All posts by mmillard

March 5, 2020: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 81

Recent Publications and New Research

Cities and Towns (February, 2020), Forced Migration Review, Issue 63, Refugee Studies Centre. In the 20 articles on Cities and towns in this issue of FMR, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, representatives of cities and international city-focused alliances, and displaced people themselves debate the challenges facing both the urban authorities and their partners, and those who have sought refuge. A number of authors explore new ways of working in urban settings – including area-based approaches, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and city- to-city collaboration – while others offer insights and inspiration from local responses and the perspectives of displaced and host communities. Available at:

Batarseh, R. C. (2019). “Perfect Vision”: An examination of the role of census and profiling practices in visualizing and crafting refugee ‘groups’ under Contemporary Group Resettlement Programs. Journal of Refugee Studies, Oxford University Press.
This article demonstrates how the characteristically visual practices of boundary-making around prospective refugee groups comprise an important and instrumentalized version of what Rogers Brubaker (2004) calls ‘groupism’. Current practices in relation to this concept are the preconditions for the writing of specific narratives of risk, persecution and flight in UNHCR group profiles. An examination of group resettlement reveals how officials do not just choose between pre-existing refugee groups based on racial, national and ethnic categories, but rather attempt to construct an idealized conception of groups reflected in Brubaker’s notion of groupism. Available at:

Atuguba, R. A., Tuokuu, F. X. D., & Gbang, V. (2020). Statelessness in West Africa: An Assessment of Stateless Populations and Legal, Policy, and Administrative Frameworks in Ghana. Journal on Migration and Human Security. Drawing on qualitative interviews that are complemented by the analysis of government policy documents, this study examines statelessness in Ghana. It addresses a range of policy, legal, institutional, administrative, and other politico-socioeconomic matters attendant to the concept. This study defines statelessness, identifies its consequences, and offers several recommendations to prevent and reduce it in Ghana. Available at (Open access):

Brankamp, H. (2020), Refugees in uniform: community policing as a technology of government in kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, Journal of Eastern African Studies. This article demonstrates that the deployment of community policing in Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya has been far more contested. Aid organisations and Kenyan authorities have competed in determining the orientation and implementation of community policing at a time when the government was intensifying both securitisation of refugees and counter-terrorism measures. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article illustrates that governing refugees through community policing blurs the lines between humanitarian protection, domesticating local systems of governance, and expanding the security state. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Unprepared for (re)integration: Lessons learned from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria on Refugee Returns to Urban Areas (January 31, 2020), ReDSS. This study addresses programming and policies in relation to refugee returns and, specifically, with regards to their (re)integration within urban areas, with a focus on Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. While millions of refugees return to poverty, conflict and insecurity in all three settings, a tunnel focus on returns rather than on (re)integration has limited value for long-term planning. Stakeholders, including communities and returnees themselves, have been unprepared for what happens post-return. Available at:

Report: A voice in their futures: The Need to Empower Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh by Daniel Sullivan, (February, 2020), Refugees International. The situation for the Rohingya remains bleak despite some positive news in recent weeks. Conditions in Myanmar for those Rohingya who remain are grim. In Bangladesh, the government has put in place a series of security measures that limit the access of the Rohingya to the outside world leading to desperation inside the camps. This report is based on a recently conducted fact-finding mission in Bangladesh, which includes data from interview representatives of UN agencies, the government of Bangladesh, local and international NGOs, and Rohingya refugees themselves. Based on the findings the author reports that Rohingya are not meaningfully engaged and informed about decisions that affect them and proposes a path forward. Available at:

Report: Lebanon at a Crossroads: Growing Uncertainty for Syrian Refugees by Sahar Atrache (January 30, 2020), Refugees International. With a population estimated at around 6 million, Lebanon is host to the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. This massive influx has posed immense challenges to this small country, which lacks the adequate resources, infrastructure, and political will to respond to refugees’ needs. Lebanon is at a crossroads. Violence is rising, as is the use of excessive force against protestors and activists. The increasing drift toward repression threatens to further destabilize the country and undermine the situation of all people in Lebanon, including refugees. The current issue of Syrian refugees and pressures for their return will almost certainly be a priority for the new government. The author urges for the crisis to serve as an opportunity to radically change Lebanon’s approach toward refugees and its most impoverished citizens. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Brazil’s humane refugee policies: Good ideas can travel north by Audrey Macklin (February 11, 2020), The Conversation. This article examines Brazil’s recently set bold precedent that should make northern states adjust the lens. Its policy toward Venezuelan refugees, in contrast to its wealthier peers, is pragmatic, humane and sensible. The author concludes that there is something to learn from Brazil, and if they can find an efficient, pragmatic way to welcome, protect and integrate hundreds of thousands of forced migrants arriving at its border, so can more affluent states. “Good ideas — like good people — can migrate north, and we should welcome them”. Available at:

The future of refugee resettlement: Made in Europe? By Susan Fratzke and Hanne Beirens (February, 2020), Migration Policy Institute. Europe’s new role as a resettlement innovator and the largest collective provider of resettlement spaces globally offer both an opportunity and responsibility. The question European and EU leaders face is what to do with their newfound resettlement muscle. The seating of the new European Commission and ongoing deliberations around how to implement UNHCR’s resettlement strategy offer an opportunity for European leaders to define an answer. The authors provide a number of recommendations for European leaders to consider. Available at:

Digital and social media

News Audio: Displacement, Youth voices, Women’s Equality by Daniel Johnson, United Nation News, (February 25, 2020). News in Brief from the United Nations covering top stories including the displacement crisis by UN chief Guterres, perspective of a refugee woman on her hopes for the future, and challenges to women’s equality. Available at:

February 27, 2020: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 80

Recent Publications and New Research

Stathopoulou, T., Eikemo, T. A. (2019), New Perspectives on the European Refugee Crisis. An Empirical Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, 32(1), i1–i252.

This Special Issue includes eighteen articles that contribute to evidence concerning refugees’ situation in European reception and destination countries from a multi-disciplinary perspective, highlighting priorities for policy and future research. The contributions consist of studies from final-destination countries in Northern Europe, first-reception or transit countries in Southern Central Europe and from the Eastern Mediterranean. Evidencing the health status of refugees is one of our key priorities, arguing that health and especially mental health-care provision should be the basis for the implementation of integration policies to be successful. The first aim of this special issue is to obtain more knowledge about the physical and mental health of refugees. The second aim is to evaluate existing screening mental health measurement tools. The third aim is to provide new knowledge about the conditions under which refugees live in terms of the attitudes of host populations, the media discourses that frame these attitudes and the asylum policies in several European countries. Available at (open access):

Easton‐Calabria, E., Herson, M. (2020), In praise of dependencies: dispersed dependencies and displacement. Disasters, 44: 44-62. This article reframes the humanitarian consequences of displacement in terms of ‘dispersed dependencies’, a term drawn from the field of mental health, sheds light on the disruptive experience of displacement and on affected individuals’ relations with other displaced people, hosts, states and humanitarian actors. Dependency for a person is neither a problem nor abnormal; independence is having a viable set of dispersed dependencies. This description, when applied in the context of disaster or displacement, challenges some humanitarian attitudes and offers some positive directions for humanitarian actors who seek to engage in assistance that is sustainable, contextual, and focused on human choice and dignity. Available at (Open-access):

Rodgers, C. (2020). The ‘Host’ Label: Forming and Transforming a Community Identity at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Journal of Refugee Studies. This article calls for greater critical attention to the meaning of the term ‘host community’ and the ways in which it is applied. Taking the Kakuma refugee camps in north-western Kenya as a case study, the author describes the rise of a ‘host community’ identity in the context of humanitarian programming, contested attempts to define it as a bureaucratic label and its transformations under a socio-economic-integration agenda. While the case presented here is specific to Kenya, the argument is relevant more broadly as hosts are brought under the purview of refugee-protection policies, especially in countries implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Available at:

Okafor, O. C. (2020). Refugee law after 9/11: sanctuary and security in Canada and the Us. Vancouver: UBC Press. Refugee Law after 9/11 undertakes a detailed, systematic examination of available legal, policy, and empirical evidence to reveal a great irony: refugee rights were already so whittled down in both countries before 9/11 that there was relatively little room for negative change after the attacks. It also shows that the Canadian refugee law regime reacted to 9/11 in much the same way as its US counterpart, raising significant questions about the power of security relativism and the cogency of the Canadian and US national self-image. The author explores the logic behind changes in refugee law in Canada and the United States following 9/11 and up to the present, uncovering the reasons for the orientation of their respective refugee rights regimes in specific ways. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Briefing paper: Advancing multi stakeholder engagement to sustain solutions, Learning from the application of the CRRF in East Africa to inform a common agenda post GRF, (December 2019), ReDSS. This briefing paper aims to document learning around the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) application in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and at the regional level with the role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through a thematic approach. It highlights learning from new ways of working as well as opportunities that the application of the CRRF has enabled in three key areas: (1) return and (re)integration; (2) area-based and locally-led approaches; and (3) regional and national level engagement around the CRRF process. Crosscutting issues such as multi-stakeholder approaches, accountability and adaptability are brought out across all themes. Available at:

Report: Immigration Detention in Austria: Where the Refugee “Crisis” Never Ends. Global Detention Project, (January 2020). Austria’s domestic politics have long been overshadowed by a divisive and bitter public debate over the treatment of migrants and refugees. This has had an important impact on the country’s detention practices. Despite years of declining detainee numbers prior to the onset of Europe’s short-lived refugee “crisis,” the increase in asylum applications that the country experienced during 2015-2016 became a cause for resurgent xenophobic political forces, who used the issue to rally support for numerous controversial policies and agendas. These developments have translated into persistent increases in detention numbers long after the “crisis” ended and asylum applications began to plummet to their lowest levels in years. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

What Does ‘Social Cohesion’ Mean for Refugees and Hosts? A view from Kenya by Cory Rodgers
(January 17, 2020), Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS).
Most refugee policies and programmes forgo definitions of ‘social cohesion’. Given this lack of specification, the author’s research looks at social cohesion initiatives through an anthropological lens. The aim is to understand how – in the absence of initial definitions by policymakers and planners – different meanings of social cohesion nonetheless emerge during the life of a programme. The author draws from a case study in Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya, where the UNHCR has provided protection to refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, Somalia, the Great Lakes Region and elsewhere since 1992. Available at:

Home affairs department racked up $6.1m bill transferring refugees and asylum seekers by Paul Karp (January 28, 2020), The Guardian. The author provides a breakdown of cost expenditures related to transferring refugees and asylum seekers interstate and between detention centres. Some argue that Australia’s immigration detention regime is unnecessarily punitive and cruel, as well as a colossal waste of money. Available at:

Digital and social media

The Observatory of Public attitudes to Immigration (OPAM), Scientific Hub  (2020), Migration Policy Centre. Observatory of Public attitudes to Immigration (OPAM) brings together and synthesises findings from a growing body of scientific research in political science on attitudes to immigration. The Scientific Hub created an interactive web tool that allows you to see the effect of diverse factors on attitudes to immigration. The Hub draws from all relevant articles published in the top 20 journals in political science between 2009-2019. It allows for exploration of evidence that seeks to account for the factors that can influence attitudes to immigration. Available at:

News Audio: Syria, migration, and Ebola, United Nation News, (February 14, 2020).  This is the News in Brief from the United Nations covering top stories on vital Idlib aid deliveries resume after ‘heavy bombing’, world’s busiest sea route for migrants, and a drop in Ebola infections that are encouraging but fragile. Available at:

January 30, 2020: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 79

Recent Publications and New Research

Dina Sabie, Samar Sabie, Cansu E. Dedeoglu, Yasaman Rohanifar, Fatma Hashim, Steve Easterbrook, and Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed. 2019. “Exile Within Borders: Understanding the Limits of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Iraq.” In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computing within Limits – LIMITS ’19, 1–16. Lappeenranta, Finland: ACM Press. Research in Information & Communications Technology (ICT) about forced displacement focuses mainly on refugees. Internally displaced people (IDPs), however, are rarely discussed in ICT and related disciplines. This paper aims to fill in the gap and provide an insight into the everyday lives of conflict-driven IDPs and their ICTs usage based on original fieldwork at several IDP and refugee camps in northern Iraq. The work includes extended field observations, surveys with 86 IDPs and 47 refugees, and examination of recent reports about IDPs from international NGOs that have been active in that region. The findings illustrate that IDPs live under similar resource-constrained environment as refugees and, in some cases, suffer from even harsher restrictions. It highlights how these confines limit their ICTs usage and discuss opportunities for future ICT research and policy implication to improve the quality of life of the displaced residing within their own borders. (Open access) Available at:

Canefe, N. (2019). In Lieu of an Introduction: Orbis Tertius as Vantage Point. In N. Canefe (Ed.), Transitional Justice and Forced Migration: Critical Perspectives from the Global South (pp. 1-6). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This edited volume aims to foster an in-depth understanding of the link of transitional justice and forced migration studies in a comparative framework, with a particular emphasis on debates emanating from the Global South. Each of the contributions to this volume adheres to a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial approach, incorporating academic, practitioner, and activist work, in tandem with both global and local perspectives. In order to achieve such a synthesis, the authors build upon the knowledge accumulated by collaborative networks, their involvement in both scholarly and activist organizations, and their experience as practitioners in select settings. Normatively or politically speaking, the study of human suffering, induced by mass political violence and at the hands of states turned against their own peoples, is not an easy one. Available at:

Canefe, N. (2018). The Syrian exodus in context crisis, dispossession and mobility in the Middle East. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press. This book examines the Syrian crisis and exodus by focusing on the experiences of the dispossessed rather than the recipient states. Reintegration and resettlement after situations of mass displacement are generally long-term, multi-faceted and complex processes. Whether we are talking about acceptance in a new society as refugees, migrants, and guest workers, or returning home to postconflict situations, each scenario involves both specific physical challenges and difficult encounters with broader political communities. The debate presented here on precarity and statelessness in terms of systemic denial of access to rights, or, their selective attribution to Syrians on the move, allows us to reconsider the Syrian exodus in a new framework that links forced migration, labour studies, citizenship and rights debates rather than isolating the refugee experience. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Losing Their Last Refuge: Inside Idlib’s Humanitarian Nightmare by Sahar Atrache, Refugees International (September 2019). A Refugees International team traveled to Turkey in June 2019 to research the impact of the Syrian regime military offensive on Idlib and its surroundings, assess humanitarian needs, and examine the humanitarian response to the unfolding crisis. They conducted more than 50 interviews with representatives of Syrian, international and Turkish non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, Turkish think tanks, and western governments, as well as Syrian activists and western donor officials. In aim to better understand the humanitarian situation on the ground, the team conducted phone interviews with IDPs, relief workers, and activists inside Idlib. Available at:

Working paper series: States of Refuge: Keywords for Critical Refugee Studies, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, (January 9, 2020). This issue has contributions by authors from many universities across Canada. It is based on keywords that were collectively generated to animate discussions within the field of refugee studies. Participants reflected on their respective keywords and answered questions such as, what conversations are the keywords involved in and what is critical about them? The result was a range of interventions on keywords that open up critical thinking on what is at stake politically, culturally, and socially with new dynamics of migration, refuge, and reclamation. The keywords that follow speak to fundamental challenges facing refugee studies included community, decolonization, genders, sexualities, empathy, humanitarian exceptionalism, indebtedness, irregularity and more. Available at:

Liew, Jamie and Zambelli, Pia and Thériault, Pierre-André and Silcoff, Maureen, Not Just the Luck of the Draw? Exploring Competency of Counsel in Federal Court Refugee Leave Determinations (2005-2010) (November 8, 2019). Refugee claimants who have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board sometimes judicially review the decisions at the Federal Court in Canada. Previous statistical studies, in particular Sean Rehaag’s (2012) study, “The Luck of the Draw”, have reported that rejected refugee claimants seeking judicial review face low and inconsistent leave grant rates, with chances of success largely dependent on judge assignment. The present research looks beyond these quantitative findings to identify additional factors that may explain the troubling statistics. Available at SSRN: or

UNHCR’s Recommendations for the Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union, (January, 2020) United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees. UNHCR has launched what it views as a set of ambitious but achievable recommendations for the 2020 Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU). The Presidencies and the envisaged EU Pact on Migration and Asylum are seen as unique opportunities to better protect forcibly displaced and stateless people in Europe and abroad, while supporting host countries. Progress was achieved in multiple areas including on resettlement and statelessness. This paper provides the incoming Council Presidencies with key recommendations for areas of possible action to strengthen the implementation of the EU acquis on asylum and to forge common ground among member states on evolving issues of asylum and migration, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration.  These recommendations will also be of relevance for the incoming Commission’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum (new Pact). UNHCR’s full recommendations

News reports and blog posts

Why Rohingya women and girls are risking dangerous smuggling routes by Caleb Quinley, (January 16, 2020), The New Humanitarian. Facing years of deprivation and bleak future prospects, a growing number of Rohingya women and children are using once-dormant smuggling routes to escape refugee and displacement camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Despite the dangers, groups that work with Rohingya say many more women and children are willing to take the risk as a way of self-protection from sexual and gender-based violence. Available at:

Digital and social media

Aid policy trends to watch in 2020 by Ben Parker (January 2, 2020) The New Humanitarian.

Efforts toward reform seem a permanent fixture in the humanitarian sector, but change is slow. The author lists humanitarian policy issues to keep a close eye on as most likely to drive change, open up opportunity, or demand attention in shaping emergency response. Available at:

January 9, 2020: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 78

Recent Publications and New Research

D’Orsi, C. ‘Legal protection of refugee children in Africa: positive aspects and shortcomings’ (2019) 3 African Human Rights Yearbook 298-317. In Africa, refugee children are at risk mostly because the continent lacks a clear definition of ‘sovereignty’. African countries interpret the adjective ‘sovereign’ to their own advantage, in terms of the rights and responsibilities imposed on foreigners – including refugees – entering their territory. Although the overall treatment of refugee children has improved over the last decades, they remain vulnerable. If refugee children are targeted because they are ‘foreigners’, such discrimination could be curbed and even eradicated through the education of the youth. The various international treaties that African nations have adopted provide an important legal umbrella for the protection of refugee children. However, in many instances, the bulk of the protection is still carried out by NGOs. Consequently, there is still a long way to go before African refugee children will be treated with dignity that is due to all children in the world, irrespective of their origin. Available at:

Hopkins, G., L. Buffoni (2019) The IGAD Kampala Declaration on jobs, livelihoods, and self-reliance: from declaration to reality. Palgrave Commun 5, 157.  The article emphasizes the crucial importance of planned and active participation, inclusion and collaboration of all parties as being fundamental in realizing in practice refugees’ right to work and access to economic opportunities. Because the Kampala Declaration commitments form a central role in realizing Global Compact objectives, the article argues for high level meetings and fora to prioritize an approach to discussions which creates enabling contexts of formal but inclusive dialog. The article concludes, importantly, that the Kampala Declaration demonstrates that the commitment and language of inclusion exist. What remains is for truly collective action to ensure the Declaration achieves its transformative potential. Available at:

Cénat, J. (2019). Multiple traumas, health problems and resilience among Haitian asylum seekers in Canada’s 2017 migration crisis: Psychopathology of crossing. Journal of Loss & Trauma. In summer 2017, thousands of Haitian asylum seekers entered Canada irregularly after taking an 11,000-kilometer pathway from Brazil to the U.S., often on foot and under difficult circumstances. This qualitative study examines how this pathway and associated multiple traumas impact their mental health. The findings showed that significant traumatic consequences and risk of deportation contribute to the development of a “Psychopathology of Crossing”. This study also highlights how meaningful social relationships, quality of health, and social services foster resilience. Available at:

Bloch, A. (2020) ‘Reflections and directions for research in refugee studies’, Ethnic and Racial Studies. This paper reflects on how refugee studies have developed, and it identifies areas for future research. First, it sets the scene through an overview of refugee protection regime and on patterns of displacement. Second, it explores the development of theories that try to explain refugee movements. Third, examines the policy focus of refugee studies and the inherent tensions between stakeholders. This is followed by an exploration of three areas for further research: durable solutions, borders and bordering practices and the inter-generational impacts of refugee migration. The paper argues that social science disciplines have an important role to play in the field of study but need to include historical analyses and engage in inter-disciplinary alliances to enable shifting paradigms. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Volunteers and Sponsors: A Catalyst for Refugee Integration? By Susan Fratzke and Emma Dorst (November 2019). Migration Policy Institute. This report considers where community members can add the most value to integration efforts, assesses the barriers that community organizations and integration service providers face in engaging volunteers, and offers recommendations for how policymakers can facilitate the effective engagement of communities in integration initiatives. While volunteer efforts cannot replace specialized social service agencies or well-resourced social assistance programs, they offer unique resources that can be an invaluable complement to the services that professional agencies and case workers provide. Yet engaging volunteers or community sponsors is hardly a cost-free or even cost-saving endeavour for most resettlement and integration agencies, and dedicated resources must be provided to establish and maintain effective community engagement. Available at:

Skill utilization and earnings of STEM-educated immigrants in Canada: Differences by Degree Level and field of study by Garnett Picot and Feng Hou (December 13, 2019). Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series. This paper examines the skill utilization and earnings of employed immigrants educated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), by field of study and degree level. Compared with the Canadian-born with similar levels of education and in similar fields of study, immigrants with a bachelor’s degree had considerably lower skill utilization rates and earnings outcomes than those of doctoral degree holders. This is mostly because immigrant doctoral graduates are more likely to be educated in a Western country. By field of study, immigrant engineering graduates, particularly at the bachelor’s level, had relatively weaker skill utilization rates and earnings outcomes; immigrant computer science graduates did somewhat better. Much of the gap between the earnings of immigrant and Canadian-born graduates was associated with differences in country of education. STEM immigrants educated in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom or France had outcomes similar to the Canadian-born. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Our Silenced Voices: What we lose while working with international “humanitarian” organizations, by Ayah Al-Oballi (January 5, 2020), 7iber. “What I write today is an attempt to shed light on the voices that are lost and silenced in the realm of INGOs. It is also an attempt to find my own voice through documenting a set of questions and reflections on my experience in that space. A space which I respect those who choose to stay within, yet resist any relinquishment of their own voices or their silencing of others” read more:

Global Refugee Forum: EU MS Pledge 30,000 Resettlement for 2020, MEPs Urges More Ambition (December 20, 2019) European Council on Refugees and Exiles. During the Global Refugee Forum taking place in Geneva, December 16-18, EU member states made pledges for resettlement efforts in 2020, backed with financial support from the European Commission. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) hosting the event estimates the global resettlement needs at 1.44 million and a delegation of MEPs called for more ambitious resettlement efforts. Available at:

Digital and social media

Panel: rethinking community, rights and displacement: theory and practice. This panel was hosted at the refugee hosts international conference. this panel conceptualised ‘rights’ in relation to the lives, stories and experiences of those affected by displacement, including on the level of the individual and of ‘the community’. This included reflections on the conceptualisation of ‘the community’ itself in relation to rights. You can watch the videos of the presentations of  Prof Lyndsey Stonebridge (Refugee Hosts – University of Birmingham), Dr Tamirace Fakhoury (Lebanese American University), Dr Anna Rowlands (Refugee Hosts – Durham University), and Dr Zeynep Kivilcim (Humbodt Universitat zu Berlin) at:

Events and calls

The Here and Now in Forced Migration: Everyday Intimacies, Imaginaries and Bureaucracies An international workshop organized by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity 22-23 October 2020. For more information: 

December 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. 77

Recent Publications and New Research

Jureidini, R., & Hassan, S. (Eds.). (2020). Migration and Islamic Ethics. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. This book addresses how Islamic ethical and legal traditions can contribute to current global debates on migration and displacement; how Islamic ethics of muʾakha, ḍiyāfa, ijāra, amān, jiwār, sutra, kafāla, among others, may provide common ethical grounds for a new paradigm of social and political virtues applicable to all humanity, not only Muslims. The present volume more broadly defines the Islamic tradition to cover not only theology but also to encompass ethics, customs and social norms, as well as modern political, humanitarian and rights discourses. The first section addresses theorizations and conceptualizations using contemporary Islamic examples, mainly in the treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees; the second, contains empirical analyses of contemporary case studies; the third provides historical accounts of Muslim migratory experiences. Available at: (Open Access)

Mata, F. (2019). Occupational Niche Preferences of Canada’s Refugee and Non-Refugee Workers: Explorations Using Census Data. This grey literature piece explores the occupational niche preferences of refugee workers and non-refugee admission class workers who entered Canada between 1981 and 2016. Data explorations found that the Canadian immigrant workforce consists of a highly stratified arrangement of workers and that there is significant variability in terms of their occupational preferences according to admission class, gender, ethnicity and racial backgrounds. Multivariate data analysis found that two major dimensions explained more than half of the data variation: a gender-occupational and an admission class divide related one. In contrast to economic class workers, visible minority groups of various gender, admission classes and ethnic backgrounds were found in the most disadvantaged positions in terms of occupational status and their employment income returns. Presented at: “Inclusion: Third Annual Forum on Measuring Identities” November 21-22, 2019, Association for Canadian Studies, Gatineau, QC. Available at:

Murat, M. (2019) Foreign aid, bilateral asylum immigration and development. Journal of Population Economics. 33(1). This paper measures the links between aid from 14 rich to 113 developing economies and bilateral asylum applications during the years 1993 to 2013. The results show that asylum applications are related to aid nonlinearly in a U-shaped fashion with respect to the level of development of origin countries, although only the downward segment proves to be robust to all specifications. Asylum inflows from poor countries are significantly and negatively associated with aid in the short run, with mixed evidence of more lasting effects, while inflows from less poor economies show a positive but non-robust relationship to aid. Moreover, aid leads to negative cross-donor spillovers. Applications linearly decrease with humanitarian aid. Voluntary immigration is not related to aid. Overall, the reduction in asylum inflows is stronger when aid disbursements are conditional on economic, institutional and political improvements in the recipient economy. Available at: (Open Access)

Conant, L., Hofmann, A., Soennecken, D., and Vanhala, L. (2019). “Patrolling the boundaries of belonging? Courts, law and citizenship,” in Research Handbook on Law and Courts, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. This chapter explores how courts and law have contributed to the evolution of citizenship. Theoretically, it draws on Christian Joppke’s distinctions between citizenship as status, rights, and identity as a means to analyse different facets of belonging within political communities. Substantively, it emphasizes the United States and European Union as historical projects where law and courts were particularly important in constructing national and supranational citizenship, respectively. It also examines tensions evident in postnational memberships, such as the de facto partial citizenship of unauthorized immigrants and exclusion of many refugees from any citizenship. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Immigration, refugee, ethnocultural and racialized populations and the social determinants of health. (Feb, 2019). Mental Health Commission of Canada. This report highlights select sociodemographic trends and issues related to immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural, and racialized populations’ mental health and well-being, identified from 2016 Census data by the MHCC Collaborative on IRER Mental Health. The collaborative prioritized a number of key social determinants that influence mental health, including language, income, education, unemployment and underemployment, discrimination, and hate crimes. This data shows that immigrants experience a range of equity-related issues after settling in Canada — with many having an impact on outcomes related to health and well-being — and it speaks to an increasingly urgent need for action. Available at:

Good decisions: Achieving fairness in refugee law, policy and practice (2019). Insights Report Kaldor Centre Conference. Every day, decisions are made about whether people need international protection because they are at risk of persecution or other forms of serious harm. The 2019 Kaldor Centre conference explored aspects of refugee decision-making from the micro to the macro level – from individual cases through to wider public policy. It brought together decision-makers, scholars, civil society and people with lived experience of seeking asylum to discuss how to ensure that refugee decision-making is fair, transparent and protection-sensitive. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Does the EU violate public procurement law in its external migration policy by Thomas Spijkerboer & Elies Steyger, EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy (November 28, 2019). In 2014-2015, the European Union adopted three financial measures in order to cooperate with neighbouring countries in the field of migration policy. The European external migration funds are subject to the ordinary public procurement rules to which both the member states and EU institutions themselves are subject. This requires open, transparent and objective procedures that are not taking place. In light of these concerns about the transparency of the way in which public funds are spent, this blog outlines how expenditure under the migration funds relates to European public procurement law. Available at:

Why some EU countries are struggling to relocate migrants by Raluca Bejan, The Conversation (December 1, 2019) The relocation matter returned to public attention this September, when Germany, France, Italy and Malta called for the implementation of a new system to automatically distribute migrants across the EU. Implicitly the member states are expected to show solidarity in emergency situations and that solidarity efforts should be equally shared. This author discusses an ongoing debate regarding what constitutes an equal share of responsibility and what type of indicators are best suited to reflect a fair and equitable distributive scheme. Consensus on solidarity efforts and on how responsibility should be shared and implemented might lead to less political friction and more fruitful co-operation in the EU. Available at:

Digital and social media

The Overlooked Undocumented Immigrants: From India, China, Brazil by Miriam Jordan (December 1, 2019) President Trump has focused on blocking unauthorized crossings at the southern border, however, nearly half of those living in the country unlawfully, entered with permission. Available at:

November 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. 76

Recent Publications and New Research

Lancaster, J. (2019). Boats and borders: Australia’s response to refugees and asylum seekers. Court of Conscience, Issue 13. This issue considers Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. The author highlights that it is a well-timed and sobering reminder that Australia is failing many of those whom it is bound to protect. The authors selected this topic because Australia’s cruel and inhumane treatment of irregular asylum seekers focuses more on discouraging people smugglers and less on upholding the obligations under international law, and because human rights are universal and absolute, and should not be enjoyed only by some. Lancaster argues that we must overcome our apathy to those we turn away from our borders and detain offshore in conditions that offend human rights, human dignity, and human conscience. This Issue features 14 articles written by academics, legal professionals, and students. A close reading of each text reveals nuanced perspectives covering five areas: ‘Rethinking the Popular Narrative’, ‘Increasing Support to Refugees and Asylum Seekers’, ‘Scrutinising Government Practices’, ‘Tension Between the Government and the Courts’, and ‘The Need for Statutory Reform’. Available at:

Lenette, C., Bordbar, A., Hazara, A., Lang, E., & Yahya, S. (2019). “We Were Not Merely Participating; We Were Leading the Discussions”: Participation and Self-Representation of Refugee Young People in International Advocacy, Journal of Immigrant & Refuge Studies. There is increased commitment to the participation and self-representation of people with lived experiences as refugees and asylum seekers in advocacy, especially at international, high-level events. However, we know very little about what opportunities and challenges such processes present. This paper reports on findings from a research project on youth participation and self-representation at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with two young women and two young men from refugee backgrounds who live in Australia. It contributes new perspectives to contemporary debates on the potential for participation and self-representation in high-level consultations to effect policy change. Available at:

Lokot, M. (2019) The space between us: feminist values and humanitarian power dynamics in research with refugees, Gender & Development, 27:3, 467-484. International humanitarian and development agencies striving to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment sometimes neglect to recognise the power hierarchies present in their own engagement with communities. Drawing from research on Syrian refugees and humanitarian workers in Jordan, this article explores research as well as monitoring and evaluation practices of international humanitarian agencies. It suggests that the emphasis on generating evidence has resulted in more transactional and less relational engagement with refugees. This paper asks how feminist values can inform research with refugees, and explores how these values may provide less extractive ways of engaging with displaced populations. Available at:

Abdelaaty, L. (2019). Refugees and Guesthood in Turkey, Journal of Refugee Studies. Even as Turkey took in over 3 million Syrians at great expense, Turkish officials were referring to these individuals as guests rather than refugees. Despite significant legal developments in the country, and formalization of a temporary-protection regime, this choice of labels reveals the influence of underlying political trends on Turkish refugee policies. This article compares Turkey’s reactions to the Syrian inflow with its responses to previous refugee groups, including Iraqis in 1988, Bosnians in 1992, Kosovars in 1998 and Chechens starting 1999. It demonstrates that the refusal to designate certain populations as asylum seekers or refugees, enables Turkey to opt in or out of what might otherwise appear to be generally applicable, national-level policies. Through these strategic semantics, policymakers retain a freedom to manoeuvre in response to international and domestic political incentives. Available at:

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

“A Refugee and Then…” Participatory Assessment of the Reception and Early Integration of Unaccompanied Refugee Children in the UK (June, 2019). UNHCR. This report summarises the findings of a participatory assessment (PA) of the reception arrangements and early integration support of unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children in the UK. The study, carried out from June 2018 to April 2019, was commissioned by UNHCR, and funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST). The report brings to light the increase of unaccompanied and separated refugee children living in the UK. While there is expansive literature examining the immigration law and policy framework for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK, less research has explored their reception arrangements and early integration support from the perspectives of local authorities, service providers and, mostly importantly, the children themselves. This research attempts to fill the gap and brings together first-hand accounts of young refugees and asylum-seekers and those who support them across the UK, as they describe the path from their arrival to early integration in British society. Available at:

Policy Brief: Safe Journeys and Sound Policy: Expanding protected entry for refugees, by Clair Higgins, November 2019, Kaldor center for international refugee law. This Policy Brief draws on past and current state practice to outline what these procedures look like, and how they should operate as tools of refugee protection. It speaks to a core objective of the Global Compact on Refugees, which is to expand access to third-country solutions for refugees and asylum seekers. Available at:, a discussion of the brief is available in a podcast interview at:

Digidiki, V., & Bhabha, J. (2019). Returning Home? The Reintegration Challenges Facing Children and Youth Refugees from Libya to Nigeria. Harvard University and International Organization for Migration. This report from the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and International Organization for Migration (IOM) finds that young migrants who return home from Libya to Nigeria often face serious challenges in their efforts to reintegrate into society. Current migration policies doubling down on exclusion are leaving thousands of migrant children and young people trapped in transit, opting to return home as the only solution to a life of destitution and despair. The report highlights the dangers and risks that a particularly vulnerable population, children and young people from Sub-Saharan Africa, faces while migrating. Professor Bhabha emphasizes the need for more robust human rights protections for some of the most vulnerable migrants of our time, and the unmet responsibilities owed by some of the wealthiest nations on earth. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Refugee camps versus urban refugees: what’s been said – and done, by Cristiano D’Orsi, The Conversation (November 3, 2019). This news report summarizes the ongoing confusion on the policy front regarding camp vs. urban refugees. Though the UNHRCʼs current strategic plan acknowledges that more refugees are moving to cities, it offers few recommendations on how cities could serve them better. In practice, urban refuges are forced to fend for themselves. Lack of support, policy and their undocumented status, makes self-reliance difficult, often leaving them homeless and indigent. The author describes a recent improvement marked by a signed declaration on the rights of urban refugees in November 2017 by the International Organization for Migration and the umbrella group United Cities and Local Governments, which included 150 cities around the world. The declaration emphasizes the significant social, economic and cultural contributions that refugees bring to urban development and call on international organizations and national governments to support cities politically and financially to care for refugee populations. The author concludes that although recent initiatives to support urban refugees have been undertaken in Africa, urban refugees are still for the most part, invisible, untraceable and in need of support. Available at:

Words matter: The vocabulary of Syrian talks in Geneva by Ben parker, The New Humanitarian (November 4, 2019). Detailed talks began in Geneva aimed at drafting a new Syrian constitution, with discussions between government, opposition, and civil society representatives being closely watched for signs of progress in the bitterly divided country after eight and a half years of war. The humanitarian wondered if the language used in opening speeches for the government and opposition suggest any commonalities that could help shape the way forward? They explored further creating two word clouds – one based on the government’s opening statements and one based on the opposition’s. Despite their differences, both sides used some common vocabulary, showing at least some shared hopes. Find the word cloud side by side at:

Digital and social media

Recorded lecture: “Migration: the movement of humankind from prehistory to the present” with Prof Robin Cohen, Nov. 12, 2019, Oxford Martin School. If migration is as old as the hills, why is it now so politically sensitive? Why do migrants leave? Where do they go, in what numbers and for what reasons? Do migrants represent a threat to the social and political order? Are they none-the-less necessary to provide labour, develop their home countries, increase consumer demand and generate wealth? Can migration be stopped? One of Britain’s leading migration scholars, Robin Cohen, probes these issues in this talk:

