All posts by mmillard

October 22, 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. 96

Refugee Research Network Webinar: Social Media Tools for Mobilizing Refugee Research October 29, 2020 3:00-4:00 PM EST. Social media platforms have the potential of developing, supporting and strengthening diverse communities by spreading awareness about current issues to much broader audiences. The current “refugee crisis” is primarily a political problem, which will require political solutions. And lately, it seems that political leaders have not paid much attention to solid, evidence-based research.  We argue that it is imperative that academics incorporate social media as part of their dissemination program and activities to have impact beyond specialized audiences. Register here.

Recent Publications and New Research

Elcioglu, E. F. (2020). Divided By the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the US-Mexico Border. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. This book offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of leftwing pro-immigrant activists and their rightwing anti-immigrant opponents. Drawing on twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations in the borderlands between Arizona, US and Sonora, Mexico, Divided by the Wall demonstrates how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. Provocative and even-handed, this book challenges common perceptions of U.S. immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity. Learn more (Use source code 17M6662 at checkout).

Bevelander, P. (2020). Integrating refugees into labor markets. IZA World of Labor. Only a minority of refugees seek asylum, and even fewer resettle in developed countries. They start at a lower employment and income level, but subsequently “catch up” to the level of family unification migrants. However, both refugees and family migrants do not “catch up” to the economic integration levels of labor migrants. A faster integration process would significantly benefit refugees and their new host countries. Link to open access here.

Omata, N. (2020). The myth of self-reliance: economic lives inside a Liberian refugee camp (Vol. 36). Berghahn Books. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research, this volume challenges the reputation of a ‘self-reliant’ model given to Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana and sheds light on considerable economic inequality between refugee households. The introduction can be read here. If you are interested in considering this title for possible course adoption, there is a free digital copy option. Learn more here.

Abdelhady, D., Gren, N., & Joormann, M. (Eds.). (2020). Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. This book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. It scrutinizes the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. It also investigates refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and considers how these encounters shape their hope for building a new life after displacement. Link to open access here.

Ben-Yehuda, H., & Goldstein, R. (2020). Forced Migration Magnitude and violence in international crises: 1945–2015. Journal of Refugee Studies33(2), 336-357. This study outlines a framework for analyzing forced migration crises compared with non-forced migration crises, presents an index of Forced Migration Magnitude (FMM), and probes three hypotheses. It points to transformations in forced migration since WWII, compares crises with and without forced migration, and explores patterns of FMM and violence. Results show a salient increase in FMM, coupled with more severe interstate violence and war, dangerously destabilizing regions worldwide. These patterns require the integration of forced migration within crisis frameworks, as a new research agenda, to understand the nature of forced migration in the 21st century and its impact. Link to open access here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Complex Road to Recovery: COVID-19, Cyclone Amphan, Monsoon Flooding Collide in Bangladesh and India by Kayly Ober. (October 7, 2020). Refugees International. This report details how the convergent crises devastated India and Bangladesh—with a focus on the repercussions for displaced communities and vulnerable groups like migrant workers. The report also provides recommendations to bolster the immediate response and prepare for the future. Read here.

Global Report on Internal Displacement – 2020. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This is the official repository of data and analysis on internal displacement. This edition looks at policy and operational practice from across the world and shows what is being done by countries to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement. GRID2020 proposes a roadmap for the next decade based on better information, more resources and stronger political investment. Part 1 – Internal displacement in 2019 presents updated figures at the global level. Data and contextual updates are included in the regional overviews and country spotlights. Part 2 – Ending internal displacement highlights examples from countries trying to address internal displacement and discusses the main ingredients for future practice to bring about durable solutions and lasting change. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Explainer: equitable access to a covid-19 vaccine for the world’s displaced population by Mikyla Denney and Eric Schwartz. (October 8, 2020). Refugees International. Although the impacts of the coronavirus have varied among forcibly displaced populations, crowded living conditions, inadequate sanitation facilities, and uncertain livelihood opportunities for refugees and IDPs in and outside of camps create special vulnerabilities. This underscores the importance of accessibility to a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed. The authors emphasize the need for ensuring equitable access to a vaccine internationally, the role of COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) in pursuing this goal, and the implications this may have on refugee populations in particular. Read here.

Self-harm in immigration detention has risen sharply. Here are 6 ways to address this health crisis by Kylie Hedrick and Rohan Borschmann. (October 7, 2020). The Conversation. New data  revealed the number of self-harm incidents in Australia’s immigration detention centres spiked during the first seven months of this year. This piece highlights research investigating self-harm among detained asylum seekers for the past decade and its findings shed light on the extent and nature of self-harm among these detainees. Read here.

Three-quarters of refugee women in Africa report rise in domestic violence during Covid-19, by Jennifer Rigby (October 15, 2020). The Telegraph.  According to a report published on Thursday by the International Rescue Committee, nearly three-quarters of refugee and displaced women in 15 African countries reported an increase in domestic violence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The findings are based on a survey of 850 women living in East Africa, West Africa and the Great Lakes region. They also reported a 51 per cent increase in sexual violence while 32 per cent said they had observed a growth in early or forced marriage. Read here.

Digital and social media

Webinar Series: Sanctuary: What next? International Seminar Series with and for undocumented residents in cities. An invitation for academics, activists and policy makers to come together and set a new agenda for urban strategies for undocumented residents. This pioneering online series features six seminars, open to the international community and based on perspectives across three cities – San Francisco USA, Toronto Canada & London UK. Learn more and register here.

Online Panel: Disembarking to danger: Exploring Australia’s airport asylum policies by Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law (November 3, 2020 9:00-10:00 PM EST). This event explores how Australia’s airport asylum policies risk returning refugees to harm. This is a free online panel discussion with Shadow Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Kristina Keneally, Regina Jefferies, and ‘Sultan’, who experienced it first-hand when he and his partner fled Saudi Arabia’s punishments for their gay relationship. Learn more and register here.

October 8, 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. 95

Recent Publications and New Research

Bose, P. (2020). Refugees in New Destinations and Small Cities: Resettlement in Vermont. Palgrave Macmillan. This book offers a perspective on contemporary global migration policies and practices and how they play out at the local level. It draws on extensive qualitative research with refugees, advocacy organizations, local and state officials, and various other stakeholder groups in order to understand not only the politics and history of resettlement, but also the lived realities of daily existence. More here.

Abdelaaty, L., & Steele, L. G. (2020). Explaining Attitudes Toward Refugees and Immigrants in Europe. Political Studies. While there is a large literature on attitudes toward immigrants, scholars have not systematically examined the determinants of attitudes toward refugees. Often, refugees are simply treated as a subset of immigrants, under the assumption that attitudes toward both sets of foreigners are similar. This article examines whether there are distinctions between attitudes toward refugees and immigrants, as well as variation in their determinants. More here.

Topak, Ö.E. (2020), Biopolitical Violence and Waiting: Hotspot as a Biopolitical Borderzone. Antipode. This paper conceptualises Lesvos hotspot as a biopolitical borderzone where migrants experience concentrated violent practices of borders, including legal exclusion, presence of exclusionary surveillance and absence of surveillance for safety, degrading living conditions, and waiting. The paper also discusses the biopolitical consequences of these practices for migrants such as physical illnesses and injuries, and psychological disorders. The paper demonstrates how waiting is entangled in a complex way with other biopolitical practices and how it both creates and amplifies biopolitical effects for migrants. More here.

Gorman, C. S., & Culcasi, K. (2020). Invasion and colonization: Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment in West Virginia. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. Amidst a rise in hate crimes, hate group organizing, and anti-Muslim and anti-refugee policy making in the United States, this paper examines efforts by a national hate group to organize opposition to the resettlement of Syrian Muslim refugees in West Virginia, a non-traditional refugee destination. Through analysis of materials disseminated at a public seminar titled the “Invasion and Colonization of West Virginia,” the authors identify four unique social-spatial themes this group is using to make alarmist and conspiratorial claims about Muslim refugees invading and colonizing the state and nation. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Macklin, A., Goldring, L., Hyndman, J., Korteweg, A., Barber, K., & Zyfi, J. (2020). The Kinship between Refugee and Family Sponsorship. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the CERC in Migration and Integration Working Paper. This piece draws from an ongoing research project that examines refugee sponsorship from the perspective of sponsors, particularly sponsors of Syrian refugees from 2015 onwards. This paper identifies multiple points of contact between private sponsorship and the family as a social unit. The authors argue that certain features associated with kinship relations are embedded in the institutional structure and norms of private refugee sponsorship, and that these echo in sponsors accounts of their relationship with sponsored refugees. The analysis sheds light on the way sponsors conceived of their role, how their understanding may have evolved, and how engaging in sponsorship transforms sponsors in social terms. Read here.

Dejean, F., & Jean-Baptiste, E. (2020). The role of Christian religious groups: with Syrian refugees and Haitian asylum seekers. A BMRC Research Digest. This research concerns the interventions by Christian organizations (churches and agencies) with the Syrian refugees who arrived mainly in 2015 and 2016 and the Haitian asylum seekers whose arrival on Canadian soil received heavy media coverage in the summer of 2017. It seeks to understand how these organizations mobilized to meet the specific needs of these groups, to examine the various types of action undertaken and finally to identify the specific nature of the religious institutional actors and how their actions are related to the actions of the other actors present. Read summary here, or a full report available in French.

News reports and blog posts

Australia’s migration and refugee programs go under Budget microscope by Samantha Dick (September 25, 2020). The New Daily. Australia’s refugee and migrant programs are under the budget microscope as the federal government seeks to rebuild after the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Australian workers have been left jobless, and political leaders may adopt a populist ‘Australia-first’ approach to immigration to ensure jobs go to Australians first. However experts urge that migration is an essential element of helping to address or minimise any adverse consequences of a structurally ageing population. Read here.

EU’s migration proposals draw anger on left and leave questions unanswered by Jennifer Rankin (September 23, 2020). The Guardian. Since 2015, more than 1 million refugees arrived in Europe. Consequently, migration has been at the forefront of debates. Leaders have flung accusations at each other, exposing painful divisions. Governments on both sides of the asylum debate are holding fire as they digest the plans spread over five draft regulations and other official texts. Read here.

A murderous pact: The European Union to deport refugees by Peter Schwarz (September 26, 2020). World Socialist Web Site. The author argues that the “Asylum and Migration Pact,” presented by the EU is cynical and inhumane as it will lead to deportation, misery and certain death for hundreds of thousands. He highlights that the current management plan is focused on throwing out refugees who have managed to cross the borders of Fortress Europe at the risk of their lives. Elementary principles of the right of asylum and human rights fall by the wayside. Read here.

Detainee to UN secretary-general: ‘The refugee convention has lost all meaning’ by Amir Mirzaei (September 22, 2020). Green Left. Refugee Amir Mirzaei was brought to Australia from Manus Island under the now-defunct Medevac law. He is still being detained in Melbourne. He has written to the United Nations secretary-general António Guterres asking for action, and spelling out his mental anguish from being detained. This is an abridged version of his letter that he asked Green Left to share with the world. Read here.

Digital and social media

Webinar: Conceptualising policy – do ‘climate refugees’ or ‘environmental migrants’ really exist? (October 7, 2020, 1.30 – 3.00PM GMT). Convened by the Refugee Law Initiative and its Internal Displacement Research Programme, in partnership with the Platform on Disaster Displacement. This webinar will focus on how law and policy can interact with the impact of natural hazards on human mobility. Register here.

September 24, 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. 94

Recent Publications and New Research

Huizinga, R., & van Hoven, B. (2020). Hegemonic masculinities after forced migration: Exploring relational performances of Syrian refugee men in The Netherlands. Gender, Place and Culture : a Journal of Feminist Geography, 1–23. This paper aims to contribute to emerging work within masculinities studies by exploring constructions of masculinities of young Syrian refugee men in the Netherlands. Using in-depth interviews and walking interviews, it illustrates how respondents construct masculinities predominantly in relation to labour market access, paid work and perceived social status. However, masculinities are enacted differently in relation to age, social class, race, and religion. The authors demonstrate how generational differences between respondents affect perceptions and performances of masculinities in relation to gender, generational relations and life course advancement. (Open access) Read here.

Oliver, C., Geuijen, K., & Dekker, R. (2020). Social contact and encounter in asylum seeker reception: the Utrecht Refugee Launchpad. Comparative Migration Studies8(1), 1–19. The Utrecht Refugee Launchpad was an experiment at city-level to create a more inclusive form of asylum seeker reception. The initiative used co-housing, bringing together young, local tenants with asylum seekers to improve social integration and local relations. This article examines the nature of social contact, and considers the value of relationships developed between asylum seekers and tenants, using qualitative data from interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate the importance of context, by highlighting that the remote logics of the national asylum system imposed spatial and temporal limitations on the co-housing model to generate ‘adjacent’ and transient living. (Open access) Read here.

Hamilton, L., Veronis, L., & Walton-Roberts, M. (2020). A National Project: Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Canada. McGill-Queen’s Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Series. Breaking new ground in an effort to understand and learn from the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative that Canada launched in 2015, this book examines the experiences of refugees, receiving communities, and a range of stakeholders who were involved in their resettlement, including sponsors, service providers, and various local and municipal agencies. Considering the policy behind the program and the geographic and demographic factors affecting it, chapters document mobilization efforts, ethical concerns, integration challenges, and varying responses to resettling Syrian refugees from coast to coast. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Assessing Protection Claims at Airports: Developing procedures to meet international and domestic obligations by Regina Jefferies, Daniel Ghezelbash and Asher Hirsch (September, 2020), Kador Centre for Refugee Law. This Policy Brief critically analyses the legal and operational framework for handling protection claims made by people at Australian airports in light of Australia’s international protection obligations. It also examines the domestic legal framework which is claimed to provide the basis for airport screening procedures and through which Australia’s protection obligations are supposed to be given effect. This Policy Brief finds serious issues concerning transparency, legality and accountability, which require better Parliamentary intervention and oversight. Read here, or watch summary video here.

