November 29 2017: 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. 27

Recent Publications and New Research

Allen, William L., and Bastian A. Vollmer. “Clean skins: Making the e-Border security assemblage.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2017): 0263775817722565.

This article analyses the notion of e-Borders in the UK context. It draws upon interviews with former and currently serving senior staff from the UK Home Office, UK Border Force, intelligence services, and private sector suppliers. Practitioners’ reflections reveal how political, social, and human factors—including intuition and management cultures—both construct the e-Border assemblage and introduce discontinuities and frictions within it. Using a more tightly specified theory of assemblage, we highlight how human agents contribute to datafied phenomena like border control. Available at:

Anderson, Bridget. “Towards a new politics of migration?” Ethnic and Racial Studies 40.9 (2017): 1527-1537.

This paper reconsiders Stephen Castle’s classic paper Why Migration Policies Fail. Beginning with the so-called migration crisis of 2015, it considers the role of numbers in assessing success or failure. It argues that the UK public debates about immigration changed with European Union (EU) Enlargement in 2004, when the emphasis shifted from concerns about asylum to concerns about EU mobility. Concerns were exacerbated by the government’s failure to meet its promise to reduce net migration. It suggests that a new politics of migration must make connections between migrants and citizens, but also between migration and other global processes, particularly outsourcing and the exploitation of labour and resources in the global south. Available:

Moreno-Lax, Violeta, and Efthymios Papastavridis. “Boat Refugees’ and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach: Integrating Maritime Security with Human Rights.” (2017).

This book aims to address ‘boat migration’ with a holistic approach. The different chapters consider the multiple facets of the phenomenon and the complex challenges they pose, bringing together knowledge from several disciplines and regions of the world within a single collection. Together, they provide an integrated picture of transnational movements of people by sea with a view to making a decisive contribution to our understanding of current trends and future perspectives and their treatment from legal-doctrinal, legal-theoretical, and non-legal angles. The final goal is to unpack the tension that exists between security concerns and individual rights. Excerpts from the book available on google book. More information available at:  

Middle East Law and Governance Volume 9, Issue 3

MELG is a peer-reviewed venue for scholarly analysis on issues of governance and social change in the Middle East and North Africa region. Filling a gap in the academic literature, MELG tackles with breadth and depth compelling governance issues generally, and in the Middle East specifically. This recent special issue of MELG focuses on the political and institutional impacts of Syria’s displacement crisis. This is not an open access source but more information available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Mapping Refugee Skills and Employability: Data analysis from the talent Catalogue, by Talent Beyond Boundaries

Talent Beyond Boundaries’ (TBB) is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization. With this analysis, TBB aims to demonstrate the breadth and depth of talent among refugees in first countries of asylum, that could otherwise be deployed to meet skills gaps in, and contribute to the economies of third countries. The data used in this report was collected between July 12, 2017 and August 15, 2017. As of August 15, 2017, a total of 9,685 profiles have been created in the Talent Catalog. While outreach was limited to Lebanon and Jordan, some participants are currently located in other countries. Available at:

Climate change, migration and displacement: The need for a risk-informed and coherent approach

This recently launched joint UNDP-ODI report unwinds the complex relationship between human mobility and climate change. With a view to inform the global discourse surrounding these matters, the report provides evidence based insight on the presented challenges and how they can be adequately and appropriately addressed in international and national policies. Available at:

News Reports and Blogs

EU fails to identify and protect gay, lesbian, and transgender asylum seekers by Nidzara Ahmetasevic

Under EU law, people who have been persecuted or face persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation and gender identity qualify for refugee status and potentially asylum. But a weeks-long IRIN investigation has found that EU governments are often failing to even identify gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers, much less afford them special protections that, as a vulnerable group, many desperately need. Available at:

Seven things you need to know about the Manus crisis, Compiled by Zebedee Parkes, a Socialist Alliance member and activist with the Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney

1)Refugees are staying inside Manus Island detention centre to make a political statement; 2) Australia is denying the men water, food and electricity; 3) Australia has also withdrawn medical support to the men in the detention centre and the support available to people living in the three alternative areas is inadequate; 4) The men fear attacks by locals if they move to any of the alternative accommodation sites. Already, a number of them have been viciously attacked by locals wielding machetes. 5) Alternative accommodation is not even ready. One of the sites, West Haus, is reported to not have water and electricity; 6) Australia has rejected New Zealand’s offer to take 150 people, saying it wants to see out the US deal first. Only a few dozen people have gone to the US under the refugee swap. Both offers are not enough. Even if the deal is completed, this would still leave a number of the refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru behind. 7) It’s not about the boats. The boats have only stopped in so far as they have been turned back at sea to danger – the Manus Island detention centre has not acted as a deterrent. Available at:

Refugees, Mental Health and the Work Place, By Yusrah Nagujja, Anthony Ochora & Jaclyn Kerr

With over 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide and 260 million suffering with anxiety disorders (WHO, 2017), it is estimated that these disorders result in approximately US$1 trillion in lost productivity within the global economy (WHO, 2017). Secondary trauma occurs when a service provider relates to someone who has undergone a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events to the extent that they begin to experience similar psychological and somatic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further discussion, studies and recommendations on Secondary trauma affecting Employees who are not involved in direct service provision with refugees are discussed at:,-mental-health-and-the-work-place

Digital and social media

Podcast: when people move. Understanding how climate change creates the movement of people

Over the last two years Climate Migration have collected testimonies from people who have moved as a result of climate-linked disasters. By exploring these stories, we can begin to answer questions about how climate change is creating new patterns of migration and displacement. We can also begin to ask how life on a hotter planet might mean living with new kinds of disasters, and coping with the displacement they create. Available at:

Tarjimly (Translate for me)

Tarjimly is a Messenger bot that connects volunteer’s translators to refugees and immigrants in need of translation services. They’re connected instantly and anonymously, anywhere in the world and at any time. Tarjimly’s mission is to put a translator in the pocket of every person in need. Their Facebook page is: and website:

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