Category Archives: Blogs

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:

October 11 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. 20

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Statelessness in the Caribbean: The Paradox of Belonging in a Postnational World by Kristy A. Belton

Through an analysis of statelessness in the Caribbean, the book argues for the reconceptualization of statelessness as a form of forced displacement. The author explains how the peculiar form of displacement experienced by the stateless often occurs under nonconflict and noncrisis conditions and within democratic regimes, all of which serve to make such people’s plight less visible and consequently heightens their vulnerability. it concludes that statelessness needs to be addressed as a matter of global distributive justice. Citizenship is not only a necessary good for an individual in a world carved into states but is also a human right and a status that should not be determined by states alone. In order to resolve their predicament, the stateless must have the right to choose to belong to the communities of their birth. Available at:

Historicising ‘Irregular’ Migration from Senegal to Europe by Stephanie Maher

In both media and policy circles, African migrants are commonly referred to as desperate travellers who fall prey to exploitative ‘slave traders’ on their clandestine journeys to Europe. And yet, such framings do not adequately account for the ways in which migration from West Africa to Europe has a long and profound history, and thus does not sufficiently correspond to histories of enslavement. Nor do such framings appreciate how contemporary movements within and outside West Africa are informed by interrelated political genealogies that tie Europe to Africa in mutually dialectic ways. Focusing on the case of Senegal, this article aims to disrupt the ‘migrant as slave’ narrative by looking back at the histories of regional and international mobility that continue to shape population movements out of Senegal today. Available at:

FMR 56

This issue of Forced migration review contains 31 articles on Latin America and the Caribbean, plus five ‘general’ articles on other topics. The content can be found at this link. Below are some highlights:

 Canada’s Guideline 9: improving SOGIE claims assessment? By Moira Dustin and Nuno Ferreira

Asylum seekers making claims relating to their sexual orientation and gender identity often face unfair refusal. New guidance from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada takes admirable steps towards improving claims assessment, and offers a model for practitioners elsewhere. This article reflect on these steps. Available at:

Factors influencing decision making by people fleeing Central America by Vickie Knox

In this paper, the author reflects on interviews with people who have fled violence in Central America to understand the influences behind their decision making prior to and during flight.  The interviews indicate that incidents resulting in immediate or imminent risk were the catalyst for people to leave their homes while structural factors drove external migrations. External flight is being driven by a powerful trio of structural factors: the pervasive presence of organised criminal groups throughout the region, a lack of effective State control leading to the usurping of territorial control by organised criminal groups, and an absence of State response to people who are forced to relocate internally. Social capital and knowledge of one’s rights may influence decisions along the way and so determine one’s ultimate destination but migration controls and policies have little bearing on decision making when push factors are so overwhelming and flight so urgent. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Guidelines for Social Workers and Care Providers in Germany

The Nuremberg Academy seeks to provide social welfare institutions with information on the significance of these circumstances where refugees/asylum seekers might act as witnesses in criminal proceedings, as well as the employees and volunteers working with them. The goal is to develop a set of guidelines that refugee workers can use. To this end, this is a pilot project that included researching the needs of the different organizations involved and developing and testing draft guidelines. As a result, the Academy has published these Guidelines to provide social workers and care providers with the necessary understanding and knowledge to be able to assist refugees/asylum seekers should they choose to divulge this information to them. Available at:

 Dom Migrants From Syria Living at the Bottom On the Road amid Poverty and Discrimination, present situation analysis report, Hacer FOGGO / Kemal Vural TARLAN and others.

This report has been prepared as part of “The Project on Improving the Protection and Health Conditions of Syrians and Migrants in the South of Turkey” to analyse the present situation of Syrian Dom Migrants in Turkey. The study aims to describe the living conditions of Dom communities who have fled the civil war in Syria and taken refuge in Turkey, as well as the forms of discrimination and other problems they face. Available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

 Angry anglophones, cholera contrast, and a Vanuatu volcano: The Cheat Sheet

Every week, IRIN’s team of specialist editors scans the humanitarian horizon to curate a reading list on important and unfolding trends and events around the globe. In this week report, covers the cholera epidemic implications on both the Rohingya refugees and in Yemen. It also highlights what is referred to the “anglophone crisis” in the Cameroon. It also addresses the evacuation operations in Ambae Island in response to the simmering Monaro volcano among others. Available at:

The Central Mediterranean: European priorities, Libyan realities by Daniel Howden

An in-depth read on why and how so many refugees & migrants have been trapped in Libya and the central Mediterranean corridor which has become the busiest mixed migration rout in Europe. Available at:

Digital and Social Media

 Summer in Athens: A Sound Essay

This soundscape of Athens, Greece, offers an evocative and immersive insight into sounds of everyday life in the city. Athens has become home to many refugees from Syria and elsewhere, who have brought with them new sounds documented in this piece. Engaging with spaces of refuge through sound is a method that can help outmanoeuvre the tropes of photography which often focus on the singular, suffering humanitarian victim – resisting these tropes and attempting to develop more nuanced understandings of everyday displacement and hosting is something the Refugee Hosts project aims to achieve through the ‘spaces and places, not faces’ approach to representation. Available at:

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: