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. 51
Recent Publications and New Research
Bhabha, J. (ed.) (2018). Research Handbook on Child Migration. Edward Elgar Publishing.
This Research Handbook is a comprehensive and diverse collection of the best and most up-to-date research on global child migration. It covers a wide range of topics from the history of specific child migration flows, the ethnography of child migration, and child specific legal tools and challenges, to the psychological effects of migration on child migrants. More information available at:
Steele , Liza G. & Lamis Abdelaaty (2018) “Ethnic diversity and attitudes towards refugees.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
This article highlights the impact of ethnic diversity on attitudes towards refugees. It argues that group threat theory and the contact hypothesis offer competing predictions: The former would expect diversity to be associated with opposition to refugees, while the latter would expect diversity to generate support for them. The authors explore individual-level attitudes in nineteen countries using the 2014 wave of the European Social Survey, combined with country-level data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, the Manifesto Project Dataset, and five different databases of ethnic diversity measures. They conclude that greater ethnic diversity is associated with decreased support for refugees, but this relationship is not consistent across all measures of diversity. Free E-prints available at:
Mcnevin, A., & Missbach, A. (2018). Hospitality as a Horizon of Aspiration (or, What the International Refugee Regime Can Learn from Acehnese Fishermen). Journal of Refugee Studies.
In May 2015, Acehnese fishermen rescued over 1,800 displaced Rohingya who were stranded in the Andaman Sea. They did so in the face of a regional governmental stand-off that threatened to leave the Rohingya to drown. What compelled the fishermen and the villages from which they came to respond in this way? How might this example be instructive for an international refugee regime that failed in this case, as in others, to offer even the most basic form of protection to some of the world’s most egregiously displaced? This article responds to these questions showing how the Acehnese example speaks to a general paradox of hospitality that all potential hosts confront, including those states currently denying entrée to asylum seekers. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/jrs/article/31/3/292/4930652
Raheja, N. (2018). Neither Here nor There: Pakistani Hindu Refugee Claims at the Interface of the International and South Asian Refugee Regimes. Journal of Refugee Studies.
Pakistani Hindu refugee claims in India are shaped by both the international refugee regime and the regional South Asian refugee regime, which have overlapping and diverging notions of what constitutes refugeeness. This article argues that an attention to the interfaces between refugee regimes, and refugees and their advocates, reveals the ambiguities and consequences for people trying to work in and through multiple socio-legal regimes. As Pakistani Hindus and their advocates juggle expectations of what constitutes a good refugee, they are unable to fully satisfy the conditions of either regime’s criteria for refugee recognition. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/jrs/article/31/3/334/4922733
Reports, Working Papers and Briefs
Martin, Susan, Elizabeth Ferris, Kanta Kumari and Jonas Bergmann (2018) The Global Compacts on Environmental Drivers. Knomad Policy Brief 11.
The Global Compacts on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and on Refugees hold the potential for addressing the causes of and improving responses to migration, displacement and relocation across borders as a result of sudden- and slow-onset natural disasters, environmental degradation, and the adverse effects of climate change. The compacts reference and, in the case of the migration compact, provide specific commitments to address the drivers of environmental mobility and to develop policies aimed at ensuring greater protection for those affected by these movements. This policy brief outlines the ways in which the compacts address these issues, identifies gaps and weaknesses in the current drafts of the compact, and makes recommendations to enhance the compacts’ provisions on environmental mobility. It recommends, among others, that the compacts should expand on the relationship between internal and international migration and displacement, committing, at a minimum, to bring states, experts and other stakeholders together to identify mechanisms to improve protection of the rights of internal migrants and displaced persons. Available at:
Defending Child Rights for Refugees and Newcomers, New Brunswick Child & Youth Advocate; Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights (Carleton University), October 10, 2018
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, in collaboration with the youth group East Coast Shaking the Movers, issued a report where the young participants provided 33 recommendations on the rights of the child while taking into consideration the context of immigration, the refugee process and the school environment. They also reported cases of discrimination towards newcomers and identified recommendations to break down stereotypes and foster respectful communities where rights are respected and individuals are free from racial discrimination. Full report available at:
Paradigm shift: How investment can unlock the potential of refugees, Refugee Investment network (RIN)
An initiative of the Global Development Incubator, the RIN has published its first major report offering impact investors, grant-makers, and development finance professionals the first landscape of the what, why, who, where, and most importantly, how, of investing in and with displaced people. The report presents data and case studies showing that innovative refugee investments are already taking shape using “creative financing structures” to mitigate the perceived risks. Much more can and must be done, concludes the report, which offers recommendations for the impact investment community, foundations and corporations. Full report available at:
Physical Fences and Digital Divides. A Global Detention Project Investigation into the Role of Social Media in the Context of Migration Control (Two parts)
This Global Detention Project Special Report is aimed at improving our understanding of how people use social media during their migration journeys, with a special emphasis on their use in the context of detention and migration control in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Two subsequent installments in this series will include on-the-ground reports of the diverse ways people put social media to use during their migration journeys and provide recommendations for human rights practitioners who wish to harness social media in ways that emphasise harm-reduction. Part I: Exposing the “Crisis”, available at:
Part II: “Why Would You Go?” available at: https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/physical-fences-digital-divides-why-would-you-go
Brittany Lambert, Protected and Powerful: Putting Resources and Decision Making Power in the Hands of Women in Conflict, Oxfam Canada, October 2018
This paper examines the challenges women and girls face in conflict settings and recommends concrete actions that the Canadian government can take to empower women in conflict. It suggests that Canada is well-positioned to make a strong contribution to world peace by tackling gender inequality before, during and after conflicts. To do this, the government must continue to transform the way it delivers humanitarian assistance—and adopt a coherent feminist foreign policy. Download the full report at:
News and Blog Posts
Yemen: The forgotten war, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International
For three years much of the world has ignored the war in Yemed and heard little about its devastating consequences. This report highlights the origins of the conflict and tracks how civilians are paying the price through the countless human rights violations from both sides. Available at:
French offered €1,500 tax break to take in a refugee by Adam Sage, The Times, October 19, 2018.
French households will be able to claim a €1,500 tax credit if they open their home to a refugee under a measure adopted by MPs. The government has been attempting to address a shortage of accommodation for asylum-seekers following a 17 per cent rise in asylum claims last year. A total of 80,221 beds are available in shelters intended for asylum-seekers, but that about 13,000 of these are occupied by people who already have refugee status, leaving thousands of newcomers sleeping rough in parks and on pavements. Full report for subscribers available at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/french-offered-1-500-tax-break-to-take-in-a-refugee-jdfxddspl
The Vulnerability Contest by Daniel Howden and Metin Kodalak, Refugees Deeply, October 17, 2018
This piece reports on a months-long investigation into the stories of three Afghan boys, whose lives as undocumented refugees in Iran led to them being forcibly recruited and sent to fight in Syria. It is the first detailed, personal account from child soldiers who have served in the Iran-backed Fatemiyoun Brigade. The boys are among an increasing number of ethnic Hazara Afghans whose asylum claims are being rejected. Europe granted asylum to just 44 percent of Afghan applicants in early 2018. Full report available at: https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/10/17/the-vulnerability-contest
From the ground up: Inside the push to reshape local aid
Local humanitarian aid includes a broad spectrum of potential on-the-ground responders to crises and disasters: local NGOs, civil society groups and community leaders, indigenous peoples, local governments, as well as people who are themselves affected by crises, including refugees, host communities, and everyday volunteers. In 2016, dozens of the world’s largest donors and humanitarian groups pledged to put more power – and funding – in the hands of local aid groups. But reforms have been slow. With humanitarian needs soaring and donor funding struggling to keep pace, local aid workers believe they are the key to a more sustainable future for humanitarian response. But is the global aid sector prepared to change? Here’s an overview of the push to reshape aid, and stories from our continuing coverage of local humanitarian response on the front lines of crises around the world. Available at:
How Syrian refugees have strained and strengthened Jordan.
The Christian Science Monitor looks at how the large influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan since 2012 has impacted the country’s schools, hospitals and economy. Despite the obvious strain on resources, Jordanians have largely remained hospitable to the newcomers. But as donor funding for Syrian refugees dwindles, aid agencies warn that this hospitality has its limits. The CSM reports from Mafraq, near the Syrian border, which has seen its population more than double as refugees became a majority. Initially, rents rose, and the water supply was under strain, but the refugees also brought jobs and foreign investment in local infrastructure. Available at: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2018/1022/How-Syrian-refugees-strain-and-strengthen-Jordan