All posts by mmillard

July 4, 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. 67

Recent Publications and New Research

The ETHICS issue, Forced migration review 61, June 2019. The 19 feature theme articles in this issue debate many of the ethical questions that confront us in programming, research, safeguarding and volunteering, and in our use of data, new technologies, messaging and images. Prepare to be enlightened, unsettled and challenged. This issue is being published in tribute to Barbara Harrell-Bond, founder of the Refugee Studies Centre and FMR, who died in July 2018. Contents and links to all articles available at:  

Tay, A. K., et al. (2019). The culture, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees: a systematic review. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 1-6. This paper, drawing on a report commissioned by the UNHCR, aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the literature on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees, including an examination of associated cultural factors. The ultimate objective is to assist humanitarian actors and agencies in providing culturally relevant Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Rohingya refugees displaced to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. Available at:

Robinson, D. B., Robinson, I. M., Currie, V., & Hall, N. (2019). The Syrian Canadian Sports Club: A Community-based Participatory Action Research Project with/for Syrian Youth Refugees. Social Sciences8(6), 163. In this paper, the authors share the rationale, process, and results related to a community-based participatory action research (PAR) project in which they aimed to attend to the underrepresentation of newcomer youth in community sport and recreation pursuits. Drawing upon multiple data sources (i.e., photos and photovoice, participants’ drawings and notes, participant-researchers’ field notes, and focus group interviews), the researchers and their Syrian youth participants co-created and implemented the Syrian Youth Sports Club. They focus on the results, which primarily relate to participants’ experiences becoming (physically literate) and belonging. Full text available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2018, The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), 24 June 2019. The Report is a flagship reference publication that aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the situation of asylum in the EU and the practical functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). As reported by EASO earlier this year, among other stats, the 664,480 applications for international protection in the EU in 2018 marked a decrease for the third consecutive year, this time by 10%. Additionally, although fewer positive decisions were issued overall, a higher proportion of positive decisions granted refugee status (55% of positive decisions). Syria (13%), Afghanistan and Iraq (7% each) were the three main countries of origin of applicants in the EU in 2018. The top 10 citizenships of origin also included Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey (4% each), Venezuela, Albania and Georgia (3% each). Available at:

New global returns report: Achieving Durable Solutions for Returnee Children: What do we know? (2018). Save the Children and Samuel Hall. The report offers the first comparative child-focused analyses of conditions on return across four priority returns contexts: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria, seeking to understand what these mean for reintegration. From these findings, it offers a series of recommendations that is hoped to expand our collective knowledge and improve standards of programming, policy, and advocacy in support of child returnees and their families. The report is a step forward to answering two questions: 1) how do we guarantee minimum standards for safe and dignified returns? 2) How can we measure the extent to which children have successfully reintegrated into their communities? Available at:

Solutions analyses update: Case study on lessons learnt and practices to support (re)integration programming – Mogadishu, Baidoa and Kismayo, ReDSS, March 2019. The report starts by reviewing progress and challenges related to durable solutions planning and programming. Discussion is structured around four key durable solutions programming principles: 1) area-based planning; 2) sustainable (re)integration; 3) collective outcomes and coordination; and 4) government engagement. It also includes eight case studies that reflect key lessons learnt from practice. The second part of the report offers an updated criteria rating for each of the locations based on the ReDSS Solutions Framework. Full report available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

India Must Have a Sustainable Refugee Policy, RLI blog (July 1, 2019). In this RLI blog, Nafees Ahmad (South Asian University) considers why ‘India Must Have a Sustainable Refugee Policy’ and sets out a framework of best-practice principles to consider its development. Available at:

Amsterdam’s Hire-a-Refugee Program Takes On Tight Labor Market, By Ruben Munsterman, Bllomber (June 26, 2019). The Dutch capital launched a programme in 2016 that aims to solve two problems in the city: integrating thousands of refugees and addressing a lack of workers. Bloomberg reports that the “Amsterdam Approach” of encouraging businesses to hire refugees had helped 53 per cent of the city’s asylum-seekers who sought welfare benefits in 2014 find work by the end of last year. About 80 “client managers” – many of whom are migrants themselves – work with about 50 refugees each, helping them with asylum procedures, Dutch language lessons and finding work. Available at:

The Web, Digital and social media

Positive public opinion toolkit, Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), May 28, 2019. This toolkit is intended to help us get better at sharing stories, initiating better conversations and driving more productive community narratives that involve those who came to Canada to seek refuge from persecution. The toolkit is comprehensive covering areas from identifying your audience to how to become an active listener and sharing stories. Download the complete toolkit at:

Webinar Series on the PSR Program for Groups of Five and Community Sponsors – RSTP (July 2019). RSTP will be conducting the following webinars in July 2019 on the PSR program for Groups of Five and Community Sponsors:

The above series of webinars will be repeated each month until March 2020.

June 20, 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. 66

Recent Publications and New Research

New book: Megan Bradley, James Milner and Blair Peruniak (eds.) (2019). Refugees’ Roles in Resolving Displacement and Building Peace: Beyond Beneficiaries. Georgetown University Press. The book asks How are refugee crises solved? The resolution of displacement and the conflicts that force refugees from their homes is often explained as a top-down process led and controlled by governments and international organizations. This book takes a different approach. Through contributions from scholars working in politics, anthropology, law, sociology and philosophy, and a wide range of case studies, it explores the diverse ways in which refugees themselves interpret, create and pursue solutions to their plight. The book speaks both to academic debates and to the broader community of peacebuilding, humanitarian and human rights scholars concerned with the nature and dynamics of agency in contentious political contexts and identifies insights that can inform policy and practice. More available at:

New Journal issue:  When States Take Rights Back: Citizenship Revocation and Its Discontents. Citizenship Studies, Issue 4 (June 2019). Citizenship studies publishes internationally recognised scholarly work on contemporary issues in citizenship, human rights and democratic processes from an interdisciplinary perspective covering the fields of politics, sociology, history, anthropology, and cultural studies. The journal encourages analyses that move beyond conventional notions of citizenship and treats citizenship as a strategic concept that is central to the analysis of identity, participation, empowerment, human rights, and democracy. Citizenship is analysed in the context of contemporary processes involving globalism, nationalism, and neoliberalism. It features aspects of citizenship such as gender, indigeneity, diasporicity, equality, security, migration, intimacy, and borders. This issue includes articles on topics such as lessons from Canada’s experiment with citizenship revocation;  fraud-based citizenship deprivation in France and the UK, and Dutch Nationality laws targeting Dutch-Moroccans, more available at:

New Journal issue: African Human Mobility Review. Volume 5 Number 1, January – April 2019. AHMR is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed on-line journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects (socio-economic, political, legislative and developmental) of Human Mobility in Africa. This issue comprises articles on migrant remittance, Eritrean Migration through the Sudan and the Sahara Desert, Dignity in refugee protection, and more. The issue is open access available at:  

d’Haenens, L., Joris, W., & Heinderyckx, F. (2019). Images of Immigrants and Refugees in Western Europe. This book examines the dynamic interplay between media representations of migrants and refugees on the one hand and the governmental and societal (re)actions to these on the other. Largely focusing on Belgium and Sweden, this collection of interdisciplinary research essays attempts to unravel the determinants of people’s preferences regarding migration policy, expectations towards newcomers, and economic, humanitarian and cultural concerns about immigration’s effect on the majority population’s life. Whilst migrants and refugees remain voiceless and highly underrepresented in the legacy media, this volume allows their voices to be heard. The book is open access and is available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Kaldor Centre Principles for Australian Refugee Policy: Key Priorities, Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law.  The Kaldor Centre Principles for Australian Refugee Policy were launched on June 13, setting out a clear, evidence-based policy agenda. They challenge policymakers and the public to reimagine Australia’s current approach, so that both refugees and the nation can prosper amid today’s real global challenges. They provide real-world examples of how, and why, Australia can develop a more humane, sustainable and manageable approach. The seven principles are available in a detailed report at:

Immigration Detention in Latvia: Giving “Accommodation” a Whole New Meaning, May 2019, Global detention project. Although Latvia does not experience significant migratory pressures, the number of immigration detainees and the average length of detention have steadily increased. In 2017, the country opened a second detention facility, misleadingly called an “accommodation centre.” The law provides for the detention of non-citizens for up to 10 days without a court order, the detention of children over the age of 14, and the provision of “alternatives to detention” only for “humanitarian” reasons. Since 2013, four UN human rights treaty bodies have issued recommendations to the country concerning its immigration detention policies. The full report is available at: 

Immigration Detention in Lithuania: Detention and Denial Amidst Extreme Population Decline, May 2019, Global detention project. Asylum applications in Lithuania have decreased significantly in the last few years even as entry refusal rates at the country’s borders have skyrocketed, increasing by some 80 percent since 2013. The country’s restrictive asylum legislation, which provides for the detention of asylum seekers, has received criticism from several UN human rights bodies. Lithuania operates one immigration detention centre, which in the past was been denounced for its poor conditions, over-crowding, and disproportionate use of force. Non-citizens applying for asylum at the border may in some cases be held at entry points or transit zones for up to four weeks in facilities that have been criticized as unsuitable for detention purposes. The full report is available at:

Immigration Detention in Estonia: Better Conditions, Stricter Regime, May 2019, Global detention project. Largely shielded from immigration pressures due to its geography, Estonia has one of the lowest migrant-apprehension rates in the European Union and received the fewest asylum applications in 2018. Nevertheless, public discourse about migrants and foreigners is heavily marked by fear and animosity. Estonia operates one dedicated immigration detention centre, which was opened in 2018 to replace an older facility that had a long track record of riots, hunger strikes, and violence. “Alternatives to detention” are not widely used and the country’s laws do not prohibit the detention of children. The full article is available at: 

Promoting Settlement-Sponsor Collaboration- Best Practices Report (April, 2019) Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Refugee 613. The Allies in Refugee Integration (ARI) project seeks to increase and strengthen collaboration between settlement service providers and refugee sponsorship groups in Ontario and ultimately improve settlement outcomes of privately sponsored refugees. This report is the result of research with more than 360 stakeholders across Ontario to learn what is currently happening in collaboration, as well as the challenges and opportunities in strengthening the relationship. Available at:

Working together to support sponsored refugees- A literature review on best practices in settlement-sponsor collaboration (April 2019) Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Refugee 613. As part of the Allies in Refugee Integration (ARI) project, this literature review asks the question, “What does collaboration between private refugee sponsorship groups and settlement service providers in Ontario currently look like?”. With the goal of better supporting privately sponsored refugees, this literature review does a scan of best practices in Ontario and models that could be promoted in order to strengthen settlement-sponsor teamwork. Available at: 

News Reports and Blog posts

Essential readings: The Localization agenda, Refugee Host series. During Refugee Week, Refugee Host will be posting from its Essential Reading series, the first of which is on localisation. You can explore a range of themes including refugee led and faith-based humanitarianism, and role of local organizations in humanitarian access. List of readings available at:

Digital and social media

Remembering Refuge: Between Sanctuary and Solidarity. This is a multi-media site and digital archive highlighting the stories of people from Haiti, El Salvador, and Guatemala, who crossed the Canada-US border to seek refuge. More details about the project and listen to oral history podcast at:

June 6, 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. 65

Recent Publications and New Research

New special issue: Christopher Kyriakides, Dina Taha, Carlo Handy Charles and Rodolfo Torres (2019). Special issue: Racialized Refuge, Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 35 (1). A set of political and media-validated scripts play out to inform Western assumptions of what a refugee is and that excludes the “non-deserving.” The construction of “the refugee” as a “forced” “non- Western” object without will or socio-cultural history, to be rescued by the benevolent West is the central point of overlap between racialization and refuge in the contempo­rary context of refugee reception. Each of the articles featured in this special issue grapples with what the authors refer to as the “Racialized Refugee Regime”. “Race” is not thought of as a discreet variable for consideration but as part of an embedded structure of oppression in which the racialized refugee regime is generated and reproduced. The issue is open access and available in full at:

New Special issue: Guest Editors: Julie Young, Johanna Reynolds and Peter Nyers (2019). Dis/placing the Borders of North America, International Journal on Migration and Border Studies 5 (1/2).  This special issue considers critical questions about displacement, resistance, and bordering practices throughout the region. What is innovative about the framing of this special issue is the cross-regional approach to the study of borders, and the transversal connections it draws across indigenous and migration studies. While the individual authors in this special issue address specific bordering practices, the goal in this introduction (available open access here) is to bring them into discussion. This special issue aims to contribute to broader theoretical and practical debates about border control policies, bordering practices, and indigenous and migrant rights advocacy. More information about the issue and its contributions available at:

Schmidt, J. D., Kimathi, L., & Owiso, M. O. (2019). Refugees and Forced Migration in the Horn and Eastern Africa. Springer. This volume sheds new light on the refugees and forced migration at the Horn of Africa and East Africa. Adopting a multidisciplinary perspective, it traces historical, structural, and geopolitical factors to reveal the often-brutal uprooting of people in a region that hosts more than three million refugees and almost six million internally displaced persons (IDPs). By doing so, it enriches our understanding of the socio-economic, geopolitical and humanitarian causes and implications of migration and population displacement. Some highlights in the book include Iman Ahmad’s in-depth analysis of the effects of the Merowe Dam project in Sudan (available for purchase here) and Fred Nyongesa Ikanda’s exploration of how Somali Kinship Practices Sustain the Existence of the Dadaab Camps in Kenya (available for purchase here). More details about the book and other chapters available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Ray Silvius, Hani Al-ubeady, Emily Halldorson (May 30, 2019). Resettling Refugees’ Social Housing Stories’, The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. This paper is a companion piece to the report, Making Social Housing Friendly for Resettling Refugees. It aims to understand the relationships between cost of housing, suitability of housing, and the resettlement process. In many respects, the parameters and conditions of resettlement vary from family to family and individual to individual. However, for many former refugees, resettlement trajectories will involve important considerations like employment, social supports, acculturation, family reunification, language acquisition, education and employment training, establishing new forms of community, and providing care for self and family (including family that remains overseas). This paper includes the accounts of nine interviewees who have desired to have, applied for, or attained social housing. The report is available in full at:

Kaurin, D. (May 15, 2019). Data Protection and Digital Agency for Refugees World Refugee Council Research Paper No. 12. Despite recent improvements in data protection mechanisms in the European Union, refugees’ informed consent for the collection and use of their personal data is rarely sought. Using examples drawn from interviews with refugees who have arrived in Europe since 2013, and an analysis of the impacts of the 2016 EU-Turkey deal on migration, this paper analyzes how the vast amount of data collected from refugees is gathered, stored and shared today, and considers the additional risks this collection process poses to an already vulnerable population navigating a perilous information-decision gap.” Two main takeaways from this research are first, the lack of transparency about the asylum process and how it prevents asylum seekers from entrusting the system with the exact information that would likely win them asylum status. The second takeaway is that innovation in the humanitarian sector may inadvertently be causing distrust within the refugee community and disrupting the asylum process. Full report available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

European Border and Coast Guard: The EU force of securitisation in migration governance by Mariana Gkliati (April 24, 2019). RLI blog on Refugee Law and Forced Migration. The EU has chosen to perceive migration as a threat, and is focusing its efforts in securing its borders, increasingly depending on the work of Frontex. With its powers and competences constantly growing, and its budget now being counted in billions, Frontex achieves even greater autonomy. Its reach in European border control, even far beyond EU borders, makes questions about its responsibility for breaches of fundamental rights of refugees and other migrants more urgent than ever. More available at:

Briefing: The civilian fallout from the Sahel’s spreading militancy, May 30, 2019, The new humanitarian. For the past 10 months, The New Humanitarian has been one of the few news organisations reporting consistently from the front lines on the civilian impact of the rapid rise in violence by the militants, who are based primarily in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The briefing points out some takeaways on this growing violence, particularly on how the Jihadist groups are manipulating inter-communal conflicts; how Governments have helped local militias thrive, and how Displacement, food insecurity, and other humanitarian crises are escalating, but resources to respond are lacking. Available at:

The Web, Digital and social media

Video lecture: De-Carceral Futures Conference: Keynote Addresses, May 9, 2019: Queens Law archived the keynote addresses with Harsha Walia and Jonathan Simon. The lectures and Q&A are free to stream at:

Podcast: Can we end migrant detention? May 23, policy options. Related to the De-carceral futures conference, Julia Bugiel travelled to Kingston to record a special podcast for Policy Options on ending migrant detention. She compiled an excellent summary of the ideas and proposals that were discussed. The podcast features contributions from Sharry Aiken, Harsha Walia, and Stephanie Silverman, and also Senator Kim Pate and Souheil Benslimane. Available at:

May 23, 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. 64

Recent Publications and New Research

Jeffery, L., Palladino, M., Rotter, R., & Woolley, A. (2019). Creative engagement with migration. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, 10(1), 3-17. This article introduces a special issue on arts-based engagement with migration, comprising articles, reflections, poems and images. It starts by exploring the ethical, political and empirical reasons for the increased use of arts-based methods in humanities and social sciences research in general, and in migration studies in particular. The authors reflect critically upon arts-based methodological practices and on the (limits to the) transformative potentials of using arts-based methods to engage creatively with migration. While the prospect of influencing the political sphere might seem remote, they advocate for the role and power of the arts in instigating, shaping and leading change by inspiring people’s conscience and civic responsibility. Available at:

Yingwana, N., Walker, R., & Etchart, A. (2019). Sex Work, Migration, and Human Trafficking in South Africa: From polarised arguments to potential partnerships. Anti-Trafficking Review, (12), 74-90. Ex-worker organisations have called for an evidence-based approach whereby migration, sex work, and trafficking are distinguished, and the debate moves beyond the polarised divisions over sex work. This paper takes up this argument by drawing on research with sex workers and a sex worker organisation in South Africa, as well as reflections shared at two Sex Workers’ Anti-Trafficking Research Symposiums. In so doing, the authors propose the further development of a Sex Work, Exploitation, and Migration/Mobility Model that takes into consideration the complexities of the quotidian experiences of migration and selling sex. This, we suggest, could enable a more effective and productive partnership between sex worker organisations and other stakeholder groups, including anti-trafficking and labour rights organisations, trade unions, and others to protect the rights and well-being of all those involved in sex work. Available at:

Niles, C. A. (2018). Who gets in? The Price of Acceptance in Canada. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 7(1), 10. The Canadian nation state is often applauded for its open and welcoming attitude towards Others. The Prime Minister of Canada has openly stated that “Diversity is our strength.” However, who gets in suggests who and what Canada values. Through the stories of Jazmine, Nico and Harold shared by Global News, the author illustrates how Canada continues to discriminate against people with disabilities. Using critical disability studies and critical race theory, she explores the assumptions the “excessive demand,” point system, and medical exam make in labelling and disregarding disabled applicants who are read as undesirable and unworthy. Finally, she reflects on the dangers of these media stories which focus on the accomplishment/contributions of the parents without considering the inherent values of the children.   Available at:  

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

BVOR Briefing Note, By Shauna Labman and Jennifer Hyndman (May 1, 2019). This short brief highlights how the meaning and place of the BVOR program has shifted across three distinct moments in the span of its short existence. We present these three moments as first, the creation of the program under the former federal Conservative government led by PM Harper; second, the uptake of the program during the Syrian resettlement initiative promised by the new Liberal government of PM J. Trudeau; and third, the current moment in which the question of the sustainability and global replication of the program is top of mind. Available at:

“Whither Immigration and Settlement in Ontario?”A CERIS Community Panel Discussion, Event Recap & Resources. This recent Community Panel Discussion brought together key stakeholders to discuss complex immigration and settlement related issues in Ontario. Adnan Türegün, (CERIS), Léonie Tchatat (La Passerelle-I.D.É), Sunil Johal (The Mowat Centre) and Debbie Douglas (OCASI) shared their views from research, settlement, and policy perspectives, presenting a big picture overview while highlighting specific intractable gaps and challenges. The link includes summaries of the panelists presentations as well as the presenters’ slides and a video of this entire event. Available at:

Report: Abuse or Exile: Myanmar’s Ongoing Persecution of the Rohingya by Daniel Sullivan (April 24, 2019), Refugees International. In February and April 2019, Refugees International interviewed Rohingya who had arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar just days before. Those interviewed described ongoing harassment, arbitrary detention, and forced labor at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces. The newly arrived refugees also reported that the security situation in the Rakhine region had recently deteriorated. In early 2019, the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group from the non-Rohingya Buddhist community in Rakhine State, carried out several attacks against police stations in the region. In response, Myanmar security forces initiated a crackdown that displaced more than 20,000 people and contributed to a sense of growing insecurity in those areas to which Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh would seek to return. Report available at:

Final Report: Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Service-Use by Newcomers with Disabilities and Complex Health Needs, By: Caitlyn Dwyer, Natalie Krzywiecki, Madeline Poole, Petek Yurt. The objective of this report is to provide Toronto East Quadrant of the Local Immigration Partnership (TEQ LIP) with information regarding the experiences of newcomers with disabilities and complex health needs when accessing support services and navigating the healthcare system, and to offer advice as to how the barriers they encounter can be mitigated. It provides more nuanced insight into the barriers faced by this group when accessing external support and highlights important promising practice examples of services catering to the needs of immigrants and/or people with disabilities. In addition, the report offers recommendations for service improvement in the hopes of supporting TEQ LIP’s mission to create accessible communities with effective resources that are responsive to the unique needs of newcomers and immigrants. Available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

Despite Gains, Mauritania’s Road to Defeat Slavery is Long and Bumpy, by Cristiano D’Orsi (May 8, 2019), The Globe Post. In January 2018, the African Union’s children’s rights committee ruled in the case of Said and Yarg Salem against Mauritania that the country’s authorities had failed to take adequate steps to prevent, investigate, prosecute, punish, and remedy the widespread practice of slavery, resulting in impunity. In the African country, human trafficking is the third most important illegal business, after drug and weapon trafficking. Local human rights groups estimate that about 20 percent of the population lives in slavery. This article takes an in-depth look at the practice in Mauritania. Available at:  

Syria cash aid freeze, Somali biometrics, and poverty porn: The Cheat Sheet (26 April 2019), The New Humanitarian. This editors’ weekly take on humanitarian news, trends, and developments from around the globe. Snapshots include how Somalia’s ability to make social and economic progress potential is held back by the lack of a national ID system, Refugees evacuated after Tripoli detention centre attack as well as news from Afghanistan, DRC on the Ebola situation, Flooding in South Africa, as well as an exploration of “poverty porn”. More available at:

Some refugees are now integrated. Can Greece’s economy keep up? By John Psaropoulos (May 6, 2019). Al-Jazeera. This long-read by Al Jazeera reports on efforts to settle and integrate asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece three years after arrivals peaked in 2016. Some recognized refugees have managed to learn Greek, send their children to school and resolve their legal status, but they now worry about losing the housing support they have relied on. With nationwide unemployment standing at 18.5 per cent, their prospects of finding work to support their families are slim. Meanwhile, funding to support integration programmes run by non-profit organizations is often short-term. More available at: 

The Web, Digital and Social Media

CCR – Resources on Building Bridges Between Newcomers and Indigenous Peoples. This webpage compiles initiatives, practices, and resources that Canadian Council for Refugees member organizations and allies use to connect the work they are doing with newcomers with Indigenous communities. Categories include commitment from the organization’s leadership, partnerships with Indigenous Peoples, treaty and land acknowledgements, staff training, educational materials, and events and programs for education and dialogue.

“Lexit is not a bad idea”: Portraits of EU families in London in the shadow of Brexit (May 2019). This photo project is part of the EU families and their children in Brexiting Britain: renegotiating inclusion, citizenship and belonging’s study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and The UK in a Changing Europe Initiative. The overall research investigates how families with EU27 parents are managing the change and uncertainty brought by the referendum, and the kind of family strategies put in place to mitigate the actual and expected impact of the vote on their own circumstances. To mark this year’s International Day of Families, The project has released the first of a series of audio and photo portraits of EU families living in London. The portraits stem from a participatory photo research project that aims to capture a glimpse of the lives of  EU families in Britain’s cosmopolitan and diverse capital city in the days, weeks and/or months (hard to know really) leading to Brexit.

May 9, 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. 63

Recent Publications and New Research

Glanville, E. G. (2018). Refracting exoticism in video representations of the victim-refugee: K’Naan, Angelina Jolie and research responsibilities. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture9(2), 233-251. The article revisits issue of refugee representation between resilience and victimhood. It describes the results of focus groups, where research participants in refugee claimant communities responded to media representations of the victim-refugee by emphasizing its strategic use-value in the Harper era. One conclusion for critical scholars is the reminder of holding theory in check both in research methods and in dissemination as a way of impacting broader cultural contexts. Unfortunately, this article it is not open access but more information available at:

Mayblin, L. (2019). Imagining asylum, governing asylum seekers: Complexity reduction and policy making in the UK Home Office. Migration Studies7(1), 1-20. Migration Studies is an international refereed, online only journal dedicated to advancing scholarly understanding of the determinants, processes and outcomes of human migration in all its manifestations. The editor’s choice in the latest edition is open access and asks how policy programmes are produced by particular ways of imagining asylum seeking. The article explores how such processes can lead to the curtailment of the economic rights of asylum seekers with specific reference the UK policy of severely restricting labour market access for asylum seekers. The policy imaginary—the story which is utilized in reducing the complexity of irregular migration in this context—is the idea of the ‘economic pull factor’. That is that disingenuous asylum seekers (economic migrants in disguise) are ‘pulled’ to particular countries by economic opportunities. Available at:

New Journal Issue: Hospitality and Hostility Towards Migrants: Global Perspectives, Migration and Society. Volume 1 (2018): Issue 1. This issue reflects on the complex and often contradictory nature of migration encounters by focusing on diverse dynamics of hospitality and hostility towards migrants around the world and in different historical contexts. Hospitality and hostility are interlinked, yet seemingly contradictory concepts and processes, as also acknowledged by earlier writers, who coined the term hospitality. The articles and short pieces included in this issue, all engage with, challenge, refine, and add theoretical and empirical nuance to past and present processes of hospitality and hostility in the world, via interventions that reflect on academic research, political, and cultural action and activism, and utopian/dystopian imaginings. View table of content and access content here:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Making Social Housing Friendly for Resettling Refugees, by Ray Silvius, Emily Halldorson and Hani Al-ubeady (April 29, 2019), Canadian Center for Policy alternatives. This work is an extension of a larger research project that aims to: (a) demonstrate the challenges and successes that resettling refugees have in obtaining adequate and affordable housing after arriving in Winnipeg; (b) demonstrate the relationships between the cost and availability of housing, social supports and employment in the context of settlement; and (c) demonstrate how social, public or otherwise ‘supported’ housing can positively affect the lives of resettling refugees. Available at:

Alexandra Saieh et al, Barriers from Birth: Undocumented children in Iraq sentenced to a life on the margins, Norwegian Refugee Council (April 2019). An estimated 45,000 displaced children in camps are missing civil documentation and may face total exclusion from Iraqi society: barred from attending school, denied access to healthcare and deprived of their most basic rights, warns the Norwegian Refugee Council in a new report. Available at:—report.pdf

Research Brief: Counseling to protect: Supporting the choices of irregular child migrants, SEEFAR (April 2019). European Union cooperation with Turkey and Libya and the family separation crisis in the United States show global failures in reconciling ‘tough’ border policies with every child’s right to live free from violence and exploitation. Many child protection measures in Western destination countries do not address children’s needs before or during difficult journeys. Effective and responsible early intervention can reduce the number in need of emergency protection, with better outcomes for children and a cost-conscious international humanitarian community. The main highlights from the report include: Intervention before children leave home has the potential to drastically reduce the vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of children migrating irregularly each year; Children thinking about irregular migration need specialist support in processing migration information and making decisions; and Children react to their environment, process information, and weigh risks and rewards differently than adults. Available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

James C. Simeon and Elies van Sliedregt, (April 9, 2019) New Wars, Ever Escalating Crises, and Exclusion, Refugee Law Initiative. Increasingly, Western States have resorted to Article 1F of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to exclude claimants from protection by referring to their (alleged) affiliation with a specific regime, organization or government, that are noted for their serious human rights abuses and/or international crimes, thereby raising potentially ‘serious reasons for considering’ that they may have been complicit in serious international crimes and/or human rights violations. The authors make the case to interrogate and rethink the rationale of ‘undeserving’ of refugee protection. What does it mean to be ‘deserving’ of rehabilitation and/or, as some would have it, punishment? Where should we draw the line between criminal complicity and mere association with criminal conduct? They argue that The Refugee Convention was drawn up in the specific historical and political context of the WWII and the Nuremberg era; a time where the line between victors and vanquished, between war criminals and ‘genuine’ refugees, was easier to draw. Modern day refugee exclusion takes place in a different context, of civil war and terrorism. Available at:

Anti-foreigner rhetoric inflames South African elections By Geoffrey Yorks, The Globe and Mail (May 6, 2019). As South Africans prepare to go to the polls, opposition parties and the ruling ANC have seized on immigration as a top issue. The Globe and Mail reports that migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, mainly from other African countries, are a convenient scapegoat for South Africa’s economic stagnation and high unemployment. Refugee and migrant rights advocates say the anti-immigrant rhetoric has fuelled worsening xenophobic violence that resulted in at least six deaths in the Durban area in late March. More available at: Similarly, this older piece from IRIN (now the New Humanitarian) addressed the same xenophobic sentiments in the country 4 years ago in 2015 and looked at South Africa’s long history of xenophobia and some of the misconceptions that have been allowed to take root. More available at:

The Web, Digital and social media

Faces on the front lines of local aid, The New Humanitarian (April 16, 2019). A video series on local emergency response from the ground up, available at:

Apr 25, 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. 62

Recent Publications and New Research

Lokot, M. (2018). ‘Blood Doesn’t Become Water’? Syrian Social Relations during Displacement. Journal of Refugee Studies. This article challenges simplistic descriptions of change during displacement, highlighting the powerful role of the family in Middle Eastern societies through an exploration of social relations among Syrian refugees in Jordan. It presents a more mixed picture of social dynamics within and outside the family, both before conflict and during displacement. It explores how the hold of the family among Syrians may limit social interactions with ‘outsiders’ during displacement, as well as how displacement may offer opportunities for tighter social regulations to be unravelled. These findings highlight that social relations among refugees must be analysed more carefully, and with consideration of intersectional power dynamics. Available at:

Domicelj, T. & Gottardo, C. (2019). Implementing the Global Compacts: the importance of a whole-of-society approach, Force Migration Review. The authors make the case that the global community must now take incisive, coordinated action through a whole-of-society approach to push forward the effective implementation of the two Global Compacts. A ‘whole-of-society approach’ presents important opportunities to embed the meaningful participation and leadership of refugees, migrants and host community members within the infrastructure developed for the Compacts’ implementation, follow-up and review. This applies to both operational and to policy contexts in local, national, regional and global arenas. They argue that achieving such will require the engagement of all actors in creating enabling environments that are safe, inclusive and sustainable. Available at:

Meléndez, E. (2018). Sponsored migration: The state and Puerto Rican postwar migration to the United States. The Ohio State University Press. Focusing on Puerto Rico’s migration policy, the author sheds an important new light on the many ways in which the government intervened in the movement of its people: attempting to provide labor to U.S. agriculture, incorporating migrants into places like New York City, seeking to expand the island’s air transportation infrastructure, and even promoting migration in the public school system. The book illuminates how migration influenced U.S. and Puerto Rican relations from 1898 onward. Available at:

Jossen, M. (2018). Undocumented Migrants and Healthcare: Eight Stories from Switzerland (Vol. 6). Open Book Publishers. What do undocumented migrants experience when they try to access healthcare? How do they navigate the (often contradictory) challenges presented by bureaucratic systems, financial pressures, attitudes to migrants, and their own healthcare needs? This study explores the ways in which undocumented migrants are included in or excluded from healthcare in a Swiss region. Marianne Jossen explores the ways migrants try to obtain healthcare on their own, with the help of NGOs or via insurance, and how they cope if they fail, whether by using risky strategies to access healthcare or leaving serious health issues untreated. Jossen shows that even for those who succeed, inclusion remains partial and fraught with risks.

Report, briefs and policy papers

 Investing in Refugee Talent Lessons Learned in Labour Market Integration (2019), Cities of Migration. With fewer people seeking protection in Germany today, it is time to leave behind the crisis management mode of recent years. Effective methods and strategies were developed over the last few years at short notice. This report aims to recognize the good practices and lessons learned from these “special” programs and integrate them into sustainable local and national governance systems. The report presents some projects and good practice examples as well as learning experiences. It is a valuable resource for employers and communities to helping refugee newcomers settle, find employment and re-start their lives. Available at:

Field report: Izza Leghtas and Jessica Thea (April 2019). Hidden and Afraid: Venezuelans without status or protection on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, Refugees International. Since the mass movement of people fleeing the crisis in Venezuela intensified in 2017, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have grappled with ways to meet the needs of this growing population. In displacement crises, the quality of services and assistance typically varies from one host country to another, but the fate of Venezuelans seeking refuge on the small island of Curaçao, only 40 miles from the coast of Venezuela, could very well be the worst in the Americas. A Refugees International team visited Curaçao in February 2019 to research the conditions of Venezuelans living there. They interviewed Venezuelans living in an irregular situation and representatives of civil society organizations and UN agencies. They described a dire situation in which no real opportunities exist for Venezuelans who seek to obtain international protection or other forms of legal stay, thus forcing them into irregularity. Available at:

Ala Al-Mahaidi, Léa Gross and David Cantor (February 2019). Revitalising IDP research A ‘state of the art’ review, Refugee Law Initiative. In July 2018, a special research workshop ‘Revitalising IDP Research’ was convened in London to mark 20 years of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Guiding Principles). The event was convened with a view to consolidating and revitalising academic interest in IDP issues and promoting renewed research in the field. This report outlines the themes, presentations, discussions and conclusions of the nine thematic panel sessions at that one-day workshop. It also presents a ‘state of the art’ review of research to illustrate the wider context of the current literature and identify priorities for future research identified by each of the panels. Additional areas of contemporary IDP research and the relevant literature are summarised towards the end of the report. Available at:

News Reports and Blog post

Canada Needs to End the ‘Indefinite Detention’ of Migrants: And, the Supreme Court Should Make it So by James C. Simeon (March 27, 2019), CARFMS blog. The author asks: Why is Canada one of the few countries in the world that still practices “indefinite detention”? He demonstrates how the policy and practice of holding undocumented migrants in “indefinite detention” has been criticized and takes a closer look at the matter which is now before the Supreme Court of CanadaThe question before the court is whether applications of habeas corpus (a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention), in the context of a lengthy detention of uncertain duration, are possible. The author cites evidence to support optimism that Supreme Court of Canada will find that holding someone in detention for an indefinite period, when it “no longer furthers the machinery of immigration control,” is unconstitutional and a breach of the person’s most fundamental Charter rights. Available at:

Refugees Deeply Review. Refugees deeply is sadly coming to an end. This is a twitter thread that highlights some of its contributions to refugee issues:

The web and digital and social media

Building Capacity Together – Online Resources. This is a Toronto Local Immigration Partnerships Workshop Series that aims to enhance the capacity of service providers to address the unique needs of refugee claimants and other vulnerable newcomers in Toronto. You may access resources from nine modules here, and protocols/guidelines showcasing best practices for newcomer mental health promotion here.

Cities of Migration – YouTube Channel. This YouTube Channel provides access to the latest and archived videos of Cities of Migration’s webinars, interviews, and events that showcase good ideas in immigrant integration and promote innovative practices that create inclusion and urban prosperity. Available at:

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: 

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:

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:

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: 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:

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:

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:

Mar 28, 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. 60

Recent Publications and New Research

FitzGerald, D. S. (2019). Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers. Oxford University Press.

The author traces how rich democracies have deliberately and systematically shut down most legal paths to safety. Drawing on official government documents, information obtained via WikiLeaks, and interviews with asylum seekers, he finds that for ninety-nine percent of refugees, the only way to find safety in one of the prosperous democracies of the Global North is to reach its territory and then ask for asylum. The book identifies some pressure points and finds that a diffuse humanitarian obligation to help those in need is more difficult for governments to evade than the law alone. More information available at: excerpts from google scholar available at this link

Culcasi, K. (2019). “We are women and men now”: Intimate spaces and coping labour for Syrian women refugees in Jordan. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

Many Syrian women refugees have become income providers for the first time in their lives. Bringing literature from critical feminist and migration studies, the author offers the ideas of coping and coping labour as a framework to examine the intimate spaces of displacement. The paper shows that in the intimate spaces of displacement women have taken on traditionally masculine practices, but while their gendered performances shift, they are simultaneously entrenched as the ideals of appropriate feminine and masculine performances are recreated. Though these multiple gendered performances are creating numerous demands and challenges for Syrian women refugees, these women are also experiencing an increased sense of strength, confidence and respect as a result of their shifting performances. Available at:

FMR 60 on Education – now online

Education is one of the most important aspects of our lives – vital to our development, our understanding and our personal and professional fulfilment throughout life. In times of crisis, however, millions of displaced young people miss out on months or years of education, and this is damaging to them and their families, as well as to their societies, both in the short and long term. In FMR issue 60, authors from around the world debate how better to enable access to quality education both in emergency settings and in resettlement and asylum contexts. Full articles available at:

Naujoks. D. (2019). Refugee Camps and Refugee Rights: A simulation of the response to large refugee influxes. Journal of Political Science Education.

This article introduces and analyzes a one-class role-play simulation during which students engage in stakeholder negotiations on how to respond to a large flow of refugees between two fictional African countries. The simulation addresses questions related to courses on development, conflict and refugee studies, international organizations, human rights, and international relations. Based on six iterations of the simulation, the essay discusses specific design decisions in the preparation, interaction, and debriefing stage and their impact on the simulation, as well as principal learning outcomes. This includes detailed discussions of briefing memos, role sheets, role selection, and key questions during the debriefing session. The online annex contains the full role-play simulation that can used to replicate the simulation. Unfortunately the article is not open access but more information are available at:

Report, briefs and policy papers

“They don’t even understand why we fled’: the difficult path to reintegration in Burundi”, The International Refugee Rights Initiative, IRRI (February, 2019)

Based on interviews with returnees in Burundi, the report, describes the daily struggle of recently returned refugees from Tanzania to provide for their families. Most rely on the help of neighbours or local authorities, but this solidarity will be further strained as larger numbers are likely to return ahead of the upcoming electoral process. Available at: also available in French at:

Wilkinson, L., et al (2019), Yazidi resettlement in Canada, Final report 2018, Immigration Research West (IRW)

In 2017, Canada resettled 1,215 Yazidis refugees who have experienced extreme violence, torture, and displacement at rates that astonished the international community. Early reports from settlement agencies in Canada reveal that the high degree of trauma Yazidis have experienced has made their resettlement and integration very difficult. The study examines the following questions: 1) what settlement services do Yazidi refugees require? Do they have access to these services? 2) what has their experience in attaining language training been like? 3) what might their job prospects be? and 4) what are their housing conditions? Available at:

Forced into Illegality: Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Trinidad and Tobago – Fielf Report by Melanie Teff, Refugees International

Based on the fact that Trinidad and Tobago has received more than 40,000 Venezuelans but has done little to support them, this report suggests several ways that Trinidad and Tobago can improve its response to the influx of Venezuelans fleeing their country and the dire circumstances they would confront upon their return. Among those discussed are: (a) a special regularization process, which would allow the undocumented migrants currently in the country to apply for residency and work permits. Second, a government legislation on refugees and asylum that reflects its international obligations under the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These include commitments to provide access to public education to all children, regardless of their legal status, and access to legal work by refugees. Finally, Trinidad and Tobago should also reduce its use of immigration detention and use alternatives to detention. Available at:

News Reports and Blog Posts

 Olliff, L (2019). Time to Reimagine Asylum, Asylum Insights

The blog argues that reimagining resettlement should mean not only increasing the number of resettlement countries and places globally, but also amplifying its (potential) protection benefits through a more considered and ongoing engagement with people who have been through this process. It is also important to acknowledge the significant ways in which communities change as borders are crossed and displaced populations continue to connect with each other and create their own solutions in the context of the significant failings of the international refugee regime to ensure effective protection. Available at:

Selection on the Rohingya, The New humanitarian (March 2019)

The IRIN is now “The New Humanitarian” to signal its move from UN project to independent newsroom and more clearly communicate its role in covering humanitarian crises and the response to them. The section in the link below, offers a selection of IRIN’s reporting on the deep roots of anti-Rohingya violence; the ongoing emergency in Bangladesh’s refugee camps; and the next steps for Myanmar’s rejected minority. Available at:

Multimedia and Social media

Podcast: Is it Time to Stop Putting Status Determination at the Heart of the Refugee Response?

This talk disentangles misconceptions about temporary protection and considers its relationship with a resettlement response and with definitions of a refugee, with reference to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa and the Cartagena Declaration. Available at:

Mar 14, 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. 59

Recent Publications and New Research

Topak, Ö. E., & Vives, L. (2018). A comparative analysis of migration control strategies along the Western and Eastern Mediterranean routes: Sovereign interventions through militarization and deportation. Migration Studies.

In this article, the authors focus on two defensive aspects of the EU’s anti-immigration strategy in countries of origin and transit: the militarization of the external borders, and an increasing reliance on the deportation of those unwanted migrants who manage to cross the now-militarized border. In order to understand the development of the anti-immigration EU border, the authors compare how these two instruments have been deployed along the Western and Eastern Mediterranean routes since the pivotal year of 2005—the year Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency) became operational and the GAMM was adopted as the EU’s migration framework. The paper shows that a common goal (the closing of the border against unwanted migrants) has created a venue for the re-articulation of sovereignty among and between the EU (as a supranational actor) and its member states (as nation-state actors). It emphasizes that rather than one replacing the other, these entities cooperate to implement sovereign interventions (such as in the form of militarization or deportation practices). Available at:

New book: Maestri, G. (2019). Temporary camps, enduring segregation: The Contentious Politics of Roma and Migrant Housing. Palgrave Macmillan.

