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  • Why they are not refugees – Climate change, environmental degradation and population displacement

    31 May 2017

    Increasing attention is given to the potential for environmental degradation and climate change to be instruments of population displacement. Those susceptible to displacement have been labelled “environmental refugees”. Whilst recognising the importance of protecting livelihoods, societies and human rights of people who might be displaced, the paper challenges this label. First the paper examines the derivation and origins of the label “environmental refugees”. Second the paper challenges the conceptual, normative and empirical basis for this terminology. The final section highlights the three “Rs” of “rights”, “resilience” and “resettlement” as a more proactive and comprehensive framework for responding to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation and the challenges of displacement.

  • Getting by or getting ahead: resettlement inputs and social capital in involuntary resettlement

    31 May 2017

    This study goes beyond the conventional evaluative measurement of involuntary resettlement impacts by utilizing the institutions interventions perspective and social capital theory as tools for understanding the extent to which resettled populations in the Philippines and Indonesia are able to restore their socio-economic well-being. The paper outlines how the interplay between the resettlement inputs and social capital changed from the first year in the relocation site to several years later and how the changes provide evidence of the evolving well-being of the households. The cases examined in the study reveal that resettlement inputs and social capital work hand in hand in fostering improvement in the households’ living conditions. The research also demonstrates that the value and relevance of household social ties could be context-specific. While the Philippine case presents a ‘getting by’ picture of households’ well-being, the Indonesian case illustrates a combination of ‘getting by’ and ‘getting ahead’.

  • The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

    10 February 2014

    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.

  • Protection in Europe for refugees from Syria (summary)

    12 August 2014

    This policy note provides an executive summary of RSC Policy Briefing 10, which considers the response of European countries to the refugee crisis in the Syrian region. Whilst we applaud both the humanitarian efforts to assist refugees and the resettlement that is ongoing, we believe that the primary aim of the European response – to contain the crisis in the countries neighbouring Syria and to reinforce Europe's borders – is unsustainable. We recommend that European countries implement a Comprehensive Plan of Action for refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria, comprising three main components: activation of a regional temporary protection regime, expanded resettlement, and the development of other legal routes of entry into European countries. This publication was supervised by Professor Dawn Chatty.

  • From persecution to deprivation: how refugee norms adapt at implementation

    3 September 2014

    Book description: A significant amount of International Relations scholarship examines the role of international norms in world politics. Existing work, though, focuses mainly on how these norms emerge and the process by which governments sign and ratify them. In conventional accounts, the story ends there. Yet, this tells us very little about the conditions under which these norms actually make any difference in practice. When do these norms actually change what happens on the ground? In order to address this analytical gap, the book develops an original conceptual framework for understanding the role of implementation in world politics. It applies this framework to explain variation in the impact of a range of people-centred norms relating to humanitarianism, human rights, and development. The book explores how the same international norms can have radically different effects in different national and local contexts, or within particular organizations, and in turn how this variation can have profound effects on people's lives. How do international norms change and adapt at implementation? Which actors and structures matter for shaping whether implementation actually takes place, and on whose terms? And what lessons can we derive from this for both International Relations theory and for international public policy-makers? Collectively, the chapters explore these themes by looking at three different types of norms - treaty norms, principle norms, and policy norms - across policy fields that include refugees, internal displacement, crimes against humanity, the use of mercenaries, humanitarian assistance, aid transparency, civilian protection, and the responsibility to protect.

  • Detention, alternatives to detention, and deportation

    12 November 2013

    Asylum seekers and refugees – men, women and even children – are increasingly detained and interned around the world, as are numbers of other migrants. Sometimes detained indefinitely and often in appalling conditions, they may suffer not only deprivation of their liberty but other abuses of their human rights too. Detention may appear to be a convenient solution to states’ political quest to manage migration (often as a precursor to deportation) but it is an expensive option and has lasting effects on those detained. In the search for a more humane – and cheaper – approach, agencies and government authorities have trialled a variety of alternatives to detention. FMR 44 includes 36 articles on immigration detention, alternatives to detention, and deportation, plus a mini-feature on the Syria crisis and a selection of other articles.

  • Armed non-state actors and displacement

    12 November 2013

    Militia, freedom fighters, rebels, terrorists, paramilitaries, revolutionaries, guerrillas, gangs, quasi-state bodies... and many other labels. In this issue of FMR we look at all of these, at actors defined as being armed and being ‘non-state’ – that is to say, without the full responsibilities and obligations of the state. Some of these armed non-state actors behave responsibly and humanely, at least some of the time. Others seem to have no regard for the damage, distress or deaths that they cause – and may actually use displacement as a deliberate tactic – in pursuit of their goals of power, resources or justice. This issue of FMR looks at a variety of such actors, at their behaviours and at efforts to bring them into frameworks of responsibility and accountability.

  • Disability and displacement

    12 November 2013

    It is not common practice to include people with disabilities among those who are considered as particularly vulnerable in disasters and displacement and who therefore require targeted response – yet statistics tell us that up to 10% of all displaced people will have a disability. The 27 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR show why disabled people who are displaced need particular consideration and highlight some of the initiatives taken (locally and at the global level) to change thinking and practices so that their vulnerability is recognised, their voices heard – and responses made inclusive.

  • Protracted displacement

    12 November 2013

    Increasingly, growing numbers of displaced people remain displaced for years, even decades. This latest issue of FMR includes 29 articles by academic, international and local actors which assess the impact of such situations on people’s lives and our societies and explore the ‘solutions’ – political, humanitarian and personal. The issue also includes a spotlight on the ‘internment camps’ in Sri Lanka and a mini-feature on collective centres, plus a selection of articles on other aspects of forced migration such as rights and responsibilities in Darfur, smuggling in South Africa, IDP health needs in Colombia, climate change agreement talks, peace mediation, and community resilience in East Timor.

  • Climate change and displacement

    12 November 2013

    In response to growing pressures on landscapes and livelihoods, people are moving, communities are adapting. This issue of FMR debates the numbers, the definitions and the modalities – and the tension between the need for research and the need to act. Thirty-eight articles by UN, academic, international and local actors explore the extent of the potential displacement crisis, community adaptation and coping strategies, and the search for solutions. The issue also includes a range of articles on other aspects of forced migration. This issue has been published in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.