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  • Education, migration and internationalism: situating Muslim Middle Eastern and North African students in Cuba

    12 December 2013

    Since the 1970s, thousands of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) students have been amongst the 40,000 recipients of a free education at universities and other further education institutions in Cuba. Drawing on interviews conducted with Muslim MENA university students in Cuba, including both citizens and refugees, I suggest that their legal statuses played central roles during their time in the Caribbean island, as well as structuring their expectations for the future. This article examines both Muslim youth experiences of, and Cuban motivations behind, an internationalist education programme that has been marginalised by both academics and policy-makers alike. Further, it explores and contextualises these students' perceptions of life in Cuba throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and of the conditions in their places of origin, which in many cases are refugee camps or hosting countries. In addition to offering these individuals a further education with an aim of enhancing self-sustainability in their ‘home’ countries/spaces, I propose that this programme is a clear alternative, and even a challenge, to the way in which the education of foreign students is structured and managed elsewhere by states and institutions driven by different socio-economic and political priorities.

  • Precarious residents: migration control, membership and the rights of non-citizens

    12 December 2013

    This paper examines the situation of a subgroup of non-citizens found in virtually all contemporary states, what I call “precarious residents”. Precarious residents can be defined as non-citizens living in the state that possess few social, political or economic rights, are highly vulnerable to deportation, and have little or no option for making secure their immigration status. The archetypal precarious resident is the undocumented (or unlawful) migrant. However, there are many other barely tolerated individuals who also fit the appellation, such as asylum seekers (including ones whose claims have been rejected), guest workers, and individuals with temporary protection from deportation. I begin this paper by exploring the nature of precarious residence, discussing its dimensions, causes and manifestations in different national contexts. I move then to consider the human development consequences of precarious residence before exploring the question of the responsibilities of states to protect the rights and, in some cases, recognize the membership claims of these non-citizens.

  • A universal mandate to protect: the challenge of refugee protection

    12 December 2013

    This article argues that UNHCR must preserve a careful balance between engaging in the political interests of its donors and allowing them to shape its agenda.

  • The Deportation of Unaccompanied Minors from the EU: Family Tracing and Government Accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) Project

    12 December 2013

    This report is the outcome of a joint effort between the University of Copenhagen and the Refugee Studies Centre to examine European governments’ plans to deport unaccompanied minors from the EU. With support from the Migration Industry Research Network, Danish Institute for International Studies, the workshop 'The deportation of unaccompanied minors from the EU: family tracing and government accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) project' was convened at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford on 3 May 2013. Its explicit aim was to subject the little-publicised ERPUM project to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary examination. The workshop consisted of two sections: first, it convened leading scholars from the disciplines of law, sociology, political science and philosophy, each addressing different aspects and challenges for the project, and thus complementing each other; and second, it featured a panel discussion with representatives from UNICEF, UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council as well as the aforementioned speakers.

  • Within and Beyond Citizenship: Lived Experiences of Contemporary Membership

    12 December 2013

    Within and Beyond Citizenship was the first of two international symposia convened in 2013 by Dr Nando Sigona from the University of Birmingham and Dr Roberto G Gonzales from the University of Chicago investigating the relationship between legal status, rights and belonging in contemporary diverse societies. The Oxford symposium was organised by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP) and the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at the University of Oxford and the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. It investigated the interplay between forms and modes of contemporary membership, migration governance and the politics of belonging. Participants discussed issues such as the position of the non-citizen in contemporary immigration and emigration states; the nexus between human mobility, immigration control, and citizenship; the tension in policy and practice between coexisting traditions and regimes of rights; the position of mixed status families in relation to the nation-state; and the intersection of ‘race’ and other social cleavages and legal status.

  • Refuge from Inhumanity: Enriching Refugee Protection Standards through Recourse to International Humanitarian Law

    12 December 2013

    This report summarises the proceedings at the international conference 'Refuge from Inhumanity: Enriching Refugee Protection by Recourse to International Humanitarian Law' held at All Souls College, Oxford, 11-12 February 2013. The conference was jointly organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and the Refugee Law Initiative of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. This expert conference broke new ground in exploring the role of international humanitarian law (IHL) in the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers. Its seven thematic panels went beyond traditional approaches to IHL and refugee law by assessing the prospects for substantive legal interaction between the two fields. The first day of the conference explored the extent to which IHL (and international criminal law) may provide interpretative guidance in the asylum context. The second day was devoted to examining the potential of IHL for preventing refoulement to situations of armed conflict. The conference brought together exciting new contributions from more than twenty leading specialists in the fields of IHL and refugee law to take stock of recent developments in law and practice, and to cultivate new approaches to the topic. There were over 60 participants, including staff from international and national humanitarian organisations, judges, lawyers, academics and students.

  • South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement

    12 December 2013

    This workshop report offers a thematic discussion of the main issues covered throughout the course of the international workshop on ‘South-South humanitarian responses to forced displacement’ convened by Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford in October 2012, in addition to presenting areas and questions for further research. The workshop was generously supported by the Oxford Department of International Development and Refugee Studies Centre (University of Oxford) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Policy Development and Evaluation Service (UNHCR-PDES). Dr. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s broader research project, South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement, is funded by an Oxford University Fell Fund Award (2012-2013).

  • Dana Declaration +10

    12 December 2013

    Mobile indigenous peoples have sustainably managed the land they live on for centuries. However, in the name of biodiversity conservation, some have been displaced, dispossessed and expelled from their traditional territories and left destitute and culturally impoverished. While these practices have been largely discarded in rhetoric by biodiversity conservation agencies, progress in human rights observance and land restitution has lagged behind new thinking on the relationship between people and protected areas. Thus, local and national policy and institutional change in the field have not kept pace with advances in thinking at the international level; nor do they always live up to public declarations of concern for human rights. Ten years after the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation was formulated in Wadi Dana, Jordan, it is time to follow up on the achievements of the past decade and consider the future.

  • Iraqi Protracted Displacement (Arabic)

    12 December 2013

    Drawing on the findings of a case study on Iraqi regional displacement and on the ongoing work of IDMC on internal displacement, this workshop organised by the RSC and IDMC aimed to provide a small forum for discussion on how policymakers (specifically regional government representatives, donors and the UN), practitioners and researchers can contribute to ‘unlocking’ recurrent and protracted Iraqi displacement. This report provides a brief overview of the themes explored and goes on to present the main outcomes of the event, laying out proposals for policy development.

  • Between Protracted and Crisis Displacement: Policy Responses to Somali Displacement

    12 December 2013

    Two decades after the collapse of the Somali Republic, the country’s regions still suffer chronic political uncertainty, violence and high levels of displacement. Since 2006, protracted displacements that began in the 1990s have been overlaid by new crises associated with severe drought, political violence and governance failures. The current situation, which involves both internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees, is widely acknowledged as among the worst in the world, both in terms of the number of people affected and the extent of their humanitarian and protection needs. The aim of the workshop was to facilitate discussion about current and future policy responses. To do so, it drew on an overview of global policy on protracted displacement and a case study from Somalia.