All posts by mmillard

September 26, 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. 72

Recent Publications and New Research

Clark-Kazak, C. and Reynolds, J. (2019). Refugee Sponsorship: Lessons learned, ways forward, Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, Vol 35 No 2.  To complement a previous Refuge special issue focusing on the historic establishment of Canada’s private sponsorship and another forthcoming issue, this special issue focuses specifically on lessons learned from sponsorship efforts and concrete suggestions for future policy and programming. The articles in this issue make empirical and conceptual contributions to understanding the diversity and context specificity of sponsorship, particularly in relation to the variability of “success,” as well as the ways in which Canadian-specific examples can or cannot be “exported” to other countries. Available at:

Segrave, M. (2019). Theorizing sites and strategies of differential inclusion: Unlawful migrant workers in Australia. Theoretical Criminology, 23(2), 194-210. This article explores the dynamic and shifting positionality of the unlawful migrant by examining several sites and strategies used to achieve differential inclusion in the Australian context, including migrant worker networks, the workplace and the broader community. The analysis reveals that the nation-state’s effort to exclude and demarcate non-belonging via law and policy is destabilized by the inclusionary bordering practices of both citizens and unlawful non-citizens. The findings point to the importance of criminologists continuing to look beyond the physical border to make sense of the configuration and reconfiguration of belonging. Available to subscribers at:

Blair T. Cullen & Margaret Walton‐Roberts (2019). The role of local immigration partnerships in Syrian refugee resettlement in Waterloo Region, Ontario, The Canadian Geographer. As of January 29, 2017 Canada had received 40,081 Syrian refugees. Since that time, much has changed in local resettlement policy. This research focuses on one component of these changes—the role of Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) in Syrian refugee resettlement—through a case study of an official refugee reception centre in the Waterloo Region of Ontario and a series of interviews with key informants from multiple sectors involved in resettlement. Results indicate Waterloo’s LIP playing a sizable role, but not acting as the sole response body to refugee resettlement. Nevertheless, participants saw the LIP as a crucial part of Waterloo’s resettlement efforts. Despite being a product of a tri‐level intergovernmental agreement, the LIP played a central role in shaping a local strategy by using local solutions. LIPs represent an example of place‐based policy that worked well during the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative, but LIPs’ success may set a challenging precedent for future mass refugee resettlement events.” Available to subscribers at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Refugee Education 2030: A Strategy for Refugee Inclusion, UNHCR. This publication aims to contribute directly to the goals of the Global Compact on Refugees, particularly, to Ease the pressures on host countries, to Enhance refugee self-reliance and Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity. The strategy arises from lessons learned about parallel education provision for refugees reflected in the 2011 Review of refugee education, and from the experience of shifting to national education service provision across a wide range of distinct contexts as a result of the guidance provided in the 2012-2016 UNHCR Refugee Education Strategy. Available at:

Carolyne Ndofor-Tah et. Al (2019). Home Office Indicators of Integration framework 2019 second edition. This framework is intended to be a resource for integration practitioners at all levels, offering a common language for understanding, planning, monitoring and measuring integration, and supporting better and more tailored integration services. It has been developed in collaboration with academics and with input from migrant organisations, the voluntary sector, local and national governments and, most importantly, migrants themselves.  Available at:

Understanding conflict dynamics around refugee settlements in northern Uganda, International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI). While there are overall good relations, tensions between South Sudanese refugees and Ugandan communities around natural resources, livelihoods and land should not be ignored. A new report by International Refugee Rights Initiative highlights that frictions have sparked violent incidents, and if not properly addressed could escalate into broader conflict in northern Uganda. Between December 2018 and May 2019. International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) spoke with more than 470 refugees and members of host communities in Arua, Adjumani and Lamwo, all major refugee hosting districts. Ugandan citizens living close to refugee settlement have given land to host refugees in northern Uganda, motivated by their own experiences of displacement and cultural similarities. But they had expected more development benefits in return for their generosity, fuelling frustration. More available at: and View the video summary here:

