All posts by rrn_main_1

February 28, 2018: 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. 35

Recent Publications and New Research

Gengo, R. G., Oka, R. C., Vemuru, V., Golitko, M., & Gettler, L. T. (2018). Positive effects of refugee presence on host community nutritional status in Turkana County, Kenya. American Journal of Human Biology, 30(1).

Refugee camps are often assumed to negatively impact local host communities through resource competition and conflict. This study asks instead whether economic resources and trade networks associated with refugees have benefits for host community health and nutrition. To address this question, it assesses the impacts of Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya, comparing anthropometric (human physical variations) indicators of nutritional status between Turkana communities in the region. The results show that Kakuma Refugee Camp is associated with better host community energetic status indicators, compared to other relevant, regional sites varying in development and resources. Based on global nutritional standards, observed differences likely represent meaningful disparities in overall health. Nevertheless, perceptions of refugees as illegitimate interlopers maintain a high psychological burden. Available at:

Labman, S., & Pearlman, M. (2018). Blending, Bargaining, and Burden-Sharing: Canada’s Resettlement Programs. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1-11.

The BVOR program was introduced in 2013 as a modified version of private sponsorship and middle ground between sponsorship and government-assisted resettlement. While the program was met with criticism and skepticism that the government was off-loading more resettlement responsibility to private sponsors, the Syrian crisis significantly impacted and changed the Canadian resettlement landscape. This comment outlines the program and surveys the benefits and concerns with such a model. BVOR is examined in relation to both private and government resettlement, in the current moment of Syrian resettlement, and in comparison, to the historical use of private sponsorship for Indochinese refugees. The comment serves to assess the direction of Canada’s future resettlement. Available for subscribers at:

Bansak, K., Ferwerda, J., Hainmueller, J., Dillon, A., Hangartner, D., Lawrence, D., & Weinstein, J. (2018). Improving refugee integration through data-driven algorithmic assignment. Science, 359(6373), 325-329.

The continuing refugee crisis has made it necessary for governments to find ways to resettle individuals and families in host communities. This article used a machine learning approach to develop an algorithm for geographically placing refugees to optimize their overall employment rate. The authors developed and tested the algorithm on segments of registry data from the United States and Switzerland. The algorithm improved the employment prospects of refugees in the United States by approximately 40% and in Switzerland by approximately 75%. Available:

FMR 57: Syrians in displacement

This issue of FMR explores new insights and continuing challenges relating to the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally and in neighbouring countries. Authors present new insights and reflect on continuing challenges, covering topics which include: local and refugee-led initiatives; identification and understanding of displaced people’s vulnerabilities and capabilities; stereotyping on the basis of gender, age or disability; child marriage; the contribution of education to social cohesion; legal identity; preparation for return and the challenges around restitution and property rights; and the potential of economic and development approaches (a topic to be explored more fully in our June issue on Economies, work and displacement). It contains 27 articles on ‘Syrians in displacement’, plus six ‘general’ articles on other topics. Available at:

Reports, working papers and briefs

A call to action Protecting children on the move starts with better data 

Massive data gaps leave displaced children unprotected, warns UN. A lack of reliable data on the estimated 28 million children living in forced displacement is impacting the ability of aid agencies to assist them. This report that was released jointly by several UN agencies notes that information about age is only available for 56 per cent of the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate and that only 20 per cent of countries with data on people displaced by conflict break it down by age. The report aims to contribute to creating reliable, timely and accessible data and evidence for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families – and for putting in place policies and programmes to meet their needs. Available at: 

IDMC’s thematic series: UnSettlement – urban displacement in the 21st century

This case study/thematic series aims to explore the scale, nature and dynamics of urban internal displacement across the world. It also includes the first case study of the thematic series, exploring the challenges and opportunities for IDPs in Maiduguri, Nigeria and their participation in the city’s economy. Available at:

Marshall, K., et al. (2018). Religious roles in refugee resettlement: Pertinent experience and insights, addressed to G20 members (No. 2018-11). Economics Discussion Papers.

This discussion paper sheds more light on the significant role played by Religious entities in the current forced migration crisis. These roles include innovative and experience-based ideas to address flawed aspects of the humanitarian system, overall advocacy on behalf of refugees and migrants based on humanitarian and spiritual principles, among other roles. Broadly, however, religious factors and contributions are poorly understood and insufficiently taken into account by policy makers and in think tank analyses of these issues. The paper is meant for G20 agendas and gatherings, as well as those of think tanks, that can benefit from purposeful attention to these often-neglected dimensions of a central global challenge. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

GDN Special Issue on “Migration, environment, and development”

Here are some featured posts by IMRC associates Yasmin Khan, Mohammad Moniruzzaman and Robert McLeman at the Global Development Network’s new blog series on migration, environment and development. Khan describes life in Rohingya refugee camps in eastern Bangladesh and the dietary and cultural impacts a lack of fish has on camp residents. Moniruzzaman writes about informal food systems in megacities and their importance in helping climate migrants adapt. McLeman outlines a sensible international policy for dealing with the reality that tens of millions of people will be on the move in coming decades because of climate change. Available at:

Six months on, Rohingya children voice their fears, Report from Save the Children, Plan International, and World Vision

A new report reveals the challenges and fears faced by Rohingya children living in camps and settlements around Cox’s Bazar. The report finds that the children are often fearful – they’re afraid of being attacked while collecting firewood in the nearby forest, of being abducted by traffickers or harassed while using the camps’ toilets at night. They also worry about missing out on school and the difficulty of staying clean and healthy. The children did report feeling comforted by the presence of aid organizations and the five-times daily calls to prayer. Available at: 

Australia’s shame: The men on Manus Island by Evan Jones

This is a simple read for anyone who wants a recap on what is taking place at Manus island, its origins, the Australian government stance, and the refugees’ conditions. Available at:

Press Release: Despite Global Refugee Crisis, Japan Accepts Only 20 Refugees in 2017

Over the course of 2017, despite 19,628 persons submitting asylum applications, the Japanese government only conferred refugee status to a total of 20 persons. This is a press release statement by the Asia Pacific Refugee rights initiative to condemn the Japanese position. Available at:

Villagers flee as India, Pakistan trade heavy border fire by Rifaat Farid

More than 1,000 people have fled their homes in the Uri sector of the disputed Kashmir region after India and Pakistan exchanged artillery fire on Saturday. Tension has been running high since an attack on an Indian army camp in Kashmir this month that left seven soldiers dead, but cross-border shelling has continued intermittently since the beginning of this year, displacing hundreds and leaving a 2003 ceasefire agreement in tatters. Available at:  

20,000 Israelis Protest Deportation of African Asylum Seekers

Haaretz estimates that 20,000 Israelis joined asylum-seekers in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the government’s new policy of deportation or detention. Last week, Israel began jailing asylum-seekers who refused deportation to a third country. Local residents in south Tel Aviv have long complained about the presence of asylum-seekers living there, but on Saturday protesters carried signed reading “Refugees and residents refuse to be enemies” and “No to deportation”. Available at: 

February 22, 2018: 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. 34

Recent Publications and New Research

Baker, S., Irwin, E., Freeman, H., Nance, S., & Coleman, J. (2018). Building cultural and linguistic bridges: Reflections on a program designed to support adult students from refugee backgrounds’ transitions into university. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12(1).

