaccompanied children. Finally, addressing the Rohynia crisis where more refugees drowned fleeing Myanmar by boat, amid a renewed exodus over the border this week. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

 7 free short films about refugees recommended by human rights educators By Camille Roch

Here are seven freely available videos on the reality of life as a refugee, ranging from one to 16 minutes in length recommended by Amnesty International’s human rights education network: