All posts by mmillard

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: 

Feb 15, 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. 57

Recent Publications and New Research

Dennler, K.T. (2018). Re/Making Immigration Policy through Practice: How Social Workers Influence What It Means to Be a Refused Asylum Seeker. Migration and Society 1(1).

Refused asylum seekers living in the UK face hostility and legal restrictions on the basis of immigration status that limit access to statutory support, employment, and social goods. Working at a non-profit organization that offered an advice service for refused asylum seekers, the author observes how the experiences of refused asylum seekers are constituted not simply by restrictions within immigration law, but rather by the ways in which laws are perceived and implemented by a wide range of actors. She argues that the legal consciousness of social workers hostile to refused asylum seekers plays an important role in making policy through practice. She shows that social workers prioritized immigration enforcement over other legal obligations, thereby amplifying the meaning of immigration status and deepening the marginalization of refused asylum seekers. Available for subscribers at:

Pearlman, W. (2019). Becoming a Refugee: Reflections on Self-Understandings of Displacement from the Syrian Case. Review of Middle East Studies52(2), 299-309.

International law, government policy, and a range of academic disciplines all demonstrate different approaches to the task of defining who is a refugee. Yet how do refugees define themselves? When, how, and why do they come to identify with this term, or not? This essay offers reflections on these questions based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians in the Middle East and Europe from 2012 to 2018. Syrian experiences illustrate how individuals’ self-understandings as refugees evolve over time as a contingent process not necessarily coterminous with actual physical displacement. It traces how these self-understandings are generated as shifts in three indicative relationships: displaced persons’ relationships to their expectations of return to their homeland; their relationships to their pre-flight lives; and their relationships to the word “refugee” itself. It suggests that one’s self-definition is the product of a process of “becoming” more than “being.” The article is available through the Refugee Section of Review of Middle East Studies Free Access Collection at:

Bock, J. J., & Macdonald, S. (Eds.). (2019). Refugees Welcome?: Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany. Berghahn Books.

The arrival in 2015 and 2016 of over one million asylum seekers and refugees in Germany had major social consequences and gave rise to extensive debates about the nature of cultural diversity and collective life. This volume examines the responses and implications of what was widely seen as the most significant and contested social change since German reunification in 1990. It combines in-depth studies based on anthropological fieldwork with analyses of the longer trajectories of migration and social change. Its original conclusions have significance not only for Germany but also for the understanding of diversity and difference more widely. The book is available at a 25% discount on the paperback until March 31st (use code BOC352 at checkout):

Ferreira, S. (2018). Human Security and Migration in Europe’s Southern Borders. Palgrave Macmillan.
This book examines the management of migratory flows in the Mediterranean within an international security perspective. The intense migratory flows registered during the year 2015 and the tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea have tested the mechanisms of the Union’s immigration and asylum policies and its ability to respond to humanitarian crises. Moreover, these flows of varying intensities and geographies represent a threat to the internal security of the EU and its member states. By using Spain and Italy as case studies, the author theorizes that the EU, given its inability to adopt and implement a common policy to effectively manage migratory flows on its Southern border, uses a deterrence strategy based on minimum common denominators. More details available at: 

Sadek, S. (2019). Understanding the impact of the Libyan Conflict on Egyptian Migrants, The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies.

This is the 11th paper in the series “Cairo Studies on Migration and Refugees”. The paper examines issues related to push factors in Egypt, pull factors in Libya, security and economic hazards behind the return in 2011 and 2014/2015 and the long-term implications of the return of Egyptian migrants. The paper is the first in a series of publications by the center in an attempt to understand the impact of the changes in the regional geopolitical environment on the demand on Egyptian labor. Available at:

Silvius, R. (2019). Work, Social Reproduction, the Transnational Household, and Refugee Resettlement: A Canadian Case Study. Critical Sociology.

This article puzzles out the relationships between displaced peoples, their families, resettlement, the household, employment, and social reproduction – the often voluntary, feminized, and un- or under-compensated labour that reproduces a family, household, or labour force. Transnational refugee households and the conditions of refugee resettlement are co-constituted. These households are: 1) physical dwellings where a family is situated; 2) sites of emotional, care, and additional work required for the reproduction of the (often transnational) family; 3) necessitating ‘material’ inputs, in the form of paid labour, social provisions, or other sources. This article uses Social Reproduction Theory (SRT) to demonstrate the tradeoffs in securing the economic and care resources required for maintaining transnational refugee households. Profiling cases of resettling refugee families in Winnipeg, Canada, the article suggests that ‘small-n’ research reveals the challenges in meeting common resettlement imperatives amid expensive housing markets and restricted access to social and economic resources. Available at:

