October 22, 2020: 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. 96

Refugee Research Network Webinar: Social Media Tools for Mobilizing Refugee Research October 29, 2020 3:00-4:00 PM EST. Social media platforms have the potential of developing, supporting and strengthening diverse communities by spreading awareness about current issues to much broader audiences. The current “refugee crisis” is primarily a political problem, which will require political solutions. And lately, it seems that political leaders have not paid much attention to solid, evidence-based research.  We argue that it is imperative that academics incorporate social media as part of their dissemination program and activities to have impact beyond specialized audiences. Register here.

Recent Publications and New Research

Elcioglu, E. F. (2020). Divided By the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the US-Mexico Border. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. This book offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of leftwing pro-immigrant activists and their rightwing anti-immigrant opponents. Drawing on twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations in the borderlands between Arizona, US and Sonora, Mexico, Divided by the Wall demonstrates how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. Provocative and even-handed, this book challenges common perceptions of U.S. immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity. Learn more (Use source code 17M6662 at checkout).

Bevelander, P. (2020). Integrating refugees into labor markets. IZA World of Labor. Only a minority of refugees seek asylum, and even fewer resettle in developed countries. They start at a lower employment and income level, but subsequently “catch up” to the level of family unification migrants. However, both refugees and family migrants do not “catch up” to the economic integration levels of labor migrants. A faster integration process would significantly benefit refugees and their new host countries. Link to open access here.

Omata, N. (2020). The myth of self-reliance: economic lives inside a Liberian refugee camp (Vol. 36). Berghahn Books. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research, this volume challenges the reputation of a ‘self-reliant’ model given to Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana and sheds light on considerable economic inequality between refugee households. The introduction can be read here. If you are interested in considering this title for possible course adoption, there is a free digital copy option. Learn more here.

Abdelhady, D., Gren, N., & Joormann, M. (Eds.). (2020). Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. This book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. It scrutinizes the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. It also investigates refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and considers how these encounters shape their hope for building a new life after displacement. Link to open access here.

Ben-Yehuda, H., & Goldstein, R. (2020). Forced Migration Magnitude and violence in international crises: 1945–2015. Journal of Refugee Studies33(2), 336-357. This study outlines a framework for analyzing forced migration crises compared with non-forced migration crises, presents an index of Forced Migration Magnitude (FMM), and probes three hypotheses. It points to transformations in forced migration since WWII, compares crises with and without forced migration, and explores patterns of FMM and violence. Results show a salient increase in FMM, coupled with more severe interstate violence and war, dangerously destabilizing regions worldwide. These patterns require the integration of forced migration within crisis frameworks, as a new research agenda, to understand the nature of forced migration in the 21st century and its impact. Link to open access here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Complex Road to Recovery: COVID-19, Cyclone Amphan, Monsoon Flooding Collide in Bangladesh and India by Kayly Ober. (October 7, 2020). Refugees International. This report details how the convergent crises devastated India and Bangladesh—with a focus on the repercussions for displaced communities and vulnerable groups like migrant workers. The report also provides recommendations to bolster the immediate response and prepare for the future. Read here.

Global Report on Internal Displacement – 2020. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This is the official repository of data and analysis on internal displacement. This edition looks at policy and operational practice from across the world and shows what is being done by countries to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement. GRID2020 proposes a roadmap for the next decade based on better information, more resources and stronger political investment. Part 1 – Internal displacement in 2019 presents updated figures at the global level. Data and contextual updates are included in the regional overviews and country spotlights. Part 2 – Ending internal displacement highlights examples from countries trying to address internal displacement and discusses the main ingredients for future practice to bring about durable solutions and lasting change. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Explainer: equitable access to a covid-19 vaccine for the world’s displaced population by Mikyla Denney and Eric Schwartz. (October 8, 2020). Refugees International. Although the impacts of the coronavirus have varied among forcibly displaced populations, crowded living conditions, inadequate sanitation facilities, and uncertain livelihood opportunities for refugees and IDPs in and outside of camps create special vulnerabilities. This underscores the importance of accessibility to a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed. The authors emphasize the need for ensuring equitable access to a vaccine internationally, the role of COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) in pursuing this goal, and the implications this may have on refugee populations in particular. Read here.

Self-harm in immigration detention has risen sharply. Here are 6 ways to address this health crisis by Kylie Hedrick and Rohan Borschmann. (October 7, 2020). The Conversation. New data  revealed the number of self-harm incidents in Australia’s immigration detention centres spiked during the first seven months of this year. This piece highlights research investigating self-harm among detained asylum seekers for the past decade and its findings shed light on the extent and nature of self-harm among these detainees. Read here.

Three-quarters of refugee women in Africa report rise in domestic violence during Covid-19, by Jennifer Rigby (October 15, 2020). The Telegraph.  According to a report published on Thursday by the International Rescue Committee, nearly three-quarters of refugee and displaced women in 15 African countries reported an increase in domestic violence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The findings are based on a survey of 850 women living in East Africa, West Africa and the Great Lakes region. They also reported a 51 per cent increase in sexual violence while 32 per cent said they had observed a growth in early or forced marriage. Read here.

Digital and social media

Webinar Series: Sanctuary: What next? International Seminar Series with and for undocumented residents in cities. An invitation for academics, activists and policy makers to come together and set a new agenda for urban strategies for undocumented residents. This pioneering online series features six seminars, open to the international community and based on perspectives across three cities – San Francisco USA, Toronto Canada & London UK. Learn more and register here.

Online Panel: Disembarking to danger: Exploring Australia’s airport asylum policies by Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law (November 3, 2020 9:00-10:00 PM EST). This event explores how Australia’s airport asylum policies risk returning refugees to harm. This is a free online panel discussion with Shadow Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Kristina Keneally, Regina Jefferies, and ‘Sultan’, who experienced it first-hand when he and his partner fled Saudi Arabia’s punishments for their gay relationship. Learn more and register here.

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