March 17 2022: 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. 120


Goldring, L., & Landolt, P. (2022). From illegalized migrant toward permanent resident: assembling precarious legal status trajectories and differential inclusion in Canada. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48(1), 33-52. The authors examine the trajectories of illegalized Anglo-Caribbean and Latin American migrants living in Canada in the mid-2000s. They applied for one or both humanitarian legal status adjustment mechanisms to obtain permanent residence: late refugee claims and applications on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Despite sharing early illegal status, the authors found regional racialised and gendered differences in their Precarious legal status trajectories (PLSTs). The article presents a framework for understanding how different trajectories are populated, and how the somewhat unpredictable outcomes of adjudications may lead to further applications and a reorganization of PLSTs.

Simeon, J. C. (Ed.). (2022). Serious International Crimes, Human Rights, and Forced Migration. Routledge. This volume explores the interrelationships and direct causal connection between serious international crimes, serious breaches to fundamental human rights, and gross affronts to human dignity that lead to mass forced migration. The book will be a valuable resource for students, academics, researchers, and policymakers working in international law, migration, human rights, and international criminal law.

Journal Special Issue: Puumala, E. and Shindo, R. (2021). Language, Everyday Citizenship, and Community. Citizenship Studies Vol.25, No. 6. This special issue contributes to the studies of migrant solidarity activism to explore how people come together to build relationships and enact their visions of community. The authors collectively demonstrate the critical role language plays in various everyday interactions, through which the boundaries of community, between ‘us’ and ‘them’, are contested, reproduced, and negotiated.

Weima, Y., & Brankamp, H. Introduction: Camp methodologies: The “how” of studying campsArea. This special section contributes to the growing interdisciplinary field of camp studies by examining how scholars approach and study camps and camp-like spaces. How do camp contexts shape our underlying research philosophies, and how do particular research methods impact our conceptualizations of camps? The contributors to this special section provide a variety of answers to these questions, drawing on empirical research in current and historical camp settings. Overall, the authors use “camp methodologies” not as a set of prescribed tools, techniques, or epistemologies to be followed but as a shorthand for approaches that consider how camp geographies delimit research activities and methodological choices in turn (re)construct the camp conceptually in different ways. Ultimately, this collection aims to encourage critical debates and reflections to shed more light on the methodological effects, positionalities, responsibilities, complicities, and continuing necessities of studying camps.


Report: Nowhere to Run: Eritrean Refugees in Tigray by Sarah Miller, March 3, 2022. Refugees International. This report details the plight of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia amid the country’s civil war recommending steps the government of Ethiopia, UNHCR, the United States, and neighbouring countries must take to offer safety to this population.

Statement: Rohingya Genocide Trial Sends Important Signal by Daniel Sullivan, February 28, 2022. Refugees International. The continuation of the Rohingya genocide trial at the International Court of Justice is an important signal of accountability—and a reminder that the United States has yet to call the military’s crimes genocide.

Report: The Fallacy of Control: Tightened Asylum and Reception Policies Undermine Protection in Greece by Daphne Panayotatos, February 24, 2022. Refugees International. Greek officials claim a decline in asylum seekers indicates that the government has “regained control” of migration in Greece. But in reality, Greece has undermined access to asylum. Refugees International offers a new vision for Greece to humanely manage asylum and reception.

One Year Later: Canada’s Enduring Appeal to Prospective Immigrants in the Face of COVID-19 Comparative Analysis, August 2020 – August 2021 by World Education Services (WES), January 27, 2022. This report compares results from surveys of individuals who had applied for a WES academic credential evaluation for immigration purposes. The goal was to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigration plans. The comparative analysis addresses questions such as: To what extent were people still interested in immigrating to Canada? What was making them more or less interested? Over the past year, how had key factors affected their interest in immigration?

UN Brief: War in Ukraine causes fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II by Kristy Siegfried, March 11, 2022. The number of people who have fled Ukraine today reached 2.5 million, while nearly 2 million are thought to be displaced inside the country, and the number of refugees is expected to exceed 4 million in the coming days. Reuters reports from Poland, where thousands of Poles have jumped in to help some 1.5 million refugees with offers of places to stay, transportation, food, and even babysitting services, but risk becoming overwhelmed. Together with UNHCR today, the Polish government began distributing emergency cash assistance to refugees in Warsaw. Meanwhile, some refugees have moved westward, with more than 80,000 Ukrainians now registered in Germany and more arriving every day.

2021 Conference Report: Making sense of movement in the context of climate change, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last month noted that 3.3 to 3.6 billion people – nearly half the world’s population – live in contexts highly vulnerable to climate change. The latest Kaldor Centre Conference delved deep into the legal and practical challenges of responding to people forced from their homes by the impacts of disasters and climate change. This conference report includes key takeaways, a full video and the six sessions in podcast format.


New research asks who counts as ‘vulnerable’ in Canada’s refugee protection regime, Yfile, York University. March 2, 2022. What does it mean to be vulnerable? York University Professor Dagmar Soennecken (School of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies) is part of a global team of researchers examining the meaning of vulnerability in the context of migrants who need special assistance and protection.

A Tale of Two Refugee Crises, By Rachael Reilly and Michael Flynn (Global Detention Project), Inter Press Service, March 7, 2022. When the 2015 refugee “crisis” drove more than a million Syrians towards Europe, the EU justified detaining these refugees for up to 18 months. Less than two weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and more than one million people have already fled into neighbouring countries—but don’t expect Brussels to call for their detention this time. 

Also on our Radar on the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis:


Podcast: The trauma of life in limbo for refugees and asylum seekers in immigration detention by Gemma Ware and Justin Bergman, March 10, 2022. The Conversation. The life of limbo for people in immigration detention is often deeply traumatic. In this week’s episode of The Conversation Weekly, two experts on immigration detention in Australia and the UK discuss why people are waiting months, sometimes years, for a decision about their future – and the impact it’s having on them.

Video Recording: Book Launch – Documenting Displacement. The PRIO Migration Centre has released the online book launch of Documenting Displacement: Questioning Methodological Boundaries in Forced Migration Research, edited by Katarzyna Grabska and Christina R. Clark-Kazak.


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