The Contours of Crimmigration Control in India: Global Detention Project Working Paper No. 25 By Sujata Ramachandran. The paper provides an assessment of India’s principal immigration law, the Foreigners Act, to draw attention to its role in propping up the country’s crimmigration system. It reviews the workings of crimmigration through the existing legal and bureaucratic systems, highlighting the variety of hurdles detainees face, many of whom are extraordinarily vulnerable residents who have survived on the fringes of Indian society. Important, too, is the paper’s analysis of the impact of framing immigration enforcement as a matter of public and national security, which results in a veil of secrecy being drawn around many procedures. The paper underscores the important influence exerted by Hindu right-wing political forces on immigration processes, in part through the strategic manipulation of migrants’ identities. Available at:

New reports and blog posts

How the Biloela Tamil family deportation case highlights the failures of our refugee system, by Mary Ann Kenny and Nicolas Procter, The conversation (September 19, 2019). The Sri Lankan family of four are part of a group of asylum seekers and refugees who arrived in Australia by boat between August 2012 and January 2014. Their case highlights some of the problems with the “fast-track” refugee assessment system set up by the Australian Coalition government in late 2014 to handle the flood of boat arrivals. More available at:

Statelessness is back (not that it ever went away…), by Guy Goodwin-GillIn, EJIL talk! (September 12, 2019). In this blog post the author argues that Unless international law is brought clearly and forcefully into the picture, then the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees may well miss its target of seeing statelessness abolished by 2024. Moreover, one further likely consequence will be a dramatic upsurge of asylum seekers whose claims to protection will be founded precisely in discriminatory denial or deprivation of citizenship. More available at:

The AU ECHO (2019). This annual magazine is produced by the Directorate of Information and Communication of the African Union. This issue contains topics such as an interview with UNHCR Representative to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Security-Development nexus in Sahel and its implications for economic resilience of women forcibly displaced and Shortcomings in the protection of displaced children in Africa, more available at:

Digital and social media

EJIL: Live! is the official podcast of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL). Launched in May 2014, EJIL: Live! podcasts are released in both video and audio formats to coincide with the publication of each quarterly issue of the Journal. Video episodes feature an in-depth discussion with one of the authors whose article appears in the issue. Audio episodes include a variety of news, reviews and interviews with the authors of articles. Access the full list of audio and video podcasts here:

September 12, 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. 71

Recent Publications and New Research

Turner, Lewis (2019). Syrian refugee men as objects of humanitarian care, International Feminist Journal of Politics, online first, 1-22. Critical feminist scholars of conflict and displacement have demonstrated that “womenandchildren” have become an uncontroversial object of humanitarian concern in these contexts. Yet very little scholarly work has attempted to understand the position of refugee men as a demographic within humanitarianism. Through an analysis of the Syria refugee response in Jordan, this article investigates how humanitarian workers relate to refugee men and think about refugee masculinities. It argues that refugee men have an uncertain position as objects of humanitarian care. This research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews with humanitarian workers and Syrian refugees, which was undertaken in Jordan in 2015–2016. Available with subscription at:

Schmidt, P. W. (2019). An Overview and Critique of US Immigration and Asylum Policies in the Trump Era. Journal on Migration and Human Security. This article provides an overview and critique of US immigration and asylum policies from the perspective of the author’s 46 years as a public servant. The article offers a taxonomy of the US immigration system by positing different categories of membership: full members of the “club” (US citizens), associate members (lawful permanent residents, refugees, and “asylees”), friends (nonimmigrants and holders of temporary status), and persons outside the club (the undocumented). It describes the legal framework that applies to these distinct populations and recent developments in federal law and policy that relate to them. It also identifies a series of cross-cutting issues that affect these populations, including immigrant detention, immigration court backlogs, state and local immigration policies, and constitutional rights that extend to noncitizens. It ends with a series of recommendations for reform of the US asylum system, and a short conclusion. The article is available in full at:  

White, B. T. (2018). Humans and animals in a refugee camp: Baquba, Iraq, 1918–20. Journal of Refugee Studies, 32(2), 216-236. When human populations are forcibly displaced, they often take animals with them—and, even if they are not accompanied by their own, animals often play an important role in their experience of displacement. This article uses a historical example—the Baquba refugee camp near Baghdad in the period 1918–20—to illustrate the multifaceted role of animals in structuring the experiences of refugees: their living spaces; their health; their economic and affective interactions; the way they were represented to a wider world; their relations with the surrounding population and landscape; and the plans made for them by the camp authorities. It is a history with many resonances in camps today, from the goat barns that are a distinctive architectural feature of Sahrawi camps in Algeria to the economic and cultural role of camels for the inhabitants of Dadaab, Kenya and beyond. The article is available in full at:

