October 11 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. 20

Recent Publications and New Research

New Book: Statelessness in the Caribbean: The Paradox of Belonging in a Postnational World by Kristy A. Belton

Through an analysis of statelessness in the Caribbean, the book argues for the reconceptualization of statelessness as a form of forced displacement. The author explains how the peculiar form of displacement experienced by the stateless often occurs under nonconflict and noncrisis conditions and within democratic regimes, all of which serve to make such people’s plight less visible and consequently heightens their vulnerability. it concludes that statelessness needs to be addressed as a matter of global distributive justice. Citizenship is not only a necessary good for an individual in a world carved into states but is also a human right and a status that should not be determined by states alone. In order to resolve their predicament, the stateless must have the right to choose to belong to the communities of their birth. Available at: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15739.html

Historicising ‘Irregular’ Migration from Senegal to Europe by Stephanie Maher

In both media and policy circles, African migrants are commonly referred to as desperate travellers who fall prey to exploitative ‘slave traders’ on their clandestine journeys to Europe. And yet, such framings do not adequately account for the ways in which migration from West Africa to Europe has a long and profound history, and thus does not sufficiently correspond to histories of enslavement. Nor do such framings appreciate how contemporary movements within and outside West Africa are informed by interrelated political genealogies that tie Europe to Africa in mutually dialectic ways. Focusing on the case of Senegal, this article aims to disrupt the ‘migrant as slave’ narrative by looking back at the histories of regional and international mobility that continue to shape population movements out of Senegal today. Available at: http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/265

FMR 56

This issue of Forced migration review contains 31 articles on Latin America and the Caribbean, plus five ‘general’ articles on other topics. The content can be found at this link. Below are some highlights:

 Canada’s Guideline 9: improving SOGIE claims assessment? By Moira Dustin and Nuno Ferreira

Asylum seekers making claims relating to their sexual orientation and gender identity often face unfair refusal. New guidance from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada takes admirable steps towards improving claims assessment, and offers a model for practitioners elsewhere. This article reflect on these steps. Available at:


Factors influencing decision making by people fleeing Central America by Vickie Knox

In this paper, the author reflects on interviews with people who have fled violence in Central America to understand the influences behind their decision making prior to and during flight.  The interviews indicate that incidents resulting in immediate or imminent risk were the catalyst for people to leave their homes while structural factors drove external migrations. External flight is being driven by a powerful trio of structural factors: the pervasive presence of organised criminal groups throughout the region, a lack of effective State control leading to the usurping of territorial control by organised criminal groups, and an absence of State response to people who are forced to relocate internally. Social capital and knowledge of one’s rights may influence decisions along the way and so determine one’s ultimate destination but migration controls and policies have little bearing on decision making when push factors are so overwhelming and flight so urgent. Available at:


Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 Guidelines for Social Workers and Care Providers in Germany

The Nuremberg Academy seeks to provide social welfare institutions with information on the significance of these circumstances where refugees/asylum seekers might act as witnesses in criminal proceedings, as well as the employees and volunteers working with them. The goal is to develop a set of guidelines that refugee workers can use. To this end, this is a pilot project that included researching the needs of the different organizations involved and developing and testing draft guidelines. As a result, the Academy has published these Guidelines to provide social workers and care providers with the necessary understanding and knowledge to be able to assist refugees/asylum seekers should they choose to divulge this information to them. Available at: https://www.nurembergacademy.org/projects/detail/refugees-as-potential-witnesses-of-international-crimes-17/

 Dom Migrants From Syria Living at the Bottom On the Road amid Poverty and Discrimination, present situation analysis report, Hacer FOGGO / Kemal Vural TARLAN and others.

This report has been prepared as part of “The Project on Improving the Protection and Health Conditions of Syrians and Migrants in the South of Turkey” to analyse the present situation of Syrian Dom Migrants in Turkey. The study aims to describe the living conditions of Dom communities who have fled the civil war in Syria and taken refuge in Turkey, as well as the forms of discrimination and other problems they face. Available at:


News Reports and Blog Posts

 Angry anglophones, cholera contrast, and a Vanuatu volcano: The Cheat Sheet

Every week, IRIN’s team of specialist editors scans the humanitarian horizon to curate a reading list on important and unfolding trends and events around the globe. In this week report, covers the cholera epidemic implications on both the Rohingya refugees and in Yemen. It also highlights what is referred to the “anglophone crisis” in the Cameroon. It also addresses the evacuation operations in Ambae Island in response to the simmering Monaro volcano among others. Available at:


The Central Mediterranean: European priorities, Libyan realities by Daniel Howden

An in-depth read on why and how so many refugees & migrants have been trapped in Libya and the central Mediterranean corridor which has become the busiest mixed migration rout in Europe. Available at:  http://issues.newsdeeply.com/central-mediterranean-european-priorities-libyan-realities

Digital and Social Media

 Summer in Athens: A Sound Essay

This soundscape of Athens, Greece, offers an evocative and immersive insight into sounds of everyday life in the city. Athens has become home to many refugees from Syria and elsewhere, who have brought with them new sounds documented in this piece. Engaging with spaces of refuge through sound is a method that can help outmanoeuvre the tropes of photography which often focus on the singular, suffering humanitarian victim – resisting these tropes and attempting to develop more nuanced understandings of everyday displacement and hosting is something the Refugee Hosts project aims to achieve through the ‘spaces and places, not faces’ approach to representation. Available at:  https://refugeehosts.org/2017/10/05/summer-in-athens-a-sound-essay/

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