Reports, briefs and policy papers

Report on the health of refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region: no public health without refugee and migrant health (2018)

This report creates an evidence base with the aim of catalysing progress towards developing and promoting migrant-sensitive health systems in the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region and beyond. It seeks to illuminate the causes, consequences and responses to the health needs and challenges faced by refugees and migrants in the Region, while also providing a snapshot of the progress being made across the Region. Additionally, the report seeks to identify gaps that require further action through collaboration, to improve the collection and availability of high-quality data and to stimulate policy initiatives. Available at:

Izza Leghtas and Jessica Thea (December 13, 2018) “You Cannot exist in this place”: Lack of registration denies Afghan Refugees protection in Turkey, Refugees International

In September 2018, the Turkish authorities fully transferred responsibility for the registration and processing of asylum applications of non-Syrians from the UNHCR to Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM). Although the transfer had been planned for at least two years, its implementation was sudden and came in the wake of a surge in Afghan arrivals in 2018. In October and November 2018, a Refugees International (RI) team visited Turkey to research the effects of transferring registration and processing operations to the Turkish authorities. Available at:

A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System

The World Refugee Council was established by the Centre of International Governance Innovation in May 2017 to support the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and leverage the skills and experiences of its diverse membership in order to realize transformational change for the refugee and IDP systems. This report makes actionable recommendations, with a focus on four key areas: political will, responsibility sharing, financing, and accountability. Among the key recommendations is to: create an independent Global Action Network for the Forcibly Displaced; promote leadership roles for women and youth, thereby giving a voice to more than half of those who are forcibly displaced globally; and hold perpetrators accountable before the law. More available at:

News reports and Blog posts

Kakuma News Reflector

Kakuma News Reflector or KANERE is an independent news magazine produced by Ethiopian, Congolese, Ugandan, Rwandan, Somali, Sudanese and Kenyan journalists operating in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. It is the first fully independent refugee-run news source of its kind to emerge from a refugee camp. The implementation of an innovative technological application of refugee verification known as Kiosk to Access Services and Information (KASI) has supported communication between refugees and agency staff. The latest issue of 2018 along with more information are available at:

Irwin Loy, Briefing: How the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh is changing (February 13, 2019), IRIN news.

Nearly 18 months after 700,000 Rohingya fled a violent military crackdown in Myanmar in August 2017, the aid sector finds itself shifting from emergency response to dealing with a protracted crisis. The report addresses some of the biggest issues coming up in delivering aid in city-sized camps, as the crisis continues to evolve and pushes toward a second full year. Such issues include gaps in health services including mental health services, and the lack access to formal education for Rohingya children. Available at:

Digital and social media

Website and video: Superdiversity: Today’s migration has made cities more diverse than ever—in multiple ways By Steven Vertovec, Daniel Hiebert, Alan Gamlen and Paul Spoonley

Over the past few decades, multiple causes and categories of migration – combined with migrants’ new and varying origins – have been transforming urban populations in complex ways, worldwide. The graphics utilized here show us how. These interactive data visualizations help show patterns in data quickly and powerfully and give the ability to interact with the data. They also help foster a wider and more complex understanding of migration and diversity dynamics. In this way, we can come to appreciate that the ‘diversification of diversity’ does not entail chaos, but rather multifaceted and interconnected patterns that represent our changing urban fabric. More available at:

New Online Resource: Migrant Working Lives website

This website is about international migrants’ experiences in and around work – looking for work, doing work (paid and unpaid), leaving work, or being prevented from working. Currently content only covers migrants’ experiences within parts of England with the hope to expand beyond. The website is hoped to be used as a resource to increase understanding and inform discussion about the diversity of backgrounds, experiences, needs, skills, desires, world-views and contributions to society among people living outside the country of their birth. More available at:

Jan 31, 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. 56

Recent Publications and New Research

Hudson, G., Nakache, D. and Atak, I. (2018). Special Issue on: The Criminalisation of Migration and Asylum: A Comparative Analysis of Policy Consequences and Human Rights Impact. International Journal of Migration and Border Studies. Vol.4 No.4

The criminalisation of migration [or as the editors refer to it crimmigration], describes one of the ways in which state power is used to exclude non-citizens from social, legal and geographic spaces. This special issue reflects on the ways in which crimmigration is constituted, constructed, and challenged in diverse settings. It seeks to promote a better understanding of the dynamics and processes pertaining to crimmigration, and to provide a critical analysis of the practical and human rights implications associated with it. The editorial of the special issue is open access and offers a clear overview of the contributions. Available at:

Gill, N. & Good, A. (eds.) (2019). Asylum Determination in Europe: Ethnographic Perspectives. Springer. Palgrave Macmillan socio-legal studies book series.

Drawing on research material from ten European countries, this book brings together a range of detailed accounts of the legal and bureaucratic processes by which asylum claims are decided. It includes a legal overview of European asylum determination procedures, followed by sections on the diverse actors involved, the means by which they communicate, and the ways in which they make life and death decisions on a daily basis. The contributors employ a variety of disciplinary perspectives – sociological, anthropological, geographical and linguistic – but are united in their use of an ethnographic methodological approach. Through this lens, the book captures the confusion, improvisation, inconsistency, complexity and emotional turmoil inherent to the process of claiming asylum in Europe. The book is open access available at:

Guruge, S., et al (2018). Healthcare needs and health service utilization by Syrian refugee women in Toronto. Conflict and health, 12(1), 46.  

Access to healthcare is an important part of the (re)settlement process for Syrian refugees in Canada. There is growing concern about the healthcare needs of the 54,560 Syrian refugees who were admitted to Canada by May 2018, 80% of whom are women and children. The article explores the healthcare needs of newcomer Syrian women, their experiences in accessing and using health services, and the factors and conditions that shape whether and how they access and utilize health services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report (2019)

The 2019 Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report is a unique publication that brings together commentary from leading scholars and professional experts on the major trends shaping global and regional mobility patterns today. The report uses cutting-edge research and historical data to explore regional and global mobility trends, and, significantly, to reveal the links between travel freedom, growth, and democracy. It includes specific chapters on talent migration, forced migration, and climate migration, with additional sections covering global mobility trends, and broader trends in travel freedom. Available at:

Agrawal, S., & Zietouny, S. (2017). Settlement experience of Syrian refugees in Alberta. SSHRC

This report documents the settlement experiences of recently arrived Syrian refugees in Albertan cities. It compares them across the three streams of sponsorship to better understand the perspectives of the refugees, the sponsors, and the social agencies that work with them.  Our findings suggest that all three government and private sponsorship programs were largely successful in bringing in Syrian refugees, from various asylum countries in the Middle East, to safe places in Canada. However, the settlement experience of refugees varied after they arrived in Canada. PSRs seemed to benefit from the personal attention, care, and networks provided by their sponsors. Still, this experience can vary widely based on how committed and resourceful sponsors are. Challenges in learning English and finding employment were paramount among all three refugee streams, irrespective of the place of settlement. Refugees were not sufficiently prepared to become financially independent after the government support ended at one year—particularly in their proficiency in English or in training in their profession or vocation. Available at:

A Right To Be Heard: Listening to Children and Young People on the Move, UNICEF report, December 2018

This report presents the perspectives of nearly 4,000 young migrants and refugees who responded to a recent global poll conducted by UNICEF. Globally, 30 million children and young people – including 12 million refugees and asylum seekers – lived outside their countries of origin in 2017. The report highlights many of the challenges faced by these uprooted youth, as well as their hopes and aspirations. It also reminds world leaders of UNICEF’s six-point agenda for action to protect the rights of all migrant and refugee children and young people. Available at:

New reposts and blog posts

Need to Solve a Border Dispute? Look to Ethiopia or Uzbekistan by Nick Megoran. Refugees deeply (Jan. 9, 2019).

What’s happening in America is the latest in a series of recent political crises over migrant deterrence around the world. The author argues however that the Western perspective isn’t the only one and that  2018 saw a number of hopeful and instructive developments for international borders, namely in Ethiopia-Eritrea and Central Asia. More available at:

First Person: Returning to Dadaab by Moulid Hujale, IRIN (January 24, 2019)

A former refugee from Dadaab reflects on his visit back to the camp. He points the evolution of the camp socially and economically, the impact of uncertainty and the threats of the Kenyan government on the camps activities, as well as the effect of global events such as the US travel ban on the members of the camp. More available at:

Digital and social media

Podcast: Current Thinking in Refugee Law: State Protection and Internal Relocation

The boundaries of refugee status remain one of the most important aspects of the protection afforded to forced migrants by international and domestic law.​ In this lecture series – Current Thinking in Refugee Law – two of the foremost thinkers in refugee law, Mark Symes (Garden Court Chambers) and Hugo Storey (Judge of Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber), present a series of four discussions addressing the key constituents of refugee status. Available at:

Digital Archive: York researchers launch Syrian refugee archive for scholarly use

A team of researchers at York University has developed a web-based archive on Syrian refugee settlement. It is the first web archive at York that is publicly accessible and permanently protected within the library system. The digital, open-source scholarly archive is organized into five topics, including: the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Context; Political Debates in Canada; The History of Private Sponsorship and Private-Public Partnership Programs for Resettlement; Drawbacks of Hybrid/Blended Refugee Resettlement Schemes; and Back to the Future. It features an analytically organized display of important policy and legal documents. Available at: