Category Archives: Research Digest

May 30 2024: 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

Dear RRN Colleagues and Friends, 

As we conclude the 2023-2024 academic year, we will take a summer break and plan to return in September 2024. 

Thank you to our readers for your continued interest and support, and to our contributors for sharing your innovative refugee research with us! 

We look forward to continuing our knowledge mobilization efforts in the upcoming academic year and wish you a productive summer semester. 


The RRN Team


Bender, F. (2024). Border Abolitionism: Migrants’ Containment and the Genealogies of Struggles and Rescue by Martina Tazzioli. Journal of Refugee Studies. This book draws on earlier literature on abolitionism and brings it into conversation with the literature in migration studies. Doing so leads to a fruitful and surprising genesis of arguments. The author argues that border abolitionism is not about the abolition of borders, and should not be understood as the call for abolishing borders altogether, as is often associated with the ‘no border’ movement. Instead, in line with the ‘open borders’ literature, the book argues for a productive disintegration of border practices and institutions. It is not the administrative line that divides two territories that matters in the treatment of migrants (and their classification as such), but the practices and institutions that yield power, incarcerate, degrade, and kill.

Cascone, M., & Bonini, T. (2024). ‘Disconnecting from my smartphone is a privilege I do not have’: Mobile connection and disconnection practices among migrants and asylum seekers in three migrant reception centres of Sicily. New Media & Society. This article investigates online connection and disconnection practices among migrants and asylum seekers. It draws from an ethnography of three Sicilian reception centres that hosted migrants and asylum seekers between September and November 2020. The research shows that they cannot afford to practise typically Western, urban and elitist forms of disconnection; however, they, too, can practise specific forms of disconnection, paradoxically afforded by staying connected. The article aims to contextualize and situate disconnection studies within different social, political, cultural and geographic contexts.

Sallam, H. H. (2024). Holding the door slightly open: Germany’s migrants’ return intentions and realizations. International Migration, 62(3), 73-99. Return migration intentions are complex and are not necessarily followed by future return migration. This study compares successful return or repeated migration with self-declared return intentions. Moreover, return migration estimates are examined over this long-observed return window. This empirical analysis explores (1) whether return intentions eventually materialize, (2) whether they can eventually predict actual return behaviours and (3) whether the determinants of actual and predicted return based on intentions are similar. Overall, the results support the idea that migration intentions can predict actual return behaviour. While the underlying results show discrepancies in the predictors of return intentions and those of actual returns, they show emigration intentions as significant predictors of actual future emigration. Moreover, the findings suggest that life satisfaction significantly correlates with the individual intention to remigrate. Both effects are highly significant.

Sprenger, E. (2024). What makes us move, what makes us stay: The role of language and culture in Intra-EU mobility. Journal of International Migration and Integration. This article analyses the determinants of international migration flows within the European Union and focuses on the role of cultural and linguistic differences in explaining the size of these flows. For that purpose, a set of indicators of cultural distance, economic, demographic, geographical, political and network variables are controlled for using data from 28 member states of the EU over the period 1998–2018. Economic factors play an important role in examining migration flows, but economic differentials alone may be insufficient to explain the uneven real-life migration pattern in the EU. The results suggest strong evidence of the importance of linguistic distance in explaining the direction of migration flows across the EU.

Zhuang, Z. C. (2024). Suburban migration: Interrogating the intersections of Global Migration and suburban transformation. IMISCOE Research Series, 227–240. Suburbanization as a global phenomenon has presented multifaceted patterns of evolution and transformation in various contexts. Migrant settlements in suburban spaces add more complexities to suburbia by bringing diverse demographics, (inter)cultural practices, new built forms, and new meanings of space and community. This chapter draws on the migration-related suburbanization processes in different contexts and applies the theory of the production of space to cast light upon the narratives of everyday suburban life, diversity management, growth and development, policy and governance, and socio-spatial (in)equity and (in)justice.


Independent review of the humanitarian response to internal displacement. (2024). IASC. Internal displacement has risen dramatically since the United Nations (UN) first began to draw attention to this issue in 1992, when there were an estimated 24 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Today, there are more than three times that number, with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reporting 71 million IDPs at the end of 2022 and millions more in 2023 due to several escalating conflicts and many large-scale disasters. Far from slowing, this trend is accelerating at an alarming rate, driven not only by conflict, generalized violence and sudden-onset disasters but also increasingly by water scarcity, drought and food insecurity due to climate change. Indeed, it is estimated that climate change could lead to over 200 million people moving within their borders by 2050. The forecast, therefore, suggests internal displacement on an ever-more worrying scale.

Report on the third global consultation on the health of refugees and migrants, Rabat, Morocco, 13-15 June 2023. (2024). World Health Organization. The Third Global Consultation on the Health of Refugees and Migrants in Rabat, Morocco, on 13–15 June 2023 led to the adoption of the Rabat Declaration. The purpose was to strengthen high-level political commitment to improve, protect and preserve the health and wellbeing of refugees, migrants and host communities. This report captures the summary of key points from this event, including the need for political commitment, and consideration of equity, inclusion, mainstreaming and accountability. Emphasis was placed on meaningful refugee and migrant participation, effective and equitable access to health care, tackling the social determinants of health and adopting data- and research-driven approaches.

Supporting Self-Sufficiency: Considerations for Refugees’ Transition out of Sponsorship and Complementary Pathways Programs. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. A growing number of countries are experimenting with and building humanitarian protection pathways that involve volunteers from receiving communities in supporting the welcome, settlement, and integration of refugees. These programs, which include different types of sponsorship, and labour and education complementary pathways, vary considerably in their design. A common challenge, often receiving insufficient attention, is how refugees  transition from these programs to independently navigating life in their new community and country. This MPI Europe issue brief identifies lessons learned about how program organizers and volunteers can best support refugees’ transition out of sponsorship and complementary pathways programs and toward longer-term integration. It highlights common obstacles to a smooth transition and promising practices, with examples from European, Canadian, and other programs.

Understanding the economics of human smuggling in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia. (2024). Mixed Migration Centre. This report explores the financial dimension of human smuggling across Southeast Asia, drawing insights from extensive 4Mi surveys conducted between December 2022 and August 2023. Focusing on the experiences of refugees and migrants from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Somalia, and Myanmar who engaged smugglers during their journeys, the report sheds light on how refugees and migrants finance their smuggling journey.

World Migration Report 2024. (2024). IOM UN Migration. The World Migration Report 2024, the twelfth in the world migration report series, has been produced to contribute to an increased understanding of migration worldwide. This new edition presents key data and information on migration and thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues. In most discussions on migration, the starting point is usually numbers. Understanding changes in scale, emerging trends, and shifting demographics related to global social and economic transformations, such as migration, help us make sense of our changing world and plan for the future. The current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 percent of the global population.


As countries toughen anti-gay laws, ‘rainbow refugees’ seek asylum in Europe, May 16, 2024. France 24. Since Nigeria criminalizes same-sex relationships, Anthony fled a possible prison term and headed with her partner to Libya in 2014 and then Italy, where they both won asylum. Their claim? That they had a well-founded fear of anti-LGBTQ+ persecution back home. While many of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrive in Italy from Africa and the Mideast are escaping war, conflict and poverty, advocates say an increasing number are fleeing possible prison terms and death sentences in their home countries because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And despite huge obstacles to win asylum on LGBTQ+ grounds, Anthony and her partner, Doris Ezuruike Chinonso, are proof that it can be done, even if the challenges remain significant for so-called “rainbow refugees” like them.

Brazil floods drive thousands from their homes by Felipe Souza, Fernando Otto, Ligia Guimarães & Luiz Antônio Araujo, May 11, 2024. BBC News. The flood has plunged much of the state capital, Porto Alegre into darkness, and damaged power and water treatment plants leaving most residents without drinking water. About 70,000 people are living in temporary shelters. Roselaine da Silva is one of them. She is staying in an evangelical church with her three children, one of whom has autism. Their two dogs are with them, but she says she has had to leave her two cats behind in her flooded Sarandi neighbourhood.

China Forcibly Returns 60 Refugees to North Korea by Lina Yoon, May 8, 2024. Human Rights Watch. The Chinese government forcibly returned about 60 North Korean refugees on April 26, putting them at grave risk of enforced disappearance, torture, sexual violence, wrongful imprisonment, forced labour, and execution. This round of forced returns came soon after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with China’s third-highest official, Zhao Leji, on April 13, seeking stronger bilateral ties. The meeting had raised concerns among North Koreans in exile and rights activists that China might speed up forced repatriations of North Koreans.

Detaining migrants in prisons violates human rights and risks abuses by Jessica Evans and Linda Mussell, April 25, 2024. The Conversation. The Canadian government recently proposed earmarking $325 million in the 2024 federal budget to upgrade federal immigration detention centres to hold more people. The budget also proposes to amend the law to allow federal prisons to be used to detain “high-risk” immigrants. The government’s decision comes after all Canadian provinces committed to ending their agreements with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to detain migrants in provincial jails. In 2022, British Columbia became the first province to announce it would end its agreement with CBSA, stating the practice conflicts with provincial, national and international human rights commitments.

Italy bans NGO planes from using airports close to migrant routes, May 8, 2024. Reuters. Italy said on Tuesday that planes used by charities to track migrant boats in difficulty would no longer be able to fly from airports on the islands of Sicily, Pantelleria and Lampedusa, which are close to the shipping routes. The decision, announced by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), will make it much harder for non-governmental groups like Sea Watch to use its small planes to scour the central Mediterranean for boats in need of rescue.

Protecting Syrian Refugees in Lebanon by Ammar Musarea, May 8, 2024. Fika Forum. Given the breakdown of the Lebanese state, Arab countries’ normalization with Assad, and the fragmentation of the Syrian opposition, it seems that the United States can step in to play a pivotal role in protecting Syrian refugees facing persecution. Immediately after the April announcement of the assassination of Pascal Sleiman—the Lebanese Forces coordinator—a wave of threats towards Lebanon’s Syrian refugee population swept through the country’s Christian communities. Moreover, there have been instances of Syrian refugees being beaten, evicted from homes and businesses, and even being kidnapped, as happened when unknown individuals intercepted a taxi carrying two Syrians on a road in North Bekaa and kidnapped them to an unknown location.

Starvation and Suicide: Refugees in Kenya Camps, May 6, 2024. Relief Web. The extreme cuts to food rations in Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya have led to deadly protests, suicides, and an inhumane situation for refugees seeking safety and protection. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is deeply disturbed by reports it received on the current situation in the camp, which has warehoused refugees for over three decades. USCRI received credible information from refugees in the camp detailing a dreadful reality following World Food Programme (WFP) cuts to food rations.

Win for Albanese government as high court rules indefinite detention legal in non-cooperation cases by Paul Karp and Luca Ittimani, May 10, 2024. The Guardian. Labour has won a major victory in the high court over the indefinite detention of non-citizens who refuse to cooperate with removal, but the win has put further in doubt its push for new deportation powers. Recently, the high court ruled detention is lawful in the case of ASF17, an Iranian asylum seeker who refused to cooperate with efforts to deport him because he “fears for his life” because he is bisexual, Christian and a Faili Kurd. The court unanimously held that detention is lawful if deportation were possible if the detainee cooperated in the undertaking of administrative processes necessary to facilitate their removal. The case was dismissed with costs.


James Paterson on Australia’s immigration detention system – Australian politics podcast by The Guardian. This podcast includes a discussion between Guardian Australia’s political editor Karen Middleton and the shadow home affairs minister, James Paterson, about the government’s deportation bill. They also discuss immigration, relations with China and what might happen to home affairs under a Coalition government.

Why Chinese people are the latest boat arrivals by ABC News Daily. When a boat carrying Chinese men arrived in Western Australia last month it was unusual. Not only because it’s rare for boats to make it to the mainland but those on board are almost never from China. So why are Chinese nationals so desperate to get to Australia that they pay people smugglers? ABC reporter, Wing Kuang, tackles this issue in this podcast episode.

May 16 2024: 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


Bejan, R., & Glynn, T. (2024). “A Total Black Hole”: How COVID-19 Increased Bureaucratic Violence Against Refugees in Greece. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(2), 1–18. Informed by participant observations and 10 interviews with civil society actors conducted in Athens in 2021 and 2022 at the height of the pandemic, this paper shows how the Greek state weaponized COVID-19 to further exclude refugees from society, deny asylum procedures, and reduce service provision for those awaiting the outcome of their asylum claims.

Chen, E. (2024). The 2021 UNHCR-IE SOGI global roundtable on protection and solutions for LGBTIQ+ people in forced displacement: Toward a new vision for LGBTIQ+ Refugee Protection. Journal of Refugee Studies. This field reflection critically examines how emerging international norms concerning forcibly displaced people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) were negotiated during the 2021 UNHCR-IE SOGI Global Roundtable on Protection and Solutions for LGBTIQ+ People in Forced Displacement. The author argues that the Roundtable was a crucial site of norm contestation on queer refugee intersectionality and inclusion within the global refugee policy regime, particularly among stakeholders grounded in two interconnected, mutually responsive policy ecosystems: (1) refugee rights and assistance and (2) LGBTIQ+ human rights. The author proposes several ways to effectively innovate the international norms that will impact LGBTIQ+ refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, and stateless people in coming years.

Karimi, A., Thompson, S., & Bucerius, S. M. (2024). National Assimilation and/or Cosmopolitan Transnationalism? Impending Transnationalism among the Upwardly Mobile Children of Refugees. Sociology. The authors explore educational and occupational attainments and transnational practices of second generation refugees in Canada. The data show upward mobility and an absence of contemporary transnational practices. However, the study finds that participants’ refugee background impacts their transnationalism, their parents’ forced departures as refugees and the ongoing violence in their origin-country lead to second-generation Somali-Canadians’ lack of transnationalism. Many, however, emphasize their desire to discover their origin-country in the future. As such, the authors argue that refugee background seems to push transnationalism into the future for the study participants.

Lenner, K. & Turner, L. (2024). ‘The Jordan Compact, Refugee Labour and the Limits of Indicator-oriented Formalisation.’ Development and Change, online first, pp. 1-29. This article explores initiatives to formalize refugees’ labour market participation. Despite many practitioners believing that formalization is a solution for improving the lives of marginalized workers, including refugees, the authors argue that in practice, it easily becomes an indicator-oriented exercise, where readily quantifiable targets are prioritized over substantive improvements. The article analyzes the trajectory of the Jordan Compact, a flagship initiative that brought together humanitarian, development, and labour actors to create ‘win-win’ solutions for Syrians and Jordanians. It traces how the Compact has made formalization an end in itself, with little regard for how much it benefits workers. The article demonstrates how indicators have shaped initiatives while undermining meaningful reform.  The authors advocate shifting the focus onto the individual and collective power of workers so that they can better realize the potential benefits of formalization.

Alcaraz, N., Ferrer, I., Abes, J. G., & Lorenzetti, L. (2021). Hiding for survival: Highlighting the lived experiences of precarity and labour abuse among Filipino non-status migrants in Canada. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 6(4), 256–267. This paper presents a case study on the experiences of non-status migrants seeking access to health, social, and community services. The findings highlight five case-based themes that centre on the (1) undocumented and hidden costs of striving for status, (2) aspirations to stay in Canada, (3) navigation through the everyday struggles to survive, (4) acts of selflessness and (5) resistance against the stigmatisation of being labelled a non-status migrant. This paper offers key recommendations for social work practitioners who engage in social justice and advocacy work alongside non-status migrants in Canada.


A decade of documenting migrant deaths: Data analysis and reflection on deaths during migration documented by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, 2014-2023. (2024). Missing Migrants Project. This report sheds insights on MMP data to inform action to make migration safe for all. It starts with a brief overview of migrant deaths and disappearances documented in 2023, highlighting the increases in recorded fatalities across nearly all regions of the world. A holistic analysis of the last decade of MMP data is then presented, including the main countries of origin, causes of death, and demographic information of those who are known to have died. The report concludes with a discussion of the many data gaps and challenges of documenting deaths and disappearances during migration and calls for long-overdue action to ensure evidence-based policies and programmes are put in place to end migrant deaths.

Comparing national laws and policies addressing irregular migrants. (2024). MIrreM. Based on 20 countries across Europe, North America and North Africa, this report synthesizes key trends and patterns of national policy approaches toward migrant irregularity, highlighting commonalities and differences across various contexts. In particular, this report examines three key research questions: how have irregular migration policies evolved over time and in response to what; what pathways into and out of irregularity have these policies produced or aimed to address; and what challenges have hindered policy implementation. In doing so, the report aims to contextualize irregular migration policy changes, and  how such policies can channel migrants into or out of irregularity.

Heavy rainfall in East Africa forces thousands of refugees from their homes. (2024). UNHCR. Thousands of people, including refugees, continue to be caught up in the ongoing El Niño-triggered heavy rains and severe flooding sweeping across East Africa. In Kenya, nearly 20,000 people in the Dadaab refugee camps – which host over 380,000 refugees – have been displaced due to the rising water levels. Many of them are among those who arrived in the past couple of years after fleeing severe drought in neighbouring Somalia. Some 4,000 people are currently sheltering in six schools with facilities that have been extensively damaged. The others are staying with friends or relatives in other parts of the camp. Several latrines have collapsed, putting refugees at risk of deadly water-borne diseases.

UNHCR launches fund to shield refugees and other displaced people from climate shocks. (2024). UNHCR. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, launched the UNHCR Climate Resilience Fund, seeking to boost the protection of refugees and displaced communities who are most threatened by climate change. Contributions to the Fund will boost the reach and impact of UNHCR’s climate action, enabling the agency and its partners to commit to climate-related projects in countries where it is already responding to major conflict-related situations of forced displacement, such as Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique.

World Migration Report. (2024). IOM UN Migration. The World Migration Report 2024 helps demystify the complexity of human mobility through evidence-based data and analysis by shedding It  light on longstanding trends and emerging challenges. The report highlights that international migration remains a driver of human development and economic growth, highlighted by a more than 650 per cent increase in international remittances from 2000 to 2022, rising from USD 128 billion to USD 831 billion. The growth continued despite predictions from many analysts that remittances would decrease substantially because of COVID-19. 


Egypt hosts 300K registered Sudanese refugees: UNHCR by Noha El Tawil, April 21, 2024. Egypt Today. Since the outbreak of the civil war in Sudan on April 15, 2023, 8.2 million have been displaced, including 1.8 million who fled to neighbouring states, particularly Chad and Egypt. According to the UNHCR, over 500,000 crossed the borders into Egypt, primarily women and children. The commission’s bureaus in Cairo and Alexandria receive 2,000-3,000 refugees daily. Since the beginning of 2024, the commission has registered almost 100,000. As such, the number of Sudanese refugees registered with the UNHCR has hit 300,000 – jumping five-fold – making the total of registered refugees of various nationalities 570,000. Nevertheless, the number is expected to rise given that 2.3 million Sudanese are estimated to leave Sudan for neighbouring states by the end of 2024.

EU Refugee And Asylum Pact: Balancing Security And Human Rights In Europe by Fadi Jaloun, April 28, 2024. The Organization for World Peace. The recent approval of the EU Refugee and Asylum Pact by the European Parliament is a milestone in the EU’s continuous efforts to change its migration and refugee policies. This comprehensive reform, which has been in the works since 2015, aims to expedite asylum procedures, increase returns of irregular migrants, and establish a system of shared responsibility among EU member states. At its core, the deal includes many critical provisions aiming at speeding up the asylum process, improving irregular migrants’ returns, and imposing stronger pre-entry screening processes. This comprehensive strategy has received support from important political factions inside the European Parliament, notably the center-right European People’s Party Group (EPP) and the center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). The far-left denounces the agreement as a betrayal of European ideals and claims it puts political expediency before compassion and human decency.

‘Hiroshima-level casualties’ feared in final battle for North Darfur by Redmond Shannon, April 26, 2024. Global News. The veteran human rights investigator Nathaniel Raymond is monitoring the encirclement of the Sudanese city of El Fasher in almost-real-time, via high-resolution satellite images. The capital of the state of North Darfur could be about to fall to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its allies, as they fight against the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in the country’s year-long civil war. Raymond told Global News he believes some RSF troops have made it inside the city limits. El Fasher is the last city still under SAF control in the vast eastern region of Darfur. It hosts hundreds of thousands of people who have fled violence elsewhere.

Operation Zufolo: Australia deployed a ‘charade’ to sustain indefinite immigration detention – it failed by Paul Karp, April 27, 2024. The Guardian. In July 2022, Australia’s immigration minister, Andrew Giles, was warned of legal “risks” associated with immigration detention and the need to show “concrete and robust steps” to deport non-citizens stuck in limbo. A task force within the Home Affairs Department had been set up to explore third-country options to resettle long-term detainees in immigration detention. Its existence was never publicized and references to it were redacted from documents released under freedom of information. However, in the high court on April 17 the Australian Border Force operation that succeeded the task force was revealed for the first time: Operation Zufolo.

Parliament passes bill declaring Rwanda safe – but can it really be called a law at all? by Joshua Jowitt, April 23, 2024. The Conversation. After months of deadlock, the House of Lords withdrew its opposition to the safety of Rwanda (asylum and immigration) bill, meaning it would become law upon receiving royal assent. This legislation declares in UK law that Rwanda is a safe country for the UK to send asylum seekers. Much has been written about the Rwanda plan’s practical (un)workability, high cost, and its perceived cruelty. However, one thing that may have been overlooked is a conceptual question: Are there problems with this law that mean it is not a real law at all?

Thousands of Refugees Flee Fighting in Southeastern Myanmar by Sebastian Strangio, April 22, 2024. The Diplomat. Several thousand people from Myanmar’s Kayin (Karen) State have crossed the border into Thailand to take refuge from escalating battles between Myanmar junta forces and ethnic Karen troops, according to Thai officials. Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said recently that the number of Myanmar refugees in Mae Sot had risen to around 3,000, as fighting flared across the border around the Myanmar city of Myawaddy. On April 10, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union, said that it had captured the last Myanmar military outpost in Myawaddy, along with allied People’s Defence Forces. However, the junta forces in the area did not surrender. Subsequently they retreated to the customs compound at the second of the two bridges linking the two countries across the Moei River, where they continue to hold out for reinforcements.

​​Why host country education for refugees isn’t a magical solution by Maha Shuyab, April 24, 2024. The New Humanitarian. UN agencies and global education initiatives appear to be converging on a consensus: Enrolling refugees in national education systems in host countries is the best way to bring schooling to the world’s growing refugee populations. The argument behind this policy seems sound at first: Most conflicts are protracted, so enrolling refugees in the educational system of the host country is more sustainable, is less time- and resource-consuming, and promotes cohesion between refugees and host populations. However, what looks good on paper does not always work in practice.


Centre for Refugee Studies Summer Course on Forced Migration: Exploring the intersections between forced migration and technology. This hybrid event (online and at York University) takes place June 3-7, 2024. This year’s Summer Course is offered in collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School’s Refugee Law Laboratory. It will focus on research, policy, and practices at the intersections of forced migration and technology. The course  provides an introduction, including on an overview of major trends in forced migration, and some of the vast array of technologies used for border enforcement, refugee adjudication, as well as inspiring innovations by researchers, lawyers, and affected communities to level the playing field. Two public keynotes with noted experts in the field will also bookend the course, one focusing on critical issues in race, gender, and technology, and the other providing a former private sector perspective. 

Race and Empire in Europe’s Borders by Beyond Eurocentrism Programme and ENAR. This all-day event will examine the interactions between border practices and the character of the EU, exploring how the new lines of inclusion/exclusion drawn in Europe’s peripheries and on distant shores inform the political identity of the EU. This event hosts several speakers delivering a series of panels, each with its own focus, and the event will end with a film-screening with director Q&A! This event takes place both in person and online on May 23, 2024, 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM BST.

What’s Unsaid | Migrants and refugees are easy political targets by The New Humanitarian.  This episode explores how every day, hundreds arrive at the Inzargai refugee registration centre in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, after a wave of mass expulsions by the Pakistani government that began last November. The situation at Inzargai camp is just one illustration of how governments around the world are weaponizing anti-refugee and anti-immigrant rhetoric. The hosts discuss how far-right parties and right-wing governments in post-Brexit Europe, as well as political parties and leaders in Argentina, Turkey, and the United States, continue to stir up xenophobia for political gain.

May 2 2024: 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


Bennani-Taylor, S., & Meer, N. (2024). Processing payments, enacting alterity: Financial Technology in the everyday lives of asylum seekers. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(10), 2384–2402. This article examines how the Asylum Support Enablement (ASPEN) card – a prepayment card provided to UK asylum seekers – enacts their alterity in ways that problematize the techno-optimist narrative of digital technologies as promoters of financial inclusion. First, the authors trace the migration of Prepaid Financial Services’ prepayment technology from the humanitarian context to its adoption in UK state practices, considering what this means for the mobility of policy norms inscribed in digital technologies. Second, building on the concept of ‘alterity processing’, they examine how the UK Home Office co-constructs asylum seekers as ‘deviant subjects’ and its bureaucratic entities as indispensable. Third, they analyze how this co-construction is used to justify asylum seekers’ exclusion from mainstream banking, rendering them dependent on the ASPEN card. Finally, they elucidate how the card’s surveillance, encoded rules, and induced precarity govern asylum seekers’ behaviours. The researchers thus demonstrate how financial technologies – as deployed across humanitarian and statist welfare contexts – engender new lines of marginalization and forms of social control.

Bernier, A., McCrimmon, A., Nsair, S., & Hans, H. (2024). Autism in the Context of Humanitarian Emergency: The Lived Experiences of Syrian Refugee Mothers of Children on the Autism Spectrum. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(2), 1–21. This study explored the resettlement experiences of Syrian refugees accessing supports and services for their autistic children in Alberta, Canada. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), in-depth interviews with three participants led to seven shared themes regarding parental experiences with the Syrian crisis, access to supports and services, barriers to resettlement, and sentiments regarding their resettlement. Findings are explained using migrant adaptation models to situate practice within a social justice orientation by understanding the perspectives of vulnerable migrant populations. Practical implications include ways to benefit refugees, imbue culture within the practice, inform policy initiatives, and highlight the importance of trauma-informed care.

D’Orsi, C. (2024). Fleeing a well-founded fear of persecution to be persecuted again? The case of LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda. International Journal of Refugee Law. This work focuses on the legal promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda. Uganda’s treatment of LGBTIQ+ communities is one of the harshest in Africa, with the adoption of legal instruments criminalizing LGBTIQ+ people andsame-sex relations. Refugees have never been granted refugee status based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The Ugandan Commissioner for Refugees systematically rejects asylum claims based solely on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This article shows that, despite efforts by UNHCR and non-governmental organizations, Uganda remains a country hostile to LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers, forcing them to conduct a discreet life to avoid being penalized for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The ambiguous positions of African institutions, such as the African Union, do not help secure such people’s rights and protection. Serious changes are needed if Uganda is to adhere to human rights principles that safeguard the rights of LGBTIQ+ communities.

Gordon, S. L. (2024). South African attitudes towards refugee settlement: Examining the importance of threat perceptions. Journal of Refugee Studies. Compared to many other countries, South Africa has a liberal refugee settlement policy, but public hostility towards refugees in the country is a serious obstacle to refugee protection. To understand what is driving anti-refugee sentiment amongst the masses, this study investigates refugee settlement policy preferences in the post-apartheid nation. Data analysis showed a robust relationship between immigrant threat perceptions and policy preferences. This finding is consistent with integrated threat theory, highlighting the damaging effects of widespread negative stereotypes about immigrants in the country. Other notable drivers of attitudes identified include economic anxiety and religiosity. Subjective knowledge, by contrast, only had a weak effect on attitude formation. The study concludes by discussing future research opportunities on anti-refugee sentiment in an African context.

Ongwech, O. D., Schulz, P., & Erdem, Z. P. (2024). Recognizing the agency of forced migrants with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics. Journal of Refugee Studies. In recent years, scholarship and policy reports have slowly attended to the lived realities of forced migrants with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). However, these emerging discourses are typically characterized by a violation-centric view that focuses on queer migrants’ vulnerabilities and experiences of victimization. Yet, what remains strikingly absent from existing research and advocacy engagement is how refugees with diverse SOGIESC across different settings also actively seek out services and build support networks; how they engage with their experiences on their own terms, resist violence, and exercise various forms of agency. In this field reflection, we emphasize the importance of recognizing how and under what conditions forced migrants with diverse SOGIESC exercise agency. We put forward illustrative examples based on field reflections of working with refugees with diverse SOGIESC, opening new perspectives for research, policy, and activism


Access, Power, Trust: Lessons from Humanitarian Aid in Protracted Displacement. (2024). PRIO. Ensuring accountability – from finance and bookkeeping to pervasive issues of transparency, trust and legitimacy – is central to the effectiveness of humanitarian aid. Considering a range of humanitarian actors, over the long internal displacement history of Muslims from northern Sri Lanka, we find that access, power, and trust are key to the success or failure of attempted accountability practices. Accountability-conducive relationships are based on dynamic and transparent interactions, and fostering these relationships necessitates recognizing, navigating, and challenging, pervasive asymmetries across contexts.

Return, Reintegration and Re-migration. (2024). OECD. Return migration has emerged as a critical policy concern for both destination and origin countries. While policy attention in destination countries has been focused on assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programs, particularly for migrants with expulsion orders, these efforts represent only a fraction of broader return movements. This report analyzes the scope and characteristics of different categories of return migration. It draws on three workshops, held in Tunis, Rabat and Brussels, that discussed return migration in different contexts. It examines the multiple factors that influence migrants’ decisions to return to their countries of origin and their reintegration at home, including the role of family and community. The report emphasizes the pre-existing structures and networks of returning migrants in their origin countries and their role in supporting different types of return migrants. The report also looks at potential re-migration.

Supporting Self-Sufficiency: Considerations for Refugees’ Transition out of Sponsorship and Complementary Pathways Programs. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. A growing number of countries are experimenting with and building humanitarian protection pathways that involve volunteers from receiving communities in supporting the welcome, settlement, and integration of refugees. These programs include different types of sponsorship pathways and vary considerably in their design. However, a common challenge that often receives insufficient attention, is how refugees will transition out of these programs and independently navigate life in their new community and country. Getting this right matters for several reasons: A timely, well-structured, and clear transition strategy can facilitate a smooth end to program support, advance refugees’ self-sufficiency and integration, promote volunteer retention and social cohesion, and boost a program’s long-term sustainability. This MPI Europe issue brief identifies lessons learned about how program organizers and volunteers can best support refugees’ transition out of sponsorship and complementary pathways programs and toward longer-term integration. It highlights common obstacles to a smooth transition and  promising practices, with examples from European, Canadian, and other programs.

The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. The robust recovery of migration and travel following the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slowdown has vividly highlighted the resilience of human mobility. Yet even as cross-border movement has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, it has also changed in notable ways. This report—a collaboration between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and MPI—seeks to understand how the volume, composition, and distance of movements, as well as the terms under which people move, are changing in the aftermath of the pandemic. While existing data do not make it possible to sketch a full picture of mobility around the entire globe, this study brings together IOM flow monitoring data from different regions to examine the changing face of migration, both regular and irregular.


Ghana accused of expelling Fulani asylum seekers from Burkina Faso by James Courtright, April 18, 2024. The New Humanitarian. While Ghana has welcomed thousands of Burkinabé refugees fleeing escalating jihadist violence across the border, Fulani rights groups allege that it has also been expelling ethnic Fulani asylum seekers, targeting a community unfairly accused of supporting the insurgency. Since early 2022, at least 15,000 Burkinabé have fled into northern Ghana, escaping an escalating conflict between the military, who are backed by armed civilian auxiliaries, and the two main jihadist groups – the al-Qaeda-linked JNIM, and so-called Islamic State. Across the Sahel, close to four million people have been displaced by the expanding conflict.


Global Affordable Housing Shortages Can Harm Migrant Reception and Integration by Benedicta Solf, Lindsey Guerrero, and Selena Sherzad, March 20, 2024. Migration Policy Institute. The lack of affordable housing worldwide is becoming a global crisis. An estimated 1.6 billion people—one-fifth of humanity—lack access to adequate housing and basic services, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, and this number could rise to 3 billion by 2030. Over the last decade, housing prices have grown faster than incomes in most countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This article examines how the housing crisis affects refugees, other forcibly displaced people, and other types of migrants, including in their relations with host communities. While a rapid influx of new arrivals may contribute to cities’ shortage of homes, housing problems are often created by broader issues and are pre-existing. Yet the perception that vulnerable new arrivals are to blame for a dearth of affordable accommodation can create tensions with host communities as well as barriers to integration.

Human rights groups air concerns and personal testimonies on government migration bill by Evelyn Manfield, April 15, 2024. ABC News. The Australian federal government’s proposed changes to migration law are “entirely incompatible with human rights,” and the government should abandon its bill, human rights groups have told a Senate committee scrutinizing the legislation. Last month, the government introduced legislation which would allow it to jail people refusing to cooperate with deportation for between one and five years. The government has said the bill focuses on about 150 people currently in immigration detention, and avoiding deportation efforts.

Offshore Processing Offers False Hope for United Kingdom by Madeline Gleeson, April 22, 2024. Australian Institute of International Affairs. The influence of Australia’s deterrence-based asylum policy is spreading across Europe and the United Kingdom, with serious consequences for both human rights and the rule of law. Obstacles to the implementing “offshore processing,” in particular, might force States to refocus on their asylum processing capabilities. The prospect of “externalizing” asylum had long featured in European debates about refugee policy, and has received renewed attention since 2015 when record numbers of people began arriving in the region, fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Australian-style “offshore processing” – that is, the forced removal of asylum seekers to other countries to have their protection claims processed there – has particularly piqued the interest of some governments.

Seeking asylum status, Chinese migrant in Colorado shares story by Alan Gionet, April 18, 2024. CBC News Colarado. The growing number of people coming into the United States from China over the southern border includes individuals coming to Colorado. However, they are not often seen and make few demands for services, making their arrival less well-known than migrants coming from places like Venezuela. “I think they’re leaving because China is becoming more and more authoritative,” said immigration attorney Margaret Choi. “I think it’s getting more and more restrictive. And they are not allowed to criticize the Chinese leadership or the Chinese policy.”

What is the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda and how many could go? April 23, 2024. BBC News. The Rwanda bill was introduced to allow the scheme to go ahead after the Supreme Court ruled it was unlawful. The government said that any asylum seeker entering the UK “illegally” after January 1, 2022, from a safe country such as France, could be sent to Rwanda. They would have their asylum claims processed there, rather than in the UK. If successful, they could be granted refugee status and allowed to stay in the landlocked east-central African country. If not, they could apply to settle in Rwanda on other grounds, or seek asylum in another “safe third country.” No asylum seeker would be able to apply to return to the UK. Ministers say the plan will deter people from arriving in the UK on small boats across the English Channel.


Migration Disrupted: How technological transformation is reshaping human mobility by Toronto Metropolitan University and Bridging Divides. This conference brings together an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral group of researchers and leaders from Canadian and international civil society, business and government to reflect on the implications of the rapid development of ADTs for migrant integration in Canada and around the world. The kickoff panel on May 7, 2024 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT, will ask how technological transformation will shape the future of migration in Canada, and our four plenary sessions on May 8 and 9 will engage four main themes: (1) Who belongs? How do ADTs impact migration, citizenship and democracy? (2) Help or hindrance? What potential do ADTs have to address the inequities of health care in Canada and around the world? (3) How can social and technological infrastructures shape the experience of migrant integration and foster inclusive cities? (4) What is technology’s promise for the future of migrant workers? This conference has both in-person and virtual options.   

Sharing Settlement and Integration Practices that Work by Pathways to Prosperity: Canada. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), P2P’s Promising Practices project highlights promising practices in immigrant settlement and integration with an empirical basis for their effectiveness. This includes video interviews of those who developed and are administering the practices, and briefs that highlight the key aspects of the practices that make them effective and innovative. To date, there are 46 videos and briefs for this purpose.

Trauma’s Children: Life in the shadow of massive loss by SBS Audio. It is well understood that survivors of war, genocide or abuse may pass on trauma to their descendants. For example, research into the experience of Holocaust survivor families suggests that transmission may even extend to grandchildren. What happens to the generations who come after violent histories? How can individuals and communities process and remember tragic events we did not witness? To explore these issues, this podcast episode interviews Linda Thai, a former child refugee from Vietnam who grew up in Australia and works as a somatic therapist based in Alaska. Linda is passionate about breaking the cycle of historical and intergenerational trauma and specialises in supporting the adult children of refugees and migrants. Hers is a compelling story of surviving displacement, post-traumatic resilience and transforming the legacy of ancestral grief.

April 18 2024: 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


Abdelaaty, L. (2024). “The greatest and most important human right”: Citizenship and bureaucratic indifference in refugee-UNHCR correspondence. Migration Politics, 3(1). This article examines how refugees advocate for themselves with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and what responses their communications produce. It analyzes letters sent by refugees in Kenya to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva between 1983 and 1994. The findings underline a disjuncture between refugees’ efforts to constitute themselves as political agents, and UNHCR’s insistence on viewing them as depoliticized subjects. UNHCR’s responses (or lack thereof) demonstrate the consequences of its insulation and bureaucratization.

Adhyaru, J. S., & Guchait, A. (2023). Working with Afghan evacuees: Field reflections on five useful supervision questions for crisis intervention workers. Journal of Refugee Studies, 37(1), 230–239. This field reflection is a reflective dialogue between a supervisor and supervisee focusing on work with Afghan evacuees undertaken by the Centre for Anxiety, Stress & Trauma within Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust. This field reflection focuses on five themes that emerged between the supervisor and supervisee during clinical supervision. The themes are posed as questions that may help others working in the context of a humanitarian crisis to utilize supervision to effectively support both staff and the target population. The reflections conclude with recommendations on how supervision can support staff well-being and, in turn, offer a supportive service to people feeling their homeland in the context of war.

Atak, I., Asalya, S., & Zyfi, J. (2024). Vulnerability of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Toronto. Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, 1–22. This article examines the underlying structural elements contributing to the vulnerability experienced by asylum seekers and undocumented migrants across two critical domains: refugee eligibility examination and accessibility of essential social services, particularly healthcare. Drawing insights from fieldwork conducted in Toronto between 2020 and 2022, this article investigates how migrants navigate and perceive vulnerability encountered both at the front-end of the refugee status determination and while trying to access social services. It discusses the perspectives of key stakeholders, , shedding light on their experiences and insights regarding the challenges migrants face. Furthermore, this article critically evaluates Canada’s adherence to the principles articulated in the 2018 United Nations Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees concerning the mitigation of vulnerability among migrant populations.

Berding-Barwick, R., & McAreavey, R. (2023). Resilience and identities: The role of past, present and future in the lives of forced migrants. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(8), 1843–1861. This research highlights how individuals proactively make strategic choices and assume responsibility for their well-being – even if that depends on changing underlying structural issues. The authors show that, despite a hostile immigration environment, as found in the UK, individuals can act and adapt to their environment. However, this is limited to a degree. They demonstrate how time matters in personal resilience processes – both as a tactic for resilience for some and a disruptor of resilience for others.

Pettrachin, A., & Hadj Abdou, L. (2024). Beyond evidence-based policymaking? exploring knowledge formation and source effects in US migration policymaking. Policy Sciences, 57(1), 3–28. Several scholars have observed persistent gaps between policy responses to complex, ambiguous and politicized problems (such as migration, climate change and the recent Covid-19 pandemic) and evidence or ‘facts.’ While most existing explanations for this ‘evidence-policy gap’ in the migration policy field focus on knowledge availability and knowledge used by policymakers, this article shifts the focus to processes of knowledge formation, exploring the questions of what counts as ‘evidence’ for migration policymakers and what are the sources of information that shape their understandings of migration policy issues. The findings challenge scholarly claims about policymakers’ lack of access to evidence about migration. The authors also challenge claims that migration-related decision-making processes are irrational or merely driven by political interests.

van Tubergen, F., Kogan, I., Kosyakova, Y., & Pötzschke, S. (2023). Self-selection of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons in Europe. Journal of Refugee Studies, 37(1), 72–96. The literature on migrants’ self-selection is focused on labour migrants, while little is known about refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The researchers contribute to this scant literature by (1) examining a broad set of factors that could determine self-selection, (2) contrasting self-selection profiles of refugees and IDPs, and (3) comparing self-selection profiles of refugees across countries. Specifically, they compare the self-selection profiles of Ukrainian refugees and IDPs with stayers in the months directly following the Russian full-scale invasion in February 2022. The authors draw on unique, cross-nationally comparative data from the OneUA project. The authors found systematic empirical patterns of self-selection related to people’s region of origin, family status, and individual-level characteristics.


ICMPD Migration Outlook Mediterranean 2024 Eight migration issues to look out for in 2024. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. This report discusses 8 key migration issues expected in 2024, such as the upward trend of migratory pressure, new waves of refugees from Sudan, the securitization of migration narratives and policies, and the modernization of migration governance.

Keys to the City 2024: Ending refugee homelessness in London. (2024). Refugee Council. Homelessness and destitution among newly recognized refugees in London are on the rise. This growing crisis is a result of systemic failure – the process refugees face while transitioning through the so-called ‘move-on’ period is dysfunctional by design, and discriminatory in delivery. This report presents their  latest data and analysis showing a dramatic rise in homelessness for newly recognized refugees, based on Government data for England and figures from their own Private Rented Scheme. The report sets out recommendations for the next Mayor of London and for the Government on how to solve the crisis of destitution and homelessness among newly recognized refugees.

Neglected in the Jungle: Inadequate Protection and Assistance for Migrants and Asylum Seekers Crossing the Darién Gap. (2024). This report, part of a series of Human Rights Watch reports on migration via the Darién Gap, focuses on Colombia’s and Panama’s responses to migration across their border. It identifies specific shortcomings in their efforts to protect and assist these people—including those at higher risk, such as unaccompanied children—as well as to investigate abuses against them. The report provides concrete recommendations to the governments of Colombia and Panama on addressing these shortcomings and to donor governments, the United Nations and regional bodies, and humanitarian organizations on how to support and cooperate with Colombia and Panama in these efforts.

Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Families through Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This issue brief highlights the importance of Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) services for immigrant and refugee families as well as gaps in IECMH promotion, prevention, screening, and treatment that affect these families. The brief also identifies opportunities for policymakers and practitioners to improve access to IECMH services for this population.


IOM report: 1 in 3 migrant deaths occurs in transit while fleeing conflict. (2024). United Nations. The UN migration agency reported that one in three migrant deaths happens while people flee conflict,. More than two in three migrants whose deaths have been documented remain unidentified. Last year was the deadliest on record, with 8,541 migrant victims. Nearly 60 per cent of deaths were linked to drowning. So far in 2024, the trends are similar. Along the Mediterranean Sea route alone – while arrivals this year are significantly lower (16,818) compared to the same period in 2023 (26,984) – the number of deaths is nearly as high as before, with 956 registered since 1 January.

Kaldor Centre statement on new migration bill, March 26, 2024. Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law has serious concerns about the scope and ramifications of the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024, which was rushed into Parliament today. It gives the Minister extraordinarily broad and ill-defined powers which would make a person’s failure to cooperate with the government’s efforts to remove them a criminal offence, expand the Minister’s powers to reverse protection findings, and see entire countries subject to travel bans, prohibiting their citizens from coming to Australia for holidays, work or education – in an attempt to pressure those countries to accept forced returns.

Myanmar Asylum Seeker Crisis Needs a Humane and Regional Solution by Perry Q. Wood, April 1, 2024. The Diplomat. Another capsized boat leading to more tragedy and death at sea. This time it is Rohingya fleeing either persecution in Myanmar or unlivable conditions in makeshift camps outside the country.  Seventy deaths and counting from the latest incident alone. The trendline for Rohingya escaping on boats to head for places like Indonesia or Australia is showing a marked increase in numbers. From 2021 to 2023, the United Nations recorded a 441 percent increase in “irregular movements” of Rohingyas seeking to escape places like Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Toogdag 2023 Blog Series: The Verb ‘Enjoy’ in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its Application in Africa by Cristiano D’Orsi, April 9, 2024. Human Rights Here. The right to ‘enjoy’ asylum primarily means the opportunity for refugees to benefit from the rights that are listed in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This contribution investigates whether the right of ‘enjoying asylum’ has been translated into the African continent through the appropriate international, regional, sub-regional and domestic legal instruments. The relevance of this investigation is to understand whether and to what extent refugees hosted by the African countries can ‘enjoy’ the rights derived from their legal status of refugees.  

UNHCR urges immediate action amid heightened risks for displaced in eastern DR Congo. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. The UNHCR Refugee Agency, is raising the alarm as ongoing violence in eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reaches a devastating level. Two years of cyclical conflict in the North Kivu territories of Rutshuru and Masisi have forced over 1.3 million people to flee their homes within the DRC, leading to a total of 5.7 million people becoming internally displaced across North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Since violent clashes enveloped the town of Sake, in Masisi territory, on 7 February, almost 300,000 people have arrived in the city of Goma and its surroundings, swelling spontaneous and official displacement sites as they desperately seek shelter from indiscriminate bombing and other human rights abuses.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: Mexico crackdown, no spring migration increase, Texas, Guatemala by Adam Isacson, March 29, 2024. Washington Office on Latin America. Migration at the U.S.-Mexico border usually increases in springtime. That is not happening in 2024, although numbers are up in Mexico and further south. Increased Mexican government operations to block or hinder migrants are a central reason. Especially striking is migration from Venezuela, which has plummeted at the U.S. border and moved largely to ports of entry. It is unclear why Venezuelan migration has dropped more steeply than that from other nations.

What is behind the suicides of LGBTQ+ people in refugee camps in the Netherlands? by Holod Media and Anastasia Pestova, March 30, 2024. Global Voices. In mid-January, it was reported that Antonina Babkina, a transgender girl from Russia who had been granted asylum, committed suicide in the Netherlands. This marks at least the fourth reported case of suicide among Russian-speaking refugees in the country over the past year. According to Sandro Kortekaas, a spokesperson for the Dutch organization LGBTQ Asylum Support, all suicide cases have one thing in common: the victims did not receive psychological support on time. Kortekaas said, “Most refugees come from countries with a huge number of problems. Ideally, there should be a medical evaluation upon their arrival in the Netherlands and another before the refugee interview.”


Practical and Compassionate Alternatives to Detention: Catalyst Lecture and Workshop by Exeter Research Networks. Working with the Detention Forum, a network of over 50 NGOs across the UK challenging the use of immigration detention, the Universities of Exeter and Leeds are holding a lecture and workshop on the growing evidence base from projects in the UK and internationally suggesting that there is a more effective, compassionate and cheaper alternative available. This evidence base includes two Home Office funded pilot projects. This lecture will examine this alternative case management model in the community, and how it presents a compelling case for a new operating model for the UK’s asylum and immigration system. This online event will be on April 23, 2024 from 8:30 AM EDT – 10:00 AM EDT.

Scholars of Excellence Workshop – The “integration business”: A radical critique on migration, development and reception services by Toronto Metropolitan University. The workshop is organized into two panels. The first focuses on the local aspects of this migration industry in both border areas and settlement locations, critically analyzing the ways locals, settled migrants and recently arrived asylum seekers, refugees or migrants become entangled in forms of service provision that extract capital and constitute multi-scalar processes of governance. The second panel expands this critical perspective by engaging with the broader policy and political discourses on migration and development. Contributors to both panels seek to unmask the processes of capital accumulation that underlie the regulation of mobility, territory, social life and political subjectivities. This hybrid event takes place on April 23, 2024 from 9:30 AM EDT – 4:00 PM EDT.

April 4 2024: 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


Abou-Ismail, R., Gronfeldt, B., & Marinthe, G. (2024b). Defensive National Identity relates to support for collective violence, in contrast to secure national identity, in a sample of displaced Syrian diaspora members. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 99, 101954. This paper examines whether national identities in Syrian diaspora members shape attitudes towards the regime at home. The authors contrast national narcissism (i.e., defensive national identity), an exaggerated belief in one’s national ingroup’s greatness, and national identification (i.e., secure national identity), a feeling of belonging to the nation and evaluating it positively, as differential predictors of collective violence beliefs. The findings suggest that a defensive national identity was related to support for upward (i.e., violence targeted at regime leaders) and diffuse (i.e., violence targeted at regime supporters) collective violence.

Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik, P. (2023). Perspectives of flow and place: Rethinking notions of migration and mobility in policy-making. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(6), 1299–1316. Why do some migration policies cause controversial debates while others are barely noticed? And why do migration policies consistently fail to meet their stated objectives? This paper argues that identifying the underlying perspective that informs migration policy-making can be a productive tool to answer these questions. The author starts by reviewing notions of ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ used in political and scholarly discourse and argues that the ways of differentiating between the two entail not only biases related to norms of sedentariness or social hierarchies, but also blind spots for how states and individuals perceive cross-border movements. As an alternative, the author proposes to conceptualize ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ as categories reflecting perspectives that either normalize sedentariness and fixed borders or movement and fluidity.

Tagliacozzo, S., Pisacane, L., & Kilkey, M. (2023). A system-thinking approach for Migration Studies: An introduction. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(5), 1099–1117. Migration studies first took up a systems perspective in the 1970s to explain migration flows and their dynamics over time. Over the last decades, the dominant discourse and analysis in migration studies have remained constrained within the limits of the ‘migration system.’ While the influence of the ‘wider environment’ on the migration system has been recognized, what the elements of the wider environment are, and their mechanisms of influence remain poorly articulated. Through eight innovative contributions, this Special Issue seeks to contribute, first, to unpacking the elements (i.e. the other systems) that constitute the ‘wider environment’ with which the components of the migration system (e.g. migrants, sending and receiving communities, institutions, policies, etc.) interact, and secondly, to disentangling the mutual influences between the migration system and this wider environment.

Vankova, Z. (2023). Refugee labour mobility to the EU: A tool contributing to fairer sharing of responsibilities in the context of forced displacement? Refugee Survey Quarterly, 43(1), 53–73. A significant shortcoming of work-based pathways is that, in most cases, they do not lead directly to a durable solution but rather offer “a journey to a durable solution” on the basis of temporary residence permits. By comparing the different approaches applied to Ukrainian and Syrian refugees in the European Union, this article concludes that refugee labour mobility in its current state has the potential to contribute to fairer responsibility sharing only cumulatively with other durable solutions and complementary pathways, and when it provides admission facilitation coupled with a fast and clear path to permanent residence or legal mechanisms, ensuring possibilities for extension of residence rights and legality of stay.

Zangiabadi, S., Alghalyini, B., Zoubi, F., & Tamim, H. (2024). Effect of food insecurity on depression, anxiety, and stress among resettled Syrian refugees in Ontario. PLOS Global Public Health, 4(3). Food insecurity has been linked to adverse health outcomes, particularly among vulnerable populations such as refugees. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and its association with depression, anxiety, and stress among resettled Syrian refugee parents in Ontario. Results of the multiple linear regression analysis showed that food insecurity was significantly associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. The authors conclude that implementing effective government interventions and frameworks is essential to reduce food insecurity among resettled Syrian refugees to ultimately improve their mental health outcomes and overall well-being.


Converging Crises: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in South America. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. During the onset of COVID-19, many countries were already grappling with increased demands on their regularization, integration, and broader social welfare systems. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, using risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone policy brief reflects on lessons for future public health emergencies.

Coordination Breakdown: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in Europe. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Despite many advantages (e.g., robust coordinating institutions and existing freedom of movement agreement, etc.), the onset of COVID-19 largely halted movement both within and from outside the European Union, with heavy consequences for societies and economies across the bloc. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public health crises.

Diverging Paths: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in the Middle East and North Africa. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. The shutdown of mobility at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic had drastic effects on movement throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Migrant workers comprise much of the workforce in Arab Gulf states, Jordan, and Lebanon, and many lost their jobs and returned to their countries of origin. Tourism and travel, which represent a sizeable share of GDP for many countries, largely halted. And border closures stranded irregular migrants along many major routes. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises.

Mobility Shutdown: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in Asia and the Pacific. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments in Asia and the Pacific imposed some of the strictest and longest-lasting limits on human mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering a collapse in migration, stranding migrants abroad for months, and prompting mass returns that strained health and reintegration systems. But the region also kept COVID-19 cases and deaths relatively low for the first two years. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South America. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, the use of risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone issue brief reflects on lessons for future public-health emergencies. This series includes three other regional case studies that follow.

Shehada, R., Al-Ali, A., Jeroudia, M., Taleb, H., Ghanem, H. and Dajani, D. (2024). Refugees in Jordan: a data-driven approach for change. IIED, London. Jordan hosts a large number of refugees. Many have lived in Jordan for decades but still struggle to create fulfilling lives. This briefing reports on a project that supported refugee communities to generate data about their challenges and agree on their priorities for creating better futures. Refugees identified a complex web of restrictions relating to their legal status and requirements for personal identification as a significant obstacle to leading full lives. They called for humanitarian organizations and Jordan’s government to offer more opportunities for refugees, so that they can use their skills to contribute to the country’s economy. They also called for agencies and government to engage more fully with refugee communities in planning for refugees, and to provide paths towards long-term residency security that allows them to build new lives.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments are increasingly experimenting with new mobility pathways for refugees, beyond traditional resettlement operations. These include complementary pathways that connect refugees with work or study opportunities in a country other than the one in which they first sought safety—expanding their future prospects while easing pressure on top refugee-hosting countries. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

UNHCR issues new guidance on international refugee protection for Haitians. (2024). UNHCR. Amidst Haiti’s rapidly deteriorating security, human rights and humanitarian situation, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has issued new legal guidance to ensure that international refugee protection is provided for Haitians who need it. Indiscriminate gang violence in Haiti has led to an alarming escalation of human rights violations and large-scale internal displacement. Nearly half of the country’s 11.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. UNHCR’s new guidance aims to assist States with their assessment of asylum claims in light of the stark realities facing Haitians today.