Catherine Baillie Abidi, Shiva Nourpanah (2019). Refugees & Forced Migration: A Canadian Perspective- An A-Z Guide, Nimbus Publishing. Based on years of close community and academic involvement in local, national, and international refugee affairs, Catherine Baillie Abidi and Shiva Nourpanah have created an accessible A-to-Z reference book focused on raising awareness on refugee and forced migration issues in Canada, with a specific focus on Atlantic Canada. Defining key concepts, from “asylum seeker” to “Generation Z,” this accessible guide is situated within a critical framework, acknowledging Canada’s complex immigration history. More information available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Factsheet: 10 facts about refugees, UNHCR Global trends (August 2019). Refugees, asylum-seekers and displacement have in recent years become a hot topic in the political and public debate. Nevertheless, the topic is surrounded by myths and, too often, lack of facts. In this infographic fact sheet, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, provides you with 10 important facts on refugees – for a fact-based discussion. Available at:

Congo, Forgotten: The Numbers Behind Africa’s Longest Humanitarian Crisis. Congo Research Group Center on International Cooperation, New York University, August 2019. The Kivu Security Tracker, a joint project of Human Rights Watch and the New York University-based Congo Research Group, logged more than 3,000 violent incidents by more than 130 armed groups. This 17-page report, used the results of the Tracker’s first two years to examine the general trends of conflict in North and South Kivu, the main factors contributing to the violence, and the broader challenges for peacekeeping efforts. Available at:

Beyond Survival: Rohingya Refugee Children in Bangladesh want to learn, UNICEF Advocacy Alert (August 2019). This report tracks that by June 2019, the overall education sector had provided non-formal education to 280,000 children aged 4 to 14. UNICEF and its partners have ensured access to learning for 192,000 of those children, enrolled in 2,167 learning centres. However, this leaves over 25,000 children who are not attending any learning programmes, and an additional 640 learning centres are needed. Further, 97 per cent of children aged 15 to 18 years are not attending any type of educational facility. the report says that without adequate opportunities for learning, adolescents can fall prey to traffickers who offer to smuggle desperate young Rohingya out of Bangladesh, and to drug dealers who operate in the area. Additionally, Women and girls face harassment and abuse especially at nighttime. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Towards Gender Inclusivity in Cameroon’s Refugee Legislation: A Feminist Foreign Policy Perspective by Ayuk Nyakpo Orock, Refugee Law initiative Blog post (Aug 13, 2019). This blog post draws on particular aspects of feminist foreign policy (ffp) as a developing field in academic analysis to determine the level of gender inclusivity in Cameroon’s 2005 refugee and asylum legislation. It also argues for a dire need of gender mainstreaming into the Cameroon refugee policy. The first section assesses the gendered terminology in Cameroon Refugee Law and spotlights the impact of the lack of gender-sensitive focus in policy. Secondly, the blog post discusses the feminist foreign policy theoretical framework and how it is use to understand gender specificities in policy. Finally, a conclusion with recommendations on ways forward to enhance research in this field is proposed. Available at:

Dispatches from the global crisis in refugee protection: The Honeymoon between Syrian Refugees and the Erdogan Government Has Ended by Omar al-Muqdad, (August 7, 2019). Center for Migration Studies. The “Dispatches from the Global Crisis in Refugee Protection” series by Omar al-Muqdad covers the Syrian Civil War, the experiences of Syria’s immense and far-flung refugee population, the global crisis in refugee protection, religious persecution, and US refugee and immigration policies. In this blog, he discusses how Turkey has long boasted of providing safe haven to Syrians in their times of need and treating them as its guests, not as refugees. But today, the Turkish government is pursuing a different path and taking extreme measures against refugees, including deportation to war-torn areas in Syria. According to local activists, it has even handed over Syrian refugees to jihadist groups in Idleb province.  More details available at:

