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  • The rise and fall of the ERPUM pilot: tracing the European policy drive to deport unaccompanied minors

    31 March 2015

    This working paper traces the institutional dynamics surrounding the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM), the first ever EU pilot attempting to organize the administrative deportation of unaccompanied minors. The first phase of ERPUM was initiated in January 2011, and its second stage began in December 2012 and was then discontinued in June 2014. Its core members were Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, and its observers were Denmark and Belgium. The pilot illustrates how bureaucratic networks in the European landscape of asylum policy interpreted the need to find “durable solutions” for unaccompanied minors as providing justification for institutionalizing their mass deportations. This paper is a follow-up to a workshop hosted by the RSC in 2013 on 'The Deportation of Unaccompanied Minors from the EU: Family Tracing and Government Accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) Project'.

  • The long road home: protracted refugee situations in Africa

    12 December 2013

    Since the early 1990s, the international response to refugee emergencies has focused on delivering humanitarian assistance to war-affected populations, and encouraging large-scale repatriation programmes in high-profile regions such as the Balkans, the African Great Lakes or, recently, Darfur and Chad. The majority of today’s over 12 million refugees, however, are trapped in protracted refugee situations. Such situations – often characterised by long periods of exile, stretching to decades for some groups – occur on most continents in environments ranging from camps to rural settlements and urban centres. In addition, a large proportion of the world’s internally displaced people, around 25m (about half of them in Africa), have been displaced for a decade or more.

  • Protracted refugee situations: the search for practical solutions

    12 December 2013

    Report description: The majority of today’s refugees have lived in exile for far too long, restricted to camps or eking out a meagre existence in urban centres throughout the developing world. Most subsist in a state of limbo, and are often dependent on others to find solutions to their plight. Their predicament is similar to that of the tens of thousands of refugees who stagnated in camps in Western Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. The High Commissioner for Refugees at the time, Gerrit van Heuven Goedhart, called those camps ‘black spots on the map of Europe’ that should ‘burn holes in the consciences of all those privileged to live in better conditions’. If the situation persisted, he said, the problems of refugees would fester and his office would be reduced to ‘simply administering human misery’. The issue of displaced persons in Europe was finally settled some 20 years after the end of the Second World War; today’s protracted refugee crises, however, show no signs of being resolved in the near future.

  • The global crisis of protracted displacement

    12 December 2013

    One of the most complex and difficult humanitarian problems confronting the international community today is that of protracted refugee situations. These are refugee situations that have moved beyond the emergency phase, but where solutions in the foreseeable future do not exist. Many of the refugees left behind in these situations have to live under terrible conditions, warehoused in camps or stuck in shanty towns, exposed to dangers, and with restrictions placed upon their rights and freedoms.

  • Disseminating findings from research with Palestinian children and adolescents

    12 December 2013

    For more than half a century Palestinian children and their care givers have lived a temporary existence in the dramatic and politically volatile landscape of the Middle East. These children have been captive to various sorts of stereotyping, both academic and popular. They have been projected, as have their parents and grandparents, as passive victims without the benefit of international protection. And they have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages based on the Western model of child development and the psychosocial approach to intervention. In January 1999, a research project examining the impact of prolonged forced migration and armed conflict on the lives of Palestinian children and young people was initiated in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. The project had several goals. One was to bridge the theoretical and applied divide common to much of the research directed at Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. Another was to test and challenge some of the Western medical and developmental assumptions concerning child and adolescent development. A third was to engage in multi-disciplinary, participatory research to draw out the similarities and differences between Palestinian refugee communities separated for more than 50 years by the national borders of different states.

  • Book Review: Fertile Bonds: Bedouin Class, Kinship, and Gender in the Bekaa Valley

    2 September 2014

    This monograph is a study in the field of demographic anthropology – for some, a sub-set of Medical Anthropology. It addresses themes of reproduction, fertility and their interface with the recent socio-historical context of French neo-colonialism and later marginalisation in the developing nation-state of Lebanon.

  • The Early Morning Phonecall: Somali Refugees' Remittances

    12 August 2014

    As migration from poverty-stricken and conflict-affected countries continues to hit the headlines, this book focuses on an important counter-flow: the money that people send home. Despite considerable research on the impact of migration and remittances in countries of origin - increasingly viewed as a source of development capital - still little is known about refugees’ remittances to conflict-affected countries because such funds are most often seen as a source of conflict finance. This book explores the dynamics, infrastructure, and far-reaching effects of remittances from the perspectives of people in the Somali regions and the diaspora. With conflict driving mass displacement, Somali society has become progressively transnational, its vigorous remittance economy reaching from the heart of the global North into wrecked cities, refugee camps, and remote rural areas. By ‘following the money’ the author opens a window on the everyday lives of people caught up in processes of conflict, migration, and development. The book demonstrates how, in the interstices of state disruption and globalisation, and in the shadow of violence and political uncertainty, life in the Somali regions goes on, subject to complex transnational forms of social, economic, and political innovation and change.