Armed groups continue terror campaign across Burkina Faso. March 21, 2024. United Nations. Large parts of Burkina Faso are being terrorized by armed groups, and the rampant insecurity is “beyond alarming,” said the UN human rights chief on Thursday following a brief visit to the country. High Commissioner Volker Türk said, from the capital Ouagadougou, that his local office had been “engaging intensely with the authorities, civil society actors, human rights defenders, UN partners and others on many of the multifaceted human rights challenges” the country faces following a coup in January 2022 that saw Captain Ibrahim Traoré assume power.

Canada needs a national strategy for homeless refugee claimants by Christina Clark-Kazak, March 31, 2024. The Conversation. One year after the federal government closed Roxham Road, refugee claims in Canada continue to increase: there were 143,785 in 2023 compared to 91,730 in 2022. The surprise announcement in March 2023 to modify Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States was touted as a way to “better manage access to the refugee system.” Instead, the past year has seen deaths at irregular crossings, increased asylum claims at airports (not covered by the modified agreement) and soaring refugee claimant homelessness across Canada.

Thailand: The forgotten tragedy of 50 Uighur refugee by Valentin Cebron, March 18, 2024. La Croix International. In Thailand, some 50 Uighurs who escaped the oppressive Chinese government have been languishing in detention centers for over a decade, in flagrant disregard of international law, reports by several NGOs. If deported to China, “it is clear they would face torture,” says Robertson. Their prolonged imprisonment, as refugees in transit, violates international human rights standards. According to HRW, Thailand is caught between the United States and China, opting not to take a stand and thereby keeping the 50 Uighurs in appalling conditions.

Weeping, weak and soaked, dozens of Rohingya refugees rescued after night on hull of capsized boat by Reza Saifullah and Edna Tarigan, March 21, 2024. The Associated Press. An Indonesian search and rescue ship on Thursday located a capsized wooden boat that had been carrying dozens of Rohingya Muslim refugees, and began pulling survivors who had been standing on its hull to safety. An AP photographer reported that 10 people were taken aboard local fishing boats and the Indonesian craft saved another 59. Men, women and children, weak and soaked from the night’s rain, wept as the rescue operation got underway and people were taken aboard a rubber dinghy to the rescue boat. There were contradictory reports about whether anyone had died in the accident, with survivors saying many who had been aboard when the boat departed from Bangladesh were still unaccounted for, but authorities insisted everyone had been rescued.

Why refugee ration cuts in Uganda risk long-term social damage by Maja Simonsen Nilsen, Emmanuel Viga, Eria Serwajja, and Hilde Refstie, March 18, 2024. The New Humanitarian. Refugees in Uganda are turning to increasingly desperate measures to support themselves and their families following drastic reductions in humanitarian aid. However, the current  research suggests the worst effects of these cuts are yet to be seen, as refugee social networks buckle under pressure to fill the gaps left by aid agencies. Uganda’s open-border policies and refugee self-reliance model have earned international acclaim. However, a surge in refugee numbers and major cuts in humanitarian funding are pushing the country’s response efforts to the brink. Increasingly threadbare aid budgets mean many of the 1.5 million refugees in the country – one of the world’s largest refugee-hosting nations – are receiving less than 40% of their basic survival rations, while others are getting less or nothing at all.


Change Agents: Overcoming the employment stumbling block facing many migrants by SBS News. While it is common to hear about society’s high achievers, there are others acting as role models of change. Resumes and cover letters are required for most job applications in Australia. However,  overseas, in some countries, this is a less common practice. In this episode of Change Agents, the hosts meet a woman helping refugees and immigrants navigate the Australian job market for the first time.

Continuing Conversations 6: REUK Showcase by Refugee Education UK. Are you working on a refugee education project in Europe? Perhaps as a teacher, developing an educational programme for refugees in your school or through your NGO – or as a researcher looking at refugees’ access to university or non-formal educational settings? Would you like to meet others working in this field in a friendly and collaborative environment? This is an online networking event hosted by the Hub for Education for Refugees in Europe (HERE) at the University of Nottingham, UK. Building on HERE’s inaugural conference in 2022 and our previous five ‘Continuing Conversations’ events in 2023, this session seeks to foster further connections among the growing HERE Network and continue our critical conversations around support for refugee learners across Europe. This online event takes place on April 22nd, 2024, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EDT.

The Refocus: An Online Summer Forced Migration in Africa Workshop Series by the Refugee Law Initiative, University of London; the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana; the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand; and the African Academy of Migration Research (AAMR). This workshop series facilitates the development of knowledge and critical thinking on forced migration and protection issues in Africa, as well as the training of early career and emerging scholars. The Series takes a hybrid approach to participation. If participants are interested in attending the Refocus Series as a summer school, it will be necessary to join all 4 sessions and then produce a written submission on a topic related to this year’s theme. Alternatively, participants are welcome to simply attend all four sessions or attend specific ones. Both forms of participation are free and open to all. The event will take place every Wednesday in April 2024.

March 26 2024: 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


Bose, P. (2024). Nexus dynamics: The impact of environmental vulnerabilities and climate change on refugee camps. Oxford Open Climate Change, 4(1). Climate change and forced migration are often thought about in terms of the sheer numbers of people who might be displaced by a transforming environment. Understanding the forces that produce, respond to and amplify such forced migration patterns requires a complex and nuanced view of them. Using Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh (Rohingya refugees), Dadaab in Kenya (Somali refugees) and Za’atari in Jordan (Syrian refugees), the author examines the ways that political, economic and ecological factors have driven the inhabitants to the camps, keep them vulnerable within them, and raise questions about both their and the camps’ respective futures.

Bose, P. S. (2024). Research with refugees: Working with ethnic community-based organizations. Geographical Review, 1–19. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has functioned as a partnership between the federal government and several non-profit partners for more than four decades. Yet resettlement is dependent on more than these obvious actors;  it also includes states, municipalities, and a range of other organizations. In this paper, the author explores one part of the resettlement assemblage in the United States—ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs)—from their own perspective as a researcher who has collaborated with one such entity over several years.

Brun, C., Alikhan, M. M., Jayatilaka, D., Chalkiadaki, E., & Erdal, M. B. The dynamic space of aid relations in protracted internal displacement: The case of Sri Lanka’s northern Muslims. Disasters, e12623. Aid relations in protracted displacement comprise a diversity of actors with different influences and involvement over time. Building on the case of Sri Lanka’s northern Muslim’s expulsion from the north of the country in 1990, this paper investigates the dynamic space of aid relations in their drawn-out internal displacement. The analysis incorporates angles and voices often overlooked in mainstream humanitarian studies, including internally displaced persons, hosts, and Middle Eastern aid funders. The authors argue that a long-term perspective and a variety of voices provide foundations for more productive engagement with localization in humanitarian action in protracted displacement crises.

Doğar, D. (2024). Unrecognizing Refugees: The Inadmissibility Scheme Replacing Article 1F Decisions in Canada. International Journal of Refugee Law. This article examines the interwoven relationship between article 1F (the exclusion provision) of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the inadmissibility scheme based on the grounds of security, violation of human or international rights, serious criminality, or organized criminality (SHSO) in Canada. Incorporating evidence from a literature review, case law, statistics, and interviews conducted with practitioners in Canada, this research demonstrates that Canada deliberately chooses to review the cases of refugee claimants about whom there are serious reasons to consider that they have committed grave crimes under the inadmissibility scheme rather than under article 1F. The authors argue that this shift from the exclusion provision to the inadmissibility scheme is problematic since using the broader SHSO grounds instead of article 1F violates Canada’s international obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Dromonis, T. (2024). Seeking Asylum: Building a Shareable World. Linda Leith Publishing. Human migration and the right to seek asylum from harm have been constants throughout the history of human existence. But only recently has Canada been forced to confront a global displacement crisis that much of the planet has long been dealing with. Seeking Asylum is a book about the plea for empathy, away of rethinking and reframing the conversation to emphasize both our common humanity and our moral and legal obligations to one another.

Soehl, T., Stolle, D., & Scott, C. (2023). The politics left behind: How pre-migration and migration experiences shape Syrian refugees’ interest in home-county politics. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 50(4), 914–935. This article explores which refugees are more likely to engage in home country politics. It focuses on two sets of factors: experiences of hardship in the context of emigration, transiting and settling to their destination country, and the ongoing social ties to family and friends left behind. Refugees in transit in their interim country with prior experiences of hardship back home are associated with less engagement in the political affairs of Syria. On the other hand, those who have a harder time settling into life in Canada tend to remain more interested in home-country politics. The findings highlight the unique pressures refugees face and the role these pressures may have on continued interest in the political affairs of their home country after migrating.


Diverging Paths: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Migration in the Middle East and North Africa. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report is part of a series of studies by MPI’s Task Force on Mobility and Borders during and after COVID-19 that explores opportunities to improve international coordination regarding border management during public-health crises. Other regional case studies in this series look at Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and South America. Thematic studies consider the role of digital health credentials in facilitating movement, the use of risk analysis to shape border policies, and the rise of remote work and “digital nomads.” A final capstone policy brief reflects on lessons for future public-health crises.

ICMPD Migration Outlook Eastern Europe and Central Asia 2024 Eight migration issues to look out for in 2024. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. This report identifies eight key trends and developments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that will be high on the agenda of decision-makers and analysts alike. These include the large-scale displacement due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the decisive debate on the future of temporary protection for Ukrainian beneficiaries in Europe, and the precarity of the situation for Russian emigrants in non-EU host states and their attempts to reach the EU.

Rapid Evaluation of the Ukraine Response. (2024). Government of Canada. This report presents the findings of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Rapid Evaluation of the Ukraine Response covering the period from March 2022 to March 2023. The summary of evaluation findings shows that the Ukraine Response has thus far been successful in facilitating the arrival of Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) holders to Canada and has experienced strong collaboration among partners and stakeholders. However, there were significant impacts on IRCC. The report identifies lessons learned and makes recommendation in four areas for IRCC to undertake in preparation for a future crisis. 

Massari, A. (2024). Reframing Migration: The Use of Visual Communication by Government Institutions. Toronto Metropolitan University. This policy brief argues that visual communication – the transmission of information and ideas through visual elements, such as images, graphics, charts and other visual aids – has a pivotal role in shaping migrant and public perceptions and influencing policy decisions concerning migration. The brief draws on research on the visual representations produced by government migration institutions in Canada and Europe to demonstrate the need for governments to develop and adopt best practices in visual communication on migration. 


America has a good model for how to handle immigration: America by Abdallah Fayyad, March 1, 2024. Vox. The author argues that the United States immigration system is so dysfunctional that it might sometimes seem as though it has no redeeming features. Asylum seekers are left in legal limbo for years, and immigration courts face a growing backlog of cases — all while arrests of migrants at the southern border have reached a record high. But when it comes to addressing the current wave of migrants, many of whom are families and asylum seekers, American lawmakers do not need to look very far to find a model to emulate: the United States’ very own refugee resettlement program.

Food aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad could end next month, WFP says by Emma Farge, March 12, 2024. Reuters. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), food aid for hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees in Chad, some of whom are close to starvation, will be suspended next month without more funding.  Since conflict broke out in Sudan nearly a year ago, more than half a million Sudanese refugees have fled to Chad across the long desert border and the country is now one of Africa’s main refugee hot spots with more than 1 million in total. But the WFP says it is struggling to feed them all and many are already skipping meals. Nearly half of Sudanese refugee children under five-years-old are suffering from severe anemia. The agency is urgently calling for $242 million to ensure ongoing support for the next six months.

How a new global consensus can provide true refuge to the displaced by Abraham D. Sofaer, March 14, 2024. The Hill. The huge increase in refugees worldwide is a major threat to public order. The author argues for a new consensus to deal with this crisis and preserve long-held principles governing humanitarian relief and national control of borders. That consensus would include providing refugees with permanent homes in communities of refuge that include access to employment, education and other aspects of normal life.

Madeline Gleeson & Theodore Konstadinides: The UK’s Rwanda policy and Lessons from Australia by Madeline Gleeson & Theodore Konstadinides, March 14, 2024. UK Constitutional Law Association. In November 2023, the Supreme Court of the UK dealt a critical blow to the government’s proposal to send certain asylum seekers to the Republic of Rwanda ruling that removal to Rwanda would be unlawful because that country was not, at the time, a ‘safe country’. The government moved swiftly to conclude a new treaty with Rwanda which seeks to render Rwanda ‘safe’ by establishing additional safeguards and guarantees. The authors question lawmakers’ claims that the Rwanda policy is analogous to Australia’s offshore processing policies and argue that given the extraordinary human toll of Australia’s offshore processing policies, they should not be replicated without full and accurate consideration of their risks and consequences. 

Waves of Violence Storm Port-au-Prince in Haiti Further Displacing Thousands by Antoine Lemonnier, March 9, 2024. IOM UN Migration. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is deeply concerned by the uprising of violence since the end of February. IOM’s latest displacement tracking reveals that 15,000 people have been displaced within just one week, all of them having already experienced displacement. Ten displacement sites have been entirely emptied due to the successive waves of violence, leaving displaced families traumatized. Urgent needs include access to food, healthcare, water, and hygiene facilities, and psychological support. More than 160,000 people are currently displaced in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.


AUDIO: Calls for accelerate refugee resettlement by RN Breakfast. This podcast episode delves into the repercussions of Australia’s refugee policy, which has left  hundreds of refugees in a state of limbo for years. While over a thousand people have been settled in the US and New Zealand, a large cohort of refugees and asylum seekers are still awaiting information about their fate.

Summer Course on Forced Migration: Exploring the intersections between forced migration and technology by Centre for Refugee Studies, York University. This year’s Summer Course is offered in collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School’s Refugee Law Laboratory and will focus on research, policy, and practices at the intersections of forced migration and technology. The course will start off with an introductory day and a deep dive into the current state of play. To ensure a baseline level of knowledge for attendees, participants will receive an overview of major trends in forced migration as well as some of the vast array of technologies used for border enforcement, refugee adjudication, and the inspiring innovations by researchers, lawyers, and affected communities aimed at levelling the playing field. The course will take place at York University in Toronto, Ontario, from June 3-7, 2024.

