September 24, 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. 94

Recent Publications and New Research

Huizinga, R., & van Hoven, B. (2020). Hegemonic masculinities after forced migration: Exploring relational performances of Syrian refugee men in The Netherlands. Gender, Place and Culture : a Journal of Feminist Geography, 1–23. This paper aims to contribute to emerging work within masculinities studies by exploring constructions of masculinities of young Syrian refugee men in the Netherlands. Using in-depth interviews and walking interviews, it illustrates how respondents construct masculinities predominantly in relation to labour market access, paid work and perceived social status. However, masculinities are enacted differently in relation to age, social class, race, and religion. The authors demonstrate how generational differences between respondents affect perceptions and performances of masculinities in relation to gender, generational relations and life course advancement. (Open access) Read here.

Oliver, C., Geuijen, K., & Dekker, R. (2020). Social contact and encounter in asylum seeker reception: the Utrecht Refugee Launchpad. Comparative Migration Studies8(1), 1–19. The Utrecht Refugee Launchpad was an experiment at city-level to create a more inclusive form of asylum seeker reception. The initiative used co-housing, bringing together young, local tenants with asylum seekers to improve social integration and local relations. This article examines the nature of social contact, and considers the value of relationships developed between asylum seekers and tenants, using qualitative data from interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate the importance of context, by highlighting that the remote logics of the national asylum system imposed spatial and temporal limitations on the co-housing model to generate ‘adjacent’ and transient living. (Open access) Read here.

Hamilton, L., Veronis, L., & Walton-Roberts, M. (2020). A National Project: Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Canada. McGill-Queen’s Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Series. Breaking new ground in an effort to understand and learn from the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative that Canada launched in 2015, this book examines the experiences of refugees, receiving communities, and a range of stakeholders who were involved in their resettlement, including sponsors, service providers, and various local and municipal agencies. Considering the policy behind the program and the geographic and demographic factors affecting it, chapters document mobilization efforts, ethical concerns, integration challenges, and varying responses to resettling Syrian refugees from coast to coast. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Assessing Protection Claims at Airports: Developing procedures to meet international and domestic obligations by Regina Jefferies, Daniel Ghezelbash and Asher Hirsch (September, 2020), Kador Centre for Refugee Law. This Policy Brief critically analyses the legal and operational framework for handling protection claims made by people at Australian airports in light of Australia’s international protection obligations. It also examines the domestic legal framework which is claimed to provide the basis for airport screening procedures and through which Australia’s protection obligations are supposed to be given effect. This Policy Brief finds serious issues concerning transparency, legality and accountability, which require better Parliamentary intervention and oversight. Read here, or watch summary video here.

Nguyen, M. (2020). Why Migrants Stay in Small and Mid-Sized Canadian Cities: Towards a New Analytical Framework Using a Life Course Approach. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the CERC in Migration and Integration Working Paper. This paper proposes an analytical framework to study immobility that centres migrants’ lived experiences and aspirations, using a life-course approach. The author argues that, asking why migrants stay, as opposed to why they leave, allows migration researchers to better understand the nuanced ways in which migrants form decisions to move to, stay in, build their lives in specific cities over time, in destination countries. Read here.

Olakpe, O. (2020). Undocumented Migrant Communities in Cities: Negotiating Legal and Legitimate Status from Below. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and the CERC in Migration and Integration Working Paper. This paper examines the literature on cities, citizenship and performative rights claiming through the lens of undocumented migrant status, using ethnographic research of the Nigerian community in the city of Guangzhou, China as an example. This paper unpacks the ways in which undocumented migrants exhibit citizenship, belonging and agency from below to demonstrate the different meanings and manifestations of agency, marginality and asymmetries of power in big cities in the Global South. Read here.

News reports and blog posts

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations by Carolien Jacobs and Nuno Ferreira (September 10, 2020), The Conversation. This article explores the experiences and solutions for protracted displaced populations around the world. It is based on the examination of international and host country policies and their limitations to adequately address the challenges posed by forced displacement across the world. The authors outline the incorrect focus of national initiatives and provide alternative solutions. Read here.

Jordan returns refugees to desolate Syrian border camp, rights groups cry foul by Madeline Edwards (September 16, 2020). The New Humanitarian. Jordan has been sending refugees back to Syria for years, but this is the first time it has been accused of forcible transfers to the desert no man’s land, known as Rukban. The news report outlines the experience of living in the dessert camps as well as Jordan’s legal obligation to grant refugees a fair trial. Read here.

Digital and social media

Virtual Event: Rust & Reinvention: International Migration and Urban Change in the American Rust Belt (October 22, 2020, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST). Balsillie School of International Affairs. Dr. Pottie-Sherman’s talk highlights the limitations of the singular spatial imaginary of the Rust Belt as a region associated with loss of industry, population, and status. Rather, she illustrates the rich, complex, and tangled contemporary spatial nuances associated with international migration in this region. These spatial nuances are complicated by increasingly exclusionary immigration policy and rhetoric at the federal level since January of 2017. Register here.

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