Nguyen, M. (2020). Why Migrants Stay in Small and Mid-Sized Canadian Cities: Towards a New Analytical Framework Using a Life Course Approach. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the CERC in Migration and Integration Working Paper. This paper proposes an analytical framework to study immobility that centres migrants’ lived experiences and aspirations, using a life-course approach. The author argues that, asking why migrants stay, as opposed to why they leave, allows migration researchers to better understand the nuanced ways in which migrants form decisions to move to, stay in, build their lives in specific cities over time, in destination countries. Read here.

Olakpe, O. (2020). Undocumented Migrant Communities in Cities: Negotiating Legal and Legitimate Status from Below. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the CERC in Migration and Integration Working Paper. This paper examines the literature on cities, citizenship and performative rights claiming through the lens of undocumented migrant status, using ethnographic research of the Nigerian community in the city of Guangzhou, China as an example. This paper unpacks the ways in which undocumented migrants exhibit citizenship, belonging and agency from below to demonstrate the different meanings and manifestations of agency, marginality and asymmetries of power in big cities in the Global South. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations by Carolien Jacobs and Nuno Ferreira (September 10, 2020), The Conversation. This article explores the experiences and solutions for protracted displaced populations around the world. It is based on the examination of international and host country policies and their limitations to adequately address the challenges posed by forced displacement across the world. The authors outline the incorrect focus of national initiatives and provide alternative solutions. Read here.

Jordan returns refugees to desolate Syrian border camp, rights groups cry foul by Madeline Edwards (September 16, 2020). The New Humanitarian. Jordan has been sending refugees back to Syria for years, but this is the first time it has been accused of forcible transfers to the desert no man’s land, known as Rukban. The news report outlines the experience of living in the dessert camps as well as Jordan’s legal obligation to grant refugees a fair trial. Read here.

Digital and social media

Virtual Event: Rust & Reinvention: International Migration and Urban Change in the American Rust Belt (October 22, 2020, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST). Balsillie School of International Affairs. Dr. Pottie-Sherman’s talk highlights the limitations of the singular spatial imaginary of the Rust Belt as a region associated with loss of industry, population, and status. Rather, she illustrates the rich, complex, and tangled contemporary spatial nuances associated with international migration in this region. These spatial nuances are complicated by increasingly exclusionary immigration policy and rhetoric at the federal level since January of 2017. Register here.

September 3, 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. 93

Recent Publications and New Research

Agrawal, S., & Sangapala, P. (2020). Does Community Size Matter in the Settlement Process? The Experience of Syrian Refugees in Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Journal of International Migration and IntegrationThe article documents refugee experience in the first year of their settlement in a small city in Canada and then explores whether the size of the community matters in the settlement processes. The findings argue that contrary to existing scholarly literature, small municipalities are more creative, nimble, and efficient in settling Syrian newcomers. The authors also discuss the limitations of small cities and the immediate and long-term consequences they pose to the settlement process. The authors urge for municipal governments to play a more substantial role in the refugee resettlement process to offset the disproportionate burden settlement sector carries. (Open access) Read here.

McGuirk, S., & Pine, A. (2020). Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry. PM Press/Kairos. This new volume brings together academics, activists, journalists, artists, and people directly impacted by asylum regimes to explain how current practices of asylum align with the neoliberal moment, and to present their transformative visions for alternative systems and processes. Asylum for Sale offers a fresh and wholly original perspective by challenging readers to move beyond questions of legal, moral, and humanitarian obligations that dominate popular debates regarding asylum seekers. Digging deeper, the authors focus on processes and actors often overlooked in mainstream analyses and on the trends increasingly rendering asylum available only to people with financial and cultural capital. More here.

Tønnessen, M., & Wilson, B. (2020). Visualising Immigrant Fertility Profiles of Childbearing and their Implications for Migration Research. Journal of International Migration and Integration. Different measures of fertility have strengths and limitations when used to describe the fertility of immigrants, and no single measure captures every aspect of this complex phenomenon. This paper introduces a novel visual framework that shows life course profiles of immigrant childbearing in a multifaceted way. The authors illustrate the importance of these fertility profiles and how they can be used to expand our knowledge of immigrant childbearing and to investigate various hypotheses of migrant fertility, giving a novel overview of the relationships between fertility measures such as period and quantum, before and after arrival. (Open access) Read here.

Stel, N. (2020). Hybrid Political Order and the Politics of Uncertainty: Refugee Governance in Lebanon. Routledge. This book is the first to critically and comprehensively explore the parallels between Lebanon’s engagement with the recent Syrian refugee influx and the more protracted Palestinian presence. Drawing on fieldwork, qualitative case-studies, and critical policy analysis, it questions the dominant idea that the inconsistency, and fragmentation of refugee governance are only the result of forced displacement or host state fragility and the related capacity problems. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Bejan, R. (2020). Following the refugee relocation scheme: Ideological interpretations of interstate shared responsibility in Romania. In Unpacking the Challenges & Possibilities for Migration Governance. RESPOND Working Paper. Upsala University, Sweden.  The number of irregular migrant entries within the European Union (EU) increased by 546% in 2015. No policy has adequately addressed this humanitarian crisis, partially because of the deep ideological divisions within the European Union regarding the implementation of the 2015 refugee relocation scheme. This paper uses interview data (n = 14) to explore how Romanian policymakers and elected representatives interpret the idea of interstate shared responsibility in relation to the EU’s relocation system for internally redistributing refugees and to examine what version of interstate solidarity is considered politically desirable. (Open access) Read here.

Exacerbating The Other Epidemic: How COVID-19 is Increasing Violence Against Displaced Women and Girls by Devon Cone (August 4, 2020), Refugee International. Displaced women and girls face a greater risk of experiencing physical and sexual abuse, and the current realities of COVID-19 pandemic—lockdowns, border closures, and economic desperation— further exacerbate this risk. This report details the ways in which displaced women and girls are facing an increased threat of gender based violence amid the pandemic, and highlights creative solutions and steps governments, donors, and communities must take to combat such threat. Read here.

Reform Past Due: COVID-19 Magnifies Need to Improve Spain’s Asylum System by Daphne Panayotatos (July 27, 2020), Refugees International. Spain manages multiple borders on its mainland, islands, and overseas enclaves. Its geography and history draw individuals from distinct parts of the globe seeking safety and opportunity. However, not all have an equal chance of finding refuge. Reports of authorities using aggressive border tactics to keep away people arriving from northern Africa stand in stark contrast to special temporary legal protections the government has extended to forced migrants from Venezuela. Overall, practical and policy measures are closing the space for asylum, mirroring a concerning, broader trend in Europe. Meanwhile, Spain’s capacity to process claims and attend to asylum seekers is growing increasingly strained. Read here.

A Primer on the Trump Administration’s Most Ambitious Effort to End Asylum by Yael Schacher (July 29, 2020), Refugees International. On June 15, 2020, the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice issued a major proposed asylum regulation: “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review” (rule). The proposed rule would dramatically curtail eligibility for asylum in the United States by barring or discrediting broad categories of claims and making it extremely difficult for asylum seekers to get a fair or full hearing. This issue brief addresses some of the most regressive and harmful elements of this proposed rule—and ones that are in striking contrast to the intent of Congress in implementing U.S. obligations under the Refugee Convention and Protocol. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

What does Europe’s East-West divide tell us about its external borders? By Raluca Bejan (August 24, 2020), Crisis Magazine. European Union expansion produces legal routes for Eastern European migrants to move westwards. But the discriminatory conditions they often face reflect unfair intra-EU agreements. Responses to migration from outside Europe must address the forms of structural uncertainty and inequality already produced within its borders. Read here.

Genocide: The Term That Fits The Crime in Myanmar by Yasmin Ullah and Eric Schwarts (August 27, 2020). Refugees International. Myanmar began its worst violence yet against Rohingya Muslims three years ago today, ruthlessly driving out hundreds of thousands of women, men and children through murder and other grievous abuses, in a campaign intended to destroy, in whole or in part, the Rohingya people. But Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo still has not called those crimes genocide. The authors explain the importance in classifying the current violence as genocide. Read here.

Digital and social media

Video: Borderstory is a 20-minute multimedia film part of Worn Words listening research project. This film unpacks the word ‘border’ in asylum discourse. It includes an animation of securitization as a cultural narrative and cross-sector research interviews that interrupt the story in postcolonial filmmaking fashion. Watch here.

August 6, 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. 92

Recent Publications and New Research

Foroutan, Y. (2020), Ethnic or Religious Identities?: Multicultural Analysis in Australia from Socio-Demographic Perspective, Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7 (1), 1-19. Focusing on the data of ethnic and religious identities in a multiethnic and multicultural context, this paper provides research-based evidence to explain whether and how significantly such data could be reliable from a social and demographic perspective. The explanation is based on population census that also provides unique nation-wide data sources on ‘religious affiliation’. According to the findings of the present analysis, this paper argues that if ethnic migrants belonging to the same category of religious affiliation are considered as a single group without taking their ethnic origins into account, this will lead to insufficient, incomplete, and misleading knowledge. (Open access) Read here.

Byrne, R. (2019). Refugee Advocacy Scholarship. Canadian Journal of Human Rights, 8(1), 103. Refugee law specialists have produced a vast body of advocacy scholarship. Yet literature within the field is framed by a human rights based protection narrative that has lost traction amongst European policy makers and the public. This article explores why this has happened by looking at the protection narrative and how refugee law speaks to politics. The author argues that the changing political ecosystem makes it urgent for the profession to re-establish a more effective and relevant narrative that retains a human rights approach to refugee protection, yet widens the scope of rights holders to include host communities. (Open access) Read here.

Hojati, Z. (2020) Post-Covid 19: The Need to Revisit Canada’s Work Regulation Toward Professional Immigrants (grey literature). This article addresses why in a time of a global pandemic Canada suffers from a shortage of health care professionals, and cannot benefit from its own immigrant professionals who immigrated to Canada as skilled workers. The author reviews the barriers imposed on immigrant professional doctors and makes recommendations in an attempt to include professional immigrants into the Canadian professional job market instead of rejecting and marginalizing them. (Open access) Read here.

Gonzalez Benson, O. (2020). Refugee-Run Grassroots Organizations: Responsive Assistance beyond the Constraints of US Resettlement Policy. Journal of Refugee Studies. This study examines Refugee Community Organizations (RCOs) in the US and their scope of services in relation to publicly funded resettlement services, drawing on focus groups and 40 interviews with RCO leaders of Bhutanese communities in 35 US cities. Findings illustrate RCOs are closer to communities both in terms of geographical and sociocultural proximity. Additionally, they target those neglected by work-oriented policies and provide assistance well beyond policy time limits. Issues of equity and social justice are thus raised, as RCOs aim to assume important functions of the state, without adequate resources and legitimacy. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Harmful Returns: The Compounded Vulnerabilities of Returned Guatemalans in the Time of COVID-19 by Yael Schacher & Rachel Schmidtke (June, 2020), Refugees International. The U.S. and Mexico have taken a series of steps that make it easier to return Guatemalans back to their home country, including policies and programs related to detention, deportation, and limits in asylum. These measures force home many Guatemalans with valid refugee claims who are at risk of persecution upon return and who then struggle to reintegrate. This report outlines how the deportations and returns carried out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic compound these challenges and contribute to the spread of the virus. Read here.

Migrant Care Labour and the COVID-19 Long-term Care Crisis: How did we get here? By Lena Gahwi and Margaret Walton-Roberts (June, 2020), Balsillie Papers. A historic lack of investment in care, especially in areas of elder care, has resulted in long-term care (LTC) facilities being the epicentre of the pandemic in various nations. This paper provides some context regarding the care crisis in LTC facilities, in particular its relationship with the type and skill mix of labour, including the degree to which migrant workers are represented in this sector. It will highlight two of the contributing factors to this crisis; the first is the gendered and racialized devaluing of migrant labour so essential to this sector; the second is the role of the private sector and the unsustainable extraction of profits from this service and the labour that provides it. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Canadian court correctly finds the U.S. is unsafe for refugees by Sean Rehaag & Sharry Aiken (July 24, 2020), The Conversation. Advocates for refugees have long argued that the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) violates international refugee law and Canadian constitutional law. Canada’s Federal Court ruled that the  STCA is unconstitutional and U.S. is not safe at least for some refugees. The authors discuss what this decision means and speculate on the various outcomes this can lead to. Read here.

Refugee Eligibility: Challenging Stereotypes and Reviving the ‘Benefit of the Doubt’ by Sabrineh Ardalan (August 4, 2020), Rethinking Refuge. In this article, the author argues that it is time to rethink the evidence so often submitted and relied upon in asylum claims, to return to a core principle of refugee law – the need to afford asylum seekers the benefit of the doubt. She emphasizes the need for a better way to establish asylum eligibility and challenge stereotypes. Read here.

LGBTQI+ Populations Face Unique Challenges During Pandemic by Yvonne Su, Yuriko Cowper-Smith & Tyler Valiquette (July 24, 2020), Policy Options. In an attempt to understand the gendered-impacts of COVID-19 beyond women, the authors draw on findings from a case study of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil, an epicentre of the pandemic. The analysis of 23 interviews with Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers, politicians and workers in non-governmental organizations and UN staff, shows that asylum seekers are experiencing increasing violence, transphobia and xenophobia. Read here.

Digital and social media

Recording: Hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs that was held virtually via Cisco WebEx by the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, (August 3, 2020). The hearing provides an update on the Rohingya Crisis. Watch here.

July 21, 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. 91

Recent Publications and New Research

Bose, P. S. (2020) The Shifting Landscape of International Resettlement: Canada, the US and Syrian Refugees, Geopolitics. The author of this paper argues that the continued dominance of nation-state centric priorities is indicative of the fragility of the global refugee regime. He uses the example of Canadian and US responses to the Syrian refugee crisis and interviews with officials in each country to illustrate the primacy of national interests rather than international agreements and norms. He considers what this means for the future of refugee resettlement in North America and for the global refugee regime more broadly. (Open access) Read here.

Ozkul, D. (2020). Participatory Research: Still a One-Sided Research Agenda? Migration Letters, 17(2), 229-237. This article reflects on the limitations resulting from inherent power imbalances between researchers and participants and among community members. It also argues that the “glorification of methods” alone disguises the politics and the one-sided nature of participatory research and disregards to what extent participants are involved in the construction of the methodology. This author suggests that – despite the pressure from funders to find out innovative methods – participatory researchers would benefit from understanding participants’ own ways of conceptualising and investigating a phenomenon, in order to build their methodology. (Open access for limited time) Read here.

Doğar, D. (2020) On the Use of Asylum Testimonies in Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Proceedings: H. and J. v the Netherlands and Jaballah (Re). In: Kogovšek Šalamon N. (eds) Causes and Consequences of Migrant Criminalization. Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice, vol 81. Springer, Cham. A growing number of European countries resort to refugee law instruments to identify foreign criminals. However, resorting to refugee law instruments to detect possible criminals might violate the rights of the accused. This chapter analyses this tension between immigration law and criminal law through two key decisions. (Open access) Read here.

Lehmann, C., & Masterson, D. (2020). Does Aid Reduce Anti-refugee Violence? Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. American Political Science Review. Anti-refugee violence often accompanies refugee migration, but the factors that fuel or mitigate that violence remain poorly understood, including the common policy response in such settings of humanitarian aid. The authors test for the sign and mechanisms of this relationship. Evidence suggests that cash transfers to Syrian refugees in Lebanon did not increase anti-refugee violence, and if anything they reduced violence. (Open access) Read here.

Bose, P. S. (2020) Refugees and the transforming landscapes of small cities in the US, Urban Geography. While much of the existing literature has focused on economic and family-based migration, in this paper the author looks at a different subgroup, officially resettled refugees. He examines the idea of refugees as an instrument of urban revitalization for smaller cities as well as the opportunities and challenges that their arrival has presented for these sites. He further contextualizes the arrival of refugees within the current environment of rising racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment across the country, as well as a resettlement program undergoing radical changes. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Locked Down and Left Behind: The Impact of COVID-19 on Refugees’ Economic Inclusion by Helen Dempster, Thomas Ginn, Jimmy Graham, Martha Guerrero Ble, Daphne Jayasinghe, and Barri Shorey (July 8, 2020). Refugees International. This policy paper aims to understand the economic impacts of the pandemic on refugees in low- and middle-income hosting countries. It gathers available evidence that shows the disproportionate effect of the crisis on refugees, both in terms of effects on employment and wider socio-economic outcomes. It also provides recommendations to both refugee-hosting country governments and donors as to how to ensure and extend economic inclusion for refugees, both in the short- and long-term. Read here.

Queering Asylum in Europe: A Survey Report by Andrade, V. T., Danisi, C., Dustin, M., Ferreira, N., and Held, N. (July, 2020). SOGICA Project – University of Sussex. This report discusses the data gathered through two surveys that explored the social and legal experiences of people across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). The  final recommendations of the project have also been launched, in versions tailored to Germany, Italy, UK and the European Union. Read full report here.

News reports and blog posts

Opinion: “Zeros” who became pandemic heroes deserve to be rewarded by Julie Young, Grace Wu, and Johanna Reynolds (Jul 04, 2020), Calgary Herald. The authors confront the shift in perspective — from “unauthorized border crossers” to “essential workers”. They argue it demonstrates differential inclusion, the process whereby a group of people is deemed integral to the nation’s economy, culture, identity, and power — but integral only or precisely because of their designated subordinate standing. In other words, they are welcome for their labour but not for permanent membership in society. Read here.

COVID-19 and the Other One Percent: An Agenda for the Forcibly Displaced Six Months into the Emergency by Hadin Lang (July 15, 2020), Refugees International. Measures to contain the spread of the virus have had enormous and often unintended consequences, particularly for those in need of humanitarian assistance. Drawing on this experience, this brief identifies five key areas of priority to help guide ongoing and future efforts to protect highly vulnerable populations over the next stage of the pandemic. Read here.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity…really? Why France’s forsaken “children of ISIS” may grow up to think differently about the French Republic’s values by Philomène Franssen (June 25, 2020), Refugee Law Initiative. This blog highlights the actions and obligations of the French Government towards the repatriation of the children of ISIS French Foreign (terrorist) Fighters who are stranded in displacement camps in Syria, and at risk of statelessness. This author also describes how the issue intersects with forced migration. Read here.

Digital and social media

Independent documentary available now for a limited time on Trace. Trace was filmed in 2017, in the Greek islands; Oxford, United Kingdom; and Toronto, Canada. It figuratively marks the absence of the refugee crisis by symbolically creating a visual of the crisis, seen through the space containing the crisis and set against narrative accounts of people involved in the crisis. Watch here.

Book introductory video: Flood, C. M., MacDonnell, V., Philpott, J., Thériault, S., Venkatapuram, S. (2020). Vulnerable – The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19. University of Ottawa Press. This video introduces a book that is a collaborative effort, and a multidisciplinary collection that confronts the vulnerabilities and interconnectedness made visible by the pandemic and its consequences, along with the legal, ethical and policy responses. This book offers a number of chapters relevant to work with newcomers in the COVID-19 context. (Open access) Watch and read here.

July 8, 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. 90

Recent Publications and New Research

Winders, J. (ed.) (June, 2020). Migrant Mobility, Aspirations, and Life Chances, International Migration Review, 54(2). This edition is thematically sorted into three sections. The first section has articles about migrant mobility, aspirations and life chances. The second section discusses racism, discrimination and social status. The third section is about migration, public opinion, and political participation. Lastly, this edition includes twelve book reviews which are free to access. (Open access) Read here.

Climate crisis and local communities/ Trafficking and smuggling (June, 2020), Forced Migration Review, Issue 64, Refugee Studies Centre. This issue includes two main feature themes, one on Climate crisis and local communities and one on Trafficking and smuggling, plus a ‘mini-feature’ on early reflections on COVID-19 focusing on the role of refugee-led organisations and the need for data to inform responses. (Open access) Read here.

Caqueo-Urízar, A., Urzúa, A., Aragón-Caqueo, D., Charles, C. H., El-Khatib, Z., Otu, A., & Yaya, S. (2020). Mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Against the backdrop of high levels of alcohol/substance abuse, mental health disorders, and inequalities across Chile, it is likely that levels of stress and anxiety will peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss initiatives to safeguard mental health and specifically address the situation of asylum seekers and temporary foreign workers. (Open access) Read here.

Labman, S., Crossing Law’s Border: Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program. UBC
The author explores how rights, responsibilities, and obligations intersect in the absence of a legal scheme for refugee resettlement. She asks: How does law influence the voluntary act of resettlement, and how does resettlement affect asylum policy? She reveals that the core concept of refugee protection, non-refoulement, which prevents countries from turning away asylum-seekers, can be compromised by resettlement, both by the resettlement selection process and the influence of resettlement practices on in-country asylum. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Listening to displacement-affected communities over time: Understanding intentions and aspirations in support of durable solutions 2019 (July 3, 2020) ReDSS, in partnership with IMPACT Initiatives. The report examines the multiple dimensions of vulnerabilities and sense of belonging among Internally displaced persons in Somalia focusing on displacement trends, access to jobs, safety and security, social integration, housing land property and forced evictions. The analysis compares different groups of internally displaced persons as well as host and non-host communities in urban areas. The objective is to get a more comprehensive picture of displacement-related issues and dynamics to inform area-based durable solutions programing, complementing existing data and analyses. Read here.

Making a Difference for Women and Girls? East and Horn of Africa countries and women’s and girls’ rights at the UN Human Rights Council (June 25, 2020) Defend Defenders. This report examines to what extent, and how, the 11 States of the East and Horn of Africa contribute to the advancement of the rights of women and girls at the United Nations. The aim is to make knowledge about States’ behaviour at the UN Human Rights Council available to civil society partners, observers and the general public, in order to contribute to citizen engagement with governments of the sub-region, enhance scrutiny, and further efforts towards the realisation of women’s and girls’ rights. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

COVID-19 brings students back to Himalayan villages with public health messages by Adrian Ashraf Khan (June 25, 2020), The Conversation. This article provides a snapshot of journeys of young migrants originally displaced from their villages during Nepal’s Civil War (1996-2006), and their return visits to engage with several important social issues that affect people’s survival and quality of life. This author briefly explores conditions of rural education, students as teachers, the preserving of Indigenous Himalayan culture, and young migrants insights into what they feel is needed for increased social development in the Himalayas. Read here.

Refugee-led Responses to Covid-19: A case study from Uganda by Patrick Chandiga Justine (July 6, 2020) Rethinking Refuge. Despite the huge needs created by the outbreak of COVID-19, there is a lack of assistance to refugees to address the pandemic. Refugee-led organizations are at the front line of COVID-19 responses. Ugandan refugee-led organization CECI presents its lessons for health awareness campaigns and makes recommendations to governments, international organizations and donors to improve their support to refugees. Read here.

Challenges to Refugee Protection in the Time of COVID-19 by Liliana Lyra Jubilut (June 25, 2020) Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. Amid the pandemic there are new challenges deriving from the “geographies of migration”, based on the places to and from which people move, as well as challenges relating to the “subjects of migration”, namely, refugees and the people involved in refugee protection. The author argues that all of these challenges need to be diagnosed in order to be addressed and ensure integral protection for refugees. Read here.

COVID-19 at the Brazil-Venezuela borders: the good, the bad and the ugly by Lilliana Lyra Jubilut and João Carlos Jarochinski Silva (June 18, 2020) Open Democracy. An already difficult situation for refugees in terms of integration and health can become an explosive humanitarian tragedy. The authors review pre-existing issues such as a saturated health system and lack of employment and the additional burdens created by COVID-19. They conclude that integration (including health) in Roraima needs to be thought beyond borders. International Refugee Law and human rights must be considered so that the needs of refugees and other forced migrants are adequately addressed in regular times or during a pandemic. Read here.

Digital and social media

Webinar on July 9, 2020 03:00PM (Eastern Time): Refugees Giving Back to Their Communities during COVID and Beyond hosted by Refugees International, Refugee Congress, Veterans for American Ideals, and Human Rights First. This webinar will review the ways that refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable migrants contribute to our communities and ways to communicate about these critical contributions to build support for refugee protection. Register here.

June 25, 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. 89

Recent Publications and New Research

Bose, P. S. (2020). Refugees in New Destinations and Small Cities: Resettlement in Vermont. Palgrave MacMillan. No longer are refugees to be found only in major metropolitan areas and gateway cities; instead, they are arriving in small towns, rural areas, rustbelt cities, and suburbs. What happens to them in these new destinations and what happens to the places that receive them? Drawing on a decade’s worth of interviews, surveys, spatial analysis and community-based projects with key informants, Dr. Pablo Bose argues that the value of refugee newcomers to their new homes cannot be underestimated. More here (e-version is available now with purchase of a hardcopy).

Huddleston, T. (2020). Naturalisation in context: how nationality laws and procedures shape immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality in six European countries. Comparative Migration Studies, 8(18). This article focuses on the interest and ability to acquire destination country nationality among non-EU-born adults in six European countries. The author explores how laws and procedures affect the interest of immigrants to acquire nationality and their ability to do so in practice. This article argues that both immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality are largely driven by their context, but in very different ways, depending on their individual, origin and destination country characteristics. (Open access) Read here.

Foroutan, Y. (2020). Ethnic or Religious Identities?: Multicultural Analysis in Australia from Socio-Demographic Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(1), 1-19. Focusing on the data of ethnic and religious identities in a multiethnic and multicultural context, this paper provides research-based evidence to explain whether and how significantly such data could be reliable from a social and demographic perspective. This paper argues that considering ethnic migrants belonging to the same category of religious affiliation as a single group without taking their ethnic origins into account, will lead to insufficient, incomplete, and misleading knowledge. (Open access) Read here.

Zambelli, P. (2020). Knowing Persecution When We See It: Non-State Actors and the Measure of State Protection, International Journal of Refugee Law, 32(1), 28–53. This article attempts to forge a more accessible framework of analysis for non-State actor claims. The suggested framework restores the absence of ‘State protection’ to its traditional role within the refugee definition of the 1951 Refugee Convention – as one prong of a test for persecution, not a stand-alone criterion for refugeehood. More here.

Amuedo-Dorantes, C., Bansak, C., & Pozo, S. (2020). Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime? International Migration ReviewThe perception that refugees may engage in criminal behaviour has served as fuel for closing the door to refugees in the United States and Europe. The authors exploit variation in the geographic and temporal distribution of refugee resettlements across counties to ascertain if their presence can be linked to greater local violence in the case of the United States. The results fail to show any statistically significant evidence of refugee resettlements raising local arrest or offense rates. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

 Continuing Welcome by Stephen Kaduuli (June 19, 2020) Citizens For Public Justice (CPJ). This report analyses the federal government’s efforts to address the refugee sponsorship challenges raised by sponsorship agreement holders in A Half Welcome, CPJ’s 2017 report. The top concerns among sponsorship agreement holders were long wait times and backlogs, allocation limits, and travel loan repayments. This report tracks the progress while also addressing new issues such as additionality in sponsorship, SAH-government communication, family reunification, and program monitoring. Read here.

Mounting Hunger in the Sahel: The Unintended Impact of COVID-19 Prevention by Alexandra Lamarche (June 11, 2020), Refugees International. Measures such as community lockdowns may be effective in containing the virus but they have also brought economies to a standstill, disrupted food supply chains, and challenged humanitarian organizations in reaching populations in need. The restrictions are impacting communities that already relied on external assistance to survive, consequently leaving more people in need of humanitarian aid, including many who may be forced to leave their homes in search of food or other opportunities. The author concludes with specific recommendation to mitigate the consequences. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Coronavirus: A window of opportunity for action on migration? By Eric Reidy (June 10, 2020). The New Humanitarian. Around the world, a number of local and national governments have responded to the virus by taking steps to protect the health and human rights of irregular migrants and asylum seekers as part of their overall efforts – although this inclusive approach is far from the norm. While positive measures have not been the predominant response, this article provides a glimpse of what can be possible beyond the pandemic. Read here.

Without safe migration, economic recovery will be limited by Antonio Vitorino (June 14, 2020), Al Jazeera. This article argues the economic recession will not only deeply affect migrants but also the global and regional patterns of mobility to which we have become accustomed. He claims that geographic proximity and trust will be more important than ever for states – with an emphasis on “local” travel – and there is a risk that future mobility will place those countries and individuals perceived to be at highest risk at a disadvantage. The author concludes that if we are unable to relaunch migration and mobility safely, and universally, the world’s ability to recover from economic recession will be limited. Read here.

Push backs at land borders: Asady and Others v. Slovakia and N.D and N.T v. Spain. Is the principle of non-refoulement at risk? By Nensi Sinanaj (June 10, 2020), Refugee Law Initiative. While there is no fundamental right to enter a state, there remains an obligation on the state not to refuse entry in case the principle of non-refoulement is at stake or the right to family life. A precedent was set by the Grand Chamber judgement in N.D and N.T v. Spain: individuals can be removed from the territory of a state in the case that they did not make use of any legal existing means of entry and they took advantage as a group of large number by using force. This test was used in the decision of Asady and Others v. Slovakia. The aim of this blog is to distinguish between N.D and N.T v. Spain and Asady and Others v. Slovakia and highlight that a broad interpretation of the Spanish case could lead to compromising the principle of non-refoulement. Read here.

Digital and social media

Online Workshop on July 9-10, 2020: Flight, Governance, and Human Rights hosted by Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer in collaboration with Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Distinguished scientists and politicians will address current challenges at the global, European and national levels of asylum, migration, governance and human rights: “Where do the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees lead to?” “What ought to be done about the Common European Asylum system?” “What can reasonably be expected from the German EU Council Presidency, starting in July, in the area of migration and refugees – and in view of Corona?” Register here.

June 11, 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. 88

Recent Publications and New Research

Douhaibi, D. (eds.)(2020). Emerging issues in forced migration: perspectives from research and practice. Refugee Review, The Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues Network, 4(1). This issue of the Refugee Review set out to explore and expand on ethics, representation, and impact by focusing on four areas in forced migration research and practice: methodological challenges and innovations, bridging research to policy and practice, new dissemination practices and public engagement, and supporting emerging scholars and practitioners. (Open access) Read here.

Otu, A., Charles, C.H. & Yaya, S. (2020). Mental health and psychosocial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: the invisible elephant in the room. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 14, 38. In the wake of the massively volatile global situation created by COVID-19, it is vital to recognize that the trauma it causes can affect people in different ways, at the individual and collective levels, resulting in mental health challenges for many. The author addresses the unique issues faced by migrants without permanent legal status, and argues that while it is crucial to limit the spread of infections, mental and behavioural health interventions should be fully included in public health response strategies. (Open access) Read here.

Scott-Smith, T., & Breeze, M.E. (eds.)(2020) Structures of protection? Rethinking Refugee Shelter. Berghahn, New York. This volume brings together essays on different forms of refugee shelter, in an aim to widen public understanding about the lives of forced migrants and developing theoretical understanding of this often neglected facet of the refugee experience. Drawing on a range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, law, architecture, and history, each of the chapters describes a particular shelter and uses this to open up theoretical reflections on the relationship between architecture, place, politics, design and displacement. More here.

Akesson, B. & Sousa, C. (2020). Parental suffering and resilience among recently displaced Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29, 1264–1273. This paper draws upon data from collaborative family interviews with 46 families (n = 351) who fled Syria and are now living as refugees in Lebanon in an attempt to uncover the realities of refugee parents in situations of extreme adversity such as war and displacement. The findings describe the challenges parents faced and the ways they attempted to endure within three temporal dimensions: the past (pre-flight and flight); the present (initial resettlement in the Lebanon); and the future (hopes and aspirations for resettlement). More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Issue Brief: Searching for Home: How COVID-19 threatens progress for Venezuelan integration in Columbia by Daphne Panayotatos and Rachel Schmidtke (May 26, 2020) Refugee International. Though Colombia has given its Venezuelan neighbours a relatively generous welcome, the shocks of the coronavirus have left displaced Venezuelans in a situation of heightened vulnerability. Many have lost or risk losing access to income, housing, food, and other basic needs. The authors recommend measures to mitigate that impact. Read here.

COVID-19 derails Canadian immigration: The pandemic has dealt a temporary blow to Canada’s newcomer-fueled growth strategy (May 29, 2020) RBC Economics – Royal Bank of Canada. Amid ongoing border restrictions, travel-related health fears, and the global economic downturn, the authors expect immigration levels to be down sharply in 2020 and a recovery in 2021 will depend in part on the course of the pandemic. The authors argue the disruption will reverberate across the economy, given our reliance on immigration for labour-force growth and to offset Canada’s aging demographic. Read here.

Issue Brief: A new vulnerability: COVID-19 and tropical cyclone Harold create the perfect storm in the Pacific by Kayly Ober and Stefan Bakumenko (June 3, 2020), Refugee International. Many countries will be grappling with the collision of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related disasters, the situation in the Pacific has made clear that climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction remain essential and urgent imperatives for countries vulnerable to sudden-onset disasters. The authors argue that the efforts must continue in the midst of the pandemic response, and underscore the centrality of local humanitarian responders. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

The rocky road to a mobile world after COVID-19 by Meghan Benton (May 2020) Migration Policy Institute. With countries at differing points in their coronavirus trajectory, their reasons for maintaining border restrictions vary widely. Deeply afflicted countries have enacted mobility restrictions well beyond border closures—including highly policed intraregional travel. The author argues that while all governments face the challenge of restarting mobility, their incentives may diverge even more as the pandemic spreads to new regions. Read here.

Child repatriation in the time of COVID-19 by Jacqueline Bhabha and Vasileia Digidiki (June 4, 2020), Rethinking Refuge. Child protection concerns have never been central to refugee policy or practice. In this latest article for Rethinking Refuge, two Harvard academics assess the impact of COVID-19 on existing pressures to repatriate child refugees. They argue that the pandemic presents an opportunity to rethink repatriation policies to better serve the interests of vulnerable child migrants. Read here.

Many refugees living in Nairobi struggle to survive because of COVID-19 by Naohiko Omata (May 20, 2020) University of Oxford. Local research assistants – community leaders, staff members of aid organisations, pastors and representatives of community-based organisations – who are well-networked with fellow refugees, all reported primarily on the acute economic challenges that the crisis has caused for Nairobi’s refugees. The current restrictions disable urban refugees from pursuing their livelihood. The author argues that once the health risks of COVID-19 are mitigated, the question of how to best assist refugees’ economic recovery should be a primary concern for refugee-assisting agencies. Read here.

Digital and social media

Podcast: Sustainability Research Group hosted at London South Bank University, Episode 1, (May, 2020). In this episode, Ayar Ata – member of the research group and with first hand experience as a refugee – talks about an urgent need for fair access to health care for all forced migrants, especially for those living in refugee camps in this lockdown world. Listen here.

Webinar on June 24, 2020 03:00-4:30PM BST: Mobility and immobility in the time of coronavirus: reflections from long-term study of migration and displacement by Professor Laura Hammond (SOAS University of London) presenter of the 2020 Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture hosted by the University of Oxford. In this lecture, Professor Hammond considers the legacy of Elizabeth Colson’s work to explore how forced migration studies might help us to better understand the monumental implications of the coronavirus pandemic on communities involved or affected by migration and displacement. Register here.

Video: Irregular Migrants in European Cities: How to respond (April, 2019) COMPAS, University of Oxford. This short film helps understand why cities across Europe think it is important to be inclusive towards irregular migrants and the initiatives they have adopted to facilitate, rather than impede, their access to services. Watch here.

