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 Management, 6.
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: https://www.routledge.com/Belonging-and-Transnational-Refugee-Settlement-Unsettling-the-Everyday/Marlowe/p/book/9781138285453
Brooten, L., & Verbruggen, Y. (2017). Producing the News: Reporting on Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 47(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.
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: http://www.internal-displacement.org/database/global-displacement-risk-model/?source=mailchimp
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: https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2017/11/21/how-fingerprint-can-change-asylum-seeker-s-life???IRIN
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: https://www.refugeesinternational.org/blog/2017/11/20/turkey