April 30, 2020: 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. 85

Recent Publications and New Research

Strømme, E.M., Haj-Younes, J., Hasha, W. et al. Health status and use of medication and their association with migration related exposures among Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Norway: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 20, 341 (2020). The health of forcibly displaced individuals changes along their migration path and estimates of disease burden are essential to develop health care policies and practices adequately corresponding to their health care needs. This study aims to describe the health status and use of medication among Syrian refugees in two different migration phases: in a transit setting and in a recipient country. Further, the authors investigate the associations between migration related exposures and both chronic pain and mental health among Syrian refugees. (Open access) Read Here.

Carroll, H., Luzes, M., Freier, L., & Bird, M. (2020). The migration journey and mental health: Evidence from Venezuelan forced migration. SSM – Population Health10, 100551. Using migration of Venezuelans to Peru as a case example, the authors surveyed migrants on mental health and migration factors at the Ecuador-Peru border. They found that the link between migration factors and mental health is concerning, as the associated distress may influence post-migration mental health. (Open access) Read here.

Pincock, K., Betts, A., & Easton-Calabria, E. (2020). The Global Governed?: Refugees as Providers of Protection and Assistance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Based on fieldwork in refugee camps and cities in Uganda and Kenya, this book examines how refugee-led organisations emerge, the protection and assistance they provide to other refugees, and their interactions with international institutions. The book shows how, despite a lack of recognition and funding, many refugee-led organisations and networks provide crucial sources of social protection, enhancing livelihood, health, and access to education. The authors offer an alternative vision for more participatory global governance. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Without essential protections: a roadmap to safeguard the rights of asylum seekers in Greece. (April 23, 2020) Refugees International. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 reaching pandemic levels, the Greek Asylum Service (GAS) announced that it would suspend all administrative services and not receive new asylum applications until at least May 15, 2020. Further, the Greek government has proposed a new bill that removes protections for asylum seekers and ensures that access to asylum will become even more difficult and restrictive. This report lists recommendations for Greek asylum authorities and laws, as well as the European Union and it’s members. Read here.

Ilcan, S., Thomaz, D., & Jimenez Bueno, M. (2020) Private sponsorship in Canada: the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. IMRC Policy Points, Issue 17. This paper unpacks the lessons from resettlement of Syrian refugees in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, and highlights the resettlement experiences of privately sponsored refugees in this area. It draws on policy, program, and scholarly documents, and on a selection of 55 semi-structured, in-depth interviews on direct experiences of resettlement in southern Ontario, Canada. The authors emphasize that strong leadership by governments and civil society groups and organizations is crucial in the private sponsorship of Syrians, and that more policy attention and research are needed to improve the private sponsorship program in the K-W region. (Open access) Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Governments Need to Do More for Refugees Affected by Coronavirus: Here’s How by Cristiano D’Orsi (April 15, 2020) The Conversation. Governments and international organisations are coping with the ways in which the most vulnerable categories of society such as refugees will be affected, but many countries don’t have clear plans. The author reviews the COVID-19 response by the UN while focusing on recommendations for what should be done. Read here.

How New Tools are Meeting the Challenge of Measuring Refugee Self-Reliance by Dale Buscher and Kellie Leeson (April 16, 2020) Rethinking Refuge. How can we measure refugee self-reliance, one of the objectives of the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees? In this article, the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative presents a tool for measuring self-reliance and shows how it can be used in effective programming. Read here.

Car-sharing in Lebanon: Overlooked Practices of Collective Self-reliance by Estella Carpi (April 9, 2020) Rethinking Refuge. Humanitarian agencies often decide refugee eligibility based on identity categories that do not acknowledge the collective nature of socio-economic practices. This study of car-sharing in Lebanon challenges these approaches and offers an alternative model. Read here.

Health for all: COVID-19 and global health. Interview with Iman Ahmed (April 1, 2020), Spring Magazine. Spring Magazine spoke with Iman Ahmed, a global health specialist, about COVID-19 from an international health perspective. This interview touches on pandemic preparedness and response for refugees including lessons and comparisons. It includes topics such as state repression as well as changes in the labour market and the affects on the healthcare system. Read here.

Refugees Among Hundreds of Overseas Medics to Respond to NHS Call by Karen McVeigh (April 17, 2020) The Guardian. Refugee organisations and applicants have described the NHS England scheme as a good “first step” to allow doctors unable to complete registration to have a clinical role. But they urged the government and the General Medical Council (GMC) to find alternative solutions to allow them to work as doctors, saying the current process is too long, bureaucratic and expensive. Read here.

Digital and social media

Podcast: Nadim’s Story – A Bangladeshi asylum seeker living in the UK (March 9, 2020) Refugees’ Stories. This season’s focus is the lives of those who have sought asylum for their sexuality or gender identity. This episode follows Nadim, a young man from Dhaka, Bangladesh who currently lives in London. Listen here.

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