May 28, 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. 87

Recent Publications and New Research

Special Issue: Easton-Calabria, E. and Skran, C. (eds.)(2020). Rethinking refugee self-reliance, Journal of Refugee Studies, 33(1). The aim of this special issue is to rethink and critically examine the concept of refugee self-reliance and assess its relationship with the broader topics of livelihoods and entrepreneurship for refugees. The authors argue for an expanded definition of refugee self-reliance that promotes social as well as economic components and moves beyond narrowly implemented programmes targeting individual and market-based solutions. In so doing, it seeks to contribute to the existing body of literature critically assessing the source, practice and implications of refugee self-reliance and efforts to foster it. (Open access) Read here.

New Issue: Wilkinson, L., and Petrovic, L., (eds.) (2020) Comparing the German and Canadian experiences of resettling refugees: A 21st century response. Canadian Diversity 17(2). Canadian Diversity is a quarterly publication of the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS). This special issue brings together 15 papers that discuss the outcomes of refugee integration in both Canada and Germany. The first and second sections describes the legal implications and public receptivity toward refugees and economic and employment outcomes of refugees. Other topics include the discussion of the problems with settlement services and general resettlement issues, including challenges accessing language classes. (Open access) Read here.

Schockaert, L., Venables, E., Gil-Bazo, M. T., Barnwell, G., Gerstenhaber, R., Whitehouse, K. (2020) Behind the Scenes of South Africa’s Asylum Procedure: A qualitative study on long-term asylum-seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 39(1). This exploratory qualitative study describes how protracted asylum procedures and associated conditions are experienced by Congolese asylum-seekers in Tshwane, South Africa. The findings focused on the process of leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo, applying for asylum and aspirations of positive outcomes for one’s life. Subsequently, it describes the reality of prolonged periods of unfulfilled expectations and how protracted asylum procedures contribute to poor mental health. Furthermore, coping mechanisms to mitigate these negative effects are described. (Open access) Read here.

Chowdhory, N., & Mohanty, B. (2020). Citizenship, Nationalism And Refugeehood of Rohingyas in Southern Asia. Springer, Singapore. This book provides an in-depth investigation of citizenship and nationalism in connection with the Rohingya community. It analyses the processes of production of statelessness in South Asia in general, and with regard to the Rohingyas in particular. To date, very few theoretical insights have been provided on the Rohingya issue, and this book attempts to bridge that gap by exploring a dialogue between the state and its citizens and non-citizens that results in the production of statelessness. Read here.

Campbell, J. R. (2020) Examining procedural unfairness and credibility findings in the UK asylum system, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 39(1). This article addresses a key problem confronted by immigration judges (IJs) in their assessment of the asylum claims of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, who are often not allowed to speak or participate in their own hearings. The article has three linked aims: to examine research that looks at how IJs decide credibility; to set out an ethnographic approach to better understand IJs’ decision-making; and to argue that asylum tribunals need to adopt appropriate guidelines. Read here.

New Issue: COVID-19: A new challenge for migration policy (April-June 2020) International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Eurasylum Ltd. This special issue of Migration Policy Practice (a biweekly Journal for and by policy makers worldwide) discusses the emerging effects of COVID-19 on migrants and migration policy worldwide from a range of perspectives including the humanitarian, economic and data-related implications of the new pandemic. It stresses that while most refugees and migrants live in individual and communal accommodations in urban areas, and therefore face similar health threats from COVID-19 as their host populations, their degree of vulnerability may be a lot higher due to the conditions of their migratory journeys, limited employment opportunities, overcrowded and poor living and working conditions with inadequate access to food, water, sanitation and other basic services. Read here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Schmidtke, R., Schacher, Y., & Sawyer, A. (May 19, 2020) Deportation with Layover: Failure of Protection Under the U.S. – Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement, Refugees International. Under the ACA with Guatemala, the United States has rapidly transferred non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala without allowing them to lodge asylum claims in the United States. Given Guatemala’s inability to provide effective protection and the risk that some transferees face in Guatemala or after returning to their home countries, the United States violates its obligation to examine their asylum claims by implementing the agreement. Read here.

Research Brief: Sarrica, F., Healy, C., Serio, G., & Samson, J. (May 14, 2020) How COVID-19 restrictions and the economic consequences are likely to impact migrant smuggling and cross-border trafficking in persons to Europe and North America, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This Research Brief analyses possible scenarios of how smuggling of migrants and cross-border trafficking in persons are likely to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis along mixed migration routes to two important destination regions: North America and Europe. This paper draws on the dynamics observed during other global economic downturns, such as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, to assess how the COVID-19-induced recession may affect smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons in the near to long term. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Immigrants are worrying about social ties and finances during coronavirus by Carlo Handy Charles (May 19, 2020) The Conversation. Based on a recent Statistic Canada Study, immigrants and refugees are more likely than Canadian-born individuals to be worried about the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article analyzes immigrant’s concerns about social ties, social risks, and finances during the pandemic. The author argues that it is imperative for the federal and provincial governments to consider the unique challenges faced by immigrants and refugees as they implement policies to help people in Canada recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Read here.

How South Africa is denying refugees their rights: what needs to change by Sikanyiso Masuku (May 12, 2020) The Conversation. The author argues that the failure to regularise the national asylum system, which is responsible for the documentation of applicants for refugee status and adjudication of appeals, has led to huge capacity constraints. These are evidenced by backlogs that leave many applicants without requisite documents. The consequences of this are far reaching. Vulnerable undocumented people make it harder to plan or manage social services for all. It also poses a threat to security, stability and social cohesion. Read here.

Asylum seekers lodge complaint with ombudsman over ‘catastrophic’ coronavirus concerns by Claudia Farhart (May 7, 2020) Special Broadcasting Service. 13 Asylum seekers being held in Australian immigration facilities have lodged an official complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman, saying the conditions in which they are being held could lead to a “catastrophic” coronavirus outbreak among detainees, arguing that social distancing is impossible inside the immigration facilities, where five men are being forced to share a room. Read here.

Will Canada be as open to immigrants after COVID-19? By Ratna Omidvar (May 4, 2020) Policy Options Politiques. Canadians understand that the success of the country depends on the success of integrating its newcomers. She writes that Canadians must decide whether they will remain an “open country” after the coronavirus ends. She points out that the aging population needs an influx of immigrants to help Canada to thrive, grow, and prosper. She adds that Canada may accrue a $100 billion national debt due to the coronavirus but immigrants can help expand the economy and repay the debt. Finally, she writes, closed borders will not stop the spread of viruses like this one and countries must work together to develop a united global response to prepare for the next pandemic when, not if, it happens again. Read here.

Digital and social media

Webinar: Voices from the Borders Registration hosted by Refugees International and Human Rights Watch (May 28, 2020 02:00 PM). 30 asylum seekers transferred to Guatemala reported abuses while in U.S. custody and, upon arrival in Guatemala, and often felt compelled to abandon their asylum claims and return to their home countries. This webinar will include report of the findings, featuring a video from a woman from El Salvador who was transferred to Guatemala and an audience Q&A will follow. Register here.

@Refugees released a video #ForYou featuring young refugees from around the world and their essential contributions to fighting COVID-19. Watch here.