Category Archives: Research Digest

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.

December 1 2023: 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


Kurfalı, M. A., & Özçürümez, S. (2023). Residing without settling: Housing market and tactics of Syrian forced migrants in Turkey. Population, Space and Place, 29(8), e2700. This study examines the agency of forced migrants from Syria and their housing pathways in securing accommodation in a neoliberal housing market amidst increasing unwelcoming attitudes by the local population, no social housing, high dependence on rental housing prone to price hikes, and “temporary protection” legal status.

Lokot, M. (2023). Decision-Making, Violence, Resistance, and Love: Contested and Complicating Narratives of Syrian Marriages. Violence Against Women, 30(1), 31-53. Based on feminist ethnographic research with Syrian women and men in Jordan, this article explores marriages in historical and intersectional contexts before and during displacement. The article challenges common representations of Syrian marriages and advances how Syrian women’s power and agency are understood. It emphasizes women’s role in deciding to marry (or not) and discusses violence and love in marriage and resistance to proposed love marriages.

Masterson, D. (2023). Refugee Networks, cooperation, and Resource Access. American Political Science Review, 1–17. Without formal avenues for claims-making or political participation, refugees must find their own means of securing services from state and non-state providers. This article asks why some refugee communities are more effective than others in mitigating community problems.  The author uses a framework for understanding how refugees’ social networks shape the constraints and capabilities for collective action.

Streitwieser, B., Summers, K. & Crist, J. (Eds.). (2023.) Accessing Quality Education: Local and Global Perspectives from Refugees. Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. This book shares the experiences of refugees settled in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area (DMV) over the last ten years and their journeys back into education. What motivated their paths to access and success in education? What were their dreams and aspirations? What obstacles stood in their way, and how did they overcome them? Who helped them along the way? What advice do they have for others experiencing displacement? Finally, what can institutions and policymakers do to integrate them more successfully?

Turner, L. (2023). Who is a Refugee in Jordan? Hierarchies and Exclusions in the Refugee Recognition Regime. Journal of Refugee Studies, 1-20. This article dissects the refugee recognition regime in Jordan. The author argues that despite being conducted by UNHCR, refugee recognition is a heavily politicized process shaped by intersecting racial and national hierarchies, restrictive government regulations, and UNHCR policies. Despite Jordan hosting the ‘second highest share of refugees per capita in the world,’ relatively few protection seekers gain refugee status. When they do, it is almost always part of the resettlement process. Many remain asylum seekers for years or decades, while others cannot even register their claim for international protection with UNHCR. This article contributes to refugee studies by demonstrating how UNHCR policies change      RSD in non-signatory states. It highlights the importance of asylum/refugee registration, how state and humanitarian policies lead to some protection seekers being missed in academic analyses, and the ever-growing gap between the legal and ‘everyday’ uses of the term ‘refugee.’

Wray, H., Charsley, K., & Smith, L. (2023). Introduction to Special Issue: Family Migration in Times of Crisis. Migration Studies, 11(3), 363-379. This introduction to the Special Issue on Family Migration in Times of Crisis explains why the concept of crisis is a valuable prism to uncover new insights into family migration. For instance, crises present new risks and challenges for migrants and their families. The intersection of the temporalities of crisis with those of family migration can exacerbate periods of separation and subsequent stress and anxiety about how the family can reunify. 


Abuse, Corruption, and Accountability: Time to Reassess EU & U.S. Migration Cooperation with Tunisia. (November 16, 2023). Refugees International. Tunisia is now the principal departure point by sea for migrants and refugees seeking to transit to Europe and is struggling badly to manage the arrival and presence of a substantial population of displaced people from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Under pressure from Europe to curtail irregular migration in the Mediterranean and amidst domestic political and economic turmoil, the government of President Kais Saied is resorting to demagoguery and abuse in its ad hoc attempts to manage the challenge. This report verifies and documents that Tunisian security forces have committed grave and systematic abuses against refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants. 

Canada Public Opinion about Immigration & Refugees. (2023). Environics Institute for Survey Research and Century Initiative. 2023 has been a year in which Canadians have become less satisfied with the direction of the country and more pessimistic about the state of the economy. At the same time, the country welcomed a record number of immigrants. Against this backdrop, the latest Focus Canada research shows there has been a significant increase in the belief that there is too much immigration to Canada, due in large part to a jump in the proportion citing concerns about how newcomers might be contributing to the current housing crisis. This reflects a dramatic shift since a year ago in terms of how the public views the number of immigrants being accepted, but there has been no comparable change in what Canadians think about immigrants themselves or the contribution they make to their communities and the country. 

Davidoff-Gore, S. & Le Coz, C. (2023). Migration and Displacement in Secondary Cities: Insights from Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda. Migration Policy Institute. The world is becoming increasingly urbanized, driven by long-standing patterns of rural-urban migration and the growth of new small and mid-sized cities. While sprawling megacities often receive the most policy and public attention, secondary cities are some of the fastest growing in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Migrants and displaced persons, often drawn to small and mid-sized cities by the promise of greater economic opportunities and better access to services than exist in rural areas, can nonetheless face a variety of challenges, as can the communities in which they settle. This study explores these dynamics in Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda.

McAdam, J. & Wood, T. (2023). Kaldor Centre Principles on Climate Mobility. UNSW Law & Justice. Climate change and disasters are already having far-reaching impacts on human mobility globally. In the absence of significant and scaled-up global mitigation and adaptation efforts, the risks posed by climate change are likely to continue, contributing to the movement of people both within countries and across international borders. A range of rights-based responses is needed to ensure that such a movement is safe and dignified. The Principles address a broad range of laws, policies and practices that can impact those who want to remain at home      and those who move. Holistic, interconnected, comprehensive and adaptable, they address all forms of mobility – displacement, migration, evacuations and planned relocations – as well as immobility.     


Darien Gap: As migrants take deadly risks for better lives, Canada and the U.S. must do much more by Tanya Basok and Guillermo Candiz, October 30, 2023. The Conversation. Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller recently announced that as many as 15,000 displaced people with extended family connections in Canada — most of them from Central or South America or the Caribbean — are now eligible to apply to immigrate to Canada on a humanitarian basis. By announcing this measure, Canada affirmed its commitment to a joint initiative known as Safe Mobility, launched by the United States in April 2023 to stem the irregular crossings of hundreds of thousands of people into the U.S. by offering alternatives. However, Canada’s recent announcement fails to make it clear whether admitting 15,000 displaced people is a one-off measure or whether Canada is setting an annual target.

From Ethiopia to South Africa: The human cost of a neglected migration route by Obi Anyadike, November 22, 2023. The New Humanitarian. Sometime in October last year, a truck stopped on a quiet road in northern Malawi’s Mtangatanga forest and offloaded 29 bodies. They had suffocated in the back of the vehicle and were hastily buried in shallow graves. The dead were Ethiopian men, aged between 25 and 40 – victims of a lucrative transnational smuggling network that funnels tens of thousands of people into southern Africa each year with little regard for their safety. They had entrusted their lives to an intricate – often abusive – system of people transporters. Their goal had been to reach South Africa, find work, and change the economic fortunes of their families.

‘It takes time to develop trust’: Refugees less likely to report health conditions, study finds by Penry Buckley and Aleisha Orr, November 5, 2023. SBS News. A new report reveals refugees and humanitarian entrants in Australia are much less likely to self-report cancer and mental health conditions and are also more likely to die from drowning. For instance, Among the outcomes, it found refugees were 60 percent less likely to report asthma and cancer than the rest of the Australian population and 50 percent less likely to report chronic lung conditions and mental health issues.

Supreme Judgecraft: non-refoulement and the end of the UK-Rwanda ‘deal’? by Catherine Briddick and Cathryn Costello, November 20, 2023. Verfassungsblog. The UK Supreme Court held that the Secretary of State’s policy to remove protection seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. Rwanda is not, at present, a safe third country. The Supreme Court found      “substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that asylum claims will not be determined properly, and that asylum seekers will, in consequence, be at risk of being returned directly or indirectly to their country of origin.” Should this occur “refugees will face a real risk of ill-treatment in circumstances where they should not have been returned at all”. The authors argue that the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning and evidential assessment are impeccable, applying legal principles well-embedded in international and domestic law to clear evidence. However, the UK government’s responses are deeply troubling from the perspectives of refugee protection, international legality, and the rule of law in the UK.