Social media: Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group is a registered charity offering support to people held indefinitely in immigration detention in the UK, near Gatwick Airport. In this short video two visitor volunteers, Margaret, and her husband Laurie, share 3 words that describe indefinite immigration detention for #Unlocked19. This is an example of advocacy efforts to generate support for people who are in detention among the public. Watch at:

November 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. 75

Recent Publications and New Research

Adamson, F. B., & Tsourapas, G. (2019). The Migration State in the Global South: Nationalizing, Developmental, and Neoliberal Models of Migration Management. International Migration Review. This article identifies Hollifield’s “migration state” as a useful tool for comparative analysis yet notes its limitation given its focus on economic immigration in advanced liberal democracies. The authors suggest extending the “migration state” concept by introducing a typology of nationalizing, developmental, and neoliberal migration management regimes. The article explains each type and provides illustrative examples. Available at:

Sterett, S. M., & Walker, L. D. (Eds.). (2019). Research Handbook on Law and Courts. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. The Research Handbook on Law and Courts provides a systematic analysis of new work on courts as governing institutions. The authors consider how courts have taken on regulating fundamental categories of inclusion and exclusion, including citizenship rights. Authors discuss theoretical, empirical and methodological approaches to studying courts as governing institutions. They also identify promising areas of future research. Available at: 

Turner, L. ‘#Refugees can be entrepreneurs too!’ Humanitarianism, race, and the marketing of Syrian refugees. Review of International Studies, 1-19. This article argues that the designation of Syrian refugees as ‘entrepreneurs’ is a positioning of Syrians within colonial hierarchies of race that pervade humanitarian work. For many humanitarian workers in Jordan, Syrians’ ‘entrepreneurship’ distinguishes them from ‘African’ refugees, who are imagined as passive, impoverished, and dependent on humanitarian largesse. Without explicit racial comparisons, humanitarian agencies simultaneously market Syrian refugees online as ‘entrepreneurs’, to enable them to be perceived as closer to whiteness, and to thereby render them more acceptable to Western audiences and donors, who are imagined as white. This article extends scholarly understandings of the understudied relationship between race and humanitarianism. Available at:

Lin, Vivian Wenli, Julie Ham, Guolin Gu, Merina Sunuwar, Chunya Luo, and Laura Gil-Besada. (2019). “Reflections through the Lens: Participatory Video with Migrant Domestic Workers, Asylum Seekers and Ethnic Minorities.” Emotion, Space and Society 33. This article explores the reflexive use of emotion in understanding emerging relational rhythms in participatory video. The focus of the analysis is the Visualizing the Voices of Migrant Women Workers project, which involved a series of eight video-making workshops from February–April 2017 in Hong Kong for over 40 domestic workers, asylum seekers, and ethnic minority participants. The emotions that were key to navigating relational rhythms central to this creative space were (1) feelings of discomfort to understand relations between the workshop participants and the facilitation team, (2) gratitude to assess the ‘chemistry’ or relations between workshop participants and (3) trepidation to re-write participants’ relations with the city of Hong Kong. There is an important opportunity to explore the role of emotion in analysing relational rhythms in PV practice, in order to nurture creative solidarities and create new ethical potentialities. Available at: (free access until Dec 6).

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Müller-Funk, L. Adapting to staying, or imagining futures elsewhere: Migration decision-making of Syrian refugees in Turkey (October 24, 2019). International Migration Institute. This working paper examines the questions of how and why Syrian refugees in Istanbul and Izmir experience mobility and immobility. Drawing on the findings of a mixed-methods study conducted in 2018 it offers insights into the various perspectives of Syrians.  The findings of this study show a strong desire to return among the Syrian refugee population in Turkey, should the conflict come to an end. It also finds moderate aspirations to stay in Turkey, and a strong resistance to the idea of migrating to Europe. Available at:

Report: Immigrant and Refugee Settlement in Canada: Trends in Federal Funding by Jennifer Braun & Dominique Clément (University of Alberta) (Aug. 2019). This report is the product of a collaboration between the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN) and the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA). It is a comparative study of settlement landing rates and federal funding for immigration and settlement across Canada. The report is divided into three sections: section one examines settlement landing rates and patterns across the country as well as the breakdown of those rates according to immigration class (economic, family, refugee / humanitarian); section two compares federal funding for immigrants by province using data from the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); and section three provides data on federal funding for Service Providing Organizations (SPOs) by province. Full report available at:

News reports and blog posts

Munir, L. Discussion Series: Creative Methods of Dissemination in Forced Migration Research. The author emphasizes drawing from first-hand accounts of migration through art initiatives allowing outsiders to learn displacement narratives from displaced artists and also for artists to share with each other. Available at:

A Teen Refugee’s Brain May Be Disrupted More by Poverty Than Past Trauma by Pien Huang, PNR, Oct. 28. This piece reports on a study showing that high exposure to violence and symptoms of PTSD and anxiety about the future among the teens, doesn’t compare to the constant stress of being poor. Poverty seems to most interrupt the way their minds work. Read more: 

Nevertheless, Idlib’s women persist: Hiba Ezzideen, by Sarah Sheffer, Refugees International (September 5, 2019). This blog post directs the spotlight on Hiba Ezzideen a Syrian activist living as a refugee in Turkey who grew up in Idlib. It tracks her journey to empower women in the Middle East. More available at:

Digital and social media

Podcast: David FitzGerald on the Shrinking Avenues for Asylum, CMSOnAir: This episode features an interview with David FitzGerald, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego around the concept of “remote controls,” new constraints on asylum seekers, and the impact of wealthy democracies closing their doors to migrants. Listen here:

Every Refugee Matters. The British Red Cross. (2019). This short film is part of a new social media movement, #EveryRefugeeMatters and it is nominated for the charity film awards. The aim is to change the conversation about refugees online. This film reveals the reality of life as a refugee and shows a female refugee as she attempts to rebuild her life one piece at a time. The key objective of the film was to increase UK support for refugees by mobilising online communities to share its message. Watch the video and follow the Facebook page at

