July 18, 2019: 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. 68

Recent Publications and New Research

Albertini, M, Debora Mantovani & Giancarlo Gasperoni (2019). Intergenerational relations among immigrants in Europe: the role of ethnic differences, migration and acculturation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(10). This is the introduction to Special Issue: Intergenerational Relations Among Immigrants in Europe. It demonstrates how an understanding of the characteristics of intergenerational relations within immigrant families in Europe and the social processes shaping those relations is essential from both an academic and a policy perspective. The articles featured in this special issue provide new evidence on various aspects of intergenerational relations among European immigrant populations. The introduction briefly reviews the main and most significant of these findings while comparing them with previous research results. It concludes by identifying a set of relevant research questions that remain unanswered and recommend a roadmap for future research on intergenerational relations among immigrant populations in Europe. Available at:


Ishrat Zakia Sultana (2019), Rohingyas in Bangladesh: Owning Rohingya Identity in Disowning Spaces, dissertation, York University. Many Rohingya youth and young adults find it complicated to define who they are because they belong to a place: Burma, that does not consider them citizens, and they reside in a place: Bangladesh, that never recognizes them as residents. The project shows that living in oppressive conditions, uncertainty, and the lack of an appropriate social environment, has made Rohingya people struggle with forming their identity. Their statelessness and lack of rights have created an unsettled and hybrid form of identity for many youth and youth adults living within and outside the refugee camps. The dissertation starts by describing the lives of Rohingya refugees, then examines individual constructions of identity and how their sense of belonging is influenced by their refugeeness and lack of legal citizenship. Available at: https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/handle/10315/36310  

d’Haenens, L., Joris, W., & Heinderyckx, F. (2019). Images of Immigrants and Refugees in Western Europe. This book examines the dynamic interplay between media representations of migrants and refugees on the one hand and the governmental and societal (re)actions to these on the other. Largely focusing on Belgium and Sweden, this collection of research essays attempts to unravel the determinants of people’s preferences regarding migration policy, expectations towards newcomers, and economic, humanitarian and cultural concerns about immigration’s effect on the majority population’s life. Whilst migrants and refugees remain voiceless and highly underrepresented in the legacy media, this volume allows their voices to be heard. Available for download here:


Karen E. Fisher, Eiad Yafi, Carleen Maitland and Ying Xu 2019. Al Osool: Understanding information behavior for community development at Za’atari Syrian refugee camp. In Proceedings of ACM 9th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T’19). Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan is home to about 83,000 people fleeing the violence in Syria. Building on a multi-year engagement at Za’atari, the researchers developed an information-enabled community engagement approach to identify and address challenges at the camp, engage community members in problem solving and increase self-reliance. Using mixed methods, the researchers facilitated the creation of a community-commissioned database of household assets, being implemented by the UNHCR with potential for adoption in other refugee camps. The main contributions of this project are participatory approaches to understanding information behaviors within a fragmented social fabric in high-constraint, low-affordance settings resulting from armed conflict. This work generates insights valuable for researchers and designers working with refugees. Available at: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3328395

Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

Common Social Accountability Platform (CSAP) – Results and findings from citizen led discussions on displacement in Mogadishu, a report by AVF, ReDSS and BRA, January 2019. CSAP was developed by Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) and launched in partnership with ReDSS and the Banadir Regional Administration (BRA) in Somalia. It uses interactive radio to build inclusive conversations at scale on displacement and durable solutions and bring the voices of displacement affected communities to decision-makers through analysis of citizen perspectives in discussion. Over 3,260 people participated in 4 interactive radio shows that were aired across 5 local stations in Banadir region. By using one common platform for building social accountability, CSAP intends to strengthen the Somali social accountability ecosystem by engaging citizens in spaces they value, outside the mandate of any single programme or organisation. Access full report at:


Policy Brief:  A Brief and Independent Inquiry into the involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018, by Gert Rosenthal (May 2019). This review explores the structural and systemic factors that, notwithstanding the lessons learned in previous cases – notably, in Sri Lanka – appear to have been repeated in Myanmar, despite the adoption in 2014 of the “Human Rights Up Front” initiative, designed precisely to avoid the repetition of the Sri Lankan experience. These factors include the overriding issue of accountability, in terms of the United Nations actions regarding the nature and scope of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that occurred (and continue to occur) in Myanmar.   While the brunt of the responsibility rests squarely on the Government of Myanmar, the question persists whether the United Nations could not have done more to avoid or mitigate the horrific events that progressively occurred between 2012 and 2017 (and are still ongoing), especially in Rakhine State.  Available at:  


Report: Promoting Refugee Participation in The Global Refugee Forum (GRF): Walking the Walk (July 12, 2019) by Hayley Drozdowski and Mark Yarnell.  In a promising development, refugee-led networks have already offered a set of concrete recommendations for achieving meaningful participation in the GRF, and UNHCR is working to provide additional opportunities for engagement on shaping the policies priorities that will be addressed at forum. The process, however, has largely been Geneva-based, so there is a need to broaden access and participation at the regional and local level, as well as to establish mechanisms for remote engagement. This issue brief provides recommendations designed to facilitate meaningful participation in the lead up to the GRF, at the forum itself, and into the future. Available at: https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2019/7/11/promoting-meaningful-participation-in-the-global-refugee-forum-walking-the-walk

News reports and blog posts

Ferreira, N. and Dustin M., ‘Let’s celebrate Pride with empathy and ensure LGBT+ refugees are not left behind, Metro, 5 July 2019. We are in the midst of Pride season, and one can feel the buzz of LGBT+ celebration across the country. To make these year’s Pride festivals even more special, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising is being celebrated as well. Yet, in the frenzy of consumeristic celebration, we risk leaving behind those most marginalised within the LGBT+ community. That is the case of LGBT+ refugees, as the one we recently saw in BBC’s recent series Years and Years. The series depicts a not so distant dystopia, full of rabble-rousing politicians, military interventions, refugee movements, nuclear conflicts, omnipresent technology, and glaring socio-economic inequality. More available at:


The Sahel in flames, by Francesco Bellina, The New Humanitarian (May 31, 2019). For 10 months, The New Humanitarian has been on the ground reporting as a surge in violence rips through West Africa. Violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger – three Sahelian countries with shared borders and common problems – has left more than 440,000 people displaced and 5,000 dead, as militants – some with links to al-Qaeda and IS – extend their grip across the region. More about The New Humanitarian report available at: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/in-depth/sahel-flames-Burkina-Faso-Mali-Niger-militancy-conflict

GCM Indicators: Objective 14: Enhance consular protection, assistance and co-operation throughout the migration cycle, by Stephanie Grant (July 10, 2019), Refugee Law initiative. This blog post looks at the indicators for Objective 14 of the GCM. The Global Compact on Migration contains a double commitment: to protect a state’s own nationals, and to act collectively where other states are unable to protect their nationals, including in situations of humanitarian crisis. Identifying indicators to measure how consular authorities honor both these commitments is an essential element of protecting migrants’ rights and interests. The blog tries to identify a few. Available at: https://t.co/YZmdxMbeh1

The web, digital and social media

The Right to Remain Toolkit. This is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. It gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else. Available at: https://righttoremain.org.uk/toolkit/

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