March 7 2024: 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


Adekola, P.O., Cirella, G.T. & Brownell, G. (2024). Reintegration programs and the willingness of displaced persons to return home: Analyzing the role of social infrastructure in north-east Nigeria. Journal of International Migration & Integration. This study explores the impact of Boko Haram’s violence on northern Nigeria, particularly focusing on the willingness of conflict-induced internally displaced persons (CIIDPs) to return home and the role of restoring social infrastructure in this process. The authors conclude that while restoring social infrastructure is a factor, it should not be viewed as the sole solution for promoting willingness to return in a post-conflict context. To address the broader issue, they recommend that governments and policymakers in conflict-affected communities prioritize restoring water sources and access roads, as these appear to be critical factors in encouraging the return of IDPs.

Borrelli, L. M., & Ruedin, D. (2024). Towards a precise and reflexive use of migration-related terminology in quantitative research: Criticism and suggestions. Comparative Migration Studies, 12(1), 1-18. To describe migration-related phenomena, there is a need to reflect on the terminology and choose the most adequate one to determine whether migration is the (main) cause of a phenomenon, a consequence, or even unrelated and misattributed. The authors argue that such terminology in quantitative and experimental research is often flawed because of its differentiated adoption in legal, political, or scientific contexts. They conclude that quantitative research should avoid reproducing state-created terminology and instead look beyond the strict field of immigration to consider other classification systems like gender, ethnicity, language, or social class to reduce the negative attributes ascribed to non-citizens.

Feyissa Dori, D., Hagen-Zanker, J., & Mazzilli, C. (2024). The entanglement between tangible and intangible factors in shaping Hadiya migration aspirations to South Africa. International Migration Review. This article expands scholarly knowledge on migration decision-making, drawing on the case of Hadiya (Southern Ethiopia) migration to South Africa. The authors propose a conceptual framework where intangible factors (religious beliefs, imaginations, norms, and emotions, and feelings) are placed at the core of decision-making, alongside more tangible factors, such as livelihood opportunities. Showing the centrality of such aspects in Hadiya respondent’s life stories, they argue that only by looking at the interplay of intangible and tangible factors can we reach a better understanding of the complex dynamic of migration decision-making.

Kuo, B. C., & Rappaport, L. M. (2024). A prospective longitudinal study of depression, perceived stress, and perceived control in resettled Syrian refugees’ mental health and psychosocial adaptation. Transcultural Psychiatry. This prospective study examined the psychosocial adaptation of a community sample of newly resettled Syrian refugees in Canada. Specifically, data on depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and perceived control were collected. Empirical results identify a potentially broad, precipitating, and persistent effect of depressive symptoms on Syrian refugees’ psychosocial resources and adaptation post-migration. Clinically, the study results highlight the importance of early screening for depressive symptoms among refugee newcomers within a culturally and trauma-informed, integrated health setting. Furthermore, this study underscores the value and need for theoretically guided longitudinal studies to advance future research on refugee mental health and psychosocial adaptation.

Ozdamar, O., Giovanis, E. & Akdede, S.H. (2024). Attitudes towards Syrian refugees in Türkiye: Does cosmopolitanism matter?. Journal of International  Migration & Integration. This paper empirically investigates the possible relationship between cosmopolitanism and attitudes towards Syrian refugees in Türkiye. Previous research has emphasized that factors determining cosmopolitanism can also influence attitudes toward refugees and immigrants. However, no study has documented evidence of the link between these factors and the attitudes of Turkish people towards Syrian refugees. Findings show that those with cosmopolitan orientations, people who have been or lived abroad in the past, and individuals who know at least one foreign language and participated in cultural activities while being in another country are more tolerant of refugees.


Bearing Witness: Atrocities and Looming Hunger in Darfur. (2024). Refugees International. Many of the same atrocities seen in Darfur 20 years ago – including potential genocide – are unfolding again today. These atrocities are driving mass forced displacement and growing humanitarian needs. Most deaths to date have been due to violence, but without increased relief aid, many more people will die due to hunger and disease in the months ahead.  With more than 10 million people displaced and half its population facing acute food insecurity – including nearly 5 million at the brink of famine – Sudan is now the largest displacement crisis in the world, and one of the worst humanitarian crises. Darfur, with rising hunger and the spectre of genocide, has become the worst of Sudan’s crises.

Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. The U.S. humanitarian protection system is under significant strain at a time of mass displacements globally, a backlog of 2 million asylum applications, and record arrivals of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration has turned to alternate pathways to provide temporary protection to some, while imposing restrictions on asylum. This report examines the current state of the U.S. protection system, focusing on recent changes the Biden administration has been making in asylum processes and temporary protections, as well as the challenges and lessons the U.S. experience may offer for other asylum systems and countries. The report is one of five country case studies and a synthesis report in a comparative asylum project developed by the Clingendael Institute.

Scars of War and Deprivation: An Urgent Call to Reverse Tigray’s Humanitarian Crisis. (2024). Refugees International. It has been over a year since peace was declared between the Federal Ethiopia Government and authorities in the Tigray region. Yet, at a time when the region should be recovering, people remain in crisis. Widespread hunger is gripping a portion of the population, including the most vulnerable. The hunger is a function of two years of living under siege during the war, a crippling drought, and a nearly seven-month pause in food aid intended to root out corruption. Mothers who survived gang-rape by soldiers should be undergoing treatment for physical and mental healing, but instead are wondering how they will feed their children. For a range of reasons, aid has not scaled up to meet the needs of Tigray’s internally displaced people (IDPs). If relief does not come, many will die, and some even fear that the fragile peace agreement could be in jeopardy.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. Governments are increasingly experimenting with new mobility pathways for refugees, beyond traditional resettlement operations. These include complementary pathways that connect refugees with work or study opportunities in a country other than the one in which they first sought safety—expanding their future prospects while easing pressure on top refugee-hosting countries. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

UN Refugee Agency expresses alarm over escalating humanitarian crisis in eastern DR Congo. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. This is a summary of what UNHCR spokesperson Eujin Byun said at a recent press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The worsening humanitarian situation civilians face in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is worrying. Intensifying violence and conflict are exacting a heavy toll on innocent civilians, hundreds of thousands of whom are attempting to seek safety on the peripheries of conflict zones. Since the resurgence of fighting around the town of Sake in the North Kivu Province on 7 February, 144,000 individuals have been forced to flee the outskirts of Goma. They have fled indiscriminate bombings that have impacted displacement sites and other civilian areas over the past few weeks, which have resulted in the deaths of more than 20 civilians and injured more than 60.


By boat or by plane? If you’re seeking asylum in Australia, the outcome is similarly bleak by Savitri Taylor, February 20, 2024. The Conversation. Last week, 39 foreign nationals arrived by boat in a remote part of Western Australia. This revived dormant debates about border security. People without visas come to Australia by air and sea, though we only ever seem to hear about the latter. Unlike unauthorized air arrivals, unauthorized maritime arrivals (people without visas that arrive by boat without permission) are given high media visibility. This feeds a narrative that the country has lost control of its borders, creating a political problem for the government of the day. This article reflects what happens behind the headlines, when people arrive in Australia without permission, whether by boat or by plane.

New York lawyer group denounces massacre of migrants in Mexican state of Sonora by Beatriz Guillén, February 21, 2024. El País. Four-year-old Jonzi was one of a group of migrants travelling across the Mexican state of Sonora last Thursday when an armed commando attacked the vehicles. The child, who had arrived in Mexico from Ecuador, died, along with at least two other women. His death had gone unnoticed, added to the large number of missing, kidnapped and deceased migrants attempting to reach the U.S. border that nobody asks about and whose bodies nobody claims. However, a New York law firm specializing in migrant issues, 1800Migrante, released a statement based on a witness account that spoke of a “migrant massacre” in Sáric, about 50 miles from the border with Arizona.

Over 15,000 refugees cross into Uganda since January: UN refugee agency by Xinhua, February 19, 2024. More than 15,000 refugees have crossed into Uganda from neighbouring countries since January, and the number is expected to increase throughout the year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Frank Walusimbi, UNHCR Uganda spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone on Monday that most refugees came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and South Sudan.

Poland has opened its arms to nearly 1 million Ukrainian refugees, but will they be able to stay for the long term? by Kate Golebiowska, Marta Pachocka, and Sabina Kubiciel-Lodzińska, February 26, 2024. The Conversation. Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European landscape has been completely transformed by Ukrainian migrants fleeing their homeland. In the weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Poland immediately opened its borders and became the primary recipient of Ukrainian refugees. By May 2022, 3.5 million Ukrainians – or 53% of all people who fled the country – had crossed the border into Poland. Many have since returned to Ukraine or settled elsewhere, but many have stayed. The authors discuss why Poland has been so open to this large number of refugees – and how long they will be able to stay.

Thailand Braces for Refugee Influx After Myanmar Junta Announces Conscription Law by Tommy Walker, February 18, 2024. VOA. Thailand is bracing for an influx of refugees after Myanmar’s military recently announced a conscription law. Analysts say the Thai government should put those fleeing Myanmar into safe zones. Last week, Myanmar’s military activated the People’s Military Service Law, meaning men aged 18 to 45 and women aged 18 to 35 can be drafted into the armed forces for two years of compulsory service. Certain personnel in specialist professions, like doctors and engineers, must serve for three years. In the case of a national emergency, the military service can be extended to five years.

Ukraine refugees want to return home — but how? by Cevat Giray Aksoy and Barbara Rambousek, February 21, 2024. EU Observer. It is generally accepted that the longer refugees are out of their home country, the less likely they are to return. However, in Ukraine’s case, it looks slightly different. Two years after being forced to flee their homes due to the Russian invasion, a significant number of the eight million displaced Ukrainians continue to express a strong determination to return. In the authors’ new EBRD research paper, they look at surveys on the intentions of refugee Ukrainians in Europe to return or integrate. Fewer than one in ten intend to settle permanently outside Ukraine. Most are planning to return either very soon (7.6 percent) or when it is safe (59.0 percent).


Border Controls, Politics and Digitization: The banality of digital “reasonable suspicions” and their effects by Lincoln Alexander School of Law. The objective of this presentation is to analyze how the politics of digital suspicion affect travellers seeking entry or transit visas. With a view to the consequences for individuals, Elspeth Guild, a Jean Monnet Professor ad personam in law at Queen Mary University of London, and Didier Bigo, a part-time professor of International Political Sociology at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, will analyze what groups are in charge of elaborating these policies, the link between private providers and public authorities, and the declared objectives and difficulties of constructing reliable and relevant data. This speaker series is on March 28, 2024, at 12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT at Toronto Metropolitan University.

February 26 2024: 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


Karimi, A., & Byelikova, Y. (2024). Wartime (im)mobilities: Effects of aspirations-capabilities on displaced Ukrainians in Canada and Germany and their viewpoints on those who remain in Ukraine. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1–20. In war times, what differentiates those who manage to flee from those who remain behind? The authors identify how macro-level policies and individual resources and aspirations combine to shape wartime (im)mobility outcomes. They make a threefold contribution to forced migration studies and argue that war acts as an amplifier of preexisting migration aspirations for some individuals, that wartime exit restriction is a distinct example of macro-level emigration policies, and that a proactive-stay-aspirations component extends the aspirations-capabilities framework’s conceptual range.

Oubad, I. & Mouna, K. (2023). Certifying Credibility: Trajectory of Sub-Saharan Asylum Seekers in Italy. Fuori Luogo. Rivista Di Sociologia Del Territorio, Turismo, Tecnologia, 17(4), 139-154. Drawing on an ethnography of refugees and protection seekers in Italy (region of Veneto), testimonies were generated to look at the complex processes involved in certifying eligibility for legal protection. This paper underscores the conditions under which migrants (re)invent a new identity to meet the institutional expectations of the European humanitarian criteria for asylum-seekers.

Roy, C. K. (2023). Financial Inclusion for Forcibly Displaced Persons: The Impact of Aid Conditions. Quarterly on Refugee Problems – AWR Bulletin, 62(4), 429–452. This research critically examines the direct impact of forcibly displaced persons’ (FDPs) inclusion in the financial system of host countries and explores the role of international development cooperation in facilitating financial inclusion. The study reveals a novel finding that solely including FDPs in the financial system or relying solely on development cooperation does not enhance financial inclusion in developing countries. This research provides valuable insights into the design and implementation of policies aimed at fostering financial inclusion for FDPs and highlights the importance of international partnerships in achieving this goal.

Tesfai, A., Captari, L. E., & Cowden, R. G. (2024). Coping Resources among Forced Migrants in South Africa: Exploring the Role of Character Strengths in Coping, Adjustment, and Flourishing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(1), 50. This phenomenological qualitative study explored how forced migrants in South Africa cope with violent, traumatic experiences and precarious resettlement conditions. Qualitative analysis revealed five overarching domains: spirituality and religiousness, love and kindness, hope and optimism, persistence and fortitude, and gratitude and thankfulness. Findings are framed within positive existential psychology and dual-factor understandings of mental health, which attend to human suffering and flourishing. The intergenerational transmission of strengths is explored as one potential means of buffering intergenerational trauma impacts and promoting family post-traumatic growth.

Tran, M., & Bermudez, R. (2022). Durable Solutions for People Displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines. Cusri Journal of Social Research. This paper scrutinizes the challenges and complexities surrounding durable solutions for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Tacloban City, Philippines, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. A human rights-based survey monitoring resettlement status seven years after the disaster shows significant gaps in human rights fulfilment, revealing uneven access to housing, livelihood, and essential services among displaced people. By adopting the “politics of mobility” framework, the paper recognizes that displacement and resettlement are not solely humanitarian and disaster recovery challenges. Instead, achieving durable solutions in post-disaster displacement requires understanding its development and mobility dimensions. The paper highlights how decisions related to land use, housing, and development, influenced by political and economic interests, impact the achievement of durable solutions to a catastrophic event.