Unpacking Elon Musk’s convoluted U.S.-Mexico border visit by Yvonne Su, November 5, 2023. The Conversation. In late September, Elon Musk, the tech billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX, set the internet ablaze with his visit to the Texas-Mexico border to provide what he called an “unfiltered” perspective on the border crisis as thousands of migrants, mainly from Venezuela, crossed the Rio Grande River. Musk’s position on immigration appears convoluted. On the one hand, he says he is “extremely pro-immigrant,” given he is an immigrant to the United States himself, yet he peddles right-wing anti-refugee rhetoric. 


Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2023 | Who Gets Believed? A conversation with Dina Nayeri by the University of Oxford. This lecture discusses Dina Nayeri’s new book, “Who Gets Believed?” It combines deep reportage with her life experience to examine what constitutes believability in our society. Intent on exploring ideas of persuasion and performance, the speaker takes us behind the scenes in emergency rooms, corporate boardrooms, asylum interviews, and into her own family to ask – where lies the difference between being believed and being dismissed? What does this mean for our culture? 

Five podcasts about refugees you need to listen to by The UN Refugee Agency Australia for UNHCR. Since podcasts are a great way to learn about refugees and displaced people, this resource lists the best podcasts to learn about refugees. The common theme of these podcasts is that they spotlight firsthand stories of refugees and displaced people.
Key informant interviews: a practical guide for refugee and displacement researchers by Jeffery Crisp for the University of Oxford. Interviews with key informants are important to      any research project dealing with refugee, displacement and humanitarian issues. Whether you are talking to a politician, a government official, a UN or NGO employee or a civil society leader, they provide an invaluable means of gaining access to factual and topical information, an understanding of the historical context of your project, as well as ideas, insights and opinions that can shed new and different light on the evidence you have collected by other means. This resource provides 8 key guidelines based on the author’s experience as an interviewer and interviewee over the past 40 years.
Refugee Protection and AAA and others (2023-4) | Panel 1: International Refugee Law and Safe Third Countries by the University of Oxford. This series of panel discussions examines the arguments advanced in R (on the application of AAA and others) v SSHD and analyzes its implications for Rwanda, the UK, and refugee protection more broadly. The panels bring together speakers whose expertise and experience make them uniquely placed to explore the consequences of the Supreme Court’s judgement from a range of jurisdictional, institutional, political and legal perspectives.

November 10 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 140


Acker, S. (2023). Beauty and beautification in refugees’ lives and their implications for refugee policy. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–46. This article seeks to understand the significance of everyday beauty in refugees’ lives and its implications for refugee policy. It demonstrates how beauty and beautification play an active role in how refugees (re)make home, even in temporary situations. Beauty is used to build hope, celebrate culture, create community, and honour past and present realities, and therefore has significant implications for the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. The role of beauty in refugee homemaking suggests challenging the narrow focus on durable solutions to a more holistic framework, transforming language and policy approaches to include refugees as decision-makers, and investing in the quality of shelters, camps, and homes as a more effective way to reduce pressure on host countries.

 Al-Janaideh, R., Abdulkarim, M., Speidel, R., Filippelli, J., Colasante, T., & Malti, T. (2023). A community-based needs assessment of resettled Syrian refugee children and families in Canada. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–29. A needs assessment was conducted to identify the needs, challenges, and strengths of Syrian refugee children and families resettled in Canada and of services for them. The results indicated significant needs and challenges experienced by refugees (e.g., persistent mental health issues, lack of in-person support), as well as challenges related to refugee services (e.g., discontinuity of mental health services). Several refugee strengths (e.g., optimism for the future and strong familial ties) and refugee service strengths (e.g., service collaboration), highlight refugees’ adaptive capacities and points of service leverage to ensure refugees’ well-being and positive resettlement.

Culcasi, K. (2023). Displacing Territory: Syrian and Palestinian Refugees in Jordan”. University of Chicago Press. This piece explores how the lived realities of refugees are deeply affected by their imaginings of what constitutes territory and their sense of belonging to different places and territories. The author shows how these individual conceptualizations about territory do not always fit the Western-centric division of the world into states and territories, thus revealing alternative or subordinated forms and scales of territory. She also argues that disproportionate attention to “refugee crises” in the Global North has diverted focus from other parts of the world that bear the responsibility of protecting the majority of the world’s refugees. By focusing on Jordan, a Global South state that hosts the world’s second-largest number of refugees per capita, this book provides insights to consider alternate ways to handle the situation of refugees elsewhere. In the process, Culcasi brings the reader into refugees’ diverse realities through their own words, inherently arguing against the tendency of many people in the Global North to see refugees as aberrant, burdensome, or threatening.

Derksen, M., & Teixeira, C. (2023). Refugees and religious institutions in a mid-size Canadian city. Population, Space and Place, 29(5), e2653. This study explores how religious institutions affect refugee settlement in Kelowna, a mid-size city in British Columbia. Kelowna has had a significant increase in refugee sponsorship since the 2015 Syrian crisis, and most private sponsorship has involved churches and the local mosque in collaboration with government-funded settlement services and community partners. The results reveal that religious institutions help refugees cope with barriers and challenges in Kelowna in three main ways: bridging language barriers between newcomers, service providers, and sponsorship providers; helping newcomers establish new lives in Kelowna and move toward integration; and helping newcomers move away from precarity toward prosperity as they re-establish themselves and their families.

Schenck, Marcia C. & Reed, K. (2023). The Right to Research: Historical Narratives by Refugee and Global South Researchers. McGill/Queens University Press. Refugees and displaced people rarely figure as historical actors and rarely as historical narrators. We often assume a person residing in a refugee camp, lacking funding, training, social networks, and other material resources that enable the research and writing of academic history, cannot be a historian because a historian cannot be a person residing in a refugee camp. The Right to Research disrupts this tautology by featuring nine works by refugee and host-community researchers across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Identifying the intrinsic challenges of making space for diverse voices within a research framework and infrastructure that is inherently unequal, this edited volume offers a critical reflection on what history means, who narrates it, and what happens when those long excluded from authorship bring their knowledge and perspectives to bear. Chapters address topics such as education in Kakuma Refugee Camp, the political power of hip-hop in Rwanda, women migrants to Yemen, and the development of photojournalism in Kurdistan.​​

Warren, K. (2023). Emotions in crisis: Consequences of ceremonial refugee camp visits to Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–18. Research on refugee resettlement frequently overlooks the larger context of the experience of forced migration. As a result, the micro-level interactions between refugees and the bureaucrats who make resettlement decisions are hidden. We can better understand the socio-political dynamics between refugees and the officials deciding their resettlement cases if we approach encounters between refugees and migration officials during ceremonial visits as sites of emotional exchange. This article examines the complex socio-political emotional exchanges of power and vulnerability that underpin the refugee resettlement process through an ethnographic analysis of Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal.

Xhardez, C., & Soennecken, D. (2023). Temporary Protection in Times of Crisis: The European Union, Canada, and the Invasion of Ukraine. Politics and Governance, 11(3). This article compares the policy responses of the EU and Canada to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the two temporary protection schemes and differentiating between their overarching goals, policy instruments, and settings. While the policies may seem similar initially, a closer examination reveals underlying disparities, contradictions, and complexities, particularly when analyzing the precise policy instruments and settings. Considering that the past informs contemporary policy trajectories, they suggest that while the two programs build on the respective regions’ historical and political contexts, crises also create opportunities for change, raising questions about the future direction of immigration policy in both regions.


 Fratzke, S., Pulkkinen, V., & Ugolini, E. (2023). From safe homes to sponsors: Lessons from the Ukraine hosting response for refugee sponsorship programs. Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief examines the implementation of private hosting initiatives for displaced Ukrainians in a range of European countries. It situates these programs within the broader evolution of private welcoming and sponsorship initiatives in Europe and identifies key successes and limitations. The brief also offers recommendations that could help civil society, governments, and the European Union further develop hosting initiatives and refine refugee resettlement and community sponsorship programs.

