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  • Stabilising the Congo (French)

    20 November 2013

    This RSC Policy Briefing Paper considers the ‘stabilisation approach’ adopted by both the international community and national government to address the continued insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Considering stabilisation also offers a way of conceptualising and engaging with the root causes of displacement. Political implications of the stabilisation agenda are brought into sharper relief by focusing on a single question: stabilisation by whom and for whom? Rather than continuing to support the State unconditionally, the brief calls on international actors to strengthen and exercise their combined leverage in critical priority areas that together form a comprehensive ‘road map’ to long-term peace and stability following the elections.

  • Protracted Sahrawi displacement: challenges and opportunities beyond encampment

    20 November 2013

    This RSC Policy Briefing analyses the challenges and opportunities – after 35 years of protracted displacement and encampment – for the Sahrawi refugees, their political representatives and international actors. The paper challenges assumptions and representations of conditions and dynamics in the camps. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh also calls for a careful analysis of the diverse alternative solutions to encampment in Algeria that have been adopted or proposed and of the relevant protection concerns which may arise.

  • Protracted Sahrawi displacement: challenges and opportunities beyond encampment (Spanish)

    20 November 2013

    This RSC Policy Briefing analyses the challenges and opportunities – after 35 years of protracted displacement and encampment – for the Sahrawi refugees, their political representatives and international actors. The paper challenges assumptions and representations of conditions and dynamics in the camps. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh also calls for a careful analysis of the diverse alternative solutions to encampment in Algeria that have been adopted or proposed and of the relevant protection concerns which may arise.

  • The Syrian Humanitarian Disaster: Disparities in Perceptions, Aspirations, and Behaviour in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

    7 July 2016

    Abstract: Humanitarian assistance coupled with an unsustainable policy of regional containment have only created greater poverty and misery for Syrians fleeing civil war. How this has been allowed to happen on the southern shores of the Mediterranean – where extraordinary social linkages and networks have existed for centuries – lies mainly in the disparities between perceptions, aspirations and behaviour among refugees, practitioners and policymakers in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This article highlights in particular three such disconnects: the a historical approach to engaging with displaced people in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, which has led to the implementation of international blueprints of humanitarian support that are disconnected from people’s needs; the imposition of an encampment policy at odds with displaced people’s need for temporary settlement enabled through their own social networks; the redundancy of humanitarian practitioners’ background and experience in dealing with the particularities of displaced populations in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the failure to build on practices that work.

  • Ensuring quality education for young refugees from Syria (12-25 years): a mapping exercise (Arabic)

    1 December 2014

    Arabic translation of the original report published in September 2014. The Syrian crisis has uprooted the largest number of refugees in recent history. Half of the refugee population are children and young people forced to flee from home and rebuild their lives not knowing if or when return may be possible. It is clear that the initial emergency relief initiatives for Syria’s refugee crisis must now evolve to develop longer-term strategies. This mapping exercise focuses in on refugee youth education, a crucial yet often overlooked element in Syria’s humanitarian response. This report addresses the educational status of refugees from Syria aged 12–25 years. It determines their needs and maps some of the services provided by various organisations since the beginning of the Syria crisis in 2011, outlining gaps and challenges as well as progress and successful initiatives. In so doing, it is hoped the report may contribute to help key actors, from NGOs to international donors, to improve educational assistance through a better understanding of the needs of refugees.

  • Development and protection challenges of the Syrian refugee crisis

    15 September 2014

    The Syria Regional Response Plan 6 (RRP6) 2014 provides an increased focus on early recovery, social cohesion interventions and a transition from assistance to development-led interventions, alongside the continuing large-scale humanitarian assistance and protection programme. In a region already hosting millions of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, the scale of the Syrian crisis is putting immense additional strains on the resources and capacities of neighbouring countries and the international humanitarian system. The 3,300 refugees on average arriving in neighbouring countries every day in 2014 place a large burden on the protection capacity of the host countries and international actors and further accentuate the already severe negative social, economic and human developmental impacts on the host countries of the region.With no prospects of the civil war abating in Syria and with a peace process that might encourage refugee return even further away, the displacement is becoming protracted.

  • The making of a cosmopolitan quarter: Sha'laan in the 20th century

    18 August 2014

    In 2001, the French Institute in Damascus (IFPO), in collaboration with the Maison de l’Orient de la Méditerranée/Université de Lyon 2 (GREMMO), and the Faculty of Architecture and Geography at the University of Damascus, began a multidisciplinary study of Damascus which undertook to examine the architecture, and the socio-economic development of Sha’laan. Dr Anne-Marie Bianquis, a geographer at GREMMO, began the scoping study of the Sha’laan quarter in that year. This included an examination of cadastral surveys, satellite photographs and detailed descriptions of the quarter by French bureaucrats, visitors’ reports and private diaries. In June 2006, with the mission of Dr Françoise Metral, some of the notable families of this quarter were identified and interviewed. Dr Metral’s survey highlighted the fact that the extended family of the Ruwalla Bedouin tribal leader, Emir Nuri Sha’laan, had played a significant part in establishing this once late Ottoman agricultural settlement into an important political and economic centre of Damascus. My role in the project was to contribute to the ethnographic history of the quarter through the personal testimonies of its inhabitants. With the support of a grant from the Council for British research in the Levant (CBRL), I made three research trips to Damascus between May 2008 and April 2009 seeking out a representative sample of the oldest living residents of the quarter who could contribute to an anthropology of this quarter. I engaged a research assistant, Jihad Darwaza, who ably sought out and negotiated informed consent with potential interviewees. Over three two-week periods I conducted a total of 22 interviews with a wide range of current and former residents in the quarter from the grandson of the Emir Nuri Sha’laan to a retired geography teacher turned bookseller. We interviewed shopkeepers and merchants who had maintained business in the quarter for over a half century and others who had been present in the quarter for decades but had recently sold up and moved to outlying suburbs of the city to take advantage of soaring real estate prices in Sha’laan.

  • Rwanda: the way forward

    19 August 2014

    Rwanda represents an important innovation for the Commonwealth. Previously an informal club with no specified entry criteria, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) developed rules for entry in 1997 in response to interest in membership expressed by countries with no historical connection to British imperialism. These rules state any entrant must abide by the principles set out by the Harare Declaration of 1991, which amount to the usual commitments to democracy, human rights, and international peace and order. Rwanda became the first country to join the Commonwealth under these new rules in 2009.2 As such, it is an important test case for the Commonwealth’s ongoing attempted transformation into a relevant international organisation animated by adherence to principles of liberalism and democracy, particularly because Rwanda continues to polarise debate. Rwanda is mercurial, and probably does lie somewhere between the inspirational feel-good account of President Paul Kagame’s groupies and the African North Korea envisioned by its critics.

  • Crisis

    13 February 2014

    Many people who are displaced, or become ‘trapped’, in the context of diverse humanitarian crises do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and IDPs. This raises questions about whether there needs to be – or can be – more systematic ways of dealing with assistance and protection for people affected by ‘crises’ such as environmental disruption, gang violence, nuclear disasters, food shortages and so on. FMR 45 contains 33 articles on crisis, migration and displacement, and eight general articles on other subjects relating to forced migration.

  • Political theory, ethics and forced migration

    13 February 2014

    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.