November 3 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. 128


[Open Access] Thorson, E., & Abdelaaty, L. (2022). Misperceptions about Refugee Policy. American Political Science Review. This letter explores the prevalence of misperceptions about refugee policy and tests whether correcting these misperceptions changes attitudes toward refugees. An experiment directly compares the effects of correcting misperceptions about existing refugee policy (e.g., the refugee admission process) with correcting misperceptions about the outcomes of refugee policy (e.g., the proportion of refugees in the United States and the percentage who receive welfare benefits). The results suggest that including descriptive information about existing U.S. policy in media coverage of refugees could correct misperceptions and change attitudes.

[Open Access] Koubeissy, R., Audet, G., Papazian-Zohrabian, G., & Arvisais, O. (2022). “Making a difference” with Syrian refugee students in Lebanon: Reconstruction and theorization of teachers’ stories of practice in emergenciesPROSPECTS, 1-17. This article is built on a research project on pedagogical interventions with refugee students in emergencies that the authors conducted with teachers in Lebanon. More specifically, based on stories of practice, the article aims to explore how teachers were in a position to exercise their role with Syrian refugee students in the Lebanese crisis context. The analysis of the stories allows for reflection on several elements, including the shared responsibility of different school actors, schools, and other organizations, concerning the support they must give teachers to ensure their well-being, resilience, and safety.

[Open Access] Niraula, A., Triandafyllidou, A., & Akbar, M. (2022). Navigating Uncertainties: Evaluating the Shift in Canadian Immigration Policies during the COVID-19 PandemicCanadian Public Policy. Reviewing the relevant policy documents and analyzing 22 semi-structured qualitative interviews with stakeholders in Ontario, this brief critically examines the impact of two transition measures: the amendments to Express Entry and the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence Pathway Program. It also analyses Canadian migration management during the pandemic at three levels: the macro level (i.e., transition measures and attainment of national goals), the meso level (i.e., stakeholders’ evaluations of the transition measures), and the micro level (i.e., stakeholders’ perceptions of migrants’ experiences with the transition measures).

[Open Access] Olinto, B. (2022).The Challenges of Settlement and Integration: Exploring Canada’s Response to Venezuelan Migration. Working Paper No. 2022/10. TMCIS and CERC. This article explores perspectives and opinions from 35 Venezuelan community leaders and nonprofit representatives regarding the needs and challenges of the Venezuelan newcomer and refugee population in five Canadian cities, as well as their struggle for community engagement and political participation in the domestic context. The analysis sheds light on how Venezuelan immigrants have navigated the complexities of migration in North America and faced the difficulties of coming from a country with an immigration rather than an emigration history.

[New book] Gélinas-Proulx, A., & Shields, C. M. (Eds.). (2022). Leading for Equity and Social Justice: Systemic Transformation in Canadian Education. University of Toronto Press. This collection emphasizes the systemic nature of inequality and supports the necessity of systemic change to target not only individuals but also structures, policies, and far-reaching practices. Focusing on various marginalized groups – including the Indigenous community, LGBTQ2S+ peoples, refugees, newcomers, and specific groups of teachers – chapters explore transformative leadership in practice and how to achieve inclusion, respect, and excellence in schools. The authors argue that leadership involves much more than simply putting policy into practice; this book promotes the need for leaders to recognize their role as advocates and activists.

[New Book] Scott-Smith, T., & Breeze, M. E. (Eds.). (2020). Structures of Protection? Rethinking Refugee Shelter (Vol. 39). Berghahn Books. Questioning what shelter is and how we can define it, this volume brings together essays on different forms of refugee shelter, intending to widen public understanding about the lives of forced migrants and develop a theoretical understanding of this often ignored part of the refugee experience. Drawing on a range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, law, architecture, and history, each chapter describes a particular shelter and uses this to open up theoretical reflections on the relationship between architecture, place, politics, design, and displacement.


Christiano D’Orsi, Several reflections on the displacement in the Sahel due to climate change, African Law Matters, October 28, 2022. Since the droughts of the 1970s, the Sahel has experienced significant poverty. It is now a region where 80% of the population lives in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day. For decades, the region has experienced chronic food shortages, with up to 18 million people facing severe food insecurity over the summer of 2022 – the highest number since 2014. The author spotlights the massive displacement of populations within the region that was caused by this situation.

Tristin Hopper, Immigration has never been higher, and Canadians have never been more pleased with it, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, October 31, 2022. According to a telephone survey of 2,000 Canadians, record-high numbers agree with the notion that Canada “needs more immigrants.” This is in tandem with record-low numbers of Canadians who report a belief that “immigration levels are too high.”

Mat Nashed, In Türkiye, Syrians and Afghans live in fear ahead of 2023 elections, The New Humanitarian, October 27, 2022. As the highly charged political debate in Türkiye intensifies ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections next year, the situation for refugees and asylum seekers in the country is becoming increasingly precarious. 

Rick Noack, Meg Kelly, Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff and Ladka Bauerova, How the E.U. has fallen short on promises to Ukrainian refugees, The Washington Post, October 26, 2022. Seven months on, 27 E.U. countries accommodated Ukrainian refugees to an extent they claimed was impossible during the Syrian migrant crisis of 2015 and 2016. However, temporary protection has been far from a golden ticket. Many refugees have had to move from place to place and have yet to secure employment. Within a refugee population consisting primarily of women and children, mothers with young kids say it has been especially hard to find time to seek job interviews or enroll in language lessons.

Lawrence Huang, Why Financing Responses to Climate Migration Remains a Challenge, Migration Policy Institute, October 2022. Climate change is already shaping migration and displacement, affecting who moves, where, and when. More frequent and severe extreme-weather events worsen disaster displacement, while slow-onset events such as sea level rise and droughts disrupt habitats and trigger even more movements. Climate change also exacerbates many of the existing drivers of migration, making conflicts more common and livelihoods less secure. Despite years of alarmist, even apocalyptic, discourse that climate change would lead to hundreds of millions, if not billions, moving to the Global North, funding the scale of efforts needed remains a persistent challenge.


[Interactive Tool] Queer Refugee Hearings Program. Developed by Capital Rainbow Refuge. This is an interactive toolkit that is helpful for claimants and service providers and works as a guide to prepare refugee claims based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and/or sex characteristics.

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