Category Archives: Blogs

November 26, 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. 98

Recent Publications and New Research

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (Ed.) (2020). Refuge in a Moving World: Tracing refugee and migrant journeys across disciplines, UCL Press. This volume draws together more than thirty contributions from multiple disciplines and fields of research and practice to discuss different ways of engaging with, and responding to, migration and displacement. Through interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies–including participatory research, poetic and spatial interventions, ethnography, theatre, discourse analysis and visual methods–the volume documents the complexities of refugees’ and migrants’ journeys. This includes a particular focus on how people inhabit and negotiate everyday life in cities, towns, camps, and informal settlements across the Middle East and North Africa, Southern and Eastern Africa, and Europe. Read more and Download free.

The new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the UN Global Compact on Refugees (September 2020), the ASILE Forum. The ASILE project studies the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees (UN GCR), with particular focus on the European Union’s role. The first ASILE Forum assesses the European Commission’s Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the UN Global Compact on Refugees and EU law. It examines the implications of the Pact’s dualistic understanding of individuals from the perspective of refugee protection, human rights and rule of law. The Forum is composed by a Kick-off Policy Insight by Sergio Carrera, which is followed by written contributions by a group of European and international scholars. Access the forum.

Ghoshal, A. (2020). Refugees, Borders and Identities: Rights and Habitat in East and Northeast India. Taylor & Francis. Drawing on extensive research and in-depth fieldwork, this book discusses themes of displacement, rehabilitation, discrimination and politicisation of refugees that preceded and followed the Partition of India in 1947. It portrays the crises experienced by refugees in recreating the socio-cultural milieu of the lost motherland and the consequent loss of their linguistic, cultural, economic and ethnic identities. The author also studies how the presence of the refugees shaped the conduct of politics in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura in the decades following Partition. Read more.

Abdelaaty, L. (2020). Rivalry, Ethnicity, and Asylum Admissions Worldwide. International Interactions. Why do countries welcome some refugees and treat others poorly? Existing explanations suggest that the assistance refugees receive is a reflection of countries’ wealth or compassion. However, statistical analysis of a global dataset on asylum admissions shows that states’ approaches to refugees are shaped by foreign policy and ethnic politics. States admit refugees from adversaries in order to weaken those regimes, but they are reluctant to accept refugees from friendly states. At the same time, policymakers favor refugee groups who share their ethnic identity. Aside from addressing a puzzling real-world phenomenon, this article adds insights to the literature on the politics of migration and asylum. Read more.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Technological Testing Grounds: Migration Management Experiments and Reflections from the Ground Up (November, 2020) Petra Molnar, Refugee Law Laboratory and EDRi (European Digital Rights. This report offers the beginning of a systemic analysis of migration management technologies, foregrounding the experiences of people on the move who are interacting with and thinking about surveillance, biometrics, and automated decision-making during the course of their migration journeys. The reflections highlight the need to recognise how uses of migration management technology perpetuate harms, exacerbate systemic discrimination and render certain communities as technological testing grounds. Read the full report.

Brief: Caught in the Crossfire: Averting Further Humanitarian Disaster in Ethiopia (November 23, 2020) Refugees International. In early November, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia sent the national army into the northern region of Tigray in response to a reported attack on an Ethiopian military base by Tigrayan authorities. The outbreak of hostilities marked the culmination of months of mounting tensions and deteriorating relations between Abiy’s government and Tigrayan leaders. This brief explores the humanitarian and regional dimensions of the conflict and proposes a way forward to de-escalate the situation and accelerate humanitarian aid delivery. Read here.

Report: Populations at risk: Implications of COVID-19 for hunger, migration and displacement. (November 2020) IOM. This joint study by the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration explores the impacts of COVID-19 and related containment measures on migrant workers, remittance dependent households and the forcibly displaced. It assesses the implications of the pandemic for people’s mobility, food security and other livelihood outcomes in major migration and hunger hotspots around the world. Read here.

Chew, V., Phillips, M. & Yamada Park, M. (eds) (2020). COVID-19 Impacts on Immigration Detention: Global Responses, International Detention Coalition and HADRI/Western Sydney University. The Australian Government has held firm to a position of mandatory immigration detention for many years despite regular attempts by civil society and the public to soften this hardline approach. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has now also failed to alter the government’s resolve to utilise indefinite detention despite clear and obvious risks to the health of detainees throughout the pandemic. This paper provides a summary of State and civil society activity in response to COVID-19 with specific reference to immigration detention in Australia. It does not have scope to explore offshore detention arrangements as these policies have remained unchanged and include jurisdiction of other governments. Read full report here.

A Restriction of Responsibility-Sharing: Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the Global Compact on Refugees (2020) Danish Refugee Council (DRC). This report examines the current and potential use of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) to address COVID-19 and its impacts, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the GCR itself. It provides analysis of and reflections on the effects of the pandemic and concomitant challenges on different aspects of the GCR, ranging from shrinking asylum space and restricted responsibility-sharing to how the Compact features in public advocacy surrounding pandemic responses. Questions explored in the report include: How is the GCR used to address COVID-19 and its impacts? What is the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of the GCR in terms of refugee protection? What might these impacts mean for the GCR’s short- and longer-term viability? It then offers key take-aways and recommendations aimed at a variety of actors. Read more (open access).

