Category Archives: Blogs

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: