September 27 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. 18

Recent Publications and New Research

Daily stressors, trauma exposure, and mental health among stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by Andrew Riley and others.

This cross-sectional study examined: trauma history, daily environmental stressors, and mental health outcomes for 148 Rohingya adults residing in Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Bangladesh. Results indicated high levels of mental health concerns: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, somatic complaints, and associated functional impairment. Participants also endorsed local idioms of distress, including somatic complaints and concerns associated with spirit possession. The study also found very high levels of daily environmental stressors associated with life in the camps, including problems with food, lack of freedom of movement, and concerns regarding safety. Available at:

Health, well-being, and urban refugees: an agenda paper by Kelly Ann Yotebieng

Health and well-being have been historically uncommon areas of focus in studies of forced migration within the social sciences, where the focus has more often been focused broadly on identity, liminality, and social suffering. Urban refugees have also been largely excluded from the narrative. Yet, urban refugees represent the majority of the world’s refugees, which means we are effectively excluding the majority of the refugee experience from our research. Health is often a central marker of inequality and marginalization. Understanding the entanglement of forced migration to urban areas and health bears enormous potential for policy and practice. This paper will outline what we know, and set an agenda for the study of urban refugee health. Available at:

 Return Migration and Psychosocial Wellbeing: Discourses, Policy-Making and Outcomes for Migrants and their Families, Edited by Zana Vathi and Russell King

This new book problematizes the widely-held assumption that return to the country of origin, especially in the context of voluntary migrations, is a psychologically safe process. By exploding the forced-voluntary dichotomy, it analyses the continuum of experiences of return and the effect of time, the factors that affect the return process and associated mobilities, and their multiple links with returned migrants’ wellbeing or psychosocial issues. More information available at:

Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees by Cathryn Costello (with Yulia Ioffe and Teresa Büchsel)

The aim of this paper is to clarify the correct interpretation of Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the 1951 Refugee Convention). The interpretation proposed is based on the binding international precepts relating to treaty interpretation, as reflected in Articles 31 to 33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). Available at:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

 The Asylum Information Database (AIDA)

AIDA is a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection across 20 European countries. This includes 17 European Union (EU) Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom) and 3 non-EU countries (Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey). More information and reports available at:

Too Much too soon: Displaced Iraqis and the push to return home, By Daryl Grisgraber

The ten-year reconstruction plan for Iraq announced by the Prime Minister in late June includes a goal “to return all displaced persons to their places of origin,” and in some locations, local authorities have shown themselves eager to start that process. However, there are serious concerns about how, when, and where these returns can or should take place. This report addresses these concerns. Available at:

 News Reports and Blog posts

 New York Declaration on Refugees: A One-Year Report Card by Jeff Crisp

A year after the first ever U.N. refugee summit, policy expert Jeff Crisp examines the four key objectives of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework agreed in New York, and the major questions and obstacles that remain to be resolved. Available at: 

Step Up: How to get refugees into work quickly, by Philippe Legrain

Governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and businesses provide many different schemes to help refugees get jobs, often without knowing how effective they are. However, there is plenty that they can learn from what works well elsewhere. From research, analysis and evidence from 22 advanced economies that receive substantial numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, this news report reflects on a study that sets out 16 key policy recommendations, and highlights best practices and promising new approaches. Available at: 

Levaiathan’s Maw

This piece, by George Mantzios offers a visual representation of the Mediterranean ‘Migration Crisis’. His work also reflects on the role of art as a form of hosting, capable of articulating meaningful encounters that are built on ‘vernacularised’ art practices. The Refugee Hosts project presents a series that highlights creative approaches as a means of challenging or questioning more traditional forms of refugee representation. More artistic production can be found at the refugee host creative archive, including other pieces published as part of the Representations of Displacement series covered in the last RRN edtion. Available at:

 Digital and Social Media

 RSC SoundCloud channel

This links to the Refugees Studies Center (RSC) SoundCloud channel that comprises tens of audio files for lectures, seminars, and conferences:

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