January 9, 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. 78

Recent Publications and New Research

D’Orsi, C. ‘Legal protection of refugee children in Africa: positive aspects and shortcomings’ (2019) 3 African Human Rights Yearbook 298-317. In Africa, refugee children are at risk mostly because the continent lacks a clear definition of ‘sovereignty’. African countries interpret the adjective ‘sovereign’ to their own advantage, in terms of the rights and responsibilities imposed on foreigners – including refugees – entering their territory. Although the overall treatment of refugee children has improved over the last decades, they remain vulnerable. If refugee children are targeted because they are ‘foreigners’, such discrimination could be curbed and even eradicated through the education of the youth. The various international treaties that African nations have adopted provide an important legal umbrella for the protection of refugee children. However, in many instances, the bulk of the protection is still carried out by NGOs. Consequently, there is still a long way to go before African refugee children will be treated with dignity that is due to all children in the world, irrespective of their origin. Available at: http://www.pulp.up.ac.za/images/pulp/books/journals/AHRY_2019/DOrsi%202019.pdf

Hopkins, G., L. Buffoni (2019) The IGAD Kampala Declaration on jobs, livelihoods, and self-reliance: from declaration to reality. Palgrave Commun 5, 157.  The article emphasizes the crucial importance of planned and active participation, inclusion and collaboration of all parties as being fundamental in realizing in practice refugees’ right to work and access to economic opportunities. Because the Kampala Declaration commitments form a central role in realizing Global Compact objectives, the article argues for high level meetings and fora to prioritize an approach to discussions which creates enabling contexts of formal but inclusive dialog. The article concludes, importantly, that the Kampala Declaration demonstrates that the commitment and language of inclusion exist. What remains is for truly collective action to ensure the Declaration achieves its transformative potential. Available at:  https://rdcu.be/bYI6r

Cénat, J. (2019). Multiple traumas, health problems and resilience among Haitian asylum seekers in Canada’s 2017 migration crisis: Psychopathology of crossing. Journal of Loss & Trauma. In summer 2017, thousands of Haitian asylum seekers entered Canada irregularly after taking an 11,000-kilometer pathway from Brazil to the U.S., often on foot and under difficult circumstances. This qualitative study examines how this pathway and associated multiple traumas impact their mental health. The findings showed that significant traumatic consequences and risk of deportation contribute to the development of a “Psychopathology of Crossing”. This study also highlights how meaningful social relationships, quality of health, and social services foster resilience. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2019.1703610

Bloch, A. (2020) ‘Reflections and directions for research in refugee studies’, Ethnic and Racial Studies. This paper reflects on how refugee studies have developed, and it identifies areas for future research. First, it sets the scene through an overview of refugee protection regime and on patterns of displacement. Second, it explores the development of theories that try to explain refugee movements. Third, examines the policy focus of refugee studies and the inherent tensions between stakeholders. This is followed by an exploration of three areas for further research: durable solutions, borders and bordering practices and the inter-generational impacts of refugee migration. The paper argues that social science disciplines have an important role to play in the field of study but need to include historical analyses and engage in inter-disciplinary alliances to enable shifting paradigms. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01419870.2020.1677928

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Report: Volunteers and Sponsors: A Catalyst for Refugee Integration? By Susan Fratzke and Emma Dorst (November 2019). Migration Policy Institute. This report considers where community members can add the most value to integration efforts, assesses the barriers that community organizations and integration service providers face in engaging volunteers, and offers recommendations for how policymakers can facilitate the effective engagement of communities in integration initiatives. While volunteer efforts cannot replace specialized social service agencies or well-resourced social assistance programs, they offer unique resources that can be an invaluable complement to the services that professional agencies and case workers provide. Yet engaging volunteers or community sponsors is hardly a cost-free or even cost-saving endeavour for most resettlement and integration agencies, and dedicated resources must be provided to establish and maintain effective community engagement. Available at: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/volunteers-sponsors-refugee-integration

Skill utilization and earnings of STEM-educated immigrants in Canada: Differences by Degree Level and field of study by Garnett Picot and Feng Hou (December 13, 2019). Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series. This paper examines the skill utilization and earnings of employed immigrants educated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), by field of study and degree level. Compared with the Canadian-born with similar levels of education and in similar fields of study, immigrants with a bachelor’s degree had considerably lower skill utilization rates and earnings outcomes than those of doctoral degree holders. This is mostly because immigrant doctoral graduates are more likely to be educated in a Western country. By field of study, immigrant engineering graduates, particularly at the bachelor’s level, had relatively weaker skill utilization rates and earnings outcomes; immigrant computer science graduates did somewhat better. Much of the gap between the earnings of immigrant and Canadian-born graduates was associated with differences in country of education. STEM immigrants educated in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom or France had outcomes similar to the Canadian-born. Available at: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2019023-eng.htm

News reports and blog posts

Our Silenced Voices: What we lose while working with international “humanitarian” organizations, by Ayah Al-Oballi (January 5, 2020), 7iber. “What I write today is an attempt to shed light on the voices that are lost and silenced in the realm of INGOs. It is also an attempt to find my own voice through documenting a set of questions and reflections on my experience in that space. A space which I respect those who choose to stay within, yet resist any relinquishment of their own voices or their silencing of others” read more: https://www.7iber.com/society/our-silenced-voices-what-we-lose-while-working-with-international-humanitarian-organizations/

Global Refugee Forum: EU MS Pledge 30,000 Resettlement for 2020, MEPs Urges More Ambition (December 20, 2019) European Council on Refugees and Exiles. During the Global Refugee Forum taking place in Geneva, December 16-18, EU member states made pledges for resettlement efforts in 2020, backed with financial support from the European Commission. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) hosting the event estimates the global resettlement needs at 1.44 million and a delegation of MEPs called for more ambitious resettlement efforts. Available at: https://www.ecre.org/global-refugee-forum-eu-ms-pledge-30000-resettlement-for-2020-meps-urges-more-ambition/

Digital and social media

Panel: rethinking community, rights and displacement: theory and practice. This panel was hosted at the refugee hosts international conference. this panel conceptualised ‘rights’ in relation to the lives, stories and experiences of those affected by displacement, including on the level of the individual and of ‘the community’. This included reflections on the conceptualisation of ‘the community’ itself in relation to rights. You can watch the videos of the presentations of  Prof Lyndsey Stonebridge (Refugee Hosts – University of Birmingham), Dr Tamirace Fakhoury (Lebanese American University), Dr Anna Rowlands (Refugee Hosts – Durham University), and Dr Zeynep Kivilcim (Humbodt Universitat zu Berlin) at: https://refugeehosts.org/panel-3-rethinking-community-rights-and-displacement-theory-and-practice-2/

Events and calls

The Here and Now in Forced Migration: Everyday Intimacies, Imaginaries and Bureaucracies An international workshop organized by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity 22-23 October 2020. For more information: https://www.mmg.mpg.de/496008/2019-12_CfP-The-Here-and-Now-in-Forced-Migration.pdf 

<< Back