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. 84
Recent Publications and New Research
Kraly, E.P., Hovy, B. (2020). Data and research to inform global policy: the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Comparative Migration Studies 8, 11: The aim of this paper is to make explicit the insights, proposals and recommendations from stakeholders in the development of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) regarding the role of evidence in effective international migration governance. The systematic organization of results is intended to express opportunities for engagement of social and population scientists in analyses that complement priorities and recommendations of stakeholders. Available Open access here.
Horst, Cindy, et al. “The ‘Good Citizen’: Asserting and Contesting Norms of Participation and Belonging in Oslo.” Ethnic and Racial Studies: ERS Open, vol. 43, no. 16, Routledge, Dec. 2020, pp. 76–95. The authors investigate what constitutes a “good citizen”. Based on empirical data, the authors argue for a reconceptualization of good citizenship that acknowledges present-day spaces of participation as both public and private, and which acknowledges scales of belonging that go beyond and below a narrowly defined national community. Such reconceptualization is necessary to include and recognize the diversity of participation and belonging unfolding in Europe today. Available open access here.
New E-book: Samaddar, R. (ed.) (2020). Borders of a Pandemic: COVID-19 and the Migrant workers: India is in a complete lock down mode. This online publication by the Calcutta Research Group is based on contemporary reflections by journalists, social scientists and social activists, legal practitioners, and thinkers, which highlight the ethical and political implications of the epidemic in India – particularly for India’s migrant workers. This book is written as the crisis unfolds with no end in sight. It is a tract of the time. Available Open access here.
Purkey, A. L. (December 2019). Refugee Dignity in Protracted Exile: Rights, Capabilities and Legal Empowerment. Routledge. This book investigates how effective human rights and the inherent dignity of refugees can be secured in situations of protracted exile and encampment. The book deploys an innovative human rights-based capabilities approach to address fundamental questions relating to law, power, governance, responsibility and accountability in refugee camps. In this work, legal empowerment is explored as a strategy through which power can be redistributed and individual agency exercised within the refugee context. Thus, by helping to increase the capability of refugees to participate actively in the decisions that most affect their core rights and interests, participatory approaches to legal empowerment can also assist in securing other capabilities, ultimately ensuring that refugees are able to live dignified lives while in protracted exile. More information available here.
Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers
Religion and Social Justice for Refugees: Insights from Cameroon, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Mexico. Bridging Voices, UCL-Yale Research Report (March 2020). Drawing on over 300 interviews with refugees, members of local host communities and locally based organisations in towns, cities and camps in Cameroon, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Lebanon and Jordan, the report identifies and examines the ways that faith plays an important role in supporting social justice for refugees. This demonstrates a clear disconnect between what policy makers and practitioners assume that ‘refugees need’ and what refugees consider to be essential requirements, as prerequisites to dignity and justice. Read more here.
Ferreira, N., et al. (2020). Governing protracted displacement: An analysis across global, regional and domestic contexts (TRAFIG working paper 3). Bonn: BICC. This working paper explores the governance of protracted displacement across global, regional and domestic levels in the context of the project “Transnational Figurations of Displacement” (TRAFIG). The multiple contemporary crises that have led to forced displacement show not only the limits of a tight definition of ‘refugee’, but also highlight the gaps in international protection frameworks. A significant number of those forcibly displaced are in protracted displacement situations. Read more here.
Report: COVID-19 Disease Response, Situation Report 6 (April 9, 2020) IOM. Global restrictions have left some migrants stranded waiting in transit centers for their voluntary return. Most of the transit centers have already reached maximum capacity; overcrowding and lengthy stays are leading to increased tensions and psychological stress, while potentially also putting migrants at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Read more here.
Report: COVID-19 Response: IOM Regional Office for Asia Pacific, Situation Report 4 (April 11, 2020). Localized outbreaks and the implementation of public health measures, such as lockdowns and social distancing across the region, have led to multiple instances of sudden mass migrant movements, exacerbating individual and community vulnerability and potentially driving further transmission. There are also increasing reports of stigma and discrimination towards migrants at destination, transit and home locations upon return due to fears around COVID-19 transmission. Read more here.
News reports and blog posts
Family reunification and COVID-19: reflections on the situation of refugees, By Louisa Brain, LIDC Migration Leadership team, (March 30, 2020). This blog brings reflections and recommendations on family reunification for refugees in the context of COVID-19 in Brazil. While this blog post does not challenge the importance of restrictive measures to collective health, it presents some reflections on family reunification procedures for refugees worldwide who are living this difficult moment. Read more here.
The Right Technology Can Help Refugees Stay Connected (March 11, 2020) RAND. This essay underscores the importance of smartphones for refugees to stay connected to family and friends as well as their life prior to displacement. There has been tremendous investment in developing apps specifically for refugees, and a lot of it has been wasted. United Nations should consider establishing worldwide frameworks for the ethical and effective use of technology in refugee settings. Read more here.
First Person: False Promises in Mauritania (March 28, 2020), UN News. Women and girls face particular challenges as migrants, whatever their reason for leaving their country of origin. UN agencies are learning more about these difficulties, and how to address them. This news report draws on real life examples of how gender interacts with migration. Additionally, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project aims to bring more attention to the circumstances in which women and girls die or go missing during their journey and bring about policy change. Read more here.
Blog post: What COVID-19 Means for Climate Displacement Policy Progress by Kayly Ober, (April 13, 2020) Refugee International. Across the world, governments are rightly focused on the COVID-19 crisis. However, it is imperative that policy makers don’t lose sight of other global challenges, including those related to climate change. Despite progress in climate displacement in the past year, the community may need to be on guard in a COVID-19 world for a variety of reasons such as budget cuts and border closures. Read more here.
Blog post: Coronavirus exacerbates dangers for migrants in Mexican detention by Rachel Schmidtke (April 3, 2020) Refugees International. Migration stations can be found across the country, with some of the largest located on Mexico’s southern border where migration traffic is most dense. Conditions in Mexico’s migration stations have been criticized for years, but as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the country, the new risks facing detained migrants and asylum seekers in these migration stations are revealing longstanding issues. Read more here.
Digital and social media
@Refugees UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency created a short video highlighting how to come together to win the fight with COVID-19 while not leaving anyone behind. Watch here.