February 27, 2020: RRN Research Digest

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

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 80

Recent Publications and New Research

Stathopoulou, T., Eikemo, T. A. (2019), New Perspectives on the European Refugee Crisis. An Empirical Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, 32(1), i1–i252.

This Special Issue includes eighteen articles that contribute to evidence concerning refugees’ situation in European reception and destination countries from a multi-disciplinary perspective, highlighting priorities for policy and future research. The contributions consist of studies from final-destination countries in Northern Europe, first-reception or transit countries in Southern Central Europe and from the Eastern Mediterranean. Evidencing the health status of refugees is one of our key priorities, arguing that health and especially mental health-care provision should be the basis for the implementation of integration policies to be successful. The first aim of this special issue is to obtain more knowledge about the physical and mental health of refugees. The second aim is to evaluate existing screening mental health measurement tools. The third aim is to provide new knowledge about the conditions under which refugees live in terms of the attitudes of host populations, the media discourses that frame these attitudes and the asylum policies in several European countries. Available at (open access): https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/jrs/issue/32/Special_Issue_1

Easton‐Calabria, E., Herson, M. (2020), In praise of dependencies: dispersed dependencies and displacement. Disasters, 44: 44-62. This article reframes the humanitarian consequences of displacement in terms of ‘dispersed dependencies’, a term drawn from the field of mental health, sheds light on the disruptive experience of displacement and on affected individuals’ relations with other displaced people, hosts, states and humanitarian actors. Dependency for a person is neither a problem nor abnormal; independence is having a viable set of dispersed dependencies. This description, when applied in the context of disaster or displacement, challenges some humanitarian attitudes and offers some positive directions for humanitarian actors who seek to engage in assistance that is sustainable, contextual, and focused on human choice and dignity. Available at (Open-access): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/disa.12366

Rodgers, C. (2020). The ‘Host’ Label: Forming and Transforming a Community Identity at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Journal of Refugee Studies. This article calls for greater critical attention to the meaning of the term ‘host community’ and the ways in which it is applied. Taking the Kakuma refugee camps in north-western Kenya as a case study, the author describes the rise of a ‘host community’ identity in the context of humanitarian programming, contested attempts to define it as a bureaucratic label and its transformations under a socio-economic-integration agenda. While the case presented here is specific to Kenya, the argument is relevant more broadly as hosts are brought under the purview of refugee-protection policies, especially in countries implementing the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fez109

Okafor, O. C. (2020). Refugee law after 9/11: sanctuary and security in Canada and the Us. Vancouver: UBC Press. Refugee Law after 9/11 undertakes a detailed, systematic examination of available legal, policy, and empirical evidence to reveal a great irony: refugee rights were already so whittled down in both countries before 9/11 that there was relatively little room for negative change after the attacks. It also shows that the Canadian refugee law regime reacted to 9/11 in much the same way as its US counterpart, raising significant questions about the power of security relativism and the cogency of the Canadian and US national self-image. The author explores the logic behind changes in refugee law in Canada and the United States following 9/11 and up to the present, uncovering the reasons for the orientation of their respective refugee rights regimes in specific ways. Available at: http://www.ubcpress.ca/refugee-law-after-911

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Briefing paper: Advancing multi stakeholder engagement to sustain solutions, Learning from the application of the CRRF in East Africa to inform a common agenda post GRF, (December 2019), ReDSS. This briefing paper aims to document learning around the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) application in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and at the regional level with the role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through a thematic approach. It highlights learning from new ways of working as well as opportunities that the application of the CRRF has enabled in three key areas: (1) return and (re)integration; (2) area-based and locally-led approaches; and (3) regional and national level engagement around the CRRF process. Crosscutting issues such as multi-stakeholder approaches, accountability and adaptability are brought out across all themes. Available at: https://regionaldss.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/ReDSS_GRF_BRIEF-003.pdf

Report: Immigration Detention in Austria: Where the Refugee “Crisis” Never Ends. Global Detention Project, (January 2020). Austria’s domestic politics have long been overshadowed by a divisive and bitter public debate over the treatment of migrants and refugees. This has had an important impact on the country’s detention practices. Despite years of declining detainee numbers prior to the onset of Europe’s short-lived refugee “crisis,” the increase in asylum applications that the country experienced during 2015-2016 became a cause for resurgent xenophobic political forces, who used the issue to rally support for numerous controversial policies and agendas. These developments have translated into persistent increases in detention numbers long after the “crisis” ended and asylum applications began to plummet to their lowest levels in years. Available at: https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ONLINE-GDP-Immigration-Detention-in-Austria-2020.pdf

News reports and blog posts

What Does ‘Social Cohesion’ Mean for Refugees and Hosts? A view from Kenya by Cory Rodgers
(January 17, 2020), Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS).
Most refugee policies and programmes forgo definitions of ‘social cohesion’. Given this lack of specification, the author’s research looks at social cohesion initiatives through an anthropological lens. The aim is to understand how – in the absence of initial definitions by policymakers and planners – different meanings of social cohesion nonetheless emerge during the life of a programme. The author draws from a case study in Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya, where the UNHCR has provided protection to refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, Somalia, the Great Lakes Region and elsewhere since 1992. Available at: https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/2020/what-does-social-cohesion-mean-for-refugees-and-hosts-a-view-from-kenya/

Home affairs department racked up $6.1m bill transferring refugees and asylum seekers by Paul Karp (January 28, 2020), The Guardian. The author provides a breakdown of cost expenditures related to transferring refugees and asylum seekers interstate and between detention centres. Some argue that Australia’s immigration detention regime is unnecessarily punitive and cruel, as well as a colossal waste of money. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/29/home-affairs-department-racked-up-61m-bill-transferring-refugees-and-asylum-seekers

Digital and social media

The Observatory of Public attitudes to Immigration (OPAM), Scientific Hub  (2020), Migration Policy Centre. Observatory of Public attitudes to Immigration (OPAM) brings together and synthesises findings from a growing body of scientific research in political science on attitudes to immigration. The Scientific Hub created an interactive web tool that allows you to see the effect of diverse factors on attitudes to immigration. The Hub draws from all relevant articles published in the top 20 journals in political science between 2009-2019. It allows for exploration of evidence that seeks to account for the factors that can influence attitudes to immigration. Available at: http://www.migrationpolicycentre.eu/opam/scientific-hub/

News Audio: Syria, migration, and Ebola, United Nation News, (February 14, 2020).  This is the News in Brief from the United Nations covering top stories on vital Idlib aid deliveries resume after ‘heavy bombing’, world’s busiest sea route for migrants, and a drop in Ebola infections that are encouraging but fragile. Available at: https://soundcloud.com/unradio/news-in-brief-14-february-2020

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