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. 37
Recent Publications and New Research
Chizuru Nobe Ghelani (2012) Annotated bibliography Compiled for the Cluster on Methodology and the Knowledge Production in Forced Migration Contexts. References updated by Amélie Cossette (2018)
As part of the RRN-funded Cluster on Methodology in Forced Migration Contexts, in 2012, Chizuru Nobe Ghelani compiled an annotated bibliography of published, scholarly literature in English that specifically addressed methodological issues in forced migration. Amélie Cossette has now updated this bibliography and included some French-language references. Available at:
Mechili, E. A., et al (2018). Compassionate care provision: an immense need during the refugee crisis: lessons learned from a European capacity-building project. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 5(1), 2.
The overall aim of the European Refugees-Human Movement and Advisory Network (EUR-HUMAN) project was to provide good and affordable, comprehensive, person-centred, integrated and compassionate care for all ages and all ailments, taking into account the transcultural settings and the needs, wishes and expectations of the newly arriving refugees. This paper reports on findings to help establish what the nature of compassionate care for refugees consists of and implies and how its implementation could be promoted across European countries and healthcare settings. Notably, linguistic and cultural barriers exacerbate the effect of the lack of compassion, especially where healthcare information and psychological support are urgently needed but an appropriate supportive framework is missing. Available at:
Vidal, M. (2018). Painting Walls and Sculpting Barbed Wire: Art in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon (Master’s thesis).
the aim of this study is to highlight Palestinian forms of agency which resist constructions of the Palestinian refugee as a humanitarian subject disconnected from his political and historical context. Recognizing the criticism of researchers’ reduction of Palestinian refugees to victims and the increasing call for someone to write about the camps’ talents, this thesis focuses on Palestinian artistic creativity in Shatila, Burj al-Barajneh and Beddawi camps. The objective is to analyze the role of art in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. What is on the walls of refugee camps and what is the meaning of graffiti and paintings found there? What kind of claims is made on the walls? What does street art say about Palestinian identity in Lebanon? How are paintings and sculptures forms of reclaiming space and agency? How is Palestinian art in refugee camps a form of protest and resistance? Available at:
Ali, J. A., & Ocha, W. (2018). East Africa Refugee Crisis: Causes of Tensions and Conflicts between the Local Community and Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Journal of Social Science Studies, 5(1), 298.
The study investigates the refugee and host community conflicts in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. It classifies factors causing tension and conflicts between the refugees and the local community into four main categories; political and security, limited resources, social welfare and socio-cultural factors. It argues that three main outstanding points explain what causes tensions and conflicts; firstly, the host community feels refugees are more economically privileged because of the aid they get from refugee aid organizations. Secondly, the host community population has been outnumbered by the refugees’ population that has created fear and tension since the host can do less to stop refugees from doing anything harmful to them. Thirdly, competition as a result of the limited resources such as land, water and wood collection in the semi-arid area where the refugees and host community lives. The study recommends that in order to foster a better existence amongst the refugees and host community, refugees’ agencies should tailor their programs to development of both the host community and refugees. available at:
Rivillas, J. C., Rodriguez, R. D., Song, G., & Martel, A. (2018). How do we reach the girls and women who are the hardest to reach? Inequitable opportunities in reproductive and maternal health care services in armed conflict and forced displacement settings in Colombia. PloS one, 13(1), e0188654.