Marks, J. (2023). By land or by sea: Syrian refugees weigh their futures. Refugees International. After 12 years of war, nearly 5.2 million Syrian refugees in Türkiye, Lebanon, and Jordan are caught in an increasingly untenable limbo. Host countries are normalizing relations with the Syrian government and are eager for refugees to depart, even though there is no foreseeable prospect of them ever safely returning to Syria. The time has come for a serious global conversation on durable solutions for Syrian refugees—one that acknowledges the impossibility of return and grapples seriously with expanded local integration and global resettlement.

Omata, N. & Gidrom, Y. (2023). Refugee entrepreneurship in Rwanda. University of Oxford. This research brief shows how refugees take advantage of their freedom of movement to establish trade networks and engage with the Rwandan economy, explores some of the differences between refugee enterprises in Mahama and Kigali, and includes recommendations for policymakers and development and humanitarian actors for enhancing the feasibility and impact of entrepreneurship support for refugees in Rwanda.

Ugolini, E., & Damian Smith, C. (2023). Why matching matters: Improving outcomes in refugee sponsorship and complementary pathways. Migration Policy Institute. This policy brief explores the evolution of community sponsorship, complementary pathways, and resettlement programs’ approaches to matching refugees with sponsors or receiving communities and highlights opportunities for further innovation. The analysis includes a close look at novel approaches to matching developed by initiatives responding to high-profile emergencies, including the Ukrainian displacement crisis.


Canada-U.S. refugee pact changes expected to ‘exacerbate existing threats’: memo by Jim Bronskill, October 21, 2023. CityNews Everywhere. This news article is about how a newly released memo shows federal officials warned last spring that expanding a bilateral refugee pact to the entire Canada-U.S. border would likely fuel smuggling networks and encourage people to seek more dangerous, remote crossing routes.

Palestinians in Lebanon’s largest refugee camp brace for another round of conflict by Hanna Davis and Haisam el-Hreich, October 25, 2023. The New Humanitarian. Hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza are threatening to spill over into Lebanon, raising fears in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp for Palestinians that residents still recovering from earlier unrest could once again see their lives upended. Since Hamas, the Palestinian political and militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, launched a deadly incursion into Israel on 7 October, the clashes have largely subsided. However, residents fear another round of conflict, this time triggered by an expansion of the Gaza war into Lebanon.

Shahrzad and 21 other women just walked from Melbourne to Canberra. Here’s why by Niv Sadrolodabaee and Carl Dixon, October 23, 2023. SBS Language. Twenty-two women, who have joined a dozen asylum seekers who protested at Parliament House, completed a 700 km protest walk from Melbourne to Canberra. The protesters, mostly on temporary or bridging visas, are demanding a resolution to their visa status.

Yesterday’s crisis: Australia cuts aid to Rohingya refugees by Stephen Howes, October 24, 2023. Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre. This article discusses how Rohingya people living in Bangladesh are struggling due to the spread of scabies and malnutrition. However, Australia is cutting aid to Rohingya refugees due to donor fatigue and shifting priorities, as the Pacific is their focus.

Why Egypt and other Arab countries are unwilling to take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza by Jack Jeffery and Samy Magdy, October 18, 2023. Associated Press. The article discusses why neighbouring countries are not taking in Palestinian refugees from Gaza. It discusses that their refusal is rooted in fear that Israel wants to force a permanent expulsion of Palestinians into their countries and nullify Palestinian demands for statehood. The President of Egypt also said a mass exodus would risk bringing militants into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from where they might launch attacks on Israel, endangering the two countries’ 40-year-old peace treaty.


A Cold Climate for Refugee Women? (WiRL Seminar Series 2023/24 Seminar One) by Women in Refugee Law (WiRL). This will be the first in a series of free online seminars hosted by the Women in Refugee Law (WiRL) network on the 2023/24 theme of “Refuge in a cold climate: the impact on women.” These are public events, ideal for anyone whose work relates to refugee or asylum-claiming women or with an interest in the needs and experiences of refugee women. This series will draw on WiRL’s global membership to apply a gendered lens in analyzing the impact of increasing hostility to refugees in different states and contexts. Seminar One: A Cold Climate for Refugee Women? Mon, 27 Nov 2023 15:30 – 16:45 GMT.

A Multi-Sector World Café to Promote the Mental Health of Refugees in BC by UBC Centre for Migration Studies. The purpose of the World Café is to convene and collaborate with service users, health practitioners, settlement service providers, and policymakers to gain your expertise and knowledge about what you think to work to promote integrated mental health services and support for people who have experienced migration, such as refugees. It will take place on November 28, 2023, 11:45 AM – 4:00 PM PST at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Refugee women get on the tools to build new lives by ABC Listen. This podcast episode is about how arriving in a new country can be terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure, even more so when you are a refugee. There are more than 11,000 refugee migrant women around the Hunter Valley in Australia — many of them have come from countries where they may not have had a chance to get an education or where they have been treated as second-class citizens. Now, a new local course aims to empower these women and give them skills they never thought they could learn — all in the male-dominated construction field.

October 26 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 139

A message from the RRN Team

We want to warmly welcome everyone to the new academic year, even though it is a bit belated. As the world keeps experiencing significant events, the importance of conducting strong research on refugee matters, displacement, and resilience has never been more critical. Therefore, we are thrilled to announce that our RRN Research Digest will once again be published bi-weekly for this academic year.

We are also delighted to introduce our newest team member, Celina Lieu, who will now coordinate the research digest. Handing over the reins to younger scholars reflects RRN’s dedication to growth, fostering fresh perspectives, and ensuring the sustainability of our research endeavors.

We sincerely appreciate your contributions to open-access research and encourage you to keep sharing all of your relevant work with us. It greatly enhances the content of the RRN Research Digest. Please reach out to Celina at with your submissions and ideas.

Warm regards,

The RRN Team


Barnes, J., & Theule, J. (2023). Examining associations between maternal trauma, child attachment security, and child behaviours in refugee families. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–17. The article examines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms in refugee mothers and the relationships between maternal trauma, child attachment security, and child internalizing and externalizing behaviours. The findings of the study suggest that child attachment security may protect against maternal trauma.

Clark-Kazak, C. (2023). “Why care now” in forced migration research? : Imagining a radical feminist ethics of care. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 22(4), 1151–1173. This article lays out the ethical, epistemological, and methodological reasons for radical care ethics in research on forced migration. Drawing on a growing body of literature and recent initiatives to codify ethics in forced migration studies, it highlights the transformational potential of a radical feminist care approach to the “ethical turn” in the field. 

Clark-Kazak, C. (2023). Research across borders: An introduction to interdisciplinary, cross-cultural methodology. University of Toronto Press. Research across Borders introduces key concepts and methods to understand and critically analyze research in academic books and journals, as well as in media, government reports, and anywhere else information is found. This book addresses the opportunities and challenges of undertaking research in international, cross-border, and cross-cultural contexts.

Collyer, M., & Uttara, S. (2023). Offshoring refugees: Colonial echoes of the UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership. Social Sciences 12: 451
British proposals to forcibly deport asylum seekers to Rwanda have raised fierce opposition from across the political spectrum in the UK and internationally. Colonial policies of forcible removal, relocation, displacement, and dispersal around the Empire are well established. The article draws attention to these longer histories before investigating more recent cases of the dispersal of refugees within the British Empire in the twentieth century, and the colonial practices of forcible displacement of individuals inform the current agreement between the UK and Rwanda is highlighted in this paper.  

Henningsen, G. (2023). Big Data for the Prediction of Forced Displacement. International Migration Review. In recent years, UNHCR has intensified its efforts to integrate various data sources, ranging from satellite imagery to newspapers to online digital data, into estimates of refugees and persons of concern. These novel data sources offer the opportunity to improve planning about early warning and acute crisis situations. This paper outlines the potential of big data and presents examples of how some of those data sources are currently used in the organization. 

Hynie, M., Oda, A., Calaresu, M., Kuo, B. C., Ives, N., Jaimes, A., Bokore, N., Beukeboom, C., Ahmad, F., Arya, N., Samuel, R., Farooqui, S., Palmer-Dyer, J.-L., & McKenzie, K. (2023). Access to virtual mental healthcare and support for refugee and immigrant groups: A scoping review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 25(5), 1171–1195. Immigrant and refugee populations face multiple barriers to accessing mental health services. This scoping review applies the Patient-Centred Access to Healthcare model in exploring the potential of increased access through virtual mental healthcare services for these populations by examining the affordability, availability/accommodation, and appropriateness and acceptability of virtual mental health interventions and assessments. 

Lepp, A., & Gerasimov, B. (2023). Editorial: Labour, migration, and exploitation during COVID-19 and lessons (not) learnt. Anti-Trafficking Review, (21), 1–15. This article reviews the impacts of COVID-19 on labour, migration, and human trafficking. It outlines some of the main challenges internal and cross-border migrants faced during the pandemic, including closures of workplaces, deportations, lack of access to healthcare and social support, increasing xenophobia and racism, and more.

McNally, R. (2023). Equally Public and Private Refugee Resettlement: The Historical Development of Canada’s Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–17. For over 40 years, Canada’s Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program has combined government financial assistance, professional settlement services, and private sponsor settlement support for refugees with “special needs.” With high public and private involvement, the program offers another potential model for sponsorship, yet existing knowledge about the program is limited. This article explores the historical development of the program, highlighting three time periods: 1979–1981, when it launched; 1998–2001 when it welcomed thousands of Kosovars and expanded as selection criteria prioritized vulnerability; and 2014–2019, as it increasingly competed with other sponsorship programs. 

Pendakur, R., & Sarna, S. Mr Speaker: The changing nature of parliamentary debates on immigration in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie, 00, 1-30. This article looks at the changing nature of political debates concerning immigration over a five-decade period in the Canadian House of Commons. In the 1990s, party views on immigration in Canada became more extreme when the Progressive Conservative Party split. The Liberal Party leaned more to the left, and the Reform/Alliance/Conservative parties moved further to the right and stayed that way until 2015. After that, the Conservatives and the Liberals started moving toward the middle. 

Pozuelo JR, Bradenbrink R, Stierna MF, and Sterck O. (2023). Depression, violence and socioeconomic outcomes among refugees in East Africa: Evidence from a multicountry representative survey. BMJ Mental Health, 26:1–8. Existing research on refugee mental health is heavily skewed towards refugees in high-income countries, even though most refugees (83%) are hosted in low-income and middle-income countries. This problem gets more complicated because the groups of people typically studied are not always representative, the samples are sometimes small, and not many people respond. This study aims to give accurate results about how many people from various refugee groups in East Africa have depression and what might be connected to it. 

Schenck, M.C. & Reed, K. (2023). The Right to Research: Historical Narratives by Refugee and Global South Researchers. McGill-Queen’s University Press. The Right to Research features nine works by refugee and host-community researchers across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. It identifies the intrinsic challenges of making space for diverse voices within a research framework and infrastructure that is inherently unequal. This edited volume offers a critical reflection on what history means, who narrates it, and what happens when those long excluded from authorship bring their knowledge and perspectives to bear. The chapters address topics such as education in Kakuma Refugee Camp, the political power of hip-hop in Rwanda, women migrants to Yemen, and the development of photojournalism in Kurdistan.

Ziersch, A., Loehr, N., & Miller, K. (2023). Discrimination in the private rental market in Australia: Large families from refugee backgrounds. Housing Studies, 1–25. This article examines the many challenges, such as discrimination, refugee and asylum seekers face in the private rental market, as securing appropriate housing is a crucial component of resettlement for people with refugee experience. Market factors and risk assessments were highlighted as contributing to discrimination and how agents’ and lessors’ working definitions of discrimination manifested in their tenant selection practices. While service providers and some agents sought to counter discriminatory practices, the significant impact of discriminatory housing practices for refugees and asylum seekers was evident and posed important policy and practice questions.   


Barbour, B. (2023). Asylum capacity development: Building new and strengthening existing systems.  Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. Refugees are guaranteed a set of rights under international law. However, the asylum system that they encounter in the country where they seek refuge determines if they can enjoy those rights. An ‘asylum system’ can be understood as the legal, institutional, and social arrangements in place to meet the needs of refugees. Asylum capacity development (ACD) is the emerging area of policy and practice concerned with strengthening asylum systems. This Policy Brief sets out an approach to strengthen asylum systems, provides practical guidance by setting out a framework that can be used to evaluate existing or proposed asylum systems, and promotes a needs-based approach that seeks to develop capacities or scale them up to meet the identified needs of refugees.

Collins, J., Reid, C., Groutsis, D., Hughes, S., Watson, K., Kaabel, A. (2023). Refuge and family futures in Australia: Settlement outcomes of recently arrived refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. University of Sydney Business School and the MERCI@WResearch Group. The report looks at regional vs. metropolitan refugee settlement experiences and family, social class, and religious dimensions of the refugee settlement experience. It is enlivened by detailed quotes from the refugee adults and youth about their experiences, aspirations, hopes and concerns about their families’ lives in Australia. Settlement outcomes – education, language, employment and belonging – improved significantly over time (between 2017-2022). These evidence-based findings demonstrate that Australian refugee intakes can be substantially increased.

Shakespeare, M., Pham, L., Chitranshi, B., McMahon, T., Khorana, S., Magee, L. Bau, V. (2023). Foundations for Belonging 2023: Exploring refugees’ understanding and engagement with First Nations issues and histories. SSI/Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. This report covers a four-year research project on the resettlement journey of refugees in Australia, with the latest exploring how refugees understood Indigenous issues. The report found that knowledge of Indigenous history and its survival over thousands of years can inspire refugees and their children with a sense of safety to continue their own cultural traditions. It also noted that both refugees and Indigenous people’s experiences were often characterized as “deficient, singular and sensationalized.” 

Frensch, K., & Akesson, B. (2022). Socio-Spatial Initiatives to Foster Belonging Among Refugee Families Resettled in Canada: A Narrative Review and Future Directions. Centre for Research on Security Practices. Wilfrid Laurier University. This report discusses the impacts of displacement and resettlement on refugees and their families in an unfamiliar place. These impacts include every aspect of families’ socio-spatial environments, like cultural norms, religious traditions, and support networks. Most programs and policies that assist in resettling refugee families often do not explicitly address elements related to place, despite the importance of social and physical environments in the well-being and belonging of refugee families. This report looks at the initiatives that help refugee families maintain their cultural identities and connections with their country of origin and establish a new sense of belonging in their resettlement communities.

Refugee Council of Australia. (2023). Implementing the refugee participation pledge. The brief outlines how RCOA has progressed in its commitment as an organizational member of the Global Refugee-led Network to support the meaningful participation of refugees in decisions that affect their lives. The Global Refugee-led Network developed three objectives for implementing the Refugee Participation Pledge in the lead-up to the 2023 Global Refugee Forum scheduled for December in Geneva.  


Asylum seekers bring message to ministers’ front doors by Jane Salmon, September 28, 2023. Independent Australia. The article showcases how refugees have been holding peaceful vigils outside the offices of key ministers in Australia in a campaign for permanent visas. The majority of those attending are Iranians who are at odds with the current regime. 

Canada-U.S. refugee pact changes expected to ‘exacerbate existing threats’: memo by Jim Bronskill, October 21, 2023. The Canadian Press. A newly released memo shows federal officials warned last spring that expanding a bilateral refugee pact to the entire Canada-U.S. border would likely fuel smuggling networks and encourage people to seek more dangerous, remote crossing routes. Officials feared the development would also strain RCMP resources as irregular migrants dispersed more widely across the vast border. 

How Black African students experience forced displacement from Ukraine by Lindsey N Kingston and Igho Ekakitie, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This article draws on interviews with 15 Black African students, aged 19 to 29, who were displaced from Ukraine in February 2022. The interviews centred on the decision-making processes that brought them to safety and their migration journeys. 

Rethinking forced migrants’ well-being: lessons from Ukraine by Reo Morimitsu and Supriya Akerkar, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This article draws on a study examining levels of positive changes and their predictors among conflict-affected Ukrainian internally displaced persons. The focus was on post-traumatic growth, a phenomenon described as “positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.” 

The role of media and information in supporting internally displaced women in Ukraine by Sally Gowland, Forced Migration Review, September 2023. This piece talks about the results of a study that sought to generate a comprehensive understanding of issues related to internally displaced Ukrainian women’s information and communication needs. 

The Supreme Court quashes immigration decisions that found two foreign nationals inadmissible to Canada, The Supreme Court of Canada, September 27, 2023. Earl Mason and Seifeslam Dleiow are foreign nationals in Canada who were both legally charged after an altercation. Following these incidents, officials at the Canada Border Services Agency prepared reports alleging that both Mr. Mason and Mr. Dleiow were inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The Supreme Court has allowed their appeals. A person can only be found inadmissible to the country under section 34(1)(e) of the IRPA if they engage in violent conduct linked to national security or the security of Canada.  


How irregular migrants access support in cities by Maxime Felder (Cogitatio Press). This talk is about the paradoxical nature of inclusion for irregular migrants in cities. Maxime Felder examines how support is delivered, how it is experienced by different categories of irregular migrants, and how frontline social workers make sense of their work. The episode is based on ethnographic research with young North African irregular migrants in Geneva, Switzerland.

2023 Hybrid Academic & Policy Symposium by Centre for Migration Studies of New York. Join the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) for its annual Academic & Policy Symposium on November 14, 2023, from 10:00am – 5:00pm (ET). This hybrid event will take place at the law offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (1 New York Plaza / 1 FDR Drive, New York, NY), with virtual access for those unable to attend in person. For those attending virtually, a link to join before the event date will be sent via email. 

May 26 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 138

Dear RRN colleagues and friends near and far,

This issue concludes the 2022-223 academic year as we break for the summer with a planned return in September 2023.

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

We look forward to continuing to mobilize knowledge together in the upcoming academic year and we wish you a safe, relaxing, and fun summer.

RRN Team


Moodley, R. (2023). Rethinking ‘regional processing’ in Europe: lessons from the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) for indochinese refugees. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 1-19. What could or should a ‘regional processing’ framework entail to be compatible with international human rights law principles? The author examines the question by drawing practical insights from the Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees, the first international attempt to introduce region-wide processing during the Indochinese refugee crisis in the 1970s-1980s. The paper explores how ‘regional processing’ might be reconceptualized to expand protection pathways to Europe and inform a protection-orientated approach to international cooperation on asylum and migration.

Kuru, N., Alici, N. K., Akman, B. (2023). The social ecology of health promotion within war-effected refugee preschool children. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 94. This study focuses on understanding the factors that influence the health of young children living in refugee camps affected by war. Currently, there is limited research on health promotion frameworks for this population. The study used storytelling to gather information from 20 Syrian refugee children aged five to six years. Four main themes emerged from the data: risk factors contributing to illness, awareness of illness, strategies for dealing with illness, and protecting and promoting health. These findings suggest that health promotion programs for refugee children should take a holistic approach that considers biological, social, and ecological factors.

Ilona Bontenbal  (2023)The good, the bad and the advantageous: Migrants’ attitudes towards other migrants. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 94. This study examines the attitudes of migrants living in Finland towards other migrants. It explores how these attitudes are formed and affect the categorization and hierarchy of different migrant groups. The researchers conducted 77 qualitative interviews with migrants in 2018-2019 and analyzed the data using various theories of minority relations. The findings reveal that migrants evaluate other migrants based on perceived advantages, such as integration, hard work, non-threatening behaviour, similarity to Finns, being “white,” and not relying on welfare benefits. These evaluations lead to the formation of hierarchies, which are partially based on ethnicity. Migrants also emphasize their distinctiveness from other migrant groups to avoid being unfairly grouped and discriminated against. The assumption of shared characteristics with the majority population guides the idea of fitting in.

Fatih Özdemir, Meryem Kaynak Malatyalı, Nuray Sakallı (2023). Anti-refugee attitudes towards Syrian people living in Turkey: Culture dimensions and motivational personal dispositions. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 94. This study examines the relationship between the internalization of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, anti-refugee attitudes, and the mediating roles of needs for cognition and recognition. It focuses on the sociodemographic changes in Turkey due to the Syrian civil war, which resulted in a large number of Syrian refugees seeking asylum. The sample for the study consisted of 439 Turkish university students. The main findings indicate that the internalization of cultural dimensions such as long-term orientation, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance predicts the likelihood of holding anti-refugee attitudes. The results provide valuable insights for interested parties to address negative attitudes and support the integration and adaptation of refugees into society.

Wellman, E. I. (2023). Refugee status as a patronage good? The interaction of transnational party mobilization and migration policy in the global southJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 49(10), 1-21. This article investigates how the Zimbabwean opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), operated across borders to engage migrant supporters in South Africa during the 2000s. It uses various sources, including interviews with former MDC officials and Zimbabwean civil society organizers in the diaspora. The article explores the difficulties of involving the diaspora in contexts of poverty, legal insecurity, and political violence in both Zimbabwe and South Africa. By combining research on transnational party mobilization with the study of distributive politics and clientelism, the article demonstrates how assistance with asylum became a form of patronage, given to party members in exchange for their involvement in party activities and electoral support. The article also highlights the challenges Zimbabweans face in South Africa, blurring the line between forced and voluntary migration, and the severe consequences for those who do not fit neatly into legal definitions of refugee movements.

Reports, and Policy Briefs and Opinion Pieces

Nelson Graham, Margaret Walton-Roberts, and Valerie Preston, (2023). ‘Removing Caps on International Students’ Paid Work’, Building more resilient cities (BMRC). This policy review which builds on a webinar, discusses the following questions:

  • How will the increase in work hours influence the number of people applying to be international students in Canada and why?
  • How many students will increase their work hours?
  • How will working more hours affect international students’ academic success, quality of life, and chances of becoming permanent residents in Canada?
  • How will this regulatory change affect Canadian labour markets? Who benefits from the regulatory changes?
  • What is needed to make this policy change positive for international students and enhance their contributions to Canada?

Rasha Arous (2023). Towards a better implementation of the UNHCR urban refugee policy, Policy Brief No. 13, May 2023. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) introduced a new policy in 2009 called the Urban Refugee Policy. This policy aimed to shift the focus from managing refugees in camps to recognizing their presence and rights in cities and host countries. However, the policy has faced challenges in its implementation. It lacks a nuanced understanding of urban contexts and has been criticized for being vague and incoherent. This policy brief emphasizes the need for an integrated approach, data-driven policy tools, integration of various initiatives, and meaningful participation of refugees and local stakeholders in policy design and implementation. The recommendations aim to enhance the effectiveness of the UNHCR’s efforts in supporting urban refugees and addressing their unique needs.

Anna Triandafyllidou (2023). Complex Migration Flows and Multiple Drivers: What Do We Know? Toronto Metropolitan Centre for Immigration and Settlement (TMCIS) & the CERC in Migration and Integration. Working Paper No. 2023/05. This paper aims to analyze the drivers of migration at different levels (macro, meso, and micro) and their interactions. The goal is to develop an analytical framework for studying international migration. The paper reviews existing literature on various factors influencing migratory flows, including social, economic, political, demographic, and environmental drivers. It also examines the role of intermediaries, such as networks and institutions, and explores individual and household decision-making processes in different cultural and spatial contexts. The paper acknowledges that migration can be voluntary or forced, recognizing that different degrees of choice are involved. Lastly, it emphasizes that migration is a complex and nonlinear process often involving multiple destinations and intermediate stages or new beginnings.

News and blog posts

Mohammad Zaman, ‘What if the Rohingya are not repatriated?’, The Daily Star, May 6,  2023. A pilot project to repatriate over 1,100 Rohingya refugees is now in discussion. However, according to experts and informed sources, Myanmar is taking this symbolic step to “lighten the responsibility” in its next submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May regarding the Rohingya genocide. Nevertheless, as of writing this piece, no repatriation has taken place.

Editorial, ‘Treat Uyghurs justly’, Bangkok Post, May 2, 2023. The Thai government forcibly repatriated 109 Uyghur men and boys to China in 2015, and their whereabouts remain unknown. Additionally, 170 Uyghur women and children were allowed to travel to Turkey. The author emphasizes the importance of the Thai government providing humanitarian assistance and upholding the non-refoulement policy outlined in the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act. This act prohibits officials from returning individuals to their home countries if they fear torture. The author urges the Thai government to adhere to these principles and protect the rights and well-being of Uyghur refugees.

Cristiano D’Orsi, Sudan refugee crisis: aid agencies face huge challenges as hundreds of thousands flee violence, The Conversation, May 11, 2023. The confrontation between General Abdelfatah El-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, two influential Sudanese generals, has pushed Sudan to the brink of another civil war. The conflict has primarily unfolded in Khartoum, the capital, and has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis. Many individuals are fleeing the violence and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, leading to a significant displacement of people. The author, an expert in international law and refugees, highlights his major concerns regarding the situation and emphasizes the necessary actions to tackle these challenges. The focus should be on addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected population and finding sustainable solutions to the conflict in Sudan.

Mary Anne Kenny, Carol Frech, Nicholas Procter, ‘Government must use trauma-informed approach to end uncertainty on refugee visa applications’, The Conversation, May 15,  2023. The Albanian government has announced that refugees in Australia on Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) will now be granted permanent visas called Resolution of Status Visas (ROS). This change provides stability for an estimated 20,000 refugees who have faced years of uncertainty. However, research shows that the visa uncertainty has had a detrimental impact on the mental health of asylum seekers. While the ROS visas offer a pathway to family reunification, strict rules and high visa charges may still cause ongoing separation. The government needs to adopt a trauma-informed approach and collaborate with experts to address the ongoing uncertainty and mental health challenges refugees face.

Tafi Mhaka, ‘Sudanese refugees deserve as much help as Ukrainians’, Al Jazeera, May 12,  2023. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak avoided answering a question about providing safe and legal routes for Sudanese children seeking refuge in the UK. Instead, he spoke about evacuating British diplomats from Sudan. The UK government’s selective support for refugees is evident in its different treatment of Ukrainians and Sudanese asylum seekers. The author argues that the discrimination against African refugees reflects a broader prejudice in European attitudes towards migration. Urgent action is needed to create safe and legal pathways for Sudanese victims of conflict to seek asylum and prevent further suffering and loss of life.

Digital and social media

Short video Series: Christina Clark-Kazak, Introduction to Forced Migration: This 8-part video series explores key issues related to borders, definitions, asylum, refugee protection, and more! It is an excellent pedagogical tool of interest to educators, policy actors and anyone concerned about forced migration in Canada.

May 4 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 137


Eleanor Paynter (2022). Testimony on the Move: Navigating the Borders of (In)visibility with Migrant -Led Soundwalksa/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 37(1), 129-152. With the Rome-based soundwalk initiative “Invisible Guides,” migrant narrators lead neighbourhood tours, recounting Roman history while witnessing their own experiences. This essay discusses the potential for these testimonial transactions between authors, participants, and urban space to challenge the invisibilization of migrant realities within the city center. (up to 50 free views are available here)

Kutor, S. K., Arku, G., & Bandauko, E. (2023). Instead of ‘writing against’ and discarding ‘immigrants’ integration, why not reconceptualize integration as a wicked conceptComparative Migration Studies11(1), 1-16. This paper raises an important question relating to the benefit or otherwise of writing against the concept of integration in the field of integration studies. The paper asks: Is it appropriate to write against and reject the concept of integration? The authors respond to this question from a provocative conceptual perspective. They argue that when the concept is purged of its inherent criticisms and reconceptualized as a wicked concept, it still offers a unique analytical spectrum with which scholars can approach several substantive critical questions regarding immigrants’ integration.

Kulu, H., Christison, S., Liu, C., & Mikolai, J. (2023). The war, refugees, and the future of Ukraine’s populationPopulation, Space and Place, 29(4), 1-13. This study analyses the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 on the future of Ukraine’s population. Ukraine’s population is projected to decline by one-sixth over the next two decades and become older. Past and current demographic developments primarily drive these trends: continued very low fertility and large-scale emigration at the turn of the century. With war casualties and a large portion of the Ukrainian population seeking safety abroad from the conflict, the country’s population is projected to decline by one-third. Russia’s invasion has not only led to immense human and economic costs in Ukraine in the present but also carries long-term demographic repercussions.

Santen, S. D. (2022). Keeping Countries Safe from Refugees–How the Canadian Courts Interpret International Law to Place Sovereign Rights Above Individual Rights [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Toronto. This thesis examines the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States, and the ongoing litigation contesting its compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Drawing from the work of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholars, the thesis traces the development and creation of racially motivated but facially neutral laws and procedures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to present-day immigration control measures. The thesis argues that the architecture of international law elevates sovereign rights over those of the individual, and this structural imbalance has encouraged and facilitated the widespread diffusion of ‘safe country’ agreements between states.

Kassam, S., O’Mahony, J., & Clark, N. (2023). Factors supporting settlement among Syrian refugee women: A longitudinal participatory action research studyInternational Health Trends and Perspectives, 3(1), 88-105. In Canada, over 50,000 Syrian refugees have resettled through varying resettlement programs. Half of the refugees are women who are mothers or of child-bearing age, experiencing numerous health disparities. This article reports findings from a larger, Canadian-based study inquiring into the factors supporting and shaping the settlement and integration experiences among women who are Syrian refugees and mothering. A longitudinal intersectionality-framed participatory action approach was initiated through multiple meetings with diverse non-profit community organizations focused on refugee health and settlement. The two findings described in this article convey facilitators that add to understanding influences on the mental well-being of Syrian refugee mothering women. Unique to this study is the novel integration of peer research assistants and a model of support which contributes to an ethical and inclusive approach to understanding lived experiences among refugee women.


Lokot, M., Hashmi, I., & Hartman, E. (2023). Participation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in research: guidance for researchers from researchers. This guide is for researchers (including humanitarian practitioners) seeking guidance on promoting the participation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) within the research process. It is based on a qualitative study exploring how humanitarian practitioners and academics operationalize participation in their research with these populations, with a particular focus on experiences researching gender equality and gender-based violence (GBV). 

Sakamoto, I., Lin, K., Tang, J., Lam, H., Yeung, B., Nhkum, A., Cheung, E., Zhao, K., & Quan, P. (2023). 2020 in Hindsight: Intergeneration conversations on Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) & Factor-Iwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. This report fills a gap in community-based research focused on first-person accounts of experiences of anti-Asian racism and stories of resistance. It also clearly outlines Calls to Action — for governments, schools, those in the social work and human services fields, and others — to address anti-Asian racism on the ground.


Linn Biörklund, ‘Tragedies, not accidents: Tougher Canadian and U.S. border policies will cost more lives’, The Conversation, April 12, 2023. The most recent example of this environment of rejection in North America is the closure of Roxham Road between Québec and New York state. At midnight on March 24, 2023, the closure was enforced to stop asylum-seekers from entering Canada at unofficial border crossings. These are not isolated events but part of deliberately constructed transnational border infrastructure that slams the door on certain people moving across borders, even though freedom of mobility is a fundamental human right.

Shelby Carvalho and Alebachew Kemisso Haybano, ‘Ethiopia was feted for expanding education rights for refugees, then politics got in the way’, The Conversation, April 13, 2023. The new system was expected to improve teaching, learning and financial support for refugee schools. It would also bring them into the Ethiopian national system. The implementation, however, had become mired in turf wars between the national refugee agency and the education ministry. As a result, the expected benefits were largely unrealized, for the school-going refugee children.

Nicholas Keung, Why do Roma living in Europe flee to Canada? Is life that bad thereThe Star, April 16, 2023. Critics say deep-rooted ‘anti-Gypsyism’ in Europe amounts to ethnic persecution, and EU rules also play a role in driving marginalized Roma out of the continent.

Dania Koleilat Khatib, Local solutions should come first in Syria, Arab News, April 27, 2023. Since Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan’s visit to Damascus last week, the discourse in the international community has centered on whether or not to talk to Bashar Assad. The author argues that the international community should move from a normative discourse to a more practical one. It should talk to whoever makes a difference on the ground.

 ‘Why narratives around migration in Latin America need to change’, The New Humanitarian, April 18, 2023. Flipping the Narrative is an ongoing series that puts the voices of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants at the centre of conversations about the policies and events that shape their lives. This fourth essay examines the consequences of refugees in Latin America being neglected by Global North-led migration narratives and why it is time for a change.

Tania Das Gupta and Yvonne Su, Canada’s costly housing market leaves international students open to exploitation, The Conversation Canada, April 30, 2023. Skyrocketing rent prices in Canada’s major cities are leaving more and more people struggling to find an affordable place to live. National conversations about the housing crisis often overlook a growing segment of the population extremely vulnerable to housing discrimination, rent gouging, rights abuses and sexual harassment: international students.

April 20 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 136


Ata, A. (2023). Transnational Migration, Diaspora, and Identity: A Study of Kurdish Diaspora in London. This book explores a common but almost forgotten historical argument that positions the Kurds as powerless victims of the First World War (WW1). The author examines Kurdish diaspora integration and identity in some major cities in Sweden, Finland and Germany, with a specific focus and an in-depth discussion on the negotiation of multiculturalism in London. This book uncovers the gaps in the existing literature, and critically highlights the dominance of policy- and politics-driven research in this field, thereby justifying the need for a more radical social constructivist approach by recognizing flexible, multifaceted, and complex human cultural behaviours in different situations through the consideration of the lived experiences and by presenting more direct voices of members of the Kurdish diaspora in London, and by articulating the new and radical concept of Kurdish Londoner. 

Vaswani, M., Sutter, A., Lapshina, N., & Esses, V. M. (2023). Discrimination Experienced by Immigrants, Racialized Individuals, and Indigenous Peoples in Small‐and Mid‐Sized Communities in Southwestern Ontario. Canadian Review of Sociology 60(1), 92-113. The authors investigate discrimination experiences of (1) immigrants and racialized individuals, (2) Indigenous peoples, and (3) comparison White non-immigrants in nine regions of Southwestern Ontario containing small- and mid-sized communities. In most regions, over 80 percent of Indigenous peoples reported experiencing discrimination in the past three years. Over 60 percent of immigrants and racialized individuals in more then half of the regions did so. Indigenous peoples, immigrants and racialized individuals were most likely to experience discrimination in employment and public settings, and were most likely to attribute this discrimination to racial and ethnocultural factors, and for Indigenous peoples, also their Indigenous identity. The findings are critical to creating and implementing effective anti-racism and anti-discrimination strategies.

Gyan, C., Chireh, B., Chuks-Eboka, N., & Yeboah, A. S. (2023). Reconsidering the conceptualization of resilience: the experiences of refugee and immigrant youth in Montreal. Applied research in quality of life, 1-25. Resettlement service providers associate Refugee and Immigrant Youth (RIY)’s resilience with their assimilation and integration into the Western culture. This definition is insensitive to cultural and social factors that contextualize RIY’s definition of resilience. Drawing from in-depth interviews of Refugees and Immigrant youths in Montreal, and using Resilience as a conceptual framework, the research study investigated the barriers to the integration of RIY and their conceptualization of resilience. The study found social isolation, cultural differences between the host and home communities, racism, hostility, aggression, and language to be barriers to RIY’s integration. The youth conceptualized resilience as a form of adaptability to any situation; as the ability to integrate into a new society while remaining deeply rooted in one’s culture and past experiences; and as overcoming marginalization. The paper contributes to a nuanced critical understanding of refugee and migration studies. Further, it sheds light on a growing triangular interrelationship between the social and economic integration of refugees, the cultural factors of host communities, and resilience.

Derksen, M., & Teixeira, C. (2023). Refugees and religious institutions in a mid‐size Canadian city. Population, Space and Place, e53. This study explores how religious institutions affect refugee settlement in Kelowna, a mid-size city in British Columbia. Kelowna has had a significant increase in refugee sponsorship since the 2015 Syrian crisis, and most private sponsorship has involved churches and the local mosque, in collaboration with government-funded settlement services and community partners. The authors collected data through a questionnaire distributed among former refugees and semi-structured interviews with key informants, including clergy, refugee-sponsorship groups, and service providers. The results reveal that religious institutions help refugees cope with barriers and challenges in Kelowna in three main ways: bridging language barriers between newcomers, service providers, and sponsorship providers; helping newcomers establish new lives in Kelowna and move toward integration; and helping newcomers move away from precarity toward prosperity as they re-establish themselves and their families.

Eithne Luibhéid, Karma R. Chávez (eds.) (2020). Queer and Trans Migrations: Dynamics of Illegalization, Detention and Deportation. University of Illinois Press. Centering queer of colour migrants and communities, and questions of citizenship and border crossing, this book considered ‘how sexual arrangements, ideologies and modes of regulation shape migration to and incorporation into the United States.’ Queer and Trans Migrations extend that exploration by analyzing how illegalization, detention, and deportation thoroughly define migrants’ (and citizens’) lives at local, national, and transnational scales. As a field-defining book, Queer Migrations almost entirely emphasizes the voices of scholars.  Since its publication, ‘queer and trans migration’ has shifted from a then-surprising linking of immigration and sexuality scholarship, or a matter of concern for binational same-sex couples, to a robust body of scholarship, a naming of the most active voices and organizers within the immigration justice movement, and an immense site of cultural and intellectual creativity.


International Migration Outlook 2022, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), October 10, 2022. Every year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes the International Migration Outlook (IMO), its flagship publication on migration. Each IMO features chapters on key developments in migration, as well as Country Notes that include infographics of key migration data for each OECD country. Canada is featured prominently throughout the report. The 2022 edition of International Migration Outlook analyses recent developments in migration movements and the labour market inclusion of immigrants in OECD countries. It also monitors recent policy changes in migration governance and integration in OECD countries.


Naomi Lightman and Hamid Akbary, New data provide insight into pandemic inequalities, Policy Options, March 27, 2023. Existing analyses of COVID-19 in Canada and internationally suggest that infection rates were highly variable across populations, with researchers highlighting the disproportionate burden experienced by groups that are intersectionally disadvantaged.

Thomas Feng, Telling us we should be grateful to live in Australia overlooks the hardships and sacrifices of migration, ABC News, March 26, 2023. Migrants can live and work in Australia for decades and still be uncertain whether they will ever be able to make a permanent home. Some 12,000 asylum seekers in Australia have no permanent rights to work or study, while offshore processing still has bipartisan government support. “I won’t be grateful while Australia continues to market itself as a welcoming country when in reality, our policies tell migrants and refugees that we do not belong,” said Feng.

Michael Collyer, The UK spent a third of its international aid budget on refugees in the UK – what it’s paying for, and why it’s a problem, The Conversation, April 3, 2023. The parliamentary committee report highlighted how much more effectively money could be spent overseas. Studies at the Protracted Displacement Economies project at the University of Sussex illustrate this clearly, showing how flourishing economies develop in situations of mass displacement in some of the poorest countries in the world. Collyer argued that the UK’s development aid could be far more effective supporting refugees in these economies rather than on hotel accommodation in the UK.

Himel Rahman, India Should Facilitate the Repatriation of Rohingya Refugees from Bangladesh, South Asian Voices, April 6, 2023. On 22 March 2023, the Myanmar government announced that it would start repatriating 1,140 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh in mid-April. The pilot repatriation program took off owing to mediation efforts by China, Asia’s rising power that maintains close ties with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Notably, the other regional power in South Asia, India, has largely been inactive in the process of the repatriation of Rohingya refugees so far.


Introducing the SAH Evaluation Toolkit: A Community-Based Approach to Evaluation for Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders. Developed by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the SAH Evaluation Toolkit is a comprehensive resource that will help Sponsorship Agreement Holders to plan and implement their own internal community-based evaluation. The Toolkit is a useful resource for SAHs who want to improve their work and demonstrate the impact of their activities. By taking a community-based approach to evaluation, we can ensure that the evaluation plan is tailored to different needs, responds to local community needs and gaps, and promotes equity, engagement, and action among stakeholders.

Measuring Welcoming Communities: A Toolkit for Communities and Those Who Support Them, developed by Victoria M. Esses, Leah K. Hamilton, Awish Aslam, Priscila Ribeiro Prado Barros. The Measuring Welcoming Communities Toolkit has been developed to support the groundwork in understanding a community and planning how to shape it to become more welcoming. In total, there are 19 characteristics involved in the measurement process, creating a complete profile of what a community is and can offer. 

April 6 2023: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 135


Elcioglu, E. F., & Shams, T. (2023). Brokering immigrant transnationalism: Remittances, family reunification, and private refugee sponsorship in neoliberal Canada. Current Sociology. Using the case study of Canada’s private refugee sponsorship program, the authors show how neoliberalization heightens the power of non-immigrant civilians to broker immigrants’ transnationalism. Private sponsors respond differently to two common and interrelated forms of refugee transnationalism in which they are structurally empowered to intervene. They encourage family reunification while discouraging remittances, although the former often depends on the fulfillment of the latter. The authors conclude by encouraging scholars of transnationalism to look down and investigate how non-immigrant private civilians in receiving countries increasingly shape newcomers’ cross-border linkages and to look up and attend to the broader neoliberal context empowering and structuring the behaviour of citizen brokers.

Alrababah, A., Masterson, D., Casalis, M., Hangartner, D., & Weinstein, J. (2023). The Dynamics of Refugee Return: Syrian Refugees and Their Migration Intentions. British Journal of Political Science. Using observational and experimental data from a survey of 3,003 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, the authors study the drivers of refugees’ decision-making about returning home. They find that the conditions in refugee-hosting countries play a minor role. In contrast, conditions in a refugee’s home country are the main drivers of return intentions. The results challenge traditional models of decision-making about migration, where refugees weigh living conditions in the host and home countries (“push” and “pull” factors). The article offers an alternative theoretical framework: a model of threshold-based decision-making whereby only once a basic threshold of safety at home is met do refugees compare other factors in the host and home country.

Soehl, T., & Van Haren, I. (2023). The effect of social capital on migrant labor market success: evidence from refugee sponsorship in Canada, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1-25. This paper examines the effect of connections that reach beyond the co-ethnic community. Studying the effects of such ties is challenging as they are generally both a cause and consequence of integration. The authors examine a case where a set of migrants is provided ties that reach outside the co-ethnic community upon arrival in Canada through a refugee sponsor program where community groups support refugees with no pre-existing ties. Although sponsorship has no effect on the probability of employment, the authors find that it improves skill utilization. Refugees with sponsors are more likely to obtain higher-skilled employment and less likely to be self-employed. The article also presents data on the characteristics of friendship networks to support our argument. To access as open access (first 50 clicks), click here.

Galli, C. (2023). Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in the United States. University of California Press. A meticulously researched ethnography, Precarious Protections chronicles the experiences and perspectives of Central American unaccompanied minors and their immigration attorneys as they pursue applications for refugee status in the US asylum process. Chiara Galli debunks assumptions about asylum, including the idea that people are being denied protection because they file bogus claims. In practice, the United States interprets asylum law far more narrowly than necessary to recognize real-world experiences of escape from life-threatening violence. This is especially true for children from Central America. Galli reveals the formidable challenges of lawyering with children and exposes the human toll of the US immigration bureaucracy.

O’Mahony, J., Kassam, S., Clark, N., & Asbjoern, T. (2023). Use of participatory action research to support Syrian refugee mothers in the resettlement period in Canada: A longitudinal study. Plos one, 18(2). Social factors that support the successful settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada have yet to be explored systematically. This study examines these factors from the perspectives of Syrian refugee mothers living in British Columbia (BC). Framed by principles of intersectionality and community-based participatory action research (PAR), the study draws on Syrian mothers’ perspectives of social support in early, middle, and later resettlement phases. Data obtained in this study contribute to developing support services that are culturally appropriate and accessible to refugee women living in BC. This work aims to promote mental health, improve quality of life, and enable timely access to healthcare services and resources for this population.

Ferreira, N. (2023). Utterly unbelievable: The discourse of ‘fake’SOGI asylum claims as a form of epistemic injustice. International Journal of Refugee Law. Media and political debates on refugees and migration are dominated by a discourse of  ‘fake’ and ‘bogus’ asylum claims. This article explores how this discourse affects in acute ways those people claiming asylum based on sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). In particular, the article shows how such a discourse of ‘fakeness’ goes far beyond the well-documented and often inadequate credibility assessments carried out by asylum authorities. The article concludes with the impossibility of determining the ‘truth’ in SOGI asylum cases, while also offering some guidance on means that can be employed to alleviate the epistemic injustice produced by the asylum system against SOGI asylum claimants and refugees.


ICMPD (2023) Discussion paper – Responding to displacement from Ukraine: Past, present, and future policies. As of yet, there is no systematic answer on how to move on from temporary protection. This discussion paper on past, present and future options summarises key policy reactions by states and various published scenarios for the war. It then explores different policy options available to states once temporary protection and similar schemes come to an end, to initiate discussions on ways forward.

Report of the Immigration Advisory Council 2023, Manitoba Immigration Advisory Council, February 14, 2023. This report represents a collection of inputs from every corner of the province on immigration programs and policy. It is a call to action to advance Manitoba’s economic prosperity and continue our legacy as a leader in immigration. The recommendations within the report support Manitoba’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy. By examining ways to improve the entire process of immigration to Manitoba, the province will increase the number of workers with the right skills, talent and knowledge to enjoy a high quality of life and grow the provincial economy.

Pauline Endres de Oliveira & Nikolas Feith Tan, External Processing: A Tool to Expand Protection or Further Restrict Territorial Asylum?, Migration Policy Institute, February 2023. This report highlights the opportunities that external processing offers, the challenges to its implementation, and the risks it could pose to territorial asylum. It explores three categories of external processing policies implemented or proposed to date: humanitarian visas, emergency evacuations, and external processing centers. The report also identifies key conditions that must be present for external processing to occur in a protection-sensitive manner.


Katsiaficas, C., Segeš Frelak, J. and Castelanelli, C. (2023). Displacement, integration, and return: What remote work possibilities for Ukrainians?, ICMPD. One year after the Russian invasion, much uncertainty remains. Remote work can provide a degree of flexibility for some refugees from Ukraine, supporting integration in the short term and reconstruction in the long term. Supporting Ukrainian teleworkers is a smart move. 

Katsiaficas, C., Segeš Frelak, J. and Wagner, M. (2023). The clock is ticking for temporary protection: What comes next? ICMPD. In March 2025, at the latest, temporary protection for people fleeing Ukraine ends. Determining what comes next is a complex process in which host countries must navigate multiple policy options, practical considerations, and political and economic interests. There is no time to waste in developing a coordinated approach, particularly due to the large number of people concerned, the range of countries involved, and the prospect of necessary legislative changes.

Fearmongering about people fleeing disasters is a dangerous and faulty narrative,  by Yvonne Su and Cory Robinson, The Conversation, March 12, 2023. The international community mobilized to offer humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the earthquakes. These developments come at a time when climate and disaster-induced displacement is ascends on the global policy agenda. With climate change predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of disasters, there is mounting concern about how future displacement and migration will be addressed.

Why are some refugees more welcome in Canada than others? By Kandice Pardy, Policy Options, February 27, 2023. Afghan refugees still face delays in their attempts to come to Canada. Yet, Ukrainians have seen red tape cut and doors open. Why the difference?

Will asylum-seekers and refugees in Rwanda be mistreated? What we can learn from Rwandan law, policy, and practice today, by Cristiano D’Orsi, African Law Matters, March 8, 2023. Recently, the United Kingdom (UK) has chosen to send certain asylum-seekers to Rwanda, creating the impression that they are unwelcome in its territory. A lot has been written on this topic, particularly focusing on the UK’s position and its possible violations of Refugee Law, Human Rights Law, and Anti-Trafficking Law.

Also on our radar:

Digital resources and social media

The RELATE Manual, Refugee Law Teaching Support Initiative. The RELATE manual is a free model syllabus that guides junior educators to prepare and launch their first refugee law and international protection teaching activities. It includes relevant, freely available international legal and soft law instruments, international and domestic jurisprudence, training manuals, reports, articles, and audiovisual resources.