‘Jihadi Jack’ and the folly of revoking citizenship, by Audrey Macklin, The Conversation (August 20, 2019).  In this article Professor Audrey Macklin uses the case of the Islamic State recruit of Jack Letts  (also a Canadian citizen) who was as a consequence stripped off of his United Kingdom citizenship to showcase how “Claims that “citizenship is a privilege, not a right” or that the undeserving citizen forfeits citizenship by his actions is flimsy rhetoric intended to distract from the grubby opportunism that motivates citizenship revocation. Available at:

Digital and social media

Classroom resource: listening and refugee dialogue by Erin Goheen Glanville. This 10-minute video montage of research interview footage introduces people to a variety of perspectives on the importance of ‘listening’ for refugee dialogue. The video also relates more broadly to questions of justice and dialogue. This video has been produced as part of my SSHRC-funded knowledge mobilization project, “Digital Storytelling for Critical Dialogue on Refugees in Canada.” The larger aim is to produce creative digital narratives to support good dialogue in classrooms and communities. But creative outputs are still in production, so I am sending this raw footage out in the hopes that it might be useful to those teaching this fall. Available at: Listening in Refugee Dialogue

August 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. 70

Recent Publications and New Research

Galli, Chiara (2019). Humanitarian capital: how lawyers help immigrants use suffering to claim membership in the nation-state. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-18. This paper explores how humanitarianism operates within the nation-state, asking: what strategies do lawyers employ to help undocumented immigrants access membership rights in the United States though humanitarian policies? The author identifies three concurrent evaluations that lawyers undertake to determine legalisation strategies. First, attorneys carry out an assessment of threat of deportation because not all undocumented immigrants are equally at risk. Second, they determine eligibility by matching migrants’ complex lived experiences to narrow, formal eligibility criteria, which often exclude individuals arbitrarily. Third, attorneys determine whether each case is ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ (more/less likely to acquire status) by identifying instances of migrant suffering to transform them into what I call ‘humanitarian capital’, a symbolic resource legible to adjudicators in the immigration bureaucracy who grant legal status on the basis of compassion to limited numbers of exceptional cases. More information available at:

Also a previous version is open access and is available at:

Gill, N., & Good, A. (Eds.). (2019). Asylum Determination in Europe: Ethnographic Perspectives. Springer. Drawing on new 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. The book 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. The book captures the confusion, improvisation, inconsistency, complexity and emotional turmoil inherent to the process of claiming asylum in Europe. Available at:

Shannon Doocy, et al (2019). Venezuelan Migration and the Border Health Crisis in Colombia and Brazil, Journal on Migration and Human Security. Venezuela’s economic crisis has triggered mass migration. An assessment mission to Cúcuta, in the Colombian border state of North Santander, was undertaken from July 26 to August 1, 2018, and to Bôa Vista and Pacaraima, in the state of Roraima, Brazil, between August 24 and 28, 2018. Surveillance data demonstrate increases in infectious diseases, as well as adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes, among Venezuelans in North Santander and Roraima. In Colombia, primary healthcare is not available to Venezuelans, and provision of emergency care is perceived as unsustainable given current funding mechanisms. In Brazil, primary care is available to Venezuelans, but the healthcare system is under severe strain to meet the increased demand for care and is facing unprecedented shortages in medications and supplies. There is an urgent need to expand the humanitarian health response in Colombia and Brazil, both to ensure health among Venezuelans and to protect public health in border areas. Available at:

Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho and Cabeiri Debergh Robinson (2018). Special Issue: Forced migration in/of Asia, Journal of Refugee Studies. This special issue focuses on displacement in Asia. Each article looks at a specific case of human forced displacement happening in Asia, as the links forged by those displaced from or within Asia to places outside of Asia. The articles in this special issue illustrate how specific and comparative examination of Asian forced migration can productively inform wider conceptualization of forced-migration research and refugee studies. For instance, Peterson’s article examines the history of practices of banishment, exile and deportation in China and among Chinese overseas migrants. McConnachie’s article argues, from the case of Chin refugees in Mizoram, India, that, while refugee reception is often analysed through the framework of national and international law and policy, such legal and political instruments are undermined or reinforced through local perceptions of belonging that are accorded different symbolic values over time. McNevin and Missbach’s article considers how the action of Acehnese fishermen who rescued boatloads of stranded Rohingya refugees imposed new imperatives on the Indonesian state and humanitarian organizations to extend protection to refugees once the Rohingya reached shore. The issue is accessible in full along with an interactive map at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Welcome Home: Welcoming refugee claimants and precarious migrants to the city of Toronto, FCJ Refugee Centre with support from Maytree, June 12, 2019.The report examines challenges faced by refugee claimants and precarious migrants in accessing shelter in Toronto in three distinct phases of the settlement process: The first 24 to 48 hours after arrival; Time spent in the city of Toronto’s shelter system; and Transitioning to the private rental market. For each phase, the report offers recommendations that the city of Toronto can implement to ensure access to adequate housing, while including suggestions for other levels of government and the community sector where appropriate. Available at:

Policy Brief: Fleeing Violence in Central America: Time to Implement Canada’s Resettlement Policies, By Rachel Kiddell-Monroe and Celine de Richoufftz, Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID), McGill University – Global Governance Lab (February 2019). Each year, thousands of people flee violence and conflict ravaging countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. However, North American countries are rolling back the international political and moral commitments designed to protect people fleeing violence and persecution. By developing an urgent policy of resettlement for Central American refugees in Canada, by supporting the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA) states in their efforts to build more fair and more efficient immigration systems and by addressing the structural causes of displacements, Canada can alleviate the suffering of thousands of people. Available at:

Report: Tackling violence against aid workers, House of Commons International Development Committee: Fourteenth Report of Session 2017–19 (July 23, 2019). This short report is based on two oral evidence sessions aimed at exploring the dangers faced by humanitarian workers in conflict-affected settings and the UK Government’s policies and actions in this area. The areas explored in evidence covered: (a) the scale of the threats and challenges that humanitarian workers face in fragile and conflict-affected states; (b) the impact of threats of violence on the delivery of humanitarian assistance; (c) the management of safety and security risks in hostile and insecure settings; (d) the role the UK government plays in supporting aid worker safety and security; and (e) the protections afforded by international humanitarian law in theory and in practice. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Discussion Series: Decolonizing Forced Migration Research, Part of the ESPMI Network’s Knowledge Cluster Project on Methodological Challenges in Forced Migration Research.  What is the contribution of decolonial debates to the study of forced migration? How do these debates inform our methodological approach? What do we understand by decolonial research methods on forced migration? This debate is inspired by the discussion of decolonising the university more broadly, but also some recent calls to humanising refugee research. Responses are available at:

UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar exposes military business ties, calls for targeted sanctions and arms embargoes, Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), (5 August 2019). The U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar urged the international community on Monday to sever ties with Myanmar’s military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on. The Mission said the revenues the military earns from domestic and foreign business deals substantially enhances its ability to carry out gross violations of human rights with impunity. The report, for the first time, establishes in detail the degree to which Myanmar’s military has used its own businesses, foreign companies and arms deals to support brutal operations against ethnic groups that constitute serious crimes under international law, bypassing civilian oversight and evading accountability. Available at:

Digital and social media

Asylum Recognition Rates in the EU/EFTA by Country, 2008-2017, Migration Policy Institute. Use this interactive map to view asylum recognition rates in individual European Union Member States and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) by country of origin and year, from 2008 through 2017. Darker colors indicate a higher recognition rate in the country and year shown. The rate represents the share of first-instance positive asylum decisions relative to all decisions made in the selected country. The data tool also shows the total number of decisions as well as the type of protection status granted. Available at:

Presentations: International Metropolis Conference Media, The Promise of Migration Inclusion, Economic Growth and Global Cooperation (June 24 to 28, 2019). These presentations reflect the content that was delivered on the Promise of Migration: A Canadian Perspective special event on June 24th, 2019. Available at:

July 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. 69

Recent Publications and New Research

Annika Lems and Jelena Tošić (eds.) (2019). African-European Trajectories of Im/mobility: Exploring Entanglements of Experiences, Legacies, and Regimes of Contemporary Migration, Migration and society, vol. 2. This second volume of Migration and Society marks the continued intellectual engagement with authors, artists, and guest editors to make the journal a dynamic platform for exchange and debate across disciplines and fields of thought and action around the issue of migration. the themed section explores contemporary patterns of im/mobility between Africa and Europe. Collectively, the articles seek to move our understanding beyond hegemonic and binary images of “Europe” and “Africa,”. They explore migrants’ complex routes and journeys, including protracted experiences of being stuck in transit, demonstrating the constant interplay between agency and restraint, movement and stasis. The guest-edited themed section is followed by “People and Places,” featuring a smaller collection of papers on “hostile environments,” in the contexts of the UK and Denmark, respectively. The introduction is open access and more information about the issue available at:

Parekh, S. (2017). Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement, Routledge. This book is a philosophical analysis of the ethical treatment of refugees and stateless people, a group of people who, though extremely important politically, have been greatly under theorized philosophically. The limited philosophical discussion of refugees focuses narrowly on the question of whether or not members of Western states have moral obligations to admit refugees into their countries. This book reframes this debate and shows why it is important to think ethically about people who will never be resettled and who live for prolonged periods outside of all political communities. Parekh shows why philosophers ought to be concerned with ethical norms that will help stateless people mitigate the harms of statelessness even while they remain formally excluded from states. The book is available in full at:

Losoncz, I. (2019). Institutional Disrespect: South Sudanese Experiences of the Structural Marginalisation of Refugee Migrants in Australia. Springer. This book addresses the institutional disrespect experienced by refugee immigrants at the hands of the state and its institutions. The desire to be treated respectfully is not felt only by refugees, but they are a much higher risk of not receiving it. Using a case study of recently settled South Sudanese Australians, the author uncovers the social realities of their marginalisation and examines how blocked pathways to cultivate collective and self-identities can lead to a breakdown of social bonds between immigrants and social institutions. The book invites us to take a fresh look at whose responsibility it is to address the disrespect felt by immigrants and other marginalised groups and argues that when disrespect comes in the forms of injustice, institutional mistreatment, or systemic in governance arrangements, the responsibility lies not with individuals but with the state, its institutions and its appointed bureaucrats. More information about the book available at:

Galemba, R., et al. (2019). Paradoxes of Protection: Compassionate Repression at the Mexico–Guatemala Border Journal on Migration and human security. Journal of Migration and Human Security. This paper analyzes data from migrant shelters in the Mexico-Guatemala border region. It documents and analyzes the nature, location, and perpetrators of these alleged abuses. It argues that while Mexican humanitarian visas can provide protection for abuses committed in Mexico, the visas are limited by their temporary nature, by being nested within a migration system that prioritizes removal, and by recognizing only crimes that occur in Mexico. It finds that the paradox between humanitarian concerns and repressive migration governance in a context of high impunity shapes institutional and practical obstacles to reporting crimes, receiving visas, and accessing justice. The paper recommends that the Mexican government address these problems through: 1) further funding for the special prosecutors’ offices that investigate crimes against migrants; 2) the creation of an independent agency that approves and issues humanitarian visas; 3) work permits for humanitarian visa recipients; and 4) allowing complaints to be filed for crimes committed in countries in transit to Mexico. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

A Future without Gender-Based Violence:  Building Newcomers’ resilience through community education: a toolkit for service providers, prepared by OCASI. This toolkit is for staff at community organizations that serve immigrants, refugees, and people without status. It is available in English and French versions. It is developed it to support service providers in providing community-based education to newcomers about gender-based violence and begin to equip them to address challenging situations. The objectives are to support program staff at community organizations in connecting with immigrants, refugees, and people without status to share accurate and culturally relevant information about gender-based violence and to provide practical ideas and guidelines for hosting community-based educational events, which service providers have identified as a best practice in addressing this issue. Available at:

Resettling Refugees’ Social Housing Stories by Ray Silvius Hani Al-ubeady Emily Halldorson, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, May 30, 2019. This paper seeks to deepen the understanding of 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). These commonalities are what make refugee resettlement a matter for social policy: we as a society can do better to welcome former refugees into our communities and provide the supports needed to help them get their lives in Canada off to the best possible start. Obtaining adequate and affordable housing is central to this undertaking. This paper includes the accounts of nine interviewees who have desired to have, applied for, or attained social housing. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

GCM Indicators: Implementation, Follow-up and Review by Jean Monnet (QMUL), Kathryn Allinson (QMUL), Tugba Basaran (Cambridge University), Christina Oelgemoller (Loughborough University) and Kees Groenendijk RLI blog (June 19, 2019). Paragraphs 40 – 54 of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) set out provisions on implementation, follow-up and review of the GCM. How does the GCM envisage these processes? What indicators might be able to help in examining progress with overall implementation, follow up and review? This blog reflects on these questions and concludes by identifying key practical necessities to implement the GCM. Available at:

Digital Litter: The Downside of Using Technology to Help Refugees by Meghan Benton, Migration Policy Institute (June 20, 2019). Digital innovation has been one of the defining responses of the current global refugee crisis and has been rightly celebrated. However, in some cases, creativity has come at the expense of sustainability, with damaging consequences when information is outdated or outright incorrect. Poor-quality information spread online or through digital tools, apps, and social media is undermining refugee and migrant decision-making and placing them in harm’s way. More available at:

Digital and social media

Rethinking Development Podcast. In the Rethinking Development podcast, the host Safa speaks with a wide range of practitioners of different ages and agencies to discuss ethics, challenges, innovations, life experiences and lessons learnt in the humanitarian aid and international development spectrum.  Current episodes address a variety of issues such the different skill set necessary for humanitarian assistance vs development programming, overcoming sectoral analysis, ensuring protection, the interface of aid and the military, pioneering female leadership, working across disciplines, building trust, working through trauma, and much more. You can listen on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcast platforms. Transcripts of episodes can be found at: You can join the conversation on Instagram @rethinkingdevelopment or on Facebook @rethinkingevelopmentpodcast.

July 18, 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. 68

Recent Publications and New Research

Albertini, M, Debora Mantovani & Giancarlo Gasperoni (2019). Intergenerational relations among immigrants in Europe: the role of ethnic differences, migration and acculturation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(10). This is the introduction to Special Issue: Intergenerational Relations Among Immigrants in Europe. It demonstrates how an understanding of the characteristics of intergenerational relations within immigrant families in Europe and the social processes shaping those relations is essential from both an academic and a policy perspective. The articles featured in this special issue provide new evidence on various aspects of intergenerational relations among European immigrant populations. The introduction briefly reviews the main and most significant of these findings while comparing them with previous research results. It concludes by identifying a set of relevant research questions that remain unanswered and recommend a roadmap for future research on intergenerational relations among immigrant populations in Europe. Available at:

Ishrat Zakia Sultana (2019), Rohingyas in Bangladesh: Owning Rohingya Identity in Disowning Spaces, dissertation, York University. Many Rohingya youth and young adults find it complicated to define who they are because they belong to a place: Burma, that does not consider them citizens, and they reside in a place: Bangladesh, that never recognizes them as residents. The project shows that living in oppressive conditions, uncertainty, and the lack of an appropriate social environment, has made Rohingya people struggle with forming their identity. Their statelessness and lack of rights have created an unsettled and hybrid form of identity for many youth and youth adults living within and outside the refugee camps. The dissertation starts by describing the lives of Rohingya refugees, then examines individual constructions of identity and how their sense of belonging is influenced by their refugeeness and lack of legal citizenship. Available at:  

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

Karen E. Fisher, Eiad Yafi, Carleen Maitland and Ying Xu 2019. Al Osool: Understanding information behavior for community development at Za’atari Syrian refugee camp. In Proceedings of ACM 9th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T’19). Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan is home to about 83,000 people fleeing the violence in Syria. Building on a multi-year engagement at Za’atari, the researchers developed an information-enabled community engagement approach to identify and address challenges at the camp, engage community members in problem solving and increase self-reliance. Using mixed methods, the researchers facilitated the creation of a community-commissioned database of household assets, being implemented by the UNHCR with potential for adoption in other refugee camps. The main contributions of this project are participatory approaches to understanding information behaviors within a fragmented social fabric in high-constraint, low-affordance settings resulting from armed conflict. This work generates insights valuable for researchers and designers working with refugees. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Common Social Accountability Platform (CSAP) – Results and findings from citizen led discussions on displacement in Mogadishu, a report by AVF, ReDSS and BRA, January 2019. CSAP was developed by Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) and launched in partnership with ReDSS and the Banadir Regional Administration (BRA) in Somalia. It uses interactive radio to build inclusive conversations at scale on displacement and durable solutions and bring the voices of displacement affected communities to decision-makers through analysis of citizen perspectives in discussion. Over 3,260 people participated in 4 interactive radio shows that were aired across 5 local stations in Banadir region. By using one common platform for building social accountability, CSAP intends to strengthen the Somali social accountability ecosystem by engaging citizens in spaces they value, outside the mandate of any single programme or organisation. Access full report at:

Policy Brief:  A Brief and Independent Inquiry into the involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018, by Gert Rosenthal (May 2019). This review explores the structural and systemic factors that, notwithstanding the lessons learned in previous cases – notably, in Sri Lanka – appear to have been repeated in Myanmar, despite the adoption in 2014 of the “Human Rights Up Front” initiative, designed precisely to avoid the repetition of the Sri Lankan experience. These factors include the overriding issue of accountability, in terms of the United Nations actions regarding the nature and scope of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that occurred (and continue to occur) in Myanmar.   While the brunt of the responsibility rests squarely on the Government of Myanmar, the question persists whether the United Nations could not have done more to avoid or mitigate the horrific events that progressively occurred between 2012 and 2017 (and are still ongoing), especially in Rakhine State.  Available at:

Report: Promoting Refugee Participation in The Global Refugee Forum (GRF): Walking the Walk (July 12, 2019) by Hayley Drozdowski and Mark Yarnell.  In a promising development, refugee-led networks have already offered a set of concrete recommendations for achieving meaningful participation in the GRF, and UNHCR is working to provide additional opportunities for engagement on shaping the policies priorities that will be addressed at forum. The process, however, has largely been Geneva-based, so there is a need to broaden access and participation at the regional and local level, as well as to establish mechanisms for remote engagement. This issue brief provides recommendations designed to facilitate meaningful participation in the lead up to the GRF, at the forum itself, and into the future. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Ferreira, N. and Dustin M., ‘Let’s celebrate Pride with empathy and ensure LGBT+ refugees are not left behind, Metro, 5 July 2019. We are in the midst of Pride season, and one can feel the buzz of LGBT+ celebration across the country. To make these year’s Pride festivals even more special, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising is being celebrated as well. Yet, in the frenzy of consumeristic celebration, we risk leaving behind those most marginalised within the LGBT+ community. That is the case of LGBT+ refugees, as the one we recently saw in BBC’s recent series Years and Years. The series depicts a not so distant dystopia, full of rabble-rousing politicians, military interventions, refugee movements, nuclear conflicts, omnipresent technology, and glaring socio-economic inequality. More available at: 

The Sahel in flames, by Francesco Bellina, The New Humanitarian (May 31, 2019). For 10 months, The New Humanitarian has been on the ground reporting as a surge in violence rips through West Africa. Violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger – three Sahelian countries with shared borders and common problems – has left more than 440,000 people displaced and 5,000 dead, as militants – some with links to al-Qaeda and IS – extend their grip across the region. More about The New Humanitarian report available at:

GCM Indicators: Objective 14: Enhance consular protection, assistance and co-operation throughout the migration cycle, by Stephanie Grant (July 10, 2019), Refugee Law initiative. This blog post looks at the indicators for Objective 14 of the GCM. The Global Compact on Migration contains a double commitment: to protect a state’s own nationals, and to act collectively where other states are unable to protect their nationals, including in situations of humanitarian crisis. Identifying indicators to measure how consular authorities honor both these commitments is an essential element of protecting migrants’ rights and interests. The blog tries to identify a few. Available at:

The web, digital and social media

The Right to Remain Toolkit. This is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. It gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else. Available at:

July 4, 2019: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 67

Recent Publications and New Research

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

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

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

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

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

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

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

News Reports and Blog Posts

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

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

The Web, Digital and social media

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

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

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

June 20, 2019: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 66

Recent Publications and New Research

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

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

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

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

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Reports and Blog posts

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

Digital and social media

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

June 6, 2019: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 65

Recent Publications and New Research

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

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

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

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

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

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

News Reports and Blog Posts

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

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

The Web, Digital and social media

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

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

May 23, 2019: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 64

Recent Publications and New Research

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

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

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

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

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

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

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

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

News Reports and Blog Posts

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

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

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

The Web, Digital and Social Media

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

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

May 9, 2019: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 63

Recent Publications and New Research

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

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

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

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

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

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

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

News Reports and Blog Posts

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

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

The Web, Digital and social media

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