Apr 11, 2019: 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. 61

Recent Publications and New Research

Kordel, S. & Weidinger, T. (2019): Onward (im)mobilties: conceptual reflections and empirical findings from lifestyle migration research and refugee studies. Die Erde – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin. This article firstly aims to unravel mobility processes among lifestyle migrants and refugees after arrival in Spain or Germany. Secondly, it identifies how migrants’ mobility strategies counteract sedentarist logics of the state. Empirical data show that migrants’ onward mobilities vary at length and thus blur boundaries between residential and everyday mobility. While negotiating mobility and immobility, they develop agency and learn to decide whether, when and how to be mobile or to be fixed to places and establish strategies how to deal with territorially based logics of the state. Thus, state authorities are highly interested in regulations to identify where people reside. Apart from security issues, particularly welfare states have to find solutions how to be responsible for people in a way that goes beyond territorially based registrations. In conceptual terms, results finally provide empirical evidence for a broader understanding of migration, especially considering onward mobility and forms of desired immobility. Available at: https://www.die-erde.org/index.php/die-erde/article/view/408/pdf 

New Book: Üstübici, A. (2018). The Governance of International Migration: Irregular Migrants’ Access to Right to Stay in Turkey and Morocco, Amsterdam University Press. As concerns about immigration has grown within Europe in recent years, the European Union has brought pressure to bear on countries that are allegedly not sufficiently governing irregular migration with and within their borders. This book looks at that issue in Turkey and Morocco, showing how it affects migrants in these territories, and how migrant illegality has been produced by law, practiced and negotiated by the state, other civil society actors, and by migrants themselves. The author focuses on a number of different aspects of migrant illegality, such as experiences of deportation, participation in economic life, and access to health care and education, in order to reveal migrants’ strategies and the various ways they seek to legitimize their stay. Available at: https://www.doabooks.org/doab?func=fulltext&uiLanguage=en&rid=32172

Ruhs, M. (2019) Can labor immigration work for refugees?, Current Histories

The author assesses the Global Compact on Refugees’ (GCR) recommendation that high income countries should take in some refugees as labor migrants. He argues that treating refugees purely as labor migrants without any recognition of their special status will not benefit many because refugees would need to compete for admission with other migrants from all around the world. Instead the author proposes that a more effective approach would be to design a program that is based, as much as possible, on the key features of labor immigration policies but also includes special measures for refugees. He concludes that few policy designs will need to have an explicit dual purpose, combining the objectives of labor migration and humanitarian protection. This will inevitably involve at least some trade-offs between admission for refugee-workers and compliance with some of the protection principles enshrined in international asylum and refugee norms. Available at: http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/60384/Ruhs-CH-Jan2019.pdf

Güler, A., Shevtsova, M., & Venturi, D. (Eds.). (2018). LGBTI Asylum Seekers and Refugees from a Legal and Political Perspective: Persecution, Asylum and Integration. Springer. This book addresses the ‘three moments’ in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers’ and refugees’ efforts to secure protection: The reasons for their flight, the Refugee Status Determination process, and their integration into the host community once they are recognized refugee status. An intersectional approach is employed so as to offer a comprehensive picture of how a host of factors beyond sexual orientation/gender identity impact LGBTI asylum seekers’ journey. It includes a selection of legal, political, psychological and historical scholarly analysis to the perspectives of the practitioners working in the field. More available (with a free preview) at: https://www.springer.com/la/book/9783319919041. Some selections available on google books here

Report, briefs and policy papers

Policy brief: Mitigating the Effects of Trauma among Young Children of Immigrants and Refugees: The Role of Early Childhood Programs, by Maki Park and Caitlin Katsiaficas (April 2019), Migration Policy Institute. This issue brief explores the types of trauma that may affect young children in immigrant

Families within the US context, what the effects of those experiences may be, and what can be done to protect children against them. Among these opportunities: promoting the systematic use of mental health screening tools that are appropriate both for young children and for use across cultures, and boosting collaboration between ECEC providers, health services, and organizations that work with immigrants to ensure that young children and their families are referred to needed services in a timely fashion. Available at:


Immigration Detention in Slovenia: Where They Call Detention a “Limitation of Movement” (February, 2019), Global detention project. As a key transit country for refugees and migrants travelling the “Balkan Route,” Slovenia witnessed a significant increase in the number of border crossings during the “refugee crisis.” Citing fears of a “humanitarian catastrophe,” the country tightened immigration controls, erected wire fencing along its border with Croatia, and introduced stringent new asylum legislation. Non-citizens have a mere three days to appeal their detention and they are obliged to pay the costs of their detention. Also, unaccompanied children and families are regularly placed in the country’s sole immigration detention centre and non-custodial alternatives to detention are rarely applied because few non-citizens are able to afford it. Read the full report at: https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-slovenia-2019

Factsheet: Dadaab Movement and Intentions Monitoring: Dadaab Refugee Complex (November 2018), REACH. A survey conducted by REACH, in partnership with the Norwegian refugee council, in Dadaab refugee complex showed that a majority of the households (39%) not willing to return to Somalia mainly due to fear of conflict. This factsheet provides an overview of the third round of assessment conducted in February 2019 across the three camps of Dadaab refugee complex. More details available at:


News reports and blog posts

What is gained by stripping ISIL returnees of citizenship? By Ebby L. Abramson (March 20, 2019), Policy Options. In Europe, conversations about the fate of returnees have intensified since the UK Home Office decided to strip British citizenship from Shamima Begum, who joined ISIL at 15 along with two other schoolgirls from the UK. Debate has focused on legal questions that surround such a move, which would cause the troublesome dilemma of creating stateless individuals. However, human rights and counter-terrorism strategies deserve more consideration than they have gotten. The author in this article considers three main factors in the complex matter of ISIL recruits who want to come home: why they left their home country; how vulnerable to coercion were they; and what are the circumstances of their return. More available at:


How a multinational project is striving to change refugee research, by Emily Baron Cadloff (April 2019), University Affairs. About 85 percent of the world’s refugees can be found in the global south while most refugee research is based out of the global north; a Canadian study aims to bridge that gap. The study, called “Civil Society and the Global Refugee Regime,” involves researchers at 10 partner universities spanning seven countries. The researchers will spend seven years looking at the issue of refugee resettling practices in four key countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Kenya and Tanzania.  More available at:


Refugees’ Self-reliance: The dilemma of implementing the Global Compact on Refugees in Africa, by Tsion Tadesse Abebe (April 3, 2019), RLI blog on refugee law and Forced migration. The author argues that the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and the Global compact on refugees (GCR), should be guided by context specific assessments since, for instance, promotion of self-reliance of refugees among impoverished host communities can lead to tensions. As a result, the development interventions targeting host communities should be transformative enough to achieve strong public buy-in. Further, it is critical to employ a conflict sensitive approach to navigate through the delicate balance and for the benefit of all. To achieve the desired result at every stage of the GCR/CRRF implementation, the author proposes establishing a tripartite platform among humanitarian, development, and peace/conflict actors should be considered. More available at:


Digital, social and multimedia

Podcast: RLI’s 9th International Refugee Law Seminar Series Speaker: Roger Zetter, Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies, University of Oxford, discusses The Humanitarian-Development Nexus from a political economy approach and links it to the GCR. Available at: https://t.co/yGw0difKlF

Webinar: Immigrant Futures Forum: Designing a Welcoming Economy

Experts from Canada and the U.S share research, local experience and great ideas for how cities can leverage the potential of immigrant talent and contribution to benefit both newcomers and receiving communities. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-JzD8xzlHk&feature=youtu.be

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