This paper presents reflections on the design, delivery and evaluation of a program developed to facilitate Students from Refugee backgrounds (SfRBs’) transitions into an enabling education course at a regional university in Australia. A primary goal of this program was to purposefully and explicitly unpack the cultural expectations and linguistic requirements of higher education study. Reflections from the practitioners who designed and delivered the program shed light on the challenges of working with a responsive curriculum in real-time to attempt to fill the multiple gaps created by institutional assumptions and misrecognitions about who is in the higher education classroom. Available at:

Bartels, S. A., et. al. (2018). Making sense of child, early and forced marriage among Syrian refugee girls: a mixed methods study in Lebanon. BMJ Global Health, 3(1).

This study explores the underlying factors contributing to child marriage among Syrian refugees in Lebanon with the goal of informing community-based strategies to address the issue. Participants included married and unmarried Syrian girls, Syrian parents as well as married and unmarried men. Syrian girls and mothers were more likely to share stories about protection/security and/or education and were more likely to report that girls were overprotected. Male participants were more likely to share stories about financial security as well as sexual exploitation of girls and more often reported that girls were not protected enough. Despite these gendered perspectives, many of the shared narratives highlighted similar themes of financial hardship, lack of educational opportunities and safety concerns around sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Available at:

Fegert, J. M., Diehl, C., Leyendecker, B., Hahlweg, K., & Prayon-Blum, V. (2018). Psychosocial problems in traumatized refugee families: overview of risks and some recommendations for support services. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health, 12(1), 5.

This article is an abridged version of a report by an advisory council to the German government on the psychosocial problems facing refugee families from war zones who have settled in Germany. The focus is on understanding the developmental risks faced by refugee children when they or family members are suffering from trauma-related psychological disorders, and on identifying measures that can be taken to address these risks. The following recommendations are made: recognizing the high level of psychosocial problems present in these families, providing family–friendly living accommodations, teaching positive parenting skills, initiating culture-sensitive interventions, establishing training programs to support those who work with refugees, expanding the availability of trained interpreters, facilitating access to education and health care, and identifying intervention requirements through screening and other measures. Available at:

Sandri, E. (2018). ‘Volunteer Humanitarianism’: volunteers and humanitarian aid in the Jungle refugee camp of Calais. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1), 65-80.

The informal refugee camp in Calais, reached an approximate population of ten thousand people in 2016 but did not receive aid from the French government or international aid agencies. As a response to the lack of institutional support, and given the squalid conditions of the camp, hundreds of volunteers and grassroots organisations took on the burden of delivering humanitarian aid and basic services in the Jungle. This grassroots humanitarian aid, referred to in this article as ‘volunteer humanitarianism’, has particular characteristics that will be explored. The article argues that volunteer humanitarianism can be interpreted as a symbol against the violent border practices across Europe and, because of its informality, provides an alternative to formal humanitarian aid. The article also shows that volunteer humanitarianism formed a connection between humanitarianism and activism that stands in tension with neoliberal governmentality.

Available at (please click on link):

Reports, working papers and briefs

Hodes, M., Anagnostopoulos, D., & Skokauskas, N. (2018). Challenges and opportunities in refugee mental health: clinical, service, and research considerations.

The influx of many refugees into Europe in 2015–2016 with awareness from earlier studies of their likely high levels of psychological distress and mental health needs prompted the European Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) to focus on the societal and mental health implications of the refugee crisis. ESCAP sought to become active in disseminating information about the mental health of refugees and established an ESCAP online forum. One proposal arising from this initiative was to develop a focused issue of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which appears in this report. Available at:

IDMC report: Escaping war: where to next? A research study on the challenges of IDP protection in Afghanistan

This new report from IDMC and NRC presents the findings of a comprehensive assessment of the protection needs of internally displaced people across Afghanistan. This follows on from a similar assessment carried out in 2012 when NRC/IDMC published the first in-depth study looking at the impact of displacement for Afghans. The report confirms that the ongoing conflict has taken on worrying intensity in parts of the country and is bearing a heavy cost on civilians. Since 2012, one alarming trend has been a sharp and steady growth in the levels of internal and external displacement: in the past five years a total of 1.7 million Afghans have been displaced – three times as many IDPs than we reported on five years ago. Available at:

Ratković, S., Kovačević, D., Brewer, C. A., Ellis, C., Ahmed, N., & Baptiste-Brady, J. (2018). Supporting refugee students in Canada: Building on what we have learned in the past 20 years. Report to Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON 

Between January 2015 and July 2017, over 84,000 refugees were resettled to Canada. This refugee population included 43% of school-age (17 years old and under) youth, arriving to communities and schools across Canada. The current educational system is ill-equipped to facilitate this transition and combat the socio-psychological challenges refugee students face as they enter Canadian schools. To understand refugee students’ education, social integration, and wellbeing in publicly-funded education systems in Canada, the report conducted a scoping review of recent Canadian refugee education literature and policy. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Suffering Syrians, trapped Venezuelans, and a Ugandan refugee swindle: The Cheat Sheet

Every week, IRIN’s team of specialist editors scans the humanitarian horizon to curate a reading list on important and unfolding trends and events around the globe. This week’s topics discuss the potential new wave of displacement in northwestern Syria thanks to dual offensives by the government of President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey as well as the escalating situation in Venezuela, Uganda, Afghanistan and the Philippines. Available at:

Dozens of refugee resettlement offices to close as Trump downsizes program by Mica Rosenberg

Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations. Read more at:

Will the Rohingya ever return home? By Hannah Beech

The New York Times reports that the meetings between Myanmar’s home affairs minister and his Bangladeshi counterpart in Dhaka about plans for the repatriation of nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees who fled attacks in Myanmar and are now in Bangladesh. The report speculates that those meetings are not expected to elicit much action, with each country blaming the other for delays in implementing the repatriation agreement but neither side asking the refugees themselves whether and under what conditions they would want to return. Available at:

Digital and Social media

1 in 6 children now living in areas affected by conflict, Save the Children report says

This short video touches on the issue using direct testimonies from children impacted by conflict. Watch at:

ReDSS white board animation on displacement and durable solutions in East Africa with a focus on Somalia 

This 5-minute whiteboard animation provides Information on displacement situations and trends in East Africa and Somalia in particular, a brief overview of key durable solutions concepts and definitions and a quiz to assess learning. Available at:

New Publication – Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugees, 1975–1980


Michael J. Molloy, Peter Duschinsky, Kurt F. Jensen, and Robert J. Shalka

McGill-Queen’s University Press, April 2017

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos fell to communist forces in April 1975, creating a flood of refugees. Forty-two years later, McGill-Queen’s University Press released a major new work, Running on Empty: Canada and the Indochinese Refugee Movement 1975-1980, written under the auspices of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society. The book focuses on the work of Canadian public servants in Southeast Asia and Canada to meet an unprecedented commitment to resettle tens of thousands of these refugees before the end of 1980.