This paper assesses inequalities in access to reproductive and maternal health services among females affected by forced displacement and sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings in Colombia. First, the paper assesses the gaps and gradients in three selected reproductive and maternal health care services. Second, it analyzes the patterns of inequalities in reproductive and maternal health care services and changes over time. And finally, it identifies challenges and strategies for reaching girls and women who are the hardest to reach in conflict settings, in order to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of good health and well-being and gender equality by 2030. Available at:
Reports, working papers and briefs
Country report: Immigration Detention in Norway: Fewer Asylum Seekers but More Deportees
While asylum applications are decreasing in Norway, the number of deportations is rising, and authorities have increased the country’s detention capacity. Since 2012, when amendments to the Immigration Act were introduced extending the list of grounds for detention, detention has increasingly been used in order to make return policies more efficient. Norway also continues to operate its sole detention centre in a militarised fashion. Scene to several riots and attempted suicides, the facility is run by uniformed police and has a prison-like regime that has included intrusive body searches and the use of security cells and solitary confinement. Rights observers have expressed concern that the centre’s excessive control and security measures are detrimental to detainees’ wellbeing. Available at:
Snapshot Survey: An Insight into the Daily Lives of the Rohingya in Unchiprang & Shamlapur
Xchange was established to investigate and document human movement in countries of origin, transit, and destination through on-the-ground engagement with all stakeholders, most of all migrants themselves, with a view to provide policy makers, State bodies, non-governmental organisations, and the public in general with accurate data which stems directly from field research. The main objective is to advocate for better knowledge of migration through freely available data visualisation and analysis, as well as in-depth research and reports. Xchange data is the summary of thousands of individual journeys. This situational report, conducted in partnership with MOAS, was intended to shed light on the daily lives and struggles of both recently arrived Rohingya refugees and longer-term refugee residents, all of whom were beneficiaries of MOAS Aid Station services. In doing so, the survey/report sought to uncover livelihood, protection and security issues within the camps. Available at: http://xchange.org/wp-content/uploads/snapshot-survey-xchange-2018.pdf
Working paper: From market integration to core state powers: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis and integration theory, by Philipp Genschel and Markus Jachtenfuchs, Robert Schuman, Centre for Advanced Studies
The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) aims to develop inter-disciplinary and comparative research and to promote work on the major issues facing the process of integration and European society. This report addresses the Eurozone crisis and the refugee crisis as examples of problems associated with the EU’s shift from market integration to the integration of core state powers. The integration of core state powers responds to similar functional demand factors as market integration (interdependence, externalities and spill-over) but its supply is more tightly constrained by a high propensity for zero-sum conflict, a functional requirement for centralized fiscal, coercive and administrative capacities, and high political salience. The paper shows how these constraints structured the initial design of EMU and Schengen, made them vulnerable to crisis, and shaped policy options during the crises: they made horizontal differentiation unattractive, re-regulation ineffective, centralized risk and burden sharing unfeasible and the externalization of adjustment burden to non-EU actors necessary by default. The paper might appeal more to specialized readers and is available at:
News reports and blog posts
How to overcome religious prejudice among refugees by Kat Eghdamian
There has been much attention across Europe on the religious intolerance and prejudices held by far-right political parties and other groups towards refugees. But religious prejudice is also a feature and challenge of relations between refugees – and this must be better understood if it is to be overcome. This article sheds light on this issue. Available at: https://theconversation.com/how-to-overcome-religious-prejudice-among-refugees-90344
Interview for ‘Notes from the Field’: Petra Molnar, by Alessia Avola
CARFMS have launched a new initiative called Notes from the Field. Each Note is based on a conversation between an undergraduate student finishing their degree or a postgraduate student starting off their degree, and a more established researcher in refugee and forced migration studies. The unifying thread connecting them is a focus on recent developments in research, law, policy, and approaches within Canada to issues of asylum, borders, and immigration. The example here focuses on how to navigate fieldwork ethically, the roles of different actors in shaping critical discourses, and the challenges facing refugees and their advocates today. Available at:
Chad: Funding shortfall threatens Central African refugees
Some 22,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) have fled to southern Chad since late last year. UNHCR warns that a funding shortage is hindering the response from humanitarian agencies, leaving many of the refugees and their host communities without sufficient food, shelter and access to healthcare. A number of refugees who have attempted to go back to CAR to gather food have been killed and many are now subsisting on leaves and wild fruit, which can be toxic. With malnutrition levels already high, especially among children, there is an urgent need to increase food distributions. More available at: http://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2018/3/5aab91664/chad-funding-shortfall-threatens-central-african-refugees.html
Canada struggles as it opens its arms to victims of ISIS, By Catherine Porter
Through a special refugee program, Canada has welcomed 1,200 Yazidis, members of a religious minority from Northern Iraq that were targeted by ISIS in 2014. This piece reports that Canada’s resettlement agencies are struggling to help the Yazidis, most of them women and children, recover from their extreme trauma. In some places, efforts to help the refugees seem to be working. In others, they are stumbling. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/world/canada/canada-refugees-yazidi.html
They are our salvation’: the Sicilian town revived by refugees by Lorenzon Tondo
On a more optimistic note the Guardian reports from Sutera, the Sicilian town that has reversed the rapid decline in its population by taking in dozens of asylum-seekers since 2014. The new arrivals have revived the local school and prevented local businesses from closing down. Sutera has become a symbol of integration and its model is now being emulated by other Sicilian municipalities at risk of disappear. Available at:
Digital and social media
Two inspiring women, Veeca Smith Uka and Florence Kahuro, are offering support and safety for asylum-seekers in the town of Halifax.
For those looking for inspiration as well as refugee role models view video at:
The true story of smuggling out of Syria, by Dr Luigi Achilli
Much has been written and said about the plight of Syrian migrants. But who are those behind their journeys? Luigi Achilli, Marie Curie Fellow from the Global Governance Programme explains in this pod cast. Available at: https://soundcloud.com/user-425256900/mpc-luigi-achilli/