January 30, 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. 79

Recent Publications and New Research

Dina Sabie, Samar Sabie, Cansu E. Dedeoglu, Yasaman Rohanifar, Fatma Hashim, Steve Easterbrook, and Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed. 2019. “Exile Within Borders: Understanding the Limits of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Iraq.” In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computing within Limits – LIMITS ’19, 1–16. Lappeenranta, Finland: ACM Press. Research in Information & Communications Technology (ICT) about forced displacement focuses mainly on refugees. Internally displaced people (IDPs), however, are rarely discussed in ICT and related disciplines. This paper aims to fill in the gap and provide an insight into the everyday lives of conflict-driven IDPs and their ICTs usage based on original fieldwork at several IDP and refugee camps in northern Iraq. The work includes extended field observations, surveys with 86 IDPs and 47 refugees, and examination of recent reports about IDPs from international NGOs that have been active in that region. The findings illustrate that IDPs live under similar resource-constrained environment as refugees and, in some cases, suffer from even harsher restrictions. It highlights how these confines limit their ICTs usage and discuss opportunities for future ICT research and policy implication to improve the quality of life of the displaced residing within their own borders. (Open access) Available at: https://computingwithinlimits.org/2019/papers/limits19-sabie.pdf

Canefe, N. (2019). In Lieu of an Introduction: Orbis Tertius as Vantage Point. In N. Canefe (Ed.), Transitional Justice and Forced Migration: Critical Perspectives from the Global South (pp. 1-6). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This edited volume aims to foster an in-depth understanding of the link of transitional justice and forced migration studies in a comparative framework, with a particular emphasis on debates emanating from the Global South. Each of the contributions to this volume adheres to a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial approach, incorporating academic, practitioner, and activist work, in tandem with both global and local perspectives. In order to achieve such a synthesis, the authors build upon the knowledge accumulated by collaborative networks, their involvement in both scholarly and activist organizations, and their experience as practitioners in select settings. Normatively or politically speaking, the study of human suffering, induced by mass political violence and at the hands of states turned against their own peoples, is not an easy one. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/transitional-justice-and-forced-migration/B2B65D943C5E568C54AF5BC5B1A09F3E

Canefe, N. (2018). The Syrian exodus in context crisis, dispossession and mobility in the Middle East. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press. This book examines the Syrian crisis and exodus by focusing on the experiences of the dispossessed rather than the recipient states. Reintegration and resettlement after situations of mass displacement are generally long-term, multi-faceted and complex processes. Whether we are talking about acceptance in a new society as refugees, migrants, and guest workers, or returning home to postconflict situations, each scenario involves both specific physical challenges and difficult encounters with broader political communities. The debate presented here on precarity and statelessness in terms of systemic denial of access to rights, or, their selective attribution to Syrians on the move, allows us to reconsider the Syrian exodus in a new framework that links forced migration, labour studies, citizenship and rights debates rather than isolating the refugee experience. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Syrian-Exodus-Context-Dispossession-Mobility/dp/6053995258

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Losing Their Last Refuge: Inside Idlib’s Humanitarian Nightmare by Sahar Atrache, Refugees International (September 2019). A Refugees International team traveled to Turkey in June 2019 to research the impact of the Syrian regime military offensive on Idlib and its surroundings, assess humanitarian needs, and examine the humanitarian response to the unfolding crisis. They conducted more than 50 interviews with representatives of Syrian, international and Turkish non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, Turkish think tanks, and western governments, as well as Syrian activists and western donor officials. In aim to better understand the humanitarian situation on the ground, the team conducted phone interviews with IDPs, relief workers, and activists inside Idlib. Available at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/506c8ea1e4b01d9450dd53f5/t/5d6fc5522c6dce000188e2c2/1567606101805/Syria+Idlib+Report+-+September+2019+-+1.0.pdf

Working paper series: States of Refuge: Keywords for Critical Refugee Studies, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, (January 9, 2020). This issue has contributions by authors from many universities across Canada. It is based on keywords that were collectively generated to animate discussions within the field of refugee studies. Participants reflected on their respective keywords and answered questions such as, what conversations are the keywords involved in and what is critical about them? The result was a range of interventions on keywords that open up critical thinking on what is at stake politically, culturally, and socially with new dynamics of migration, refuge, and reclamation. The keywords that follow speak to fundamental challenges facing refugee studies included community, decolonization, genders, sexualities, empathy, humanitarian exceptionalism, indebtedness, irregularity and more. Available at: https://globalization.mcmaster.ca/research/publications/working-papers/2019/working-paper-sep-2019.pdf

Liew, Jamie and Zambelli, Pia and Thériault, Pierre-André and Silcoff, Maureen, Not Just the Luck of the Draw? Exploring Competency of Counsel in Federal Court Refugee Leave Determinations (2005-2010) (November 8, 2019). Refugee claimants who have received a negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board sometimes judicially review the decisions at the Federal Court in Canada. Previous statistical studies, in particular Sean Rehaag’s (2012) study, “The Luck of the Draw”, have reported that rejected refugee claimants seeking judicial review face low and inconsistent leave grant rates, with chances of success largely dependent on judge assignment. The present research looks beyond these quantitative findings to identify additional factors that may explain the troubling statistics. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3483299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3483299

UNHCR’s Recommendations for the Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union, (January, 2020) United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees. UNHCR has launched what it views as a set of ambitious but achievable recommendations for the 2020 Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU). The Presidencies and the envisaged EU Pact on Migration and Asylum are seen as unique opportunities to better protect forcibly displaced and stateless people in Europe and abroad, while supporting host countries. Progress was achieved in multiple areas including on resettlement and statelessness. This paper provides the incoming Council Presidencies with key recommendations for areas of possible action to strengthen the implementation of the EU acquis on asylum and to forge common ground among member states on evolving issues of asylum and migration, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration.  These recommendations will also be of relevance for the incoming Commission’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum (new Pact). UNHCR’s full recommendations https://www.unhcr.org/be/wp-content/uploads/sites/46/2020/01/200107-FINAL-UNHCR-Recommendations-for-the-Croatian-and-German-Presidencies-of-the-Council-of-the-EU-2020.pdf

News reports and blog posts

Why Rohingya women and girls are risking dangerous smuggling routes by Caleb Quinley, (January 16, 2020), The New Humanitarian. Facing years of deprivation and bleak future prospects, a growing number of Rohingya women and children are using once-dormant smuggling routes to escape refugee and displacement camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Despite the dangers, groups that work with Rohingya say many more women and children are willing to take the risk as a way of self-protection from sexual and gender-based violence. Available at: http://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2020/1/16/Rohingya-trafficking-refugees-forced-marriage

Digital and social media

Aid policy trends to watch in 2020 by Ben Parker (January 2, 2020) The New Humanitarian.

Efforts toward reform seem a permanent fixture in the humanitarian sector, but change is slow. The author lists humanitarian policy issues to keep a close eye on as most likely to drive change, open up opportunity, or demand attention in shaping emergency response. Available at: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/feature/2020/1/2/Humanitarian-aid-policy-reform

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