News reports and blog posts

Why Québec’s refugee sponsorship suspension is so misguided by Adèle Garnier and Shauna Labman (November 22, 2020) The Conversation. For more than 40 years, Canada has been at the forefront of private refugee sponsorship. But in October 2020, the Québec government announced a partial suspension of refugee sponsorships in the province. Until Nov. 1, 2021, sponsorship organizations are not permitted to sponsor refugees to Québec. Read more.

Rebalancing and improving refugee resettlement in Canada by Ervis Martani (November 2, 2020) Policy Options. The Canadian private sponsorship program is the oldest in the world and has offered protection to more than 350,000 refugees. But it is dependent upon the goodwill and resources of those sponsors. Concerns about the program have been raised as the incidence of sponsorship breakdown has grown, with sponsors unable or unwilling to provide the promised support until the end of the sponsorship period. The Quebec government moved last week to suspend private sponsorship by organizations for a year after receiving serious allegations about the program, though it didn’t provide details. Read the full article

In storm-hit Honduras, a climate crisis drives needs and fuels migration by Jared Olson. (November 18, 2020) The New Humanitarian. As Honduras endures its second major hurricane in as many weeks, international aid agencies and local volunteer groups are scrambling the best responses they can to assist people displaced by flooding and landslides. Read more.

First Central African refugees return from DRC since COVID-19 outbreak (November 16, 2020) UNHCR. This is a report of the first voluntary repatriation of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the Central African Republic (CAR) since the start of COVID-19 pandemic. About 475 refugees from the Mole camp in DRC were transferred by truck, bus and then boat to Bangui, capital of the CAR. Voluntary returns of refugees from DRC back to the CAR started in November 2019 but were suspended four months later when the borders closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more.

Digital and social media

Video: Solutions for dealing with refugees, Professor Khalid Koser interviewed by Dr. Melissa Siegel (March 15, 2020). This interview is a discussion on durable refugee solutions; what they are and how they manifest in practice. Watch here.

November 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. 97

 

Register here

Recent Publications and New Research

Bradley, M. (2020). The International Organization for Migration: Challenges, Commitments, Complexities. Routledge. This book provides an accessible, incisive introduction to IOM, focusing on its humanitarian activities and responses to forced migration—work that now makes up the majority of the organization’s budget, staff, and field presence. IOM’s humanitarian work is often overlooked or dismissed as a veil for its involvement in other activities that serve states’ interests in restricting migration. In contrast, this book argues that understanding IOM’s involvement in humanitarian action and its work with displaced persons is pivotal to understanding the organization’s evolution and contemporary significance. Examining the tensions and controversies surrounding the agency’s activities, including in the complex cases of Haiti and Libya, the book considers how IOM’s structure, culture, and internal and external power struggles have shaped its behaviour. It demonstrates how IOM has grown by acting as an entrepreneur, cultivating autonomy and influence well beyond its limited formal mandate. Learn more (20% Discount Available – enter the code FLR40 at checkout).

Dennler, K. (2020). Challenging Un-Belonging and Undesirability. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 19(2), 501-518. This article uses qualitative research to examine how people with precarious immigration status exercise agency in the context of deportability, restrictions to their rights, and discourses that construct them as un-belonging and undesirable members of Canadian society. It also examines the extent to which agency transforms people’s everyday realities. The research identifies two ways that research participants exert autonomy over their lives: persistent presence and critiquing their construction as un-belonging and undesirable. While acts of autonomy made it easier for participants to sustain themselves, the research shows that participants internalized discourses hostile to people with precarious immigration status. This suggests that agency is necessary, but also limited in its capacity to mitigate the harm caused by enactments of immigration control. (Open access) Read here.

Khadka, R. K. (2020). The labour market negotiation of Bhutanese in the Canadian labour market, [Doctoral dissertation]. University of British Columbia. The Bhutanese refugees came to British Columbia from Nepal, between 2009 and 2015, and they experienced challenges in finding jobs. This study examined their employment experience in Canada. The findings show that they lacked language, job-search skills and work skills relevant to the labour market in Canada. They also experienced discrimination based on race, class and gender. A majority of Bhutanese refugees found jobs in meat packaging companies as cleaning staff, but they were temporary low paying jobs that were physically demanding. This study recommends policies and programs that could help Bhutanese refugee succeed in Canada. (Open access) Read more.

Forced Migration Review issue 65: Recognising refugee, November 2020. This issue includes two features. The main feature on Recognising refugees explores some of the shortcomings in refugee status determination systems worldwide, as well as the challenges faced by different actors and the consequences for asylum seekers and refugees. Authors also explore new developments and approaches. The second feature offers reflections on lessons and good practice emerging from the 2018–20 GP20 Plan of Action for IDPs. (Open Access) Read here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Improving the US Immigration System in the first year of the Biden Administration by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Donald Kerwin, November 2020. This report co-published by the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility and the Center for Migration Studies New York highlights nearly 40 immigration reforms that should be prioritized by the Biden administration. The authors argue that Successful immigration policy reform will depend upon the quality and coordination of the top personnel in a number of federal agencies as well as effective leadership by the White House. Read here.

The Effect of Covid-19 On the Economic Inclusion of Venezuelans in Colombia by Jimmy Graham and Martha Guerrero Ble, Refugees International, October 2020. Colombia is the largest destination country for displaced Venezuelans, hosting almost 1.8 million as of May 2020. The Government of Colombia has maintained an open and constructive response, issuing residency and work permits and providing humanitarian relief. Yet Venezuelans in Colombia still face many obstacles to economic inclusion. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges, increasing Venezuelan unemployment and worsening their situation. This policy paper, part of the “Let Them Work” initiative, outlines the impact of COVID-19 on Colombians and Venezuelans alike, exploring the barriers both face to accessing the labor market. It then identifies practical ways in which the Government of Colombia, donors, international organizations, and NGOs, can overcome these barriers. Read more.

Human Mobility, Shared Opportunities: A Review of the 2009 Human Development Report and the Way Ahead, UNDP report, October 21, 2020. This UNDP publication recommends actions for policymakers to enhance the benefits and reduce the costs of human mobility to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The report finds that the reforms advanced by UNDP are as relevant as ever. Making migration work for sustainable development requires us to expand legal pathways, guarantee migrants’ rights and access to services, reduce transaction costs, foster integration and social cohesion, and mobilize diasporas, among others. Increased policy coherence and cooperation, in the context of the two Global Compacts – on Refugees and for Migration – and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are key to realize the potential development gains of human mobility. Read more.

Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Families through Home Visiting: Innovative State and Local Approaches by Caitlin Katsiaficas, Migration Policy Institute, October 2020. For immigrant and refugee families, home visiting can offer integration-related supports by helping parents navigate unfamiliar early childhood, health, and social service systems. But even though they make up an important segment of the at-risk populations these programs aim to serve, immigrant and refugee families are less frequently enrolled in home visiting programs than families in which the parents are U.S. born. This brief highlights strategies adopted by some states and counties to address this gap. To do so, it explores four case studies. Read more.

News Reports and Blog Posts

 Voices in limbo: The plight of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong in times of Covid-19 by Ka Wang Kelvin Lam, RLI blog, November 10, 2020. In the context of the current global pandemic, many residents of Hong Kong still recall the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, which caused more than a thousand infections and hundreds of deaths in the small city with a population of 7.5 million. With the lesson of SARS, Hong Kong people knew that they could not afford to drop their guard: the border soon closed, the city was placed on lockdown, people masked up and maintained social distancing. The author interviewed a number of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in the city to understand from their perspective how their lives were affected by the pandemic. Read more.

The humanitarian fallout of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by Andrew Connelly, The New Humanitarian, November 5, 2020. Battle for control of Nagorno-Karabakh has frequently plunged the South Caucasus into turmoil, but the latest hostilities are threatening to cause a regional humanitarian crisis, with tens of thousands of civilians displaced amid growing COVID-19 outbreaks and at the onset of winter. Read more.

New MP Ibrahim Omer’s election highlights the challenges refugees from Africa face in New Zealand by Samuel Judah Seomeng and Caroline Bennett, The Conversation, October 27, 2020. The election of Labour candidate Ibrahim Omer on October 17 makes him New Zealand’s first African MP and one of only two former refugees to sit in the New Zealand parliament. Read more.

Digital and Social Media

RRN webinar recording: Social Media Tools for Mobilizing Refugee Research. The Refugee Research Network hosted its inaugural webinar in October. A lot of the work of the RRN focuses on the value of using social media as a tool to disseminate knowledge about refugee and forced migration issues. The guest speakers, Michele Millard and William Payne argued that it is imperative that academics incorporate social media as part of their dissemination program and activities to have impact beyond specialized audiences. Watch recording, download the presentation or access webinar transcript.

Social Media Tools for Mobilizing Refugee Research

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The Refugee Research Network (RRN) recognizes the importance of using social media as a tool to disseminate knowledge about refugee and forced migration issues. 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.

Speakers:

William Payne, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, York University
Michele Millard, Coordinator, Centre for Refugee Studies

William Payne is a doctoral candidate in critical human geography at York University, a graduate research associate at the Centre for Refugee Studies and teaches in the geography department at York University and in the Community Worker Program at George Brown College. Payne’s research examines human rights violations against sexual/gender minorities in Latin American contexts. He has worked as a human rights advocate in Mexico, Colombia, Canada, and Palestine.

Michele Millard, is the coordinator of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, and the former Project Coordinator of the Refugee Research Network where she managed the online networking, knowledge mobilization, and dissemination activities of the project. Millard has volunteered for organizations providing settlement, protection, and advocacy services to refugees and refugee claimants for a number of years. She is currently active as a volunteer in the Canadian Sanctuary Network.

 

 

 

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 rubble.ca: 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
Press.
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.