October 7, 2021: 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. 111

Recent Publications and New Research

Olivera Simic, ‘Locked in and locked out: A migrant woman’s reflection on life in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic‘, The Journal of International Women’s Studies, September 2021. This open access paper offers personal and lived experience reflections on life in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The author reflects on what it means for a migrant woman with a complex traumatic past to be indefinitely stranded. She also draws on experiences of other migrant women living in Australia during the pandemic. The reflection brings attention to personal narratives that contribute to the growing importance of women’s herstories. With this narrative, the author wants to pay tribute to migrant women’s lives and by using her own experiences as a case study to reflect on personal struggles that the COVID-19 pandemic triggered. The issues of trauma, forcible separation, and economic migration are explored.

Danisi, C, Dustin, M, Ferreira, N and Held, N (2021). Queering asylum in Europe: legal and social experiences of seeking international protection on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham. This two-volume open-access book offers a theoretically and empirically-grounded portrayal of the experiences of people claiming international protection in Europe on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). It shows how European asylum systems might and should treat asylum claims based on people’s SOGI in a fairer, more humane way. Through a combined comparative, interdisciplinary (socio-legal), human rights, feminist, queer and intersectional approach, this book examines not only the legal experiences of people claiming asylum on grounds of their SOGI, but also their social experiences outside the asylum decision-making framework.

Anczyk, A., & Grzymała-Moszczyńska, H. (2021). The Psychology of Migration: facing cultural and religious diversity (pp. 1-103). Brill. This book forms an introduction into new or emerging discipline of “psychology of migration,” which is an interdisciplinary field of research, joining together diverse subfields of psychology (cultural psychology, social psychology, environmental psychology, health & clinical psychology, psychology of religion and spirituality) with anthropological, sociological and historical inquiry on migration processes (usually named “migration studies”).  

Derya Ozkul & Rita Jarrous (2021) How do refugees navigate the UNHCR’s bureaucracy? The role of rumours in accessing humanitarian aid and resettlement, Third World Quarterly.  In conflict situations, rapid changes can occur in the conditions in both host and home countries. In the context of such uncertainty, how do refugees navigate the bureaucratic apparatus of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to obtain humanitarian aid and resettlement? In this open access article, the authors carried out fieldwork in 2019 in Lebanon and found the UNHCR’s bureaucracy to be a ‘black box’ for refugees in relation to the provision of information on humanitarian aid and resettlement. In this context of limited information, they found that rumours – widely considered to be uncertain truths – contributed to shaping participants’ understanding of the UNHCR’s decisions on the provision of aid and resettlement. They highlight the interpretive aspect of rumours and argue that refugees engage in interpretive labour as a result of the unequal relationship between themselves and the UNHCR’s opaque bureaucracy and provision of information.

Silas W. Allard, Kristin E. Heyer, and Raj Nadella, eds. (2022). Christianity and the Law of Migration, Routledge. This collection brings together legal scholars and Christian theologians for an interdisciplinary conversation responding to the challenges of global migration. Gathering 14 leading scholars from both law and Christian theology, the book covers legal perspectives, theological perspectives, and key concepts in migration studies. In Part 1, scholars of migration law and policy discuss the legal landscape of migration at both the domestic and international level. In Part 2, Christian theologians, ethicists, and biblical scholars draw on the resources of the Christian tradition to think about migration. In Part 3, each chapter is co-authored by a scholar of law and a scholar of Christian theology, who bring their respective resources and perspectives into conversation on key themes within migration studies. 

Reports, Policy Briefs and Blogposts

[Brief] Less than a Lifeline: Challenges to the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer, Refugees international, September 20, 2021. The United States hosted a “Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better” on the margins of this year’s United National General Assembly. Refugees International released “Less than a Lifeline: Challenges to the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer,” a brief outlining steps the major stakeholders in the global COVID-19 vaccination effort need to take to help ensure that the Humanitarian Buffer can get vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable populations.  

[Brief] The case for treating long-term urban IDPs as city residents, by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), September 2021. The briefing draws on the experiences of city mayors from six countries – Burkina Faso, Colombia, Honduras, Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine. They show that IDPs who flee to urban areas often stay for many years and are most likely to end up living in informal housing in low-income parts of the city. The report found international NGOs and multilateral agencies often side-step municipal authorities to work directly with IDPs and the communities hosting them to provide short-term, project-based assistance. This leaves local authorities without the technical and financial help to continue providing essential services to all residents, sometimes in situations where populations have multiplied many times over. 

[Report] Migration and vulnerability in the pandemic, Doctors of the World, June 2021. This report on migration and vulnerability during the pandemic in the UK was produced as part of the University of Birmingham Vulnerable Migrants’ Wellbeing Project led by Professor Jenny Phillimore and Laurence Lessary-Phillips (and funded by the Nuffield Foundation and ESRC IAA). The report, which shows significant unmet healthcare needs and deep digital divide in migrant patients during first wave of the pandemic, draws on Doctors of the World’s anonymized service users’ data at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

[Opinion piece] Brazil’s Successful Refugee Policies: A Model for the World by Mariam Kazmi, Borgen Magazine, September 15, 2021. Although Brazil does not take in large amounts of refugees when compared to countries such as Turkey and Pakistan, its refugee population has been rapidly growing over the years. For example, the country hosted around 10,260 refugees in 2017. Brazil also has one of the largest refugee populations in Latin America. Such massive growth and responsibility forced Brazil’s government to take immediate and effective action that allows refugees to resettle in the country. Today, it is evident that Brazil’s successful refugee policies have had a positive impact on thousands of families over the years. Mariam Kazmi explores the features of this success.  

[Opinion piece] Wildfire and flood disasters are causing ‘climate migration’ within Canada, The conversation, September 20, 2021. The release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) sixth assessment report confirmed our worst fears about human-induced climate change. The report predicts a worst-case scenario of 4.5 C warming by 2100. Climate change is already affecting every region on earth and the changes are expected to be widespread, rapid and intensifying. The results of the IPCC assessment likely have many Canadians asking, what does this mean for Canada? Yvonnes Su, York University and CRS affiliate expands on this question.

Digital and Social Media

[Infographic] “No Safe Place”: Documenting the migration status and employment conditions of workers in Alberta’s meatpacking industry during the pandemic, Migrant Dignity Project – Report to the Community, by Bronwyn Bragg, August 2021. Check out CRS Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Bronwyn Bragg’s infographic along with a 6-page executive summary created with Action Dignity, a community organization in AB, a partner with Bragg and CRS Professor Jennifer Hyndman on a SSHRC PEG grant. The figures emphasize the remarkable number of racialized resettled former refugees working in the meatpacking industry in Alberta. They represent 2.5% of the Alberta population, but make up 18% of workers in meatpacking in often rural settings. Temporary Foreign Workers were also canvassed for the research at two of the biggest meatpacking plants in Southern AB.

[Podcast] Leaving Place, Restoring Home: Enhancing the Evidence Base on Planned Relocation Cases in the context of Hazards, Disasters, and Climate Change, March 2021. In this podcast, Kaldor Centre affiliates Erica Bower and Sanjula Weerasinghe discuss their latest report with Lauren Martin. The report, called ‘Leaving Place, Restoring Home’, was commissioned by the Kaldor Centre and the Platform on Disaster Displacement, with a global dataset of more than 300 planned relocation cases. 

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