Responding to intensive media reports of dramatic outflows of Vietnamese “boat people” and massive population displacements from Cambodia and Laos, Canada’s federal government committed to the admission of first 5000, then 12,000, then 50,000 and ultimately 60,000 refugees. In a remarkable outpouring of humanitarian concern, thousands of Canadians from every field of endeavor took advantage of a new and unique private sponsorship program to support the admission and resettlement of 40,000 of the refugees, people whose cultures and languages were profoundly different from those of the Canadian mainstream.

This massive humanitarian undertaking relied on the efforts of a rather small number of government employees, immigration officers, doctors, RCMP officers and members of the Canadian forces. As the title indicates, by the end of 1980 — after intense efforts selecting refugees from lonely Southeast Asian camps on tiny islands and in the depths of steaming jungles, welcoming them at reception centres in Montreal and Edmonton, matching them with sponsors and communities and sending them to small towns and big cities across Canada — public servants were exhausted, they were “running on empty.”

The goal of this book is to record this great endeavour in the words of those who made it happen.

This is not a dry academic book. Its stories are often heartwarming, sometimes tragic and occasionally humorous. In gathering accounts from many sources, Running on Empty describes the immediacy and challenges of resettling refugees. Contemporary photographs provide the visual backdrop to the dramatic events in Southeast Asia. Some typical narratives contained in the book:

  • The story of visa officers, military pilots, NGO personnel, provincial bureaucrats, and the wives of diplomats rescuing Vietnamese and Cambodian babies from Saigon under siege.
  • Interviews with two visa officers recalling their adventures on the dangerous back roads of Malaysia and Thailand.
  • High sea rescues by freighter captains, the odysseys of these boat people across oceanic distances and how Canadian officers travelled from distant embassies to accept them.
  • Canada’s leading role in accepting refugees off the Hai Hong, a freighter with 2,500 refugees on board, stranded near the coast of Malaysia.
  • The recollections of three visa officers helicoptered to a tiny, remote island in the South China Sea to interview a thousand stranded boat people.
  • The arrival of the first refugees at CFB Longue Pointe in Montreal and the efforts of Canada’s military to help them during their first days in Canada.
  • The effective cooperation between federal and Quebec officers in the field.
  • A refugee liaison officer in Kitchener handling a difficult question posed by a newly arrived Hmong refugee from Laos: “what does it mean to be a good woman” in Canada?

A country founded by immigrants and their descendent, first French and then British, Canada resolutely resisted admitting people from non-European sources for the first half of its existence. In 1947, Prime Minister Mackenzie King insisted that “the people of Canada do not wish, as a result of mass immigration, to make fundamental changes in the character of our population.” But by the 1960s, Canada’s social framework was undergoing major change: it was becoming multi rather than bicultural. British imperial values yielded to an awareness of equality, fairness and human rights and an emphasis on pluralism and ethnic diversity, opening the door to immigrants from all parts of the world.

From the 1960s through the late 1970s Canada’s refugee policy framework was brought into line with an evolving multicultural value system. The most dramatic expression of this change in values was the response of the government and so many Canadians to the unfolding refugee tragedy in Southeast Asia.

In addition to first-hand narratives by public servants, Running on Empty, through an analysis of archival records describes the evolution of Canada’s immigration and refugee legislation and its implementation. The new legislation, as well as the leadership provided by successive Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative, created the domestic and international policy framework which embraced ethnic diversity, through which Canada’s public servants selected and resettled refugees from Southeast Asia between 1975 and 1980. One of the most important elements of the new Immigration Law of 1976 was the private refugee sponsorship system allowing ordinary citizens to assume responsibility for resettling these refugees. That these non-European refugees were enthusiastically embraced by Canadians contributed decisively to the success of this movement. That generosity triggered the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to award the Nansen Medal, the refugee equivalent of the Nobel Prize, to the “People of Canada” in 1986.

As Canadians recently rallied to the cause of the Syrian refugees, the Indochinese precedent has been repeatedly cited. We hope that this example from the past, described in Running on Empty, will inspire sustained efforts on behalf of victims of persecution and displacement in a troubled world.

Order online at

Or by post to: Direct Mail Manager, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1010 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 1720, Montreal, QC H3A 2R7 Canada

February 14, 2018: 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. 33

Recent Publications and New Research

Wasem, R. E. (2018). Immigration Governance for the Twenty-First Century. JMHS 6 (1): 97-120

At the crux of understanding immigration governance is acknowledging that immigration is not a program to be administered; rather, it is a phenomenon to be managed. This paper studies the administration of immigration law and policy with an eye trained on immigration governance for the future. It opens with a historical overview that provides the backdrop for the current state of affairs. It then breaks down the missions and functions of the Immigration and Nationality Act by the lead agencies tasked with these responsibilities. The paper concludes with an analysis of options for improving immigration governance. Each of these options poses unique challenges as well as political obstacles. Download the PDF of the article

Bruno, G. C., et. al. (2017). Migration and the Environment: Some Reflections on Current Legal Issues and Possible Ways Forward.

This paper aims at examining legal options to fill the protection gap affecting environmental migrants in the EU. It starts with a discussion about the (limited) scope of application of EU harmonised protection statuses. Options based on humanitarian grounds and on EU human rights obligations will be evaluated. It takes a closer look to further means of protection within (resettlement programmes, humanitarian admission schemes, private sponsorship) and outside (Regional Development and Protection Programmes) the EU territory. It argues that existing means of protection in the EU are very limited in scope and not designed to fill in a satisfactory way the protection gap of EMs. Available for members at:

Kerwin, D. and Warren, R. (2018). The Legally Resident Foreign-born Population has the Same Percentage of Skilled Workers as the US-Born Native Population

This paper outlines the results of a study on young immigrants, known as the Dreamers, who would be eligible for conditional permanent status under the DREAM Act of 2017. The study paints a portrait of a highly productive, integrated group of young Americans, who are deeply committed to the United States. The paper highlights potential DREAM Act recipients’ large numbers, prevalence throughout the country, high levels of employment and self-employment, long residence, US families, English language proficiency, and education levels. It argues that with time and, particularly, with a path to citizenship, the Dreamers would be able to contribute significantly more to their communities. Finally, the study finds that a large number of TPS recipients, who will soon lose this status, would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act. To read more, visit

Lucassen, L. (2017). Peeling an onion: the “refugee crisis” from a historical perspective. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-28.