The book interrogates the persistence of Roma and migrant segregation in camps, to understand how the creation of temporary enclosures can lead to enduring marginalisation. In order to do so, it develops a comparison between Italy and France and develop a new theorisation of the camp as a site of contentious politics, where the interaction between governmental and non-governmental actors produces different temporal arrangements and forms of segregation. More information available at: More details about the chapters available at:

New Open-access special issue on Social Policies as a Tool of Migration Control, edited by Ilker Ataç and Sieglinde Rosenberger, the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies,

This special issue contributes to academic debates on the intersection of migration control and social policies by analyzing policies and policy making towards irregular migrants and rejected asylum seekers in European countries. It shows a range of social policies, covering both legal regulation and practical implementation across countries and cities according to the perspective of internal migration control. It also deals with tensions, conflicts, and cooperation with regard to the provision of welfare services for irregular migrants. Finally, it addresses the policy designs and strategies of actors that provide, limit, or expand access to welfare services for irregular migrants. Below are the links to the individual articles:

Report, briefs and policy papers

Report: The Crisis Below the Headlines: Conflict Displacement in Ethiopia, by Mark Yarnell, refugees International, (November 14, 2018).

Significant displacement occurred between April and June along the internal border of Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). In September, a team from Refugees International (RI) traveled to southern Oromia and SNNPR to assess the situation of the displaced and the response. The team found that while the government made a proactive effort to partner with international humanitarian organizations early on, this positive trend was soon upended. In late August, the government began to restrict the delivery of assistance, telling IDPs that they would only receive help if they returned home. However, because many return areas were destroyed in the violence and remained insecure, a number of IDPs who tried to return home now find themselves living in secondary displacement sites.  The report concludes by some recommendations to the government to address the crisis.  Available at:

Report: Barriers and exclusions: The support needs of newly arrived refugees with a disability, Refugee Council of Australia, (28 February 2019)

This report highlights the service issues facing refugees with disabilities in Australia. It presents recommendations to government on how to improve services and policies to support refugees and humanitarian migrants with disabilities. It identifies a range of issues for refugees with disabilities accessing appropriate support, including access to timely assessment, accessible and appropriate housing, adequate support within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and culturally appropriate disability services. It finally makes some recommendations to address the existing barriers and challenges for people from a refugee background with a disability. available at:

IWYS researchers developed four new research summaries and infographics, Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) (February 2019)

The immigrant women, youth and seniors research teams have developed 4 summaries and 4 infographics to launch of our first series of Knowledge Mobilization products for the IWYS project. More information can be found at: , below are the direct links to the summaries and infographics.

  • IWYS Composite Research: How do immigrant women, youth, and seniors experience settlement and services in Canada? | SummaryInfographic 
  • IWYS Women’s Research: What are the settlement needs of immigrant women in Canada and how can settlement services help? | SummaryInfographic 
  • IWYS Youth Research: What are the settlement needs of immigrant youth in Canada and what are the impacts of settlement services?|Summary | Infographic 
  • IWYS Seniors’ Research: What are the settlement needs of immigrant seniors in Canada and what are the impacts of settlement services? | Summary| Infographic 

Report: Youth Engagement in Ethnocultural Organizations in Winnipeg, by Jill Bucklaschuk, Janelle Gobin, and Ray Silvius, The Community Engaged Research on Immigration (CERI), (February 2019)

This report supplements a previous report, “Ethnocultural Community Organizations in Winnipeg: A Legacy Document”, that was written in 2018. Collectively, the two documents explore the role of ethnocultural community groups and organizations in providing services and supports for newcomers, and particularly refugees, in Winnipeg. The present report provides a more comprehensive account of the types of services, programs, and supports provided by Winnipeg’s ethnocultural community groups to meet the needs of immigrants and refugees. In particular, this report focuses on the scope of immigrant and refugee youth engagement in ethnocultural community groups. Both documents are meant to inform staff at IPW as they develop initiatives to support the work of ethnocultural community groups and organizations and seek to better engage newcomer youth in their activities. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Québec’s Trump-like immigration policies contradict Canada’s welcoming image, by Carlo Handy Charles, The conversation, February 27, 2019

In early February, the Canadian government temporarily halted deportations to both Venezuela and to Haiti as violent protests continued in major cities in both countries. This article explores the implications of these temporary suspensions for Haitians who live in the current anti-immigration climate of the province of Québec. Available at:

The Rohingya: A humanitarian emergency decades in the making, IRIN news.

This is a selection of IRIN’s reporting on the deep roots of anti-Rohingya violence; the 2017 refugee crisis; and the next steps for Myanmar’s rejected minority. It offers an overview of who the Rohingya are, how the current crisis has unfolder, the situation in the refugee camps, as well as the reaction of the international community. Available at:

GCM Indicators: Objective 6: Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work, by Jean-Baptiste Farcy, Refugee Law initiative, Feb 25, 2019

The aim of Objective 6 in the global compact for migration, is to ensure decent work for all migrants. This requires actions to protect them against all forms of exploitation and improve recruitment mechanisms and admission systems to guarantee that they are fair and ethical. The overall objective is to better protect migrants at work as well as maximise the socioeconomic impact of migrants in both their country of origin and destination, according to the triple-win formula. Building on the actions foreseen in the text of the Global Compact, this article identifies indicators that help measure whether Objective 6 is being achieved in practice. It focuses on issues of equal pay for equal work, prohibiting the confiscation of travel or identity documents, facilitating change of employer, among others. Available at:

Multimedia and social media

Video: Unwelcome stranger: An African asylum seeker in Israel, Roopa Gogineni

This short documentary tells the story of Anwar, a Sudanese anti-government activist who fled his home in Darfur in 2003.

The Cities of Migration e-newsletter 

This is a bi-monthly review of good ideas, news and events from Cities of Migration, its GDX family and international networks. You can browse past issues, or visit the online edition at Conversations in Integration for up-to-date information and new ideas about successful integration practices from cities around the world.

Feb 28, 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. 58

Recent Publications and New Research

Weidinger, T., Kordel, S. & Kieslinger, J. (2019). Unravelling the meaning of place and spatial mobility. Analyzing the everyday life-worlds of refugees in host societies by means of mobility mapping. Journal of Refugee Studies

Drawing on experiences from trial empirical studies with asylum seekers and recognized refugees in rural Germany, The article examins the potential of mobility mapping, a space-related visual tool. It identifies its advantages, in terms both of acquiring valid qualitative data and of empowering the interviewees according to the principles of participatory methods. It argues that this tool can help to diminish power asymmetries between the researcher and the participant and acknowledge individuals’ competencies in terms of language. For practitioners, the implementation of the tool provides an opportunity to enhance participant-oriented planning and capacity building, such as in terms of networks and infrastructures, that addresses both individuals’ needs and spatial structures. Available to subscribers at:

Bylander, M. (2019). Is Regular Migration Safer Migration? Insights from Thailand. Journal on Migration and Human Security.

This paper challenges the assumption within international development programming that regular and orderly migration is also safer for migrants. Based on data collected from Cambodian, Burmese, Laotian, and Vietnamese labor migrants recently returned from Thailand, this paper illustrates the limits of regular migration to provide meaningfully “safer” experiences. It observes that migrant workers who move through legal channels do not systematically experience better outcomes. While regular migrants report better pay and working conditions than irregular migrants, they also systematically report working conditions that do not meet legal standards, and routinely experience contract substitution. Regular migrants also have a higher likelihood of experiencing exploitation, contract breaches, harassment, abuse, and involuntary return. These findings challenge mainstream development discourses seeking to promote safer migration experiences through expanding migration infrastructure. The paper recommends: 1) re-examining the conflation of “safe” with “regular and orderly” migration and advocating for practices that increase migrant safety, 2) focusing on broadening rights offered to migrant workers, and 3) strengthening and expanding oversight of labor standards and migrant regulations.  Available open access at:

Sontag, K. (2018). Mobile Entrepreneurs: An Ethnographic Study of the Migration of the Highly Skilled. Verlag Barbara Budrich.

Migration, mobility, and globalization are transforming ways of working and living. Business activities, relationships and a sense of belonging are often not tied to any one place. This book explores biographies of highly mobile startup founders who often run startups that have been called “born global”. It describes how they move, how they orientate and perceive themselves, and how migration and mobility play a role beyond the physical act of ‘moving’. Presenting current ethnographic research, the book critically discusses approaches in migration and mobility studies and the research field of the “migration of the highly skilled”. The book is available open access at:  

Borges, I. M. (2018). Environmental Change, Forced Displacement and International Law: from legal protection gaps to protection solutions. Routledge.

This book explores the increasing concern over the extent to which those suffering from forced cross-border displacement as a result of environmental change are protected under international human rights law and addresses their “legal protection gap”. The book seeks to provide answers to two basic questions: whether and to what extent existing international law protects cross-border environmental displacement, and whether and how existing formalized regional complementary protection standards can interpretively solidify and conceptualize protection for cross-border environmental displacement. It aims to help states reconceptualise protection as a holistic and dynamic enterprise. Some selections of the book are available at Google Books. More information available at:

Reports, briefs and policy papers

Study: Syrian refugees who resettled in Canada in 2015 and 2016, StatCanada

For the first time, Statistics Canada is releasing a detailed analysis of the socioeconomic conditions and demographic characteristics of those Syrian refugees who resettled in Canada from January 1, 2015, to May 10, 2016, a period during which many Syrian refugees were admitted to Canada. The study, mainly uses census data, which is the richest source of current information available for Syrian refugees. Data from the 2016 Longitudinal Immigration Database are also used to examine the income situation of refugees who were admitted in November and December of 2015. As more data become available on the socio-economic situation of Syrian refugees in Canada, Statistics Canada will add to this analysis and provide a more comprehensive picture of their settlement and integration over time. The report can be downloaded at:

Issue brief: Persons Uprooted by Disasters and Climate Change Opportunities to Enhance Protection and Promote Human Rights in the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees, refugees international; (April 2018)

Introduction and summary: Those moving across international borders in the context of disasters and climate change do not always fall neatly within existing definitions of refugees and migrants, leaving the most vulnerable individuals without sufficient protection and at risk of human rights violations. The extent to which disasters and climate change drive international forced displacement and unsafe, disorderly, and irregular migration in the future depends in part on state action to mitigate disaster and climate risk, as well as state support to build the resilience of the most vulnerable communities. But it will also depend on the extent to which states cooperate actively to enhance international protection and regularize migration pathways for vulnerable persons. As UN member states meet over the course of 2018 to agree upon the terms of global compacts on refugees and migrants, they must seize upon critical opportunities to enhance protection for vulnerable individuals uprooted by disasters and climate change through supporting more expansive, flexible protection mechanisms and migration pathways. Available at:

Immigration Detention in Slovakia: Punitive Conditions Paid for by the Detainees, The Global detention project

Since the onset of the “refugee crisis,” Slovakia has pursued restrictive immigration policies and employed anti-migrant rhetoric, despite the fact that the country has not faced the same migratory pressures as its European neighbours. Rarely granting alternatives to detention due to strict eligibility criteria, non-citizens are held in facilities that observers have described as punitive in nature, and where detainees are required to pay for their own detention. Monitoring bodies have also raised concerns that the country’s legislation enshrines a presumption of majority in cases of age disputes, resulting in some unaccompanied children being held alongside unrelated adults as they await the results of bone analyses. Full report available at: 

News reports and Blog posts

Nothing About Us Without Us: Why Refugee Inclusion Is Long Overdue by Sanaa Mustafa, Refugees Deeply (June 20, 2018)

I was really invited to deliver a keynote address at an event on refugee inclusion… The master of ceremonies bellowed over the loudspeaker, “Please join me in welcoming a Syrian refugee to the stage.” I cringed. In a fleeting moment the event organizers had undermined the very project they had set out to address: empowering refugees. I had asked them to introduce me like they would anyone else, by my resume. By introducing me by my legal status, they had stripped me of my agency, further entrenching the narrative of dependent, passive refugees.” Sana Mustafa, tried in this piece to question tokenism and move towards meaningful participation of refugees. Available at:

Special Report: Venezuela: Millions at risk, at home and abroad – A collection of our recent reporting, IRIN (February 21, 2019)

This report compiles a collection of recent IRIN reporting from and about Venezuela. It covers the humanitarian situation of the 3-4 million people who escaped the economic meltdown as well as those who have stayed.  It also addresses the repercussions of the increasingly politicised humanitarian aid which had pushed some international aid agencies to sit on the sidelines rather than risk their neutrality. Others run secretive and limited operations inside Venezuela that fly under the media radar. More available at:

Citizenship: What Is It and Why Does It Matter? By Bridget Anderson, The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford (March 28, 2011)

An older but highly relevant piece today with the current immigration and policy debate in the UK regarding revoking Shamima Begum citizenship. This piece discusses the objectives and implications of citizenship policy and examines the concept of citizenship in the UK in the light of both its historical context and recent policy changes. More available at:

Multimedia and social media

UNHCR’s learning initiatives on the Immigration Detention of Asylum-seekers and Refugees

UNHCR is pleased to announce the official launch of the Fundamentals of Immigration Detention e-learning course and two thematic self-study modules on Immigration Detention Monitoring and on Alternatives to Detention, all developed jointly by the Division of International Protection (DIP) and the Global Learning Centre (GLC).The practice of detaining asylum-seekers and refugees has become routine rather than exceptional in a number of countries around the world, with serious lasting effects on individuals, in particular for those in situation of vulnerability or at risk, such as children. The e-learning course and the self-study modules have been developed under the framework of UNHCR’s Global Strategy – Beyond DetentionThese learning initiatives aim at providing UNHCR staff and partners with practical tools, knowledge and best practices examples to continue advocating for the end of immigration detention of asylum-seekers, refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR. The self-study modules are available for download at You may also access the e-learning course through this web-page or directly at two platforms:

  1. DisasterReady.Org
  2. Humanitarian Leadership Academy

The e-learning course and self-study modules are available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.

New web page: Building Bridges with Indigenous Communities, Canadian Center for Refugees

In 2018, CCR member organizations and allies were asked to share their initiatives, practices and resources that connect the work they are doing with newcomers to Canada with Indigenous communities. This web page is a place to find resources and practices relating to building bridges between newcomers and Indigenous peoples. The page is meant to be dynamic and is now ready to be consulted at:

If you have a resource or practice to share, or any comments or questions please submit them to: