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In 2001, Bangladesh celebrated its 30th birthday as an independent nation state. In comparison with other countries in South Asia, it is still a relative newcomer, and yet the journey has been anything but smooth. For over 20 years, 10% of the entire country was effectively shut down as a bloody insurgency was fought by tribal groups from the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, who felt themselves to be severely threatened by the government's construction of a national, homogenous identity around Bengali Islamic values. 30,000 people lost their lives as the politics of ethnicity and its related issues of territoriality, religion and culture within a 'one-nation' context were played out among the thickly forested hills. Only recently was an apparent resolution reached, in the shape of a Peace Accord signed by both the Bangladeshi government and tribal leaders on December 2, 1997. Since then, the government has issued numerous assurances that "Absolute peace prevails in the CHT" and that "the people living there are not only happy, but jubilant. Life has returned to normal." This report sets out the refute these notions, not merely by examining the practical impotency of the Peace Accord itself, but also by showing how factors such as displacement, terrorism, communalism, militarisation, small arms and drugs have all continued to seriously destabilise the hill tracts. Even after apparent peace has been declared on paper, conflict still persists in various forms at the micro level: between January and June 2001 alone, 36 people were killed, 219 injured and 159 arrested in the region.i This report also seeks to highlight the Government of Bangladesh's continuing responsibilities towards the children of the Chittagong Hill Tracts as outlined in Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This document is a report from the conference 'Voices out of Conflict: Young People Affected by Forced Migration and Political Crisis' held at Cumberland Lodge in March 2004. The aim of the conference was to increase understanding about young people’s experiences of conflict and displacement, and to generate ideas for more effective models of protection. It was proposed that there is an urgent need to move protection policy and practice toward a framework that engages young people as active participants in their own protection. Indeed, young people’s participation in protection mechanisms is necessary in order to make them more relevant, effective and sustainable, and to improve young people’s chances of survival and well-being in situations of extreme adversity.
This document is the report of a conference hosted by the RSC (then RSP) entitled 'The Role of the Military in Humanitarian Emergencies', which was held from 29-31 October 1995.
Barbara Harrell-Bond, the first RSC Director, explains the history of Refugee Studies at Oxford University at the conference 'The growth of forced migration: new directions in research policy and practice' at wadham College, 25-27 May 1998.
On 16 and 17 November 2010, Dr Alice Edwards of the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre convened a workshop discussion on the state of refugee status determination (RSD) and refugee rights in southern and east Africa. The event, which was held in Kampala, Uganda, was coordinated by Oxford research student Marina Sharpe, with the assistance of the Kampala-based International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), and generously funded by the Commonwealth Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Faith-Based Humanitarianism: The Response of Faith Communities and Faith-Based Organisations in Contexts of Forced Migration
The RSC hosted a one-day workshop (22 September 2010) The response of faith-based communities and faith-based organisations in the context of forced migration. The event brought together over 60 scholars and practitioners from different faith perspectives and diverse disciplinary backgrounds to explore the motives and practices of faith communities and faith-based organisations in their response to forced displacement. The workshop also examined the role of faith, religious conviction and spirituality in the experiences, practices and behaviours of forced migrants themselves. A selected number of papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies to be published in late 2011.
This report is an outcome of the workshop "Aceh under martial law: Conflict, violence and displacement", held at the RSC on 20 May 2004. Coinciding with the announcement of the cessation of martial law in Aceh on the 19 May 2004 the workshop brought together academics and practitioners to exchange perspectives and expertise to focus analysis and debate on recent developments in Aceh. Participants explored obstacles and opportunities for the long-term resolution of this protracted conflict. The workshop format allowed for the kind of analytical reflection and advocacy orientation that, it is hoped, policy makers might find especially useful.
Gradual and sudden environmental changes are resulting in substantial human movement and displacement, and the scale of such flows, both internal and cross-border, is expected to rise with unprecedented impacts on lives and livelihoods. Despite the potential challenge, there has been a lack of strategic thinking about this policy area partly due to a lack of data and empirical research on this topic. Adequately planning for and managing environmentallyinduced migration will be critical for human security. The papers in this volume were first presented at the Research Workshop on Migration and the Environment: Developing a Global Research Agenda held in Munich, Germany in April 2008. One of the key objectives on the Munich workshop was to address the need for more sound empirical research and identify priority areas of research for policy makers in the field of migration and the environment.
Globally, over 40 million people have been forced to leave or flee their homes due to conflict, violence, and human rights violations either as refugees outside their country of origin or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). A substantial number live in protracted displacement where return has not been possible.Forced displacement is a humanitarian crisis: but it also produces developmental impacts - short and longer term, negative and positive - affecting human and social capital, economic growth, poverty reduction efforts, environmental sustainability and societal fragility. A prevailing view is that refugees are a burden on the development aspirations of host countries and populations and that negative socio-economic and environmental impacts and costs outweigh the positive contributions (actual or potential) that forcibly displaced people might make. The losses incurred by the displaced populations themselves reinforce perceptions of vulnerability and dependency and thus assumptions of the burden they might impose. This study provides such a methodology. The development and drafting of the methodology and the state of the art literature review was conducted by the refugee studies centre, with valuable and constructive inputs from the partner organizations.
Irrespective of their points of entry, for most young people subject to immigration control in Europe, turning 18 marks a significant repositioning of their relationship with the state and a diminution of rights and entitlements; they change from rights holders as ‘children’, for whom states must consider the ‘best interests’, to young people subjected to a varied array of classifications who are hard to position in the ‘national order of things’ (Malkki 1995). Young people frequently end up in limbo, uncertain of whether or not they will be able to remain in the country of immigration/asylum and for how long. This paper at once outlines and critically analyses the dissonance between how European policies formulate and impose a set of future options for independent migrant young people who are subject to immigration control as they transition to ‘adulthood’, and what is known about young people’s own conceptualisations of their futures and how they intend to realise them.
The refugee camp, positioned between formality and informality, mobility and immobility, permanence and impermanence, is a space of paradox. In the process of contextualizing this paradox, the academic literature often juxtaposes the “camp (as exception) and the city (as norm) in contradiction with one another” (Sanyal 2010:879). As these tent cities develop into urban environments, there is a need to evaluate the urbanity of the camp space by considering the ways in which refugee spaces come to take on a hybrid nature where “refugeeness and agency have worked simultaneously to create ‘spaces of exception’ that are able to transgress the boundaries of place and non-place” (880). Drawing on a Lefebvrian conceptualization of space, I establish an analytical approach to the refugee camp “in which the city [is] a political space for claiming rights for social groups” (Isin 2000:13). I argue that reimagining the refugee camp as an urban space allows for the possibility of thinking of it as a space in which particular rights, namely the right to the city, can be conceived and realized.
Little information is available regarding contemporary relations between Bedouin tribes and the Syrian state apparatus. These ties are mainly expressed through relationships of patronage and clientism between tribal leaders and state operatives. The Bedouin tribes of Syria continue to function as groups tied in networks of real and fictive kinship; these bonds provide the tribal members with a solidarity and cohesiveness which the state has not been able to suppress despite decades of effort.
Ceremony and elaborate protocols are commonly associated with kingship, authority, and power. The pageantry associated with the British monarchy in its public ceremonials, for example, is imbued with a sense of an ancient past. Yet, these traditions are recent inventions derived from the late Victorian period. Traditions, particularly Western practices, are often made up, choreographed, and then formally instituted in a matter of a few years, rapidly gaining a sense of permanence. Sometimes entirely new symbols and devices are invented to confirm gravitas and substance and to serve as rallying points for the new entity (e.g., Marianne, John Bull, or Uncle Sam).