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Book description: Refugee and Forced Migration Studies has grown from being a concern of a relatively small number of scholars and policy researchers in the 1980s to a global field of interest with thousands of students worldwide studying displacement either from traditional disciplinary perspectives or as a core component of newer programmes across the Humanities and Social and Political Sciences. Today the field encompasses both rigorous academic research which may or may not ultimately inform policy and practice, as well as action-research focused on advocating in favour of refugees' needs and rights. This authoritative Handbook critically evaluates the birth and development of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and analyses the key contemporary and future challenges faced by academics and practitioners working with and for forcibly displaced populations around the world. The 52 state-of-the-art chapters, written by leading academics, practitioners, and policymakers working in universities, research centres, think tanks, NGOs and international organizations, provide a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the key intellectual, political, social and institutional challenges arising from mass displacement in the world today. The chapters vividly illustrate the vibrant and engaging debates that characterize this rapidly expanding field of research and practice.
Refugee and Forced Migration Studies has grown from being a concern of a relatively small number of scholars and policy researchers in the 1980s to a global field of interest with thousands of students worldwide studying displacement either from traditional disciplinary perspectives or as a core component of newer programmes across the Humanities and Social and Political Sciences. Today the field encompasses both rigorous academic research which may or may not ultimately inform policy and practice, as well as action-research focused on advocating in favour of refugees' needs and rights. This authoritative Handbook critically evaluates the birth and development of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and analyses the key contemporary and future challenges faced by academics and practitioners working with and for forcibly displaced populations around the world. The 52 state-of-the-art chapters, written by leading academics, practitioners, and policymakers working in universities, research centres, think tanks, NGOs and international organizations, provide a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the key intellectual, political, social and institutional challenges arising from mass displacement in the world today. The chapters vividly illustrate the vibrant and engaging debates that characterize this rapidly expanding field of research and practice.
In 1975, at the apex of the conflict over what is now known as the territory of the Western Sahara, the Sahrawi "liberation movement", the Polisario Front, established a number of refugee camps in South-Western Algeria, near the Algerian military town of Tindouf. On the 27 February 1976, the Polisario Front declared the birth of its "state-in-exile", the camp-based "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" (SADR). Since then, the Polisario/SADR has developed its own constitution, camp-based police force (and prisons), army and parallel state and religious legal systems (the latter of which implements a Maliki interpretation of Islam). A number of "national" Sahrawi institutions, such as the National Parliament and National Council, National Hospital and Pharmaceutical Laboratory, the National War Hospital and the Landmine Victims’ Centre, are all located close to the camps’ administrative capital (Rabouni), which, in turn, is some 25km from Tindouf and its military airport. Approximately 155,000 Sahrawi refugees are currently distributed amongst four major camps named after the main cities in the Western Sahara (Aaiun, Ausserd, Smara and Dakhla), and a fifth, smaller camp which has developed around the National Women’s School (called the 27 February Camp). The 27 February Camp was the location of the majority of my fieldwork in the camps between 2001 and 2009, and it is this refugee camp which is the focus of this report.
Migration and statelessness in the Dominican Republic - Interview with Bridget Wooding by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh
Bridget Wooding of the Observatorio Migrantes del Caribe, San Domingo speaks on Caribbean diasporas and statelessness.
The impetus for this collection arose from two workshops entitled ‘Human smuggling/trafficking seen from inside’ and ‘Interviewing vulnerable migrants for different reasons and with different purposes’ held at the 2004 and 2005 International Metropolis Conferences respectively. Following an introduction by the editors, the contributions are divided in three sections. The first consists of two chapters which address ethical and methodological questions arising during and after the design and implementation of research with migrants/foreigners held in prison settings (Barsky on the United States, and Achermann on Switzerland). The second section is composed of three contributions outlining the authors’ views of the advantages and limitations of different research methods, including the analysis of official documents, coded questionnaires, expert interviews, narrative and open-ended interviews, and participant observation when completing research with irregular migrants and smuggled persons. These include chapters by Staring on Turkish irregular migrants in the Netherlands; Dahinden and Efionayi-Mäder on both sub-Saharan African asylum-seekers, refugees and irregular migrants, and non-EU migrant sex workers in Switzerland; and Bilger and van Liempt on smuggled migrants in Austria and the Netherlands. The third and final section includes two chapters which discuss the impact and implications of researchers’ national identities and professions when identifying, contacting and interviewing vulnerable migrants (Markova on being an ‘insider’ conducting research with Bulgarian migrants in Greece, Spain and the UK; and Empez on simultaneously being a social work practitioner and a researcher investigating the experiences of Moroccan minors in Spain).
The papers in this edited collection arise from a multidisciplinary conference organized by the International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe Research Network (IMISCOE) in 2008. While the contributions primarily focus on migration within and to Europe, they draw upon case-studies from all continents, illustrating the transnational flows of people, resources, ideas and political forces that characterize the modern world. In line with the increasing visibility and intensity of international and transnational connections, academics and policy-makers alike have developed and contested diverse concepts, theories and methods to better understand and respond to cross-border migration and its multi-faceted impacts. Among these, the two most widely invoked concepts and theoretical frameworks are related to 'diasporas' and 'transnationalism', whose meaning, compatibility, usefulness and over-usage are explored throughout the volume.
This article examines the experiences of two Middle Eastern refugee populations (Sahrawis and Palestinians) affected by the 2011 conflict in Libya. Both refugee communities and their political representatives (Polisario Front and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) respectively) have received support from the Libyan government since the 1970s, including through the provision of scholarships to enable refugee children and youth to complete their studies in Libya.
This article explores the construction of victimhood in transitional societies. Drawn from fieldwork in a dozen jurisdictions as well as elements of criminological, feminist, sociological, philosophical and postcolonial literature, the article focuses in particular on how victimhood is interpreted and acted upon in transitional contexts. It explores the ways in which victims’ voice and agency are realised, impeded or in some cases co-opted in transitional justice. It also examines the role of blame in the construction of victimhood. In particular, it focuses upon the ways in which the importance of blame may render victimhood contingent upon ‘blamelessness’, encourage hierarchies between deserving and undeserving victims and require the reification of blameworthy perpetrators. The article concludes by suggesting that the increased voice and agency associated with the deployment of rights discourses by victims comes at a price – a willingness to acknowledge the rights and humanity of the ‘other’ and to be subject to the same respectful critical inquiry as other social and political actors in a post-conflict society.
This paper investigates the challenges of resolving the protracted Liberian refugee situation in Ghana. Despite the restored stability in Liberia and the unfavourable living conditions in exile, as of 2011, there were still about 11,000 Liberian refugees in the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana. For the last several years, the volume of humanitarian aid for this refugee population has been sharply dwindling whereas refugees’ livelihoods have been constrained due to various impediments. Given the few benefits of remaining in Ghana as refugees, it is a conundrum for the UN refugee agency to understand why a considerable number of Liberian refugees have not returned to their country of origin.
Internet cafés in refugee camps allow refugees to maintain and create networks for overseas remittances. For the many displaced people who rely on receiving money from family members or friends overseas for their daily needs, maintaining these ties is vital. In the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana, use of the internet has played an important role in retaining and sometimes even forging transnational connections for financial remittances from Western countries. In the settlement there are a few internet cafés run by Liberian refugee entrepreneurs which enhance refugees’ access to remittances in two ways: firstly, by maintaining the refugees’ existing remittance channels with members of the diaspora community and, secondly, by creating new remittance pipelines by linking refugees with philanthropic individuals in the West.
The international refugee regime presents repatriation as the most optimal, most feasible of the three durable solutions. Nevertheless, the number of studies which have followed up the process of the reintegration of returnees to their country of origin is scant. This paper will therefore investigate the repatriation of Liberian refugees from Ghana and their economic adjustments upon return using detailed case studies.
Significant advances in transportation and communication have helped substantially expand the recent flow of transnational migration. As a result, there has been rapidly growing interest in the impact of remittances on development, and on poverty reduction in particular (see de Haas 2005). But are poor households the main recipients of remittances? Little research has been devoted to the distributional impact of remittances. This Development Viewpoint reports relevant results from extensive fieldwork in a Liberian refugee settlement in Ghana. Though the sample is small and distinctive, the research findings suggest that rich, rather than poor, households could be the main beneficiaries of remittances.
This paper is a report by an Alchemy intern at Fundo de Credito Communtario (FCC) in Mozambique for the summer of 2004. The report consists of five sections. The first section briefly outlines the current environment surrounding refugees in Mozambique and the refugee policy of Mozambican government. The next section explains micro credit lending program of FCC in Mozambique, with emphasis on its Refugee Integration Program (RIP), as well as FCC’s lending stance in its program. In the third section, the paper evaluates the impact of FCC’s micro credit lending program in Maputo based on the latest results of Alchemy interviews with FCC RIP clients and non-clients. Then, it presents recommendation and proposals for FCC and concludes with prospective direction of FCC.
This study contributes to the growing body of research that seeks to document and understand the views and experiences of refugee youth. It initially began as a supplementary project aimed at enriching interview data that had already been generated with Sahrawi children in the refugee camps in Algeria. This research effort forms part of a larger study set up by Dr. Dawn Chatty on Sahrawi refugee youth in Algeria and Afghan refugee youth in Iran funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The supplementary study was centred in Spain, where thousands of Sahrawi children spend their summer vacations with Spanish families as part of the Vacaciones en Paz (Vacations in Peace) hosting programme. Forty-six children who agreed to take part in the study were interviewed on similar topics as were addressed in the camp study, including gender, education, politicisation, hosting experiences, and aspirations for the future.
Thousands of young Sahrawis spend summer holidays with Spanish families. The Vacaciones en Paz hosting programme has grown into a transnational network which allows Sahrawi youth to partially offset the hardships of their daily lives as refugees.
Refugees’ experiences of living in non-Western urban settings are infrequently addressed outside those particular cities. This essay presents snapshots of refugees’ experiences of asylum in one such city, Cairo, where it is UNHCR which undertakes the refugee status determination process. Following a presentation of the main institutional actors involved in Cairo’s ‘asylum scene’, it outlines some of the ‘general’ and ‘normal’ problems, vulnerabilities and risks encountered by refugees there. The remainder of the essay documents the particular difficulties experienced by three groups of sub-Saharan African refugees in this city: survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, unaccompanied minors and young men at particular risk. It demonstrates that, far from encountering peace through asylum, they discover a site characterized both by new forms of violence and by repetitions of existing abuse, and highlights the reasons why the right to legal counsel is one of the most important rights that a refugee can have.