This paper asks: why did Western and other European politicians become so alarmed and, in some cases, downright apocalyptic at the rise of asylum seekers in 2014–16, especially compared to the previous refugee crisis in the 1990s? This paper argues that in 2014/2015, a “perfect storm” developed, bringing together factors that in the past had been largely unrelated and then converged with new ones. Peeling the onion of societal discontent with migrants and refugees has revealed five necessary and sufficient conditions: (1) discomfort with immigration and integration of colonial and labour migrants from North Africa and Turkey (1970–80s); (2) growing social inequality and widespread pessimism about globalization (1980s–); (3) A growing discomfort with Islam (1990s–); (4) Islamist terrorism (2000s–) and (5) the rise of radical right populist parties (2000s). available to subscribers at: 

Reports, working papers and briefs

IDMC Case Study: Going “home” to displacement – Afghanistan’s returnee-IDPs

Up to half a million Afghans are expected to have returned from Pakistan and Iran back to Afghanistan by the end of this year, with most returning directly into a situation of internal displacement. Afghans who have returned to their country but cannot go back to their area of origin because of violence, known as “returnee-IDPs”, struggle to secure basic living conditions, livelihoods or basic services. This case study reports on research conducted on the ground, hearing from returnee-IDPs and IDPs on their reintegration needs and the obstacles they face in securing durable solutions. Available at:

Working paper: Involuntary migration, context of reception, and social mobility: The case of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the United States by Carl L. Bankston III and Min Zhou

This study examines the Vietnamese population of the United States as a case study in the integration of a refugee group in a host country. It starts by offering a brief review of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the US and the making of a new ethnic community. It then provides a quantitative analysis of socioeconomic mobility among Vietnamese refugees using American Community Survey data from 1980 to 2015 and survey data. It examines how this ethnic population has changed over time by focusing on key socioeconomic indicators, such as poverty rates and levels of education, occupation, and income. Finally, it seeks to explain what enables Vietnamese refugees and their children to overcome initial disadvantage and move up in society based on our own work over the span of 20 years with in-depth qualitative data. The study considers how policies, institutions (government, civil society, and ethnic), and patterns of social relations in the Vietnamese American community have interacted with individual agency to shape mobility. Available at:

News reports and blog posts

Trump’s Misuse of Barbara Jordan’s Legacy on Immigration by Susan Martin

In this essay, Susan Martin, Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration Emerita at Georgetown University and CMS board member, explains how the White House misconstrues the recommendations of the Jordan Commission and how, in fact, the commission’s approach on immigration and refugee policy is considerably at odds with Trump policies. Available at:

Stanford Refugee Research Project explores ways University can aid refugee crisis by Olivia Mitchel

Launched in Aug. 2017, the Stanford Refugee Research Project (SRRP) explores how Stanford can have a positive impact on the refugee crisis in the Middle East. The campus-wide initiative focuses on health, education, resettlement, employment and more. It comprises a team of Stanford undergraduate and graduate research fellows, a Stanford faculty steering committee and a non-Stanford advisory committee. More about the project available at:

Subscribe to The Refugee Brief, the UN Refugee Agency’s daily news digest

This daily newsletter covers the day’s top refugee stories and highlights some of the best refugee-related reporting, analysis and videos from across the web, all in a highly readable, concise format. Subscription link available at:

Digital and social media

OCASI’s Working for Refugees

OCASI has launched a new online discussion forum on The forum titled, Working for Refugees: Discussions with Settlement Workers & Sponsors, will provide the space for sponsoring groups and the settlement sector to connect, share and support one another on issues related to serving privately sponsored refugees. To join this conversation today, visit If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at

February 7, 2018: 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. 32

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Bakewell, O. and Landau, L. B. (eds.) (2018) Forging African Communities: Mobility, Integration and Belonging. London: Palgrave. 

This book draws renewed attention to migration into and within Africa, and to the socio-political consequences of these movements. It sheds new light on how human mobility redefines the meaning of home, community, citizenship and belonging. The authors ask how people’s movements within the continent are forging novel forms of membership while catalysing social change within the communities and countries to which they move and which they have left behind. More information available at:

Juárez, M., Gómez-Aguiñaga, B., & Bettez, S. P. (2018). Twenty Years After IIRIRA: The Rise of Immigrant Detention and Its Effects on Latinx Communities Across the Nation. Journal on Migration and Human Security6(1).

This paper studies the dynamics of detention, deportation, and the criminalization of immigrants. The analyses and discussion focus on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996’s (IIRIRA’s) detention mandate, the role of special interest groups and federal policies. It argues that these special interest groups and major federal policies have come together to fuel the expansion of immigrant detention to unprecedented levels. The study analyzes two main questions: What is the role of special interests in the criminalization of immigrants? And does the rapid increase in detention pose challenges or risks to democracy in the United States? Available at:

McDonald, C. (2018). ‘We became British aliens’: Kindertransport refugees narrating the discovery of their parents’ fates. Holocaust studies: A journal of Culture and History

This article explores the post-war lives of Kindertransport refugees. How the Kinder learnt of their parents’ murders or were reunited with them following years of separation. The article argues that distance and proximity are key to how the Kinder frame these difficult memories. While the parents may be absent in the public memorials dedicated to a redemptive portrayal of the scheme, they are certainly present within the Kinder’s own narratives. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Refugee Integration and Long-term Health Outcomes in Canada (SyRIA.lth)

This is a pan-Canadian longitudinal study funded by The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and housed in the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University. It looks at how different resettlement programs support the social integration of Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) and the impact of integration pathways on their long-term physical and mental health. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of new Canadians by understanding what leads to successful integration outcomes and for whom so that we can tailor resettlement programs to best suit newcomers’ needs and circumstances. More information and updates about the initiative available at:

IDMC 2017 Africa Report on Internal Displacement 
This report highlights the severity of the continent’s displacement crisis. As the world focuses its attention on preventing irregular migration and protecting refugees coming out of Africa, the displacement that happens behind its own borders persists at an alarming rate. Since the beginning of 2017, 2.7 million people have been displaced by conflict, violence or disasters, and have not crossed an international border. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

Deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers from Israel and the legality of relocation/transfer agreements Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler

On 1 January 2018, the Israeli government announced plans to indefinitely detain or forcibly ‘relocate’ thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to ‘third countries’ in Sub-Saharan Africa, should they refuse to leave voluntarily (and receive a lump sum payment of USD 3500) by 31 March 2018. Israel’s Population, Immigration, and Border Authority (PIBA) advertised 100 new posts for inspectors to work in the ‘voluntary repatriation programme’ and others to enforce laws against asylum seekers and their employers. This blog reflects on three elements that make the context and content of Israel’s plans particularly troubling. Available at:

Tests to prove gay asylum seekers are telling the truth about their sexuality break EU law by James Crisps

Judges in Luxembourg said that basing an asylum decision solely on the result of a psychological evaluation broke EU law because their infringed on the human right of privacy and dignity. This news reports highlights the details of this test as well as the ruling. Available at:

New Zealand Proposes Humanitarian Visa for ‘Climate Refugees’ by Alex Randall

This article commends the New Zealand proposal for a new visa for climate refugees but affirms that the issue of climate-linked migration is both vast and complex; that it cannot be “fixed” with merely a new visa system. Available at:

“The applicant, a stateless person” – Roma, statelessness and the European Court of Human Rights by Ivan Kochovski

On 15 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), communicated the case HASANI v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Application no. 4558/17). This is the most recent case which deals with a stateless Roma applicant, portraying the crippling effects statelessness and lack of documentation has on the Roma community in the Western Balkans. This blog reflects on this case. Available at:

Digital and social media

Are you working at the intersection of humanitarian and development programming and want to facilitate the economic inclusion of refugees? This video promotes the ILO-UNHCR training course on ‘Market-based livelihoods interventions for refugees’ where it introduces how to design market-driven livelihoods programmes. Available at:

January 24, 2018: 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. 31

Recent Publications and New Research

New book: Seeberg, Marie Louise, and Elżbieta M. Goździak, eds (2016). Contested Childhoods: Growing Up in Migrancy: Migration, Governance, Identities. Springer.

This open access book explores specific migration, governance, and identity processes currently involving children and ideas of childhood. The chapters demonstrate the importance of how we understand phenomena involving children: when children are trafficked, seeking refuge, taken into custody, active in gangs or in youth organisations, and struggling with identity work. The book examines countries representing very different engagements and policies regarding migrancy and children. As a result, readers are presented with a comprehensive volume ideal for both the classroom and for policy-makers and practitioners. The chapters are written by experts in social anthropology, human geography, political science, sociology, and psychology. Available at:

Cole, G. (2018). How friends become foes: exploring the role of documents in shaping UNHCR’s behaviour. Third World Quarterly, 1-17.

This paper starts by outlining how the issuance of certain documents within the refugee regime suppresses within a ‘black box’ the supporting and competing narratives that resulted in their genesis. Second, it considers why particular announcements are capable of catalysing responses that outlive their authors’ finite intentions. By illustrating why greater attention should be paid to the ways that material objects can come to shape organisational behaviour, in this case legal texts, this article complements existing theoretical frameworks used to explain UNHCR’s conduct. This helps explain how, when and why non-legally binding declarations nonetheless came to bind UNHCR’s actions as it attempted to cancel the status of Eritrean refugees in 2002. Available to subscribers at:…/…/10.1080/01436597.2017.1416289

Sarah Koelsch (2017). A journey towards conscientisation: Motives of volunteers who support asylum seekers, refugees and detainees, The University of Notre Dame Australia.

This MA thesis examines the factors that motivate people to engage in volunteerism working with asylum seekers. Based in Perth, the project’s aim is to investigate the values, belief systems, and attitudes of Centre for Asylum seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD)’s volunteers. Fourteen volunteers, many of whom assist with student support, detention centre visits and visa application workshops, were interviewed within two focus groups. The findings suggest that volunteering within the migration sector can bring about social change and that it has the potential to enhance social and cultural diversity. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Ensuring respect for rights in the provision of refugee protection and assistance – Summary of an expert meeting held at UNHCR, Geneva by Heaven Crawley

On 13th November 2017, critical thinkers, experts and representatives from international and civil society organisations including those working with refugees in different settings around the globe met together at UNHCR for a frank and open exchange around how to ensure respect for refugee rights is central to, and promoted throughout, the Global Compact process. The discussion was both detailed and wide ranging. Although participants were not always in agreement, this document provides a summary of the key themes and recommendations made by participants to guide the Global Compact process. Available at:

Libya: IDP & returnee report by DTM Libya

This report presents the findings of Round 16 of data collection, which took place between the end of November and December 2017. It shows the number of IDPs and returnees identified across rounds from August until December. It demonstrates that the number of identified returnees had been steadily on the rise across the rounds conducted in 2017 mirrored by a gradual decrease in the number of IDPs identified in the country. Available at:

WIDER Working Paper-The integration of Vietnamese refugees in London and the UK: Fragmentation, complexity, and ‘in/visibility’ by Tamsin Barber

The Vietnamese refugee experience in the UK has been characteristically different from the broader international flows of Vietnamese ‘boat people’ to the West. With no pre-existing Vietnamese community in the UK, largely composed of the rural poor from northern Vietnam, this numerically small community has remained largely invisible in British society. London houses over half of the UK Vietnamese population and the London Vietnamese communities are notoriously heterogeneous, fragmented, and divided according to political ideology, refugee wave, social class, ethnicity, geographical location, and social origins. These factors have translated into differential access to/proximity to local ethnic and co-ethnic labour markets and services, opportunities for self-employment, ethnic and transnational networks, political representation, community organization, public service provision, and belonging. This article explores how these various layers have worked together to produce divergent outcomes for these population fragments across London. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

 Illegal migration to Spain likely rise further in 2018: EU agency By Reuters staff

This news report highlights the expectations by Europe’s border agency of a further increase in arrivals of “illegal” migrants to Spain by sea this year after numbers more than doubled in 2017, with the flows boosted by the use of fast boats. Nearly 40 percent of migrants intercepted while crossing by sea to Spain were Algerian and Moroccan nationals, according to Frontex data. Available at:

Divorced at 15: Inside the Lives of Child Brides By Alexa Keefe

For Syrian refugee families in Turkey, early marriage is seen as a pathway to security though the outcome is not always as hoped. More details are available at:

Stanford scholars develop new algorithm to help resettle refugees and improve their integration By Alex Shashkevich

A new machine learning algorithm developed by Stanford researchers could help governments and resettlement agencies find the best places for refugees to relocate, depending on their particular skills and backgrounds. More available at:

Academic refugees have much to offer countries which give them a safe haven by S. Karly Kehoe, Debora B. F. Kayembe and Shawki Al-Dubaee

In 2016, the Royal Society of ­Edinburgh’s Young Academy of ­Scotland (YAS) decided to recognise the rights of academic researchers and practitioners fleeing conflict by introducing the at-risk academic and refugee membership initiative (ARAR). Founded in 2011, YAS brings together the next generation of Scotland’s talent and its mission is to achieve transformative societal change through citizenship, ­innovation, collaboration, evidence and leadership.  You can read more about YAS’s work, and our current ARAR member recruitment round, here: more is available at:  .

Digital and social media

Democratizing data

CMS’s Democratizing Data Initiative makes demographic data on immigrants accessible to a wide range of users. Launched in 2013, the project provides estimates on the size and characteristics of the US unauthorized and naturalization-eligible populations at national, state and sub-state levels. The initiative offers this information through interactive data tools, tables, charts and ground-breaking reports. CMS data have been broadly used by scholars, researchers, government officials, and service-providers in crafting, implementing, and evaluating programs that serve noncitizens. Available at:

January 17, 2018: 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. 30

Recent Publications and New Research

New book: Heaven Crawley, Franck Duvell, Katharine Jones, Simon McMahon and Nando Sigona (2018). Unravelling Europe’s Migration Crisis: Journeys Over Land and Sea. Policy Press.

Drawing on compelling first-hand accounts from 500 people who arrived on the shores of Europe in 2015, this book unpacks their routes, experiences and decisions. It provides a framework for understanding the dynamics underpinning recent unprecedented levels of migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean, casting new light on the ‘migration crisis’ and challenging politicians, policy makers and the media to rethink their understanding of why and how people move. More information available at: , also some excerpts available at:

Caitlin Nunn, Sandra M. Gifford, Celia McMichael, and Ignacio Correa-Velez (2017). Navigating precarious terrains: reconceptualising refugee youth settlement. Refuge: Canada’s journal on refugees. 33, no. 2, 45-55.

This article draws upon the concept of social navigation to reconceptualise settlement as a continuation of a journey in which refugee settlers must continually seek new strategies to pursue viable futures. It illustrates with an in-depth case study of the settlement journey of one refugee-background young man over his first eight years in Melbourne, Australia. Available at: 

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society:  Vol. 6 No. 1 (2017)

This is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, online Open Access journal committed to supporting and advancing decolonization scholarship, practice, and activism within and, more importantly, beyond and against, the academy. Vol 6, No 1 (2017) is on the Palestinian question. While it doesn’t address migration issues directly it touches on some central themes such as decolonization, and settler colonialism. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Local Politics and the Syrian Refugee Crisis Exploring Responses in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan by Alexander Betts, Ali Ali, and Fulya Memişoğlu

This report details the findings of the authors’ research project “The Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis”. They argue that in order to explain responses to Syrian refugees, it is important to understand politics within the major host countries. This involves looking beyond the capital cities to examine variation in responses at the local level. Available at:

Addressing Forced Displacement through Development Planning and Co-operation Guidance for Donor Policy Makers and Practitioners, OECD Development Policy Tools series (Nov. 2017)

This guidance proposal provides a clear and practical introduction to the challenges faced in working in situations of forced displacement, and provides guidance to donor staff seeking to mainstream responses to forced displacement into development planning and co-operation. While recognising that donor policies and responses are constantly evolving, this guidance proposes that donors responding to these situations prioritise three broad areas of work, where they can best contribute to existing capacities at the national, regional and global levels. It also identifies twelve actions, grouped under four key principles, outlining what donors can do to reinforce the capacities of key actors to respond to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons at the national, regional and global levels, and to advance comprehensive solutions. Available at:

Internally displaced persons and international humanitarian law – Factsheet by ICRC

International Humanitarian law (IHL) contains important provisions to prevent the displacement of civilians and the suffering it causes from occurring in the first place. It also aims to ensure that, when displacement does take place, internally displaced persons are protected and provided with assistance at all stages of their displacement. Without greater respect for IHL and more vigorous efforts to protect the civilian population during armed conflict, global displacement figures will continue to grow. This factsheet answers questions such as the definition of IDPs, and how does IHL protects them. Available at:   

News Reports and Blogs

How women migrant workers defy ‘social control’ with everyday resistance by Kimaya de Silva

Women migrant workers face extreme forms of social control in Saudi Arabia. One Sri Lankan woman shares her story of everyday resistance despite serious constraints. Available at:

 The Case for Getting Rid of Borders—Completely, by Alex Tabarrok

The author makes the argument for the freedom of movement as a human right and argues that removing borders is not just moral but also economic. Available at:

The Top Refugee Issues to Watch in 2018 by Charlotte Alfred

This article compiles some major issues and milestones to look out for in 2018, and asked refugee and migration experts to weigh in on what they’re watching for this year. available at:

Digital and social media

 Seminar: Belgian refugees between ‘war’ and ‘peace’: trauma, transition and repatriation by Dr Hannah Ewence

Dr. Hannah Ewence is a modern historian specialising in comparative minority studies, and the history of race, immigration and gender in fin de siècle, twentieth century and contemporary Britain.  Her seminar is available in audio format at:

Interactive Map – Alternatives to Detention

Over the past five years, the IDC has undertaken a program of research to identify and describe a number of positive alternatives to immigration detention (‘alternatives’) that respect fundamental rights, are less expensive and are equally or more effective than traditional border controls. They have identified over 250 examples of alternatives from 60 countries, Available in an interactive format as well as a report at:

January 12, 2018: 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. 29

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Saunders, Natasha (2017), International Political Theory and the Refugee Problem. Routledge.

The book explores the questions raised about how to address ‘the refugee problem’ if we recognise that there may not be just one ‘problem’, and that not all actors involved with the refugee regime conceive of their work as addressing the same ‘problem’. It argues that the international refugee regime is best understood as developed to ‘solve’ the refugee (as) problem, rather than refugees’ problems. The book strives to reframe ‘the refugee problem’ from the perspective of the refugee, rather than the state, and investigates the extent to which doing so can open up creative space for rethinking the more traditional solutions to the refugee (as) problem. Cases of refugee protest in Europe, and the burgeoning Sanctuary Movement in the UK, are examined as two sub-state and popular movements which could constitute such creative solutions to a reframed problem. available at:

Blitz, B.K.; d’Angelo, A.; Kofman, E.; Montagna, N. Health Challenges in Refugee Reception: Dateline Europe 2016 (2017). International of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, 1484.

This article considers the physical and mental health of asylum–seekers in transit and analyses how the closure of borders has engendered health risks for populations in recognised reception centres in Sicily and in Greece. Data gathered by means of a survey administered in Greece (300) and in Sicily (400), and complemented by in-depth interviews with migrants (45) and key informants (50) including representatives of government offices, humanitarian and relief agencies, NGOs and activist organisations, are presented to offer an analysis of the reception systems in the two frontline states. A key finding is that, given such disparity, the criteria used by the UNHCR to grade health services reception do not address the substantive issue that prevent refugees from accessing health services, even when provided on site. Health provision is not as recorded in UNHCR reporting but rather there are critical gaps between provision, awareness, and access for refugees in reception systems in Sicily and in Greece. Available online:

Stojanov, R., Kelman, I., Ullah, A. K. M., Duží, B., Procházka, D., & Blahůtová, K. K. (2016). Local Expert Perceptions of Migration as a Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh. Sustainability8(12), 1223.

This paper examines local expert perceptions of migration as a climate change adaptation strategy for Bangladeshis. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with local experts in Bangladesh and Assam (India) on environmental change and migration to understand the perspectives of those with formal education and expert-related jobs who come from the areas being directly affected by Bangladeshi migration. Findings show that local experts consider that migration is used and will be used for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, but migration is not solely for climate change adaptation, instead interweaving with all other factors influencing migration-related decisions.

 FMR thematic listings

Each thematic listing included in the link below provides a selection of FMR articles (and full issues) focusing on a specific topic. You will find for each article: the title, year of publication, the author(s), some introductory sentences, and links to where you can access the full article online. Most of the articles are available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. Articles are generally available online in pdf and html formats; more recent ones are also available in audio/mp3 format. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 From Syria to Spain: Syrian Migration to Europe via the Western Mediterranean route between 2015 and 2017

This report was produced by REACH Initiative in the framework of the Mixed Migration Platform (MMP) which is a joint-NGO initiative providing quality mixed migration-related information for policy, programming and advocacy work, as well as critical information for people on the move. Though the Western Mediterranean route is now being considered as a new entry point into Europe, the evidence base for such claims remains limited. Little is known about the Syrians who migrate to Spain in particular. This report seeks to increase understanding of the routes Syrians have taken to Spain between 2015 and 2017, why they chose these routes, and why they choose Spain as their entry point to Europe. Available at:

Left behind: How the world is failing women and girls on refugee family reunion

The report analyses refugee family reunion and reunification from a women’s rights perspective, and examines the implications for women and girls of the failure amongst governments to share responsibility in refugee-hosting and to provide safe and legal routes for refugee family reunion. Co-published with the Melissa Network in Greece, it highlights how refugee women activists are playing a key role in assisting, protecting and empowering refugee women and girls, and asks what might governments in Europe, and further afield, do differently to better assist and protect women fleeing violence and persecution. Available at:

IOM Regional Migration Report – West and Central Africa: April – June 2017

The IOM has established Flow Monitoring Points (FMP) as part of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in areas of significant migratory transit in West and Central Africa, Libya and Italy. Two tools are used as part of the FMP methodology: 1) the Flow Monitoring Registry (FMR) collects data at the group level in order to provide a better understanding of intra and inter-regional migration patterns and trends; 2) the Flow Monitoring Survey (FMS) collects individual data on a sample of migrants on their journey. Both tools are implemented in various locations across the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR). The narrative and map on this page provides details on data collection activities for the period April—June 2017. The full report is available at:

News Reports and Blogs

Year in Review: The Refugee Crisis in 2017 by Charlotte Alfred

This report looks back at the most significant developments that relate to refugees in 2017. Among the highlights are the rise of populist and nativist politics in Europe and the U.S. where Politicians focused instead on closing migration routes and stepping up migrant returns. Similarly, the number of people displaced continued to rise, albeit more slowly than in earlier years of the Syrian war. The rapid exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar and ongoing mass displacement of South Sudanese exposed once again the need for more resources and new thinking in response to crises. Available at:

Must-Read Stories on Refugees From 2017, by Charlotte Alfred, Daniel Howden, Kim Bode

Another review report collects the best stories on refugees from 2017, as selected by refugee and migration experts and the readers and editors of Refugees Deeply. Available at:

Egypt: The Escape Portal by Muhammad al-Kashef

Since mid-2013, as a result of the political crisis in Egypt, asylum seekers and refugees remain subject to numerous abuses and attacks. Egypt does not operate detention facilities specifically for migrants. Rather the country’s prisons, police stations and military camps have been used to detain migrants and refugees. This report reflects on the condition of the arbitrary detention of refugees in Egyptian prisons. Available at:

Rising in the Middle East: Forced Labor from Africa By Laura Secorun Palet

This piece highlights the widespread new pattern of labor exploitation of thousands of African migrant workers in the Persian Gulf States. A recent report by a Ugandan parliamentary committee revealed that, in 2017, at least 35 Ugandans killed themselves in the United Arab Emirates, mostly as a result of unpaid wages and abuse. Available at:

Digital and social media

Media-Friendly Glossary on Migration: Middle East Edition

This glossary serves as a guideline for journalists and other actors writing about migration across the Middle East. Globally the migration debate has become increasingly negative. Our words matter more than ever. Use this glossary to make sure that your words are not discriminatory or inflammatory, that your reporting is accurate, and that you are considering the full range of diverse issues inherent in the migration debate. Noting that terminology is dynamic, particularly within the highly politicised topic of migration, this glossary is seen as ‘living’, and will be periodically updated. Available at:–en/index.htm

The Good Postman (documentary)

In a Bulgarian border village, the postman runs for mayor with a plan to combat depopulation by offering homes to Syrian refugees. The movie screened during the International documentary film festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2017. Watch the trailer here:

Webinar: A Catholic Response to Exclusionary Nationalism

On December 12, 2017, the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) hosted a webinar devoted to a discussion of Catholic teaching on migrants, refugees, and newcomers. Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, discussed the Biblical touchstones of Catholic teaching on migrant and refugees, key principals that guide the Church’s analysis of this timeless issue, recent developments in US immigration policy and refugee protection, and how the Catholic community views and can respond to them. The presentation drew on CMS’s scholarship and research. Watch the full webinar here:

December 6 2017: 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. 28

Recent Publications and New Research

Abrego, Leisy J., et al. “Making Immigrants into Criminals: Legal Processes of Criminalization in the Post-IIRIRA Era.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5.4 (2017).

This article critically reviews the literature on immigrant criminalization and trace the specific laws that first linked and then solidified the association between undocumented immigrants and criminality in the US. It draws on quantitative and qualitative research to underscore ways immigrants experience criminalization in their family, school, and work lives. The first half of the analysis is focused on immigrant criminalization from the late 1980s through the Obama administration, with an emphasis on immigration enforcement practices first engineered in the 1990s. The second section explores the social impacts of immigrant criminalization, as people’s experiences bring the consequences of immigrant criminalization most clearly into focus. Available at:

 Betts, Alexander, Naohiko Omata, and Louise Bloom. “Thrive or Survive? Explaining Variation in Economic Outcomes for Refugees.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5.4 (2017).

This paper asks three questions about the economic lives of refugees: 1) what makes the economic lives of refugees distinctive from other populations; 2) what explains variation in refugees’ income levels; and 3) what role does entrepreneurship play in shaping refugees’ economic outcomes? In order to answer these questions, the paper draws upon extensive qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Uganda by the Humanitarian Innovation Project at Oxford University. The quantitative data set is based on a survey of 2,213 refugees in three types of contexts: urban (Kampala), protracted camps (Nakivale and Kyangwali settlements), and emergency camps (Rwamwanja). It supplements this with qualitative research from other parts of Africa and the Middle East. Available at:

Martin, Susan F. “Environmental Change and Human Mobility: Trends, Law and Policy.” Comparative Population Studies 42 (2017)

This article identifies practical solutions, many of which are currently under consideration by governments and international organizations, to improve the lives of millions of people affected by environmental crises. It begins with a brief overview of why people move, the nature of those movements, and the relationship between human mobility and adaptation to environmental change by highlighting three types of mobility – migration, displacement and planned relocation. Next, the international and regional level will be discussed, with particular focus on legislative and policy frameworks for addressing human mobility in the context of environmental change. The article concludes that efforts to improve responses require a better evidence base than currently exists on issues such as the environmental determinants of migration, displacement and planned relocation; the multi-faceted ways in which environmental factors relate to the many other causes of population movements in the cases of human mobility; and the impact of such movements on the well-being of migrants, communities of origin, and communities of destination. Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

IOM 2018 World Migration Report  

The ninth world migration report presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. The two parts are intended to provide both overview information that helps to explain migration patterns and processes globally and regionally, and insights and recommendations on major issues that policymakers are or soon will be grappling with. Available at:

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity: Key Results from the 2016 Census, Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada released results from the 2016 Census which provide a new national statistical portrait of immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada. The full report can be found at:  but here are some highlights:

  • On Census Day, 21.9% of the population reported they were or had ever been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada.
  • In 2016, Canada had 1,212,075 new immigrants who had permanently settled in Canada from 2011 to 2016. These recent immigrants represented 3.5% of Canada’s total population in 2016.
  • The majority (60.3%) of these new immigrants were admitted under the economic category, 26.8% were admitted under the family class to join family already in the country, and 11.6% were admitted to Canada as refugees.
  • In 2016, the majority (61.8%) of newcomers were born in Asia.
  • Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal are still the place of residence of over half of all immigrants and recent immigrants to Canada. More immigrants are settling in the Prairies and in the Atlantic provinces.

