June 25, 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. 89

Recent Publications and New Research

Bose, P. S. (2020). Refugees in New Destinations and Small Cities: Resettlement in Vermont. Palgrave MacMillan. No longer are refugees to be found only in major metropolitan areas and gateway cities; instead, they are arriving in small towns, rural areas, rustbelt cities, and suburbs. What happens to them in these new destinations and what happens to the places that receive them? Drawing on a decade’s worth of interviews, surveys, spatial analysis and community-based projects with key informants, Dr. Pablo Bose argues that the value of refugee newcomers to their new homes cannot be underestimated. More here (e-version is available now with purchase of a hardcopy).

Huddleston, T. (2020). Naturalisation in context: how nationality laws and procedures shape immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality in six European countries. Comparative Migration Studies, 8(18). This article focuses on the interest and ability to acquire destination country nationality among non-EU-born adults in six European countries. The author explores how laws and procedures affect the interest of immigrants to acquire nationality and their ability to do so in practice. This article argues that both immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality are largely driven by their context, but in very different ways, depending on their individual, origin and destination country characteristics. (Open access) Read here.

Foroutan, Y. (2020). Ethnic or Religious Identities?: Multicultural Analysis in Australia from Socio-Demographic Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(1), 1-19. Focusing on the data of ethnic and religious identities in a multiethnic and multicultural context, this paper provides research-based evidence to explain whether and how significantly such data could be reliable from a social and demographic perspective. This paper argues that considering ethnic migrants belonging to the same category of religious affiliation as a single group without taking their ethnic origins into account, will lead to insufficient, incomplete, and misleading knowledge. (Open access) Read here.

Zambelli, P. (2020). Knowing Persecution When We See It: Non-State Actors and the Measure of State Protection, International Journal of Refugee Law, 32(1), 28–53. This article attempts to forge a more accessible framework of analysis for non-State actor claims. The suggested framework restores the absence of ‘State protection’ to its traditional role within the refugee definition of the 1951 Refugee Convention – as one prong of a test for persecution, not a stand-alone criterion for refugeehood. More here.

Amuedo-Dorantes, C., Bansak, C., & Pozo, S. (2020). Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime? International Migration ReviewThe perception that refugees may engage in criminal behaviour has served as fuel for closing the door to refugees in the United States and Europe. The authors exploit variation in the geographic and temporal distribution of refugee resettlements across counties to ascertain if their presence can be linked to greater local violence in the case of the United States. The results fail to show any statistically significant evidence of refugee resettlements raising local arrest or offense rates. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

 Continuing Welcome by Stephen Kaduuli (June 19, 2020) Citizens For Public Justice (CPJ). This report analyses the federal government’s efforts to address the refugee sponsorship challenges raised by sponsorship agreement holders in A Half Welcome, CPJ’s 2017 report. The top concerns among sponsorship agreement holders were long wait times and backlogs, allocation limits, and travel loan repayments. This report tracks the progress while also addressing new issues such as additionality in sponsorship, SAH-government communication, family reunification, and program monitoring. Read here.

Mounting Hunger in the Sahel: The Unintended Impact of COVID-19 Prevention by Alexandra Lamarche (June 11, 2020), Refugees International. Measures such as community lockdowns may be effective in containing the virus but they have also brought economies to a standstill, disrupted food supply chains, and challenged humanitarian organizations in reaching populations in need. The restrictions are impacting communities that already relied on external assistance to survive, consequently leaving more people in need of humanitarian aid, including many who may be forced to leave their homes in search of food or other opportunities. The author concludes with specific recommendation to mitigate the consequences. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Coronavirus: A window of opportunity for action on migration? By Eric Reidy (June 10, 2020). The New Humanitarian. Around the world, a number of local and national governments have responded to the virus by taking steps to protect the health and human rights of irregular migrants and asylum seekers as part of their overall efforts – although this inclusive approach is far from the norm. While positive measures have not been the predominant response, this article provides a glimpse of what can be possible beyond the pandemic. Read here.

Without safe migration, economic recovery will be limited by Antonio Vitorino (June 14, 2020), Al Jazeera. This article argues the economic recession will not only deeply affect migrants but also the global and regional patterns of mobility to which we have become accustomed. He claims that geographic proximity and trust will be more important than ever for states – with an emphasis on “local” travel – and there is a risk that future mobility will place those countries and individuals perceived to be at highest risk at a disadvantage. The author concludes that if we are unable to relaunch migration and mobility safely, and universally, the world’s ability to recover from economic recession will be limited. Read here.

Push backs at land borders: Asady and Others v. Slovakia and N.D and N.T v. Spain. Is the principle of non-refoulement at risk? By Nensi Sinanaj (June 10, 2020), Refugee Law Initiative. While there is no fundamental right to enter a state, there remains an obligation on the state not to refuse entry in case the principle of non-refoulement is at stake or the right to family life. A precedent was set by the Grand Chamber judgement in N.D and N.T v. Spain: individuals can be removed from the territory of a state in the case that they did not make use of any legal existing means of entry and they took advantage as a group of large number by using force. This test was used in the decision of Asady and Others v. Slovakia. The aim of this blog is to distinguish between N.D and N.T v. Spain and Asady and Others v. Slovakia and highlight that a broad interpretation of the Spanish case could lead to compromising the principle of non-refoulement. Read here.

Digital and social media

Online Workshop on July 9-10, 2020: Flight, Governance, and Human Rights hosted by Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer in collaboration with Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Distinguished scientists and politicians will address current challenges at the global, European and national levels of asylum, migration, governance and human rights: “Where do the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees lead to?” “What ought to be done about the Common European Asylum system?” “What can reasonably be expected from the German EU Council Presidency, starting in July, in the area of migration and refugees – and in view of Corona?” Register here.

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