October 10, 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. 73

Recent Publications and New Research

McGrath, S., & Young, J. E. (2019). Mobilizing Global Knowledge: Refugee Research in an Age of Displacement. University of Calgary Press. Mobilizing Global Knowledge brings together academics and practitioners to reflect on a global collaborative research network with a wide-ranging impact on refugee research and policy. Together, the members of this network have worked to bridge silos, sectors, and regions to address power and politics in refugee research, engage across tensions between the Global North and Global South, and engage deeply with questions of practice, methodology, and ethics in refugee research. Bridging scholarship on network building for knowledge production and scholarship on research with and about refugees, Mobilizing Global Knowledge brings together a vibrant collection of topics and perspectives. More information about the book available at: The book is also available open access at:

Culcasi, K and Skop, E. (October 2019) (eds). Special Issue: Bordering Practices, Local Resistance and the Global Refugee “Crisis”. Geographical review 109 (4). Drawing from critical geopolitics and migration studies,  the  papers  within  this  special  issue situate and explore some of the major questions that geographers started asking after  WWI  and  continue  to  ask  today.  Key  themes  found  within  the  pages  of the  special  issue  include:1)  making  state-power  visible  through  its  production of concepts, categories, and discourse;2) exploring bordering practices internal to the state;3) challenging state and international hegemony through grassroots initiatives and institutional resistance;4) highlighting refugee agency in reworking  traditional  notions  of  space,  place,  and  networks;  and5)  illustrating  how the term refugee has shifted over time and reflects both global geopolitical and spatial logics as well as disciplinary trends since1919. Available to subscribers at:

Hernandez-Ramirez, A. (2019). The political economy of immigration securitization: nation-building and racialization in Canada. Studies in Political Economy, 100(2), 111-131. This article includes an analysis of the origin of the “bogus refugee” notion, as well as delves into how this figure corresponds to a set of securitization of migration practices in the 1980s, the way in which some newspapers supplemented their narratives about immigration and alleged “bogus refugees” with menacing, nature-based imagery, and how diverse elements of civil society and the Canadian state appeared as central actors in the multistaged security formation around the creation of the “bogus refugee.” Access the online article here (free access for a short period of time):

Turner, L. (2019). The politics of labelling refugee men as ‘vulnerable’, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, online first, 1-23. Critiques of humanitarian work with refugees have increasingly called for refugee men’s “vulnerabilities” to be recognized. The deployment of “vulnerability” reflects the term’s centrality within contemporary humanitarianism, and its rapidly expanding use in feminist analysis. This article argues that calls to see refugee men as “vulnerable” fail to critique, and even seek to expand, “vulnerability” as a mechanism of humanitarian governance. This approach is likely to lead to more humanitarian control over, and racialized violence toward, refugee men themselves. In an era of calls for decolonial approaches, more radical critiques are required, which center the concepts, understandings, and resistance of refugees. Available with subscription at:

Reports policy briefs and working papers

Report: Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings, GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation, September 2019. The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme works to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance. The programme is supported by the UK Department for International. Despite facing multiple exclusions there are green shoots demonstrating how digital technology can support persons with disabilities during crises. The aim of this case study is to highlight refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The hope is that mobile network operators (MNOs) and humanitarian organisations can use this data to tailor mobile-enabled services that meet refugees with disabilities’ needs, in a way that is a commercial opportunity for MNOs.  Development. Available at:

Kerwin, D. (2019). The US Refugee Resettlement Program — A Return to First Principles: How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States, Center for Migration Studies. The current US administration has put the United States on pace to resettle the lowest number of refugees in USRAP’s 38-year history, with possible further cuts in fiscal year (FY) 2019. This report describes the myriad ways in which this program serves US interests and values. the report describes the achievements, contributions, and integration outcomes of 1.1 million refugees who arrived in the United States between 1987 and 2016. The report also finds that refugees bring linguistic diversity to the United States and, in this and other ways, increase the nation’s economic competitiveness and security. In short, refugees become US citizens, homeowners, English speakers, workers, business owners, college educated, insured, and computer literate at high rates. These findings cover a large population of refugees comprised of all nationalities, not just particularly successful national groups. Available at:

Stepping Up: Refugee Education in Crisis, UNHCR. This report tells the stories of some of the world’s 7.1 million refugee children of school age under UNHCR’s mandate. In addition, it looks at the educational aspirations of refugee youth eager to continue learning after secondary education, and highlights the need for strong partnerships in order to break down the barriers to education for millions of refugee children. Education data on refugee enrolments and population numbers is drawn from UNHCR’s population database, reporting tools and education surveys and refers to 2018. Age-disaggregated data is not available for the whole refugee population. Where this data is not available, it has been estimated on the basis of available age disaggregated data. The report also references global enrolment data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics referring to 2017. Read the report at:

News reports and blog posts

Humanitarian family reunion: not just the right thing to do, by Conor Costello, Devpolicy blog,September 27, 2019. New research as part of a collaboration between Oxfam and Monash University shows that family unity is a key element to successful resettlement for refugees and humanitarian migrants in Australia. This news report, puts the spotlight on Lelisse and her family and how Their experience illustrates in painful detail how stressful and hard it is for refugees settled in Australia to try and build a new life here, when family members they love dearly are missing, living in danger in the war-torn countries they’ve fled, or struggling to survive in a refugee camp on the other side of the world. Available at:

The Illusion of Consent – Voluntary Repatriation or Refoulement by Aman and Hamsa Vijayaraghavan, International Law Blog (September 25, 2019). In October 2018, in the first instance of its kind, the Supreme Court of India endorsed the Government’s move to return seven Rohingya men back to conflict-ridden Rakhine State in Myanmar. In this piece, the authors aim to elaborate on the need to assess the voluntariness of such returns, in the absence of which they may violate the principle of non-refoulement. Available at:

Digital and social media

Listen to this amazing CBC radio interview with our SyRIA.lth colleagues from Montreal: Our peer researcher in Montreal Adnan Al-Mhamied explores the experience of fathers fleeing from conflict as they resettle far from home. Available for reading or as audio at:

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