OCHA: Agenda for Humanity – 2017 Synthesis report, No Time to Retreat 

The new agenda for humanity resulting from the World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, May 2016) consists of 5 Core Responsibilities and 24 transformations that are needed to achieve progress to address and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability. Those 5 responsibilities include: (1) prevent and end conflict; (2) respect rules of war; (3) leave no one behind (which addresses displacement and statelessness); (4) work differently to end need; (5) invest in humanity. More details available at:

News reports and blogs 

Travel Ban: What is Trump’s major immigration policy, and why is it called a ‘Muslim ban’? All you need to know by Clark Mindock

President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban is set to go forward after the Supreme Court ruled this week in favour of the beleaguered measure… the ban targets travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. It restricts admission into the US from those countries unless the individual travelling can prove they have a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States. The bans have all included restrictive language on refugee admission as well, and have resulted in significant cuts to those programmes this year. Available at:

Expert Views: What Would Refocus Attention on Internal Displacement? By Written by Kim Bode, Charlotte Alfred

The number of people displaced inside their own countries is nearly double the global refugee population, yet this has slipped off international agendas. Refugees Deeply asked several experts what’s needed to refocus global attention on internally displaced people. Available at: 

Libyan slavery: Don’t be fooled by the ‘shock’, we’ve known about this for a while now by Sophia Akram

A recent undercover investigation by CNN revealed that black African migrants were being sold into slavery in Libya. Since the report broke, news on it has gone viral and world leaders have expressed outrage. The article argues the news wasn’t really a shock. More details available at:

Digital and social media

RLP video advocacy documentaries

Refugee Law Project, through its Media for Social Change Programme uses audio-visual medium as a tool to show the work being done at RLP as well as highlight the plight of forced migrants in Uganda. A selection of documentaries of the initiative are available at:

The Climate and migration coalition resources

The Climate and Migration Coalition is an alliance of refugee, human rights, development and environmental organisations. It offers many resources including short videos on documentaries on how climate change affects migration and internal displacement all over the world. Available at:

November 29 2017: 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. 27

Recent Publications and New Research

Allen, William L., and Bastian A. Vollmer. “Clean skins: Making the e-Border security assemblage.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2017): 0263775817722565.

This article analyses the notion of e-Borders in the UK context. It draws upon interviews with former and currently serving senior staff from the UK Home Office, UK Border Force, intelligence services, and private sector suppliers. Practitioners’ reflections reveal how political, social, and human factors—including intuition and management cultures—both construct the e-Border assemblage and introduce discontinuities and frictions within it. Using a more tightly specified theory of assemblage, we highlight how human agents contribute to datafied phenomena like border control. Available at:

Anderson, Bridget. “Towards a new politics of migration?” Ethnic and Racial Studies 40.9 (2017): 1527-1537.

This paper reconsiders Stephen Castle’s classic paper Why Migration Policies Fail. Beginning with the so-called migration crisis of 2015, it considers the role of numbers in assessing success or failure. It argues that the UK public debates about immigration changed with European Union (EU) Enlargement in 2004, when the emphasis shifted from concerns about asylum to concerns about EU mobility. Concerns were exacerbated by the government’s failure to meet its promise to reduce net migration. It suggests that a new politics of migration must make connections between migrants and citizens, but also between migration and other global processes, particularly outsourcing and the exploitation of labour and resources in the global south. Available:

Moreno-Lax, Violeta, and Efthymios Papastavridis. “Boat Refugees’ and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach: Integrating Maritime Security with Human Rights.” (2017).

This book aims to address ‘boat migration’ with a holistic approach. The different chapters consider the multiple facets of the phenomenon and the complex challenges they pose, bringing together knowledge from several disciplines and regions of the world within a single collection. Together, they provide an integrated picture of transnational movements of people by sea with a view to making a decisive contribution to our understanding of current trends and future perspectives and their treatment from legal-doctrinal, legal-theoretical, and non-legal angles. The final goal is to unpack the tension that exists between security concerns and individual rights. Excerpts from the book available on google book. More information available at:  

Middle East Law and Governance Volume 9, Issue 3

MELG is a peer-reviewed venue for scholarly analysis on issues of governance and social change in the Middle East and North Africa region. Filling a gap in the academic literature, MELG tackles with breadth and depth compelling governance issues generally, and in the Middle East specifically. This recent special issue of MELG focuses on the political and institutional impacts of Syria’s displacement crisis. This is not an open access source but more information available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Mapping Refugee Skills and Employability: Data analysis from the talent Catalogue, by Talent Beyond Boundaries

Talent Beyond Boundaries’ (TBB) is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization. With this analysis, TBB aims to demonstrate the breadth and depth of talent among refugees in first countries of asylum, that could otherwise be deployed to meet skills gaps in, and contribute to the economies of third countries. The data used in this report was collected between July 12, 2017 and August 15, 2017. As of August 15, 2017, a total of 9,685 profiles have been created in the Talent Catalog. While outreach was limited to Lebanon and Jordan, some participants are currently located in other countries. Available at:

Climate change, migration and displacement: The need for a risk-informed and coherent approach

This recently launched joint UNDP-ODI report unwinds the complex relationship between human mobility and climate change. With a view to inform the global discourse surrounding these matters, the report provides evidence based insight on the presented challenges and how they can be adequately and appropriately addressed in international and national policies. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

EU fails to identify and protect gay, lesbian, and transgender asylum seekers by Nidzara Ahmetasevic

Under EU law, people who have been persecuted or face persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation and gender identity qualify for refugee status and potentially asylum. But a weeks-long IRIN investigation has found that EU governments are often failing to even identify gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers, much less afford them special protections that, as a vulnerable group, many desperately need. Available at:

Seven things you need to know about the Manus crisis, Compiled by Zebedee Parkes, a Socialist Alliance member and activist with the Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney

1)Refugees are staying inside Manus Island detention centre to make a political statement; 2) Australia is denying the men water, food and electricity; 3) Australia has also withdrawn medical support to the men in the detention centre and the support available to people living in the three alternative areas is inadequate; 4) The men fear attacks by locals if they move to any of the alternative accommodation sites. Already, a number of them have been viciously attacked by locals wielding machetes. 5) Alternative accommodation is not even ready. One of the sites, West Haus, is reported to not have water and electricity; 6) Australia has rejected New Zealand’s offer to take 150 people, saying it wants to see out the US deal first. Only a few dozen people have gone to the US under the refugee swap. Both offers are not enough. Even if the deal is completed, this would still leave a number of the refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru behind. 7) It’s not about the boats. The boats have only stopped in so far as they have been turned back at sea to danger – the Manus Island detention centre has not acted as a deterrent. Available at:

Refugees, Mental Health and the Work Place, By Yusrah Nagujja, Anthony Ochora & Jaclyn Kerr

With over 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide and 260 million suffering with anxiety disorders (WHO, 2017), it is estimated that these disorders result in approximately US$1 trillion in lost productivity within the global economy (WHO, 2017). Secondary trauma occurs when a service provider relates to someone who has undergone a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events to the extent that they begin to experience similar psychological and somatic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further discussion, studies and recommendations on Secondary trauma affecting Employees who are not involved in direct service provision with refugees are discussed at:,-mental-health-and-the-work-place

Digital and social media

Podcast: when people move. Understanding how climate change creates the movement of people

Over the last two years Climate Migration have collected testimonies from people who have moved as a result of climate-linked disasters. By exploring these stories, we can begin to answer questions about how climate change is creating new patterns of migration and displacement. We can also begin to ask how life on a hotter planet might mean living with new kinds of disasters, and coping with the displacement they create. Available at:

Tarjimly (Translate for me)

Tarjimly is a Messenger bot that connects volunteer’s translators to refugees and immigrants in need of translation services. They’re connected instantly and anonymously, anywhere in the world and at any time. Tarjimly’s mission is to put a translator in the pocket of every person in need. Their Facebook page is: and website: