July 31, 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. 69

Recent Publications and New Research

Annika Lems and Jelena Tošić (eds.) (2019). African-European Trajectories of Im/mobility: Exploring Entanglements of Experiences, Legacies, and Regimes of Contemporary Migration, Migration and society, vol. 2. This second volume of Migration and Society marks the continued intellectual engagement with authors, artists, and guest editors to make the journal a dynamic platform for exchange and debate across disciplines and fields of thought and action around the issue of migration. the themed section explores contemporary patterns of im/mobility between Africa and Europe. Collectively, the articles seek to move our understanding beyond hegemonic and binary images of “Europe” and “Africa,”. They explore migrants’ complex routes and journeys, including protracted experiences of being stuck in transit, demonstrating the constant interplay between agency and restraint, movement and stasis. The guest-edited themed section is followed by “People and Places,” featuring a smaller collection of papers on “hostile environments,” in the contexts of the UK and Denmark, respectively. The introduction is open access and more information about the issue available at:


Parekh, S. (2017). Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement, Routledge. This book is a philosophical analysis of the ethical treatment of refugees and stateless people, a group of people who, though extremely important politically, have been greatly under theorized philosophically. The limited philosophical discussion of refugees focuses narrowly on the question of whether or not members of Western states have moral obligations to admit refugees into their countries. This book reframes this debate and shows why it is important to think ethically about people who will never be resettled and who live for prolonged periods outside of all political communities. Parekh shows why philosophers ought to be concerned with ethical norms that will help stateless people mitigate the harms of statelessness even while they remain formally excluded from states. The book is available in full at:


Losoncz, I. (2019). Institutional Disrespect: South Sudanese Experiences of the Structural Marginalisation of Refugee Migrants in Australia. Springer. This book addresses the institutional disrespect experienced by refugee immigrants at the hands of the state and its institutions. The desire to be treated respectfully is not felt only by refugees, but they are a much higher risk of not receiving it. Using a case study of recently settled South Sudanese Australians, the author uncovers the social realities of their marginalisation and examines how blocked pathways to cultivate collective and self-identities can lead to a breakdown of social bonds between immigrants and social institutions. The book invites us to take a fresh look at whose responsibility it is to address the disrespect felt by immigrants and other marginalised groups and argues that when disrespect comes in the forms of injustice, institutional mistreatment, or systemic in governance arrangements, the responsibility lies not with individuals but with the state, its institutions and its appointed bureaucrats. More information about the book available at:


Galemba, R., et al. (2019). Paradoxes of Protection: Compassionate Repression at the Mexico–Guatemala Border Journal on Migration and human security. Journal of Migration and Human Security. This paper analyzes data from migrant shelters in the Mexico-Guatemala border region. It documents and analyzes the nature, location, and perpetrators of these alleged abuses. It argues that while Mexican humanitarian visas can provide protection for abuses committed in Mexico, the visas are limited by their temporary nature, by being nested within a migration system that prioritizes removal, and by recognizing only crimes that occur in Mexico. It finds that the paradox between humanitarian concerns and repressive migration governance in a context of high impunity shapes institutional and practical obstacles to reporting crimes, receiving visas, and accessing justice. The paper recommends that the Mexican government address these problems through: 1) further funding for the special prosecutors’ offices that investigate crimes against migrants; 2) the creation of an independent agency that approves and issues humanitarian visas; 3) work permits for humanitarian visa recipients; and 4) allowing complaints to be filed for crimes committed in countries in transit to Mexico. Available at:


Report, Policy Briefs and Working papers

A Future without Gender-Based Violence:  Building Newcomers’ resilience through community education: a toolkit for service providers, prepared by OCASI. This toolkit is for staff at community organizations that serve immigrants, refugees, and people without status. It is available in English and French versions. It is developed it to support service providers in providing community-based education to newcomers about gender-based violence and begin to equip them to address challenging situations. The objectives are to support program staff at community organizations in connecting with immigrants, refugees, and people without status to share accurate and culturally relevant information about gender-based violence and to provide practical ideas and guidelines for hosting community-based educational events, which service providers have identified as a best practice in addressing this issue. Available at: http://ocasi.org/sites/default/files/ocasi-gbv-toolkit-english-online.pdf

Resettling Refugees’ Social Housing Stories by Ray Silvius Hani Al-ubeady Emily Halldorson, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, May 30, 2019. This paper seeks to deepen the understanding of the relationships between cost of housing, suitability of housing, and the resettlement process. In many respects, the parameters and conditions of resettlement vary from family to family and individual to individual. However, for many former refugees, resettlement trajectories will involve important considerations like employment, social supports, acculturation, family reunification, language acquisition, education and employment training, establishing new forms of community, and providing care for self and family (including family that remains overseas). These commonalities are what make refugee resettlement a matter for social policy: we as a society can do better to welcome former refugees into our communities and provide the supports needed to help them get their lives in Canada off to the best possible start. Obtaining adequate and affordable housing is central to this undertaking. This paper includes the accounts of nine interviewees who have desired to have, applied for, or attained social housing. Available at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/Manitoba%20Office/2019/05/Resettling%20Refugees%27%20Social%20Housing%20Stories.pdf

News reports and blog posts

GCM Indicators: Implementation, Follow-up and Review by Jean Monnet (QMUL), Kathryn Allinson (QMUL), Tugba Basaran (Cambridge University), Christina Oelgemoller (Loughborough University) and Kees Groenendijk RLI blog (June 19, 2019). Paragraphs 40 – 54 of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) set out provisions on implementation, follow-up and review of the GCM. How does the GCM envisage these processes? What indicators might be able to help in examining progress with overall implementation, follow up and review? This blog reflects on these questions and concludes by identifying key practical necessities to implement the GCM. Available at:


Digital Litter: The Downside of Using Technology to Help Refugees by Meghan Benton, Migration Policy Institute (June 20, 2019). Digital innovation has been one of the defining responses of the current global refugee crisis and has been rightly celebrated. However, in some cases, creativity has come at the expense of sustainability, with damaging consequences when information is outdated or outright incorrect. Poor-quality information spread online or through digital tools, apps, and social media is undermining refugee and migrant decision-making and placing them in harm’s way. More available at:


Digital and social media

Rethinking Development Podcast. In the Rethinking Development podcast, the host Safa speaks with a wide range of practitioners of different ages and agencies to discuss ethics, challenges, innovations, life experiences and lessons learnt in the humanitarian aid and international development spectrum.  Current episodes address a variety of issues such the different skill set necessary for humanitarian assistance vs development programming, overcoming sectoral analysis, ensuring protection, the interface of aid and the military, pioneering female leadership, working across disciplines, building trust, working through trauma, and much more. You can listen on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcast platforms. Transcripts of episodes can be found at: https://medium.com/rethinking-development-podcast. You can join the conversation on Instagram @rethinkingdevelopment or on Facebook @rethinkingevelopmentpodcast.

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