Sept 16, 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. 110

Recent Publications and New Research

Van Haren, I. (2021). Canada’s private sponsorship model represents a complementary pathway for refugee resettlement. Migration Information Source.  This article explains who can be sponsored in Canada’s Privately Sponsored Refugee (PSR) program, with a focus on how different types of sponsorship applications (including those supported by a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, Group of Five, or Community Sponsor) are assessed by government officials before sent overseas for processing. The article presents statistics on the number of applications approved in each PSR stream in the last ten years. The article also discusses a brief history of refugee resettlement to Canada and discusses how the selection process for refugees impacts integration outcomes, particularly when comparing refugees selected by the UNHCR versus those selected by Canadian sponsors.

Bryant, R., & Hatay, M. (2021). Performing Peace: Vernacular Reconciliation and the Diplomacy of Return in CyprusJournal of Refugee Studies, 34(1), p. 46–66. In the Cyprus conflict, more than 200,000 Cypriots were displaced between 1958 and 1974. However, lost in this standard narrative are the conflict’s other ‘Others’: the smaller Maronite, Armenian, Latin, and Roma populations, who also experienced displacement in the course of the conflict. This paper concerns the Maronite community’s struggle to remain or return to their historical lands in the island’s northwest. The authors examine the acts of everyday diplomacy that, over the past decade, have resulted in a revival of the largest Maronite village, removal of restrictions on their rights, and most recently, the partial withdrawal of the Turkish military from another Maronite village so that it may be reopened to settlement. The authors term these as ‘vernacular reconciliation’, ways of rebuilding coexistence that suspend questions of sovereignty that remain at the heart of the Cyprus impasse. They argue that this pragmatic approach calls on cultural knowledge of past patterns of coexistence through performances that, in turn, produce deeply felt senses of responsibility and patterns of reciprocity. 

Bradley, M. (2021) Joining the UN Family? Explaining the Evolution of IOM-UN Relations, Global Governance 27(2). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) became a related organization in the United Nations system in 2016, and has rebranded itself as the “UN Migration Agency.” This article examines the drivers and significance of IOM’s new relationship with the UN. It traces the evolution of the IOM-UN relationship, and the processes that led to IOM becoming a related organization. While some contend that IOM is still not part of the UN system, through an analysis of the status and political positioning of related organizations, this article demonstrates that, as a related organization, IOM is indeed now part of the UN system. It argues that IOM’s work with forced migrants in the humanitarian sector played a pivotal role in enabling this shift and considers its implications. 

Tastsoglou, E., Petrinioti, X., & Karagiannopoulou, C. (2021). The Gender-Based Violence and Precarity Nexus: Asylum-Seeking Women in the Eastern Mediterranean. Frontiers in Human Dynamics3. The Gender-Based Violence and Precarity Nexus: Asylum-Seeking Women in the Eastern Mediterranean. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 3. This paper derives from a larger study on gender-based violence and precarity in the forced migration journeys of asylum-seeking women transiting through the Eastern Mediterranean route and arriving in Greece, in the tumultuous, second decade of the 21st century. The authors discuss the opinions and information gathered through semi-structured interviews with twenty key informants: service providers, international and national NGOs staff, local government staff, and public officials. The findings locate the five points/loci in irregular cross-border movements and arrival at an EU member-state where precarity interweaves with gender-based violence. While adopting a feminist and intersectional approach, the analysis shows that violence and precarity are co-constituted and reinforce each other by undermining the citizenship status of asylum seekers and the inscription, on their bodies and lives, of unequal gendered social and institutional power relations.

Grayson, C.L. (2021). Children of the Camp: The Lives of Somali Youth Raised in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Berghahn Books. Based on in-depth fieldwork, this book explores the experience of Somalis who grew up in Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, and are now young adults. This original study carefully considers how young people perceive their living environment and how growing up in exile structures their view of the past and their country of origin, and the future and its possibilities. The introduction can be read here. If you would like to consider this book for possible course adoption, an electronic inspection copy can be requested here. 

Special Issue: Martel, A., Reilly-King, F., & Baruah, B. (Eds.). (2021). Next Generation of knowledge partnerships for global development. Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue canadienne d’études du développement,42(3), 253-273. The Next Generation programme, which underpins this special issue, presented an opportunity to address knowledge gaps in the current ecosystem of academic-civil society organization (CSO) collaborations, producing new research presented in this issue. Between 2016 and 2019, the NextGen Program sought to test and foster different ways and models of facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration between academics and CSOs in Canada. This special issue takes a reflexive approach to present key lessons and findings from cross-sectoral collaborations in the global development sector. Forced migration studies can draw on the lessons from the development studies to better nurture a conducive knowledge partnership ecosystem. 

Krause, U., & Segadlo, N. (2021). Conflict, Displacement … and Peace? Critical Review of Research Debates. Refugee Survey Quarterly. This article examines debates about conflict, displacement, and peace based on a semi-systematic review of research published between 1980 and 2020. The review leads to the identification of three main strands that are closely connected: the structural links outlining how conflicts contribute to displacements; the various prevailing risks of violence; and the individual and collective strategies of displaced people to cope with dangers and experiences, especially in host countries and regions. Despite this broad and still-growing body of literature, peace has been insufficiently addressed in debates thus far. Only a few studies attend to peace, and they mainly connect it to return to places of origin, peace(building) education by aid actors, or partly displaced people being potential destabilisers of peace processes. Hence, the roles of peace and displaced people’s practices to support peace constitute vital areas requiring further research going forwards. 

Reports, Policy Briefs and Blogposts

Final Report: York University Syria Response and Refugee Initiative (SRRI), by John Carlaw. Centre for Refugee Studies, York University. Sparked by the renewed interest in refugee sponsorship due to the crisis in Afghanistan, the CRS published the final report of York’s Syria Response and Refugee Initiative on its website. From Fall 2015 until the end of April 2019, the initiative led York’s participation in the Pan-GTA Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC) to sponsor Syrian refugees. In addition, it helped educate, mobilize and work with York students to promote awareness and become engaged in refugee issues on campus and with the wider community. In July 2019, the completed Final Report on the project included many lessons learned concerning refugee sponsorship and student engagement in the university context. It also included discussions and links to many of the activities and overall approaches taken.

Putting Home at the Heart of Refugee Resettlement, by Ray Silvius, Hani Ataan Al-Ubeady & Emily Halldorson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, July 8, 2021. The culmination of a 5-year study based on interviews with recently arrived former refugees finds that securing good housing is a key part of successful settlement. However, a tight rental housing market, insufficient financial support, and a limited supply of public housing means many are barely making ends meet, making resettlement challenging. This report brings into focus the need for adequate housing in Winnipeg and how it positively contributes to the multitude of settlement needs in the first years after arrival. 

The road from refugee to resident: How working with displaced people can help create more inclusive and sustainable cities, by Lucy Earle. International Institute for Environment and Development. June 18, 2021. Internally displaced people (IDPs) is a less recognized population that shares many of the experiences of refugees. This article addresses how towns and cities could respond better to the arrival of IDP and refugee populations. The authors believe that working with refugees and IDPs can lead to more inclusive and sustainable cities. The choice for local, national, and international actors is to perpetuate uncertainty and exclusion or include displaced people in planning better and more sustainable urban futures for all. To conclude, the authors aim to provide some of the crucial data needed to take positive action. 

Report: After the Airlift: Protection for Afghan Refugees and Those Who Remain at Risk in Afghanistan, by Hardin Lang, Sarah Miller, Daphne Panayotatos, Yael Schacher, and Eric Schwartz. Refugees International, September 8, 2021. The execution of the troop withdrawal and the Taliban’s seizure of power has created substantial risks of severe reprisals for hundreds of thousands of Afghans. The situation inside Afghanistan remains highly unstable, and ongoing civil conflict is a real prospect. The Taliban have a long history of committing systematic, widespread, and egregious violations of human rights. Despite public statements suggesting a more moderate stance, there have been credible reports of grave violations of human rights by Taliban elements in recent weeks in many parts of Afghanistan. New risks come amidst an existing humanitarian crisis driven by conflict, drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic. And half of the population requires humanitarian aid. 

Digital and Social Media

New Podcast: Refuge, Launched by The Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition (CYRRC) and hosted by Israel Ekanem of Halifax-based Ubuntu Media. This podcast brings together youth, researchers, and service providers to discuss critical issues affecting Canada’s refugee children, youth, and families. It offers a space for essential conversations across sectors, spaces, and people. In this podcast, guests delve into social integration, employment, mental health, language acquisition, and schooling for an in-depth look at how young refugees are settling in Canada. CYRRC hopes to appeal to service providers, educators, community groups, and anyone interested to learn more about supporting newcomers in Canada. 

Statelessness Case Law Database launched by the European Network on Statelessness. Stateless people often find themselves stranded on the margins of society, denied many of the fundamental rights that most people take for granted. The database aims to support legal practitioners, policy makers, institutions, researchers & civil society across Europe by providing a platform for comparative legal analysis and knowledge sharing. It is the first database to focus on case law addressing statelessness specifically. Moreover, it includes easy to search and filter case summaries from across Europe.  

Animation: The Story of Migration aims to tell the complex story of the relationship between migration and global inequalities. The animation, illustrated by Karrie Fransman, is based on a script written with Migration for Development and Equity’s (MIDEQ) partners in 11 countries in the Global South and challenges many of the ideas that currently dominate media representations of migration. The animation engages a wide range of audiences in MIDEQ’s work and highlights the importance of understanding global migration from the perspectives of those living and working in the Global South. The full animation can be found in six languages, English, Tamil, Portuguese, Malay, French and Mandarin, with more videos being released in the coming months.

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