April 28 2022: 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. 123


New Issue: Winders, J. (Ed.). (2022). International Migration Review (IMR). Center for Migration Studies, 56(2). This summer 2022 edition of the IMR is thematically sorted into four sections. The first section examines immigrant wage gaps and labour market performance in Europe. The second discusses native-immigrant comparisons in neighbourhoods, workplaces, and education. The third section has articles about cultural attitudes, cultural frames, and immigrant incorporation. The fourth focuses on migration decisions, development, and networks. Lastly, this edition includes 11 book reviews, which are free to access.

[open access] Managing Mixed Migration. (2022). Yale Journal of International Law Online. This latest Symposium consists of eight essays that survey the law, politics, and history of mixed migration; reveal how states have interpreted the term; and showcase the promise and perils of migrant categorization. Above all, they tell a story about how governments rely on the mixed character of migrant flows and the mixed motives of people on the move to draw categories, force emigration, and constrain immigration.

[open access] Pacheco Pacifico, A. (2022) A Network Society Communicative Model for Optimising the Refugee Status Determination System. Paraiba State University Press. The book aims to analyze the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) to locate the reader on the development of the theme, the forms and actors responsible for its application, and present suggestions for improving the RSD system developed around the world. It suggests building a network society communicative model to optimize the RSD procedures, that is, a system that lacks standard procedures, internationally and regionally. Hence, this model would have all implementing partners (UNHCR, States, NGOs, and refugees) at the “round-table” to speak, be heard, and consider their reality, needs, and concerns.

[open access] Krause, U. (2022), The Powerful (Vagueness of) Numbers? (Non)Knowledge Production about Refugee Accommodation Quantifications in UNHCR’s Global Trends ReportsMigration and Society, 5 (1), 141–151. This article explores accommodation categories, quantifications, and local categorizations as presented in the Global Trends Reports published from 2003 to 2020. While the numbers display precise knowledge of refugees’ whereabouts, gaps prevail in the reports: accommodation categories remain undefined, calculations are partly unclear, and local recategorizations occur suddenly without explanation. This author argues that these issues produce nonknowledge, and that the reports’ continuous attention to accommodation data simulates refugees’ controllability and governability.

Fransen, S., & Haas, H. (2022). Trends and Patterns of Global Refugee MigrationPopulation and Development Review48(1), 97–128. This paper studies long-term trends and patterns in global refugee migration. The authors explored the intensity, spread, and distance of refugee migration at a global, regional, and country-level between 1951 and 2018. The analysis did not detect a long-term increase in the global intensity of refugee migration. Primarily depending on levels of conflict, refugee numbers have fluctuated at levels of between 0.1 and 0.3 percent of the world population. Apparent increases in numbers of the globally displaced are driven by the inclusion of populations and countries previously excluded from the data. While refugee populations continue to be concentrated in countries with low-to-medium income levels, the analysis reveals several geographic shifts in refugee migration. Refugees tend to come from a shrinking number of origin countries and move to an increasing variety of destination countries. This trend seems to reflect a concentration of recurrent conflict cycles in a relatively small number of countries and a parallel increase in the number of safe destinations.

Hovil, L., Maple, N. (2022). Local Integration: A Durable Solution in Need of Restoration? Refugee Survey Quarterly. The article examines ways in which states seek to evade local integration. It begins by investigating the multiple tactics used by wealthier governments to elude responsibility both at a national level and through their influence over global refugee responses. Next, it explores how countries hosting the greatest numbers of refugees, with a specific focus on Africa, have allowed significant numbers of refugees into their territory but have maintained a short-term approach that has blocked local integration as a durable solution. The authors argue that a mix of global, national, and local processes and forces have effectively conspired to diminish local integration as a durable solution, and the implications are profound.


The refuge Reports, Lebanese American University, April 2022. For twelve weeks, the Institute for Migration Studies is partnering with organizations worldwide to shed light on twelve refugee communities’ experiences of refuge and displacement to shift the focus back to the conflicts that no longer make the headlines. In partnership with the Global Research Network’s ‘War, Conflict and Global Migration Think Tank’, the third profile focuses on Burundi’s conflict that can be understood in the context of colonial and post-colonial historical migration patterns. In the fourth week, in partnership with the Department of Migration and Globalization, Danube University Krems is focused on displacement in Afghanistan and the current trends post-re-establishment of Taliban rule after ending a two-decade-long military presence in the country.

Ukraine — Internal Displacement Report — General Population Survey Round 3, International Organization for Migration (IOM). April 17, 2022. Between April 11 and 17, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted the third round of a rapid representative assessment of the general population in Ukraine to gather insights into internal displacement and mobility flows and to assess local needs. This general population survey serves as a preliminary source to identify areas with high humanitarian needs and inform the targeting of response to assist the war-affected population. The geographical scope of the assessment covers the entire territory of Ukraine, all five macro-regions ( East, North, Centre, South, and the city of Kyiv), except the Crimean peninsula.


Outsourcing asylum seekers: the case of Rwanda and the UK by Cristiano d’Orsi, The Conversation. On April 4, 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Britain would relocate some asylum seekers arriving in the UK to Rwanda. The plan was condemned by the opposition and human rights groups such as Amnesty International. However, the UK has settled on Rwanda after earlier reports that it considered Albania and Ghana. In the light of the latest developments, Cristiano d’Orsi, an expert on the law and asylum seekers, provides insights into why Rwanda.

Biden administration rolls out plan for Ukrainian refugees by Maria Sacchetti, The Washington Post. April 21, 2022. President Biden pledged to accept as many as 100,000 Ukrainians – roughly 2 percent of the refugees – but the administration has not offered clear guidance on the process until now. The administration announced plans Thursday to expedite the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, creating a new system that will allow ordinary citizens and organizations such as churches to sponsor them. However, officials warned that Ukrainians attempting to cross via Mexico will be denied entry starting next week.

Expanding Refugee Access to Third-Country Solutions: International Leaders Launch the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. April 6, 2022. An international task force currently chaired by Canada has come together to identify ways to increase the number of refugees resettled. The task force will focus on helping identify employment-based options for refugee resettlement. According to this news release, the task force “recognize[s] refugees’ skills, experience, and talent, in addition to their need for protection.” The task force hopes to help countries “fill skilled labour shortages and drive post-pandemic economic recovery” and open an additional pathway for refugees abroad. It will work to supplement humanitarian resettlement programs and with other groups such as governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and civil society groups to resettle skilled refugees.

After the Coup: Burkina Faso’s Humanitarian and Displacement Crisis by Alexandra Lamarche, Arden Bentley & Burkina Faso, Refugees International. April 21, 2022. Violence, displacement, humanitarian needs, and food insecurity continue to rise in Burkina Faso. A January 2022 coup has further destabilized the country, but the leadership transition may provide some near-term opportunities to address the country’s worsening humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, a longer-than-usual dry season and a worsening global grain shortage amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict—where more than a third of the county’s grains are imported—make action and attention more urgent than ever.


Land, Borders and Health Lecture series hosted by Public Health & Migration, the Centre for Global Health, and the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, in partnership with the Global Health and Social Accountability Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine (University of Toronto). A series of lectures by a group of internationally renowned scholars and activists to explore how land and borders are relevant to human health and the health of the planet, with the intent of emphasizing the importance of academic work, across disciplinary silos, focusing on restoration, restitution, and reparation. The first lecture of the series: Visions for Planetary Healing is on Friday, April 29, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT.

Virtual Discussion: Refugees and the War in Ukraine, CCIS & UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration. April 29, 2022, 3:00-5:00 PM ET. More than 4 million refugees had fled the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Millions more have been internally displaced or are forcibly immobilized by sieges. These dynamics come on top of existing displacements from the war in Donbas since 2014 and movements of asylum seekers and other migrants. This panel will go beyond the headlines to assess the historical context of contemporary displacements, the reception of refugees in neighbouring countries, and the comparison between the reception of Ukrainians in 2022 and Syrians in 2015.

Hundreds of Thousands of Stateless People Are Living in Legal Limbo in the United States, PBS New Hour. April 5, 2022. Around the world, conflicts, wars, and other geopolitical crises have left millions of people without citizenship in any country. They are called the “stateless,” a term the Biden administration has finally committed to defining under US law. The United Nations estimates there are approximately 10 million stateless people worldwide. A CMS study from 2019 estimates that roughly 218,000 US residents are potentially stateless or potentially at risk of statelessness. The lack of government-issued identity documents prevents many stateless people from accessing employment, housing, benefits, protection from an embassy, and travel documents. As a result, many stateless people live in legal limbo — trying to live everyday lives but fearful that it can all be taken away.

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