As Sudan conflict fuels epic suffering, UN launches humanitarian and refugee response plans for 2024. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. The United Nations and its partners today appealed for a combined $4.1 billion to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of civilians in war-torn Sudan and those who have fled to neighbouring countries. Ten months since the conflict erupted, half of Sudan’s population – some 25 million people – needs humanitarian assistance and protection. More than 1.5 million people have fled across Sudan’s borders to the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The Mobility Key: Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—outlines the different types of travel documents that can facilitate refugees’ movement and key barriers to acquiring and using them. It also identifies steps that countries of asylum, transit, and destination, along with donors and international organizations, can take to overcome these challenges.

Quarterly Mixed Migration Updates. (2024). Mixed Migration Centre. This article presents the key updates on mixed migration from six regions around the world (Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa, and West Africa) during the fourth quarter of 2023. Such key updates include the increased displacement in Myanmar, the ongoing conflict in Sudan, and many more.


Massive displacement as fighting surges in eastern DR Congo by UN News, February 14, 2024. Fresh fighting since last week in the region has displaced an estimated 135,000 people from the town of Sake – on the northern banks of Lake Kivu – who are moving towards the provincial capital, Goma, about 25 kilometres away, according to UNHCR. The agency further said that it received reports of bombs falling on civilian areas in Sake and Goma, where an estimated 65,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are sheltering, prompting “significant concerns” for their safety. The presence of unexploded ordnance poses a particular threat to children, it added, noting that since the first week of February, at least 15 civilians had been killed and 29 injured around Goma and Sake.

Suspected asylum seekers taken to Nauru as political storm over boat arrivals intensifies by Andrea Mayes, Cason Ho, and Rosanne Maloney, February 17, 2024. ABC News. The arrival of 39 foreign nationals by boat in remote northern Western Australia on Friday is continuing to cause a political storm in Australia. The men have been taken to an offshore detention centre at Nauru.

Syrian refugees face dire human rights situation: UN report by Malaika Grafe, February 13, 2024. JURIST News. A report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday highlights human rights violations and abuses endured by Syrians upon their return to Syria. The report outlines a combination of challenges awaiting returnees, including general insecurity in the aftermath of the civil war, as well as ongoing violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. The report also highlights an “alarming” economic situation. Additionally, the report states, “People nowadays are more afraid of not having food than of bombs,” and many Syrians lack economic access to basic goods and services, including food, shelter and healthcare.

UN refugee chief warns Europe of a new influx of Sudanese migrants if Sudan’s conflict continues by Rédaction, February 2, 2024. Africanews. More than 9 million people are thought to be internally displaced in Sudan, and 1.5 million refugees have fled into neighbouring countries in 10 months of clashes between the Sudanese military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group commanded by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. If a cease-fire agreement is not signed soon between Sudan’s warring sides and relief efforts are not strengthened, refugees will look for safety beyond Sudan’s neighbouring countries, the head of the United Nations refugee agency warned.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: Migration drops, “border deal” fallout, Mayorkas impeachment by Adam Isacson, February 16, 2024. Washington Office on Latin America. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released data about its encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in January. The numbers showed a 50 percent drop in Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants from December, from a single-month record of 249,735 to 124,220. January was the third-quietest month at the U.S.-Mexico border of the Biden administration’s 36 full months.


Betting on Migration for Impact by Stanford Social Innovation Review. Migration is often framed as a crisis: When the issue makes headlines, it is portrayed as a burden, threat, or tragedy and almost always politically intractable. In reality, migration represents an opportunity and a solution, and it needs to be disentangled from electoral politics. Indeed, we are at the beginning of a multi-decade global trend of human movement, a trend which can be harnessed to unlock tremendous good for the world. This resource highlights the tangible opportunities for innovation and investment to deliver impact for people on the move.

The Poetry of Forced Migration – Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela: In Conversation by Forced Migration and the Arts. This online event is an evening of poetry and conversation with poets Malka al-Haddad and Loraine Masiya Mponela. As part of the evening, Malka and Loraine will read and discuss each other’s and their work and share insights and reflections on the influences they draw on in their writing and activism. The readings and conversation will take place online on Thursday, 28 March 2024, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm UK time.

Why refugee students are more likely to drop out of pre-university programs by Cogitatio Press. This new podcast episode of Let’s Talk About covers the following: as refugee students increasingly pursue higher education, it is crucial to understand their unique needs and challenges. Jana Berg (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, Germany) explores the factors influencing refugee students’ dropout intentions in pre-study programs, which reveals an interplay of financial constraints, perceived exclusion, and language proficiency.

February 9 2024: 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


Bergmann, J. (2024). At risk of deprivation. Studien Zur Migrations- Und Integrationspolitik. This open-access book examines how and why various forms of climate (im)mobilities can impact people’s objective and subjective well-being. Worsening climate impacts force subsistence farmers worldwide to decide between staying or leaving their homes. This mixed methods study analyzes climate-related migration, displacement, relocation, and immobility cases in Peru’s coastal, highland, and rainforest regions. The results reveal that numerous farmers experienced profound and often negative well-being impacts, regardless of whether they stayed or migrated.

Jakobson, M.-L., King, R., Moroşanu, L., & Vetik, R. (2023). Migration and integration in turbulent times. IMISCOE Research Series, 1–17. This open-access book investigates this question in the present context of turbulent times when, instead of dealing with one crisis, migrants, governments, and whole societies have to cope with a complex web of multiple unsettling events that create anxieties about migration. Emphasizing a plurality of theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and a variety of geographical settings in Europe and beyond, the chapters bring new insights into migrations produced by global political events, national political shifts, economic downturns and the Covid-19 pandemic. Migrants’ experiences and policy outcomes are emphasized. The result is an impressive rethinking of the concepts and terminology applied to migration and integration, of interest to students, social scientists, and policymakers.

Heck, G., Sevinin, E., Habersky, E., & Sandoval-García, C. (2024). Making routes: Mobility and Politics of Migrant in the Global South. The American University in Cairo Press. This book provides a fresh understanding of mobility flows, transnational linkages, and the politics of migration across the Global South, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Moving away from North–South, East–West binaries and challenging the conception that migratory movements are primarily unidirectional—from South to North—it explores how state policies, migrants’ trajectories, nationalism and discrimination, and art and knowledge production unfold in places as widespread as Egypt, Turkey, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

Pries, L., Calderón Morillón, O., & Estrada Ceron, B. A. (2023). Trajectories of forced migration: Central American migrants on their way toward the USA. Journal on Migration and Human Security. Migration dynamics from Central America to and through Mexico are mainly considered economic or mixed migration of people looking for work and a better life in the USA. Nevertheless, since the 2010s, the number of asylum applications in Mexico has skyrocketed. Based on a survey of Central American migrants in Mexico, the authors demonstrate that some (organized) violence was a crucial driver for leaving and a constant companion during their journey. After contextualizing the migration route from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) toward Mexico, the authors present the design of the study, describe the sociodemographic and general contexts of the 350 interviewees, and present the migration trajectories as long-lasting sequences of events and stays, where violence in different forms always is at play.

Tiilikainen, M., Hiitola, J., Ismail, A. A., & Palander, J. (2023). From forced migration to the forced separation of families. IMISCOE Research Series, 3–14. This open-access book examines the impacts and experiences of family separation on forced migrants and their transnational families. It investigates how people with a forced migration background in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America experience separation from their families and how family and kin in the countries of origin or transit are impacted by the often precarious circumstances of their family members in receiving countries. This book provides new knowledge on the nexus between transnational family separation, forced migration, and everyday (in)security. Additionally, it yields comparative information for assessing the impacts of relevant legislation and administrative practice in several national contexts. Based on rich empirical data, including unique cases about South-South migration, the findings in this book are highly relevant to academics in migration and refugee studies as well as policymakers, legislators, and practitioners.

Vargas-Silva, C., Hagen-Zanker, J., Carling, J., Carrasco, I. J., Czaika, M., Godin, M., & Erdal, B. M. (2023). Tackling the root causes of migration. Mignex. The authors examine the options that policymakers have for tackling the root causes of migration, defined as improving the economic, social and political conditions in places of origin to reduce aspirations to migrate internationally by making it more feasible and desirable to stay. They discuss root causes on the concept’s own terms to make policy options clear, not to endorse it.


Bearing witness: Atrocities and looming hunger in Darfur. (2024). Refugees International. Twenty years on from the Darfur genocide, mass atrocities are once again underway in Darfur. As a larger war continues to ravage the country of Sudan, a disturbing new wave of ethnically targeted killing has been unleashed by a militia descended from the groups that carried out the original genocide. However, global action has been tepid and ineffective as the killings mount. With Darfur’s former peacekeeping mission now withdrawn, global diplomacy focused elsewhere, and wildly inadequate levels of aid, there is little in place to prevent the current atrocities from devolving into another mass-mortality catastrophe. Thus, these atrocities are driving mass forced displacement and growing humanitarian needs.

Gender dynamics in internal displacement. (2023). Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This report is intended to improve understanding of gender inequalities linked with internal displacement and highlight ways forward to promote more inclusive and effective data collection, planning and responses. It begins by drawing from the latest primary data collected by IDMC and other organizations to explore the gendered risks and impacts of displacement. It then showcases promising examples of gender-responsive action to prevent and address the phenomenon, and highlights women’s role as agents of change. The final section takes stock of data sources on the issue and discusses tools and initiatives to address gaps.

Migration at the U.S.-Mexico border: A challenge decades in the making. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report examines the history of the federal government’s efforts to improve southwest border security in the modern era, beginning with the Clinton administration in 1993 and looking at subsequent changes during the Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations. The study identifies key developments in the evolution of U.S.-Mexico border security, including the changing origins and characteristics of migrants arriving at the border. The report also draws lessons from this long view of the border that may benefit policymakers and political leaders today. These include recognizing how the Department of Homeland Security’s mission has evolved, how vital interagency partnerships are, and that a transnational phenomenon such as irregular migration requires policies and international partnerships that stretch far beyond the border line itself.

Migration Outlook report: Electoral promises and quick fixes, asylum offshoring, and labour migration’s coming of age. (2024). International Centre for Migration Policy Development. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) expects migration to be a pivotal topic in a year full of European, national, and regional elections. While many governments implement quick fixes ahead of their electoral cycles, opposition parties are tying their campaigns to migration-related promises. ICMPD’s 2024 Migration Outlook report forecasts record displacement levels resulting from war and conflict, leading to a further securitization of migration and offshoring of asylum procedures and a rise in secondary movements. These developments occur while labour migration is ‘coming of age’ in Europe.

Sudan: Situation report. (2024). The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Sudan is the ‘largest internal displacement crisis globally,’ hosting an estimated 9.05 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the end of 2023, about 13% of all IDPs worldwide. Some 6.1 million people have been internally displaced since the start of the conflict on 15 April 2023, including some 13,500 people newly displaced in the past week, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). UNHCR’s designated human rights expert for Sudan, Radhouane Nouicer, reported multiple human rights violations in Sudan, including extrajudicial killings, unlawful detention, torture, beatings, and sexual violence. 

Summary of the Global Refugee Forum 2023 by the co-hosts and co-convenors. (2024). The UN Refugee Agency. This report summarizes the Global Refugee Forum 2023 that took place from 13 to 15 December in Geneva, Switzerland, with linked events held in other locations from 11 December. Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees, designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees: Ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries of origin


Quake survivors in northwest Syria feel abandoned amid aid cuts and glacial rebuild by Moawia Atrash, February 6, 2024. The New Humanitarian. One year after deadly earthquakes destroyed entire villages in northern Syria, tens of thousands of people who were displaced by the disaster still have nowhere to call home, as local conflict intensifies but international attention points elsewhere and aid funding dwindles. The days and weeks after the 6 February disaster were chaotic in southern Türkiye and northern Syria, with people scrambling to both take shelter and help however they could. The death toll eventually rose to more than 55,000 between the two countries.

How the ICJ could shape protection for people displaced in the context of climate change by Jane McAdam, January 24, 2024. Researching Internal Displacement. The forthcoming Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice will provide a weighty, rigorous and contemporary legal analysis of States’ legal obligations concerning climate change and human rights. This opinion piece describes how the court’s response to the request for an Advisory Opinion, led by Vanuatu, might influence protection for people at risk of displacement in the context of climate change.

Paving pathways for inclusion: 3 levers countries can use to include refugees in education systems by Arthur Borkowski, Lily Calaycay, and Bindu Sunny, January 30, 2024. Global Partnership for Education. Over 36 million refugees around the globe, many of whom are school-aged children, continue to grapple with the instability that defines their new reality. Each step they take—from crossing international borders seeking safety to navigating the complex pathways toward education and local integration—is fraught with uncertainty. With protracted crises causing prolonged periods of displacement, the inclusion of refugees within national education systems can help mitigate this uncertainty and equip them with the tools to rebuild their lives.

Sudan conflict fuels world’s largest internal displacement by Mohamed Osman, January 31, 2024. Human Rights Watch. Last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that 10.7 million people have been uprooted from their homes in Sudan, including 9 million displaced internally—two-thirds since the conflict broke out in April 2023. Sudan now has the highest rate of internal displacement in the world, even surpassing Syria’s 7.2 million. The author argues that this grim record should be a wake-up call.

Where do Ukrainian refugees in EU go after 2025? by Sheraz Akhtar and Patrick Keeney, January 23, 2024. EU Observer. Due to the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian war, millions of Ukrainian refugees have fled to EU countries, where they were met with generous and unprecedented support. Ukrainian refugees have encountered numerous challenges. As with anyone who flees from a war, it can be psychologically distressing to leave behind loved ones, community ties, and homes on short notice, not knowing what the future holds. In the host countries, refugees face housing issues, rising inflation, difficulty in securing decent jobs, a higher risk of exploitation, and language barriers, which are some of the critical predicaments they encounter.


Are the Pacific’s climate migration experiments a Preview for the world? by Changing Climate, Changing Migration. A landmark climate migration deal inked in late 2023 would allow hundreds of climate-vulnerable residents of the small island nation of Tuvalu to move to Australia. The pact is the latest step for a region that is at the leading edge globally in policy experimentation to address climate displacement. This Australia-Tuvalu deal, which is not uncontroversial, follows a brief and ultimately shelved attempt by New Zealand to create a “climate refugee” visa. How are these policies playing out, and what can the rest of the world learn from the Pacific experiences? This episode features renowned legal scholar Jane McAdam, who directs the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

Beyond Livelihoods: A Protracted Displacement Economy Approach by Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. Mutual aid, feminist economics and film in displacement affected communities. This podcast research seminar will present findings and short films from qualitative and quantitative fieldwork conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The findings are from the Protracted Displacement Economies project based at the University of Sussex.

Evacuations as displacement by Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. This talk about evacuations as displacement will be led by Jane McAdam AO, Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. The event will take place on February 14, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT on Zoom.

Global approaches to refugee response – what difference can they make? by Amanda Gray Meral and Jeffery Crisp, ODI. In recent times, many thousands of Afghan refugees have been forcibly repatriated from Pakistan, while Egypt’s border has been closed to prevent the arrival of Palestinians from Gaza. In Bangladesh, 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar live an increasingly precarious existence, unable to settle in the country or go back to their homes. Meanwhile, the UK government has been making intense efforts to implement an agreement that would allow newly arrived asylum seekers to be deported to Rwanda. As these examples suggest, refugees around the world are not accessing the protection, solutions and assistance to which they are entitled. The second Global Refugee Forum (GRF) with hundreds of delegates from the international aid sector met in Geneva in mid-December 2023.

Refugee protection at Europe’s borders: Problems and proposals for change by Jeffery Crisp for the University of Oxford. Razor-wire fences and naval blockades. Pushbacks on land and at sea. Physical punishment by border guards, militia forces and vigilante groups. Detention without trial and confinement to squalid camps. Deportation deals with states that abuse human rights. These are just a few of the methods that European states are employing to obstruct and deter the arrival of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from other parts of the world. As a result, people who are on the move and hoping to find security in the region are subjected to many different forms of inhumane treatment, in many cases violating the international and European human rights treaties that states have freely signed.

January 25 2024: 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


d’Orsi, C. (2023). One step forward, half step back: The still long way to go to end statelessness in Madagascar. African Human Mobility Review, 9(3). This work discusses the still unresolved plight of statelessness in Madagascar. Despite several important steps undertaken to eradicate statelessness in the country, the path to the complete eradication of statelessness in the country still seems quite long. This is because of the lack of will by local authorities who seem to ignore the conditions of thousands of people born and bred in Madagascar who, apparently for no specific reason, still do not hold Malagasy citizenship, causing them to be deprived of several basic rights that citizens are usually entitled to. In this respect, the fact that Madagascar is still not a party to several important international legal instruments adopted to eradicate statelessness does not facilitate the situation of the thousands of stateless people in Madagascar.

İçduygu, A., & Gören, H. (2023). Exploring temporal and topical dynamics of research on climate/environment–migration nexus: A critical comparative perspective. Migration Studies, 11(4), 572-597. Climate/environmental change and human migration research have significantly transformed since the early 1990s. Attention by migration-related journals and environment/climate-oriented journals has been uneven. What is absent is a critical comparative approach to this unevenness and the evolving dynamics of the nexus in a continuum. The researchers conducted a critical comparative analysis of six scholarly journals to fill this gap.

Lokot, M., Hartman, E. & Hashmi, I. (2023). Participatory approaches and methods in gender equality and gender-based violence research with refugees and internally displaced populations: A scoping review. Conflict & Health, 17 (58). Using participatory approaches or methods is often positioned as a strategy to tackle power hierarchies in research. Despite momentum on decolonizing aid, humanitarian actors have struggled to describe what the ‘participation’ of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) means in practice. However, it is not clear if and how these critiques apply to gender-based violence (GBV) and gender equality—topics that often innately include power analysis and seek to tackle inequalities. This scoping review explored how refugee and IDP participation is conceptualized within research on GBV and gender equality. Researchers suggest that future research should articulate more clearly what constitutes participation, consider incorporating feminist research methods, take more intentional steps to engage refugees and IDPs, ensure compensation for their participation, and include more explicit reflection and strategies to address power imbalances.

Sackett, B., & Lareau, A. (2023). We thought it would be heaven: Refugees in an unequal America. University of California Press. After fleeing conflict and enduring years of displacement, many refugees hope that resettlement to the United States will offer a place of refuge—a land of opportunity. Instead, they quickly find that it is also a land of inequality. Based on observations and interviews with Congolese refugees, aid workers, and volunteers, Sackett and Lareau reveal how a daunting obstacle course of services and agencies can derail newcomers’ trajectories in the United States. Seemingly small organizational errors—missing a deadline, mistaking a rule, or misplacing a form—tangle processes and block access to crucial resources. For some, these obstacles impeded socioeconomic mobility. Others, with support, were able to overcome obstacles to unlock key resources, buy houses, and send their children to college. Heaven. This book explains how large-scale policies and social programs transform the lives of refugee families, both helping and hindering their efforts to get ahead.

Thinyane M., Fournier-Tombs, E., & Molinario, G. (2023). The digital dynamics of migration: Insights from the Ukrainian crisis. Migration Research Series, N° 78. International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva. This Migration Research Series paper examines the digital dynamics of Ukrainian migrants and the implications of digital trends, such as online activism and remote work, on migration and displacement. The authors employ an aspirations and capabilities analytical lens to investigate the different facets of the digital lives of Ukrainian migrants. The authors argue that centring the analysis on the individual and collective capabilities and aspirations of the migrants allows for a nuanced understanding of migration and the role of digital technologies in the migration story and ultimately offers suggestions for enhancing the digital lives of migrants.

Vankova, Z. (2023). Refugee labour mobility to the EU: A tool contributing to fairer sharing of responsibilities in the context of forced displacement? Refugee Survey Quarterly. The idea of facilitating labour mobility for refugees as a pathway for admission is back on the policy agenda. However, a significant shortcoming of work-based pathways is that, in most cases, they do not lead directly to a durable solution but instead offer “a journey to a durable solution” based on temporary residence permits. This begs the question, to what extent can we rely on such pathways to support responsibility sharing, and what happens in cases where beneficiaries of such complementary pathways lose residence rights? By comparing the different approaches applied to Ukrainian and Syrian refugees in the European Union, this article concludes that refugee labour mobility in its current state has the potential to contribute to fairer responsibility-sharing only cumulatively with other durable solutions and complementary pathways and when it provides admission facilitation coupled with a fast and clear path to permanent residence or legal mechanisms, ensuring possibilities for extension of residence rights and legality of stay.


A tale of two contexts: The Ukrainian and Afghan refugee crises in Canada and the UK. (2023). Dalhousie University & University of Oxford. A Tale of Two Contexts is a comparative study that contrasts the approaches of Canada and the UK in accommodating Ukrainian and Afghan refugees. This study scrutinizes the criteria that classify refugees as deserving or undeserving of governmental protection. The insights derived from this comparative study are set to offer substantive recommendations to policymakers in Canada and the UK. The aim is to enhance the design and implementation of international and temporary protection measures for migrants and optimize transit and resettlement procedures for those displaced by turmoil and global emergencies.

Confronting compassion fatigue: Understanding the arc of public support for displaced populations in Turkey, Colombia, and Europe. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report examines the ebb and flow of public support for forced migrants in these three cases – displaced populations in Turkey, Colombia, and Europe. It highlights factors that have contributed to initial widespread solidarity, how support has been sustained over time, and when and why it begins to fade. The report concludes by drawing lessons from these case studies on what policymakers can do to better anticipate and address compassion fatigue.

Expanding protection options? Flexible approaches to status for displaced Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians. (2024). Migration Policy Institute. This report—part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative led by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung—examines the cases of Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine, identifying similarities in the approaches taken to offering protection while recognizing the differences between the cases. The study explores the factors underpinning government decisions and their medium- to long-term implications, concluding with thoughts on what can be learned for future international displacement crises.

World development report 2023: Migrants, refugees, and societies. (2023). The World Bank. This report proposes an integrated framework to maximize the development impacts of cross-border movements on both destination and origin countries and migrants and refugees themselves. The framework it offers, drawn from labour economics and international law, rests on a “match and motive” matrix that focuses on two factors: how closely migrants’ skills and attributes match the needs of destination countries and what motives underlie their movements. This approach enables policymakers to distinguish between different types of movements and to design migration policies for each. The authors conclude that international cooperation will be critical to the effective management of migration.

World report 2024: Events of 2023. (2023). Human Rights Watch. The latest edition of Human Rights Watch’s annual human rights survey summarizes the human rights situation in over 100 countries and territories around the world. 


Canada weighing extra border measures for asylum seekers from Mexico, minister says by Steve Scherer, January 21, 2024. Reuters. Canada is weighing several measures to prevent Mexican nationals from flying into the country to request asylum, a top official said on Sunday, after Quebec’s premier said earlier this week that the lack of visa requirements for Mexican travellers meant more refugees were arriving by plane. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said he and Immigration Minister Marc Miller were considering visas and other measures.

Between a rock and a hard place: the EU’s transactional approach to migration. (2024). Mixed Migration Centre. Since 2016, the combination of two trends—the increasing political importance of migration within the EU and the volatile political and security outlook in Africa—continues to shape the draft of a broader European strategic vision for migration. This essay examines the EU’s evolving and changing relationship with North Africa in terms of building migration policy and using North Africa to support the EU’s migration agenda.

In Lebanon, young Syrians sleep out in the open to avoid night-time deportation raids by Omar Hamed Beato, January 18, 2024. The New Humanitarian. For some young men among the more than 300,000 registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s eastern Beqaa Valley, sleeping outside feels like the safest option amid an ongoing wave of deportations to Syria, where a 12-year war rattles on, and returnees fear government reprisals. The New Humanitarian spoke with Ali, a 38-year-old Syrian refugee who spends his nights out in the open on the outskirts of the Beqaa Valley town where his family has a tent in one of the clutch of informal camps, which offers little protection from the harsh winter conditions. 

‘Nobody sees me’: Photographing displacement in Burkina Faso’s capital by Warren Saré and Giulia Tringali, January 10, 2024. The New Humanitarian. More than 30,000 Burkinabé have made their way down to the capital city, Ouagadougou, over the past few years, escaping a jihadist conflict that has enveloped large parts of the country and displaced more than two million people overall. Yet, despite the city’s safety and employment opportunities, the displaced people have been struggling with high rents and a lack of assistance and recognition from humanitarian organizations and different governments.

Often Shut Out of the Financial System, Refugees and Other Migrants Face Economic Integration Challenges by Ting Zhang, December 6, 2023. Migration Policy Institute. Globally, significant strides have been made in recent years to expand affordable financial services to marginalized populations. Services such as low-cost microcredit and mobile money transfers have helped millions of people obtain loans, build credit, and benefit from an advanced, global financial system. Nevertheless, many refugees and other migrants in the Global North can encounter difficulties accessing financial services due to inadequate identification, discriminatory business practices, and limited financial literacy, among other challenges. These barriers can prevent migrants from fully integrating into their host communities. They can have broad ripple effects, given that a bank account is often essential to access formal employment, obtain housing, and manage expenses.

Q&A: 2023 migration and forced displacement, in review by Eric Reidy, December 22, 2023. The New Humanitarian. This piece summarizes an interview with Bram Frouws, director of the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC),  on migration and forced displacement developments and trends in the past year. He discussed the significant gap between what research evidence suggests would be a humane and sustainable way to manage migration and the debates that drive the migration policies that are actually adopted. The interview also covers the importance of correcting misperceptions about climate migration and how many people migrate from the Global South to the Global North; the MMC’s documentation of the shocking killing of Ethiopian asylum seekers and migrants in Yemen by Saudi Arabian border guards; the dramatic rise in people crossing the Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama; and other major migration and forced displacement developments around the world. 


How can we better support refugees? | The development podcast limited series: A world free of poverty on a liveable planet by The World Bank. In this episode—the hosts ask the questions—How can we better support the world’s growing number of refugees and their host communities? What economic benefits can refugee integration bring to societies? The podcast features Abdullahi Mire, a refugee education advocate and winner of the 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award, and insights from Kenyan entrepreneur Nancy Karambo Riungu. Discussions with Raouf Mazou (UN Refugee Agency) and Xavier Devictor (The World Bank) explore how various sectors can better support refugees.

Refugees: living with loss of identity, family, language, culture and home by SBS News. This Australian Special Broadcasting Services podcast explores the unique grief experience of refugees and asylum seekers. For refugees and asylum-seekers, grief is often a multi-layered experience. In many cases, they are navigating the loss of family, home and identity while trying to forge a new reality. The episode interviews individuals who have been refugees or asylum seekers to share their experiences.

“Refugees” or “Migrants”? How word choices affect rights and lives by The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. This resource explains the importance of distinguishing between the words “refugees” and “migrants,” as all people who move between countries deserve full respect for their human rights and dignity. There are, however, different reasons and motivations for people to leave their homes and, consequently, different international legal obligations that arise and apply to those whose lives were, are, or may be at risk should they return.