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Respectively the second and fifth largest refugee hosting countries world-wide, Pakistan and Iran between them accommodated 2.343 million registered Afghan refugees in 2017, and an estimated further two to four million undocumented Afghans. Characterised by cycles of repatriation, deportation and subsequent episodes of re-exile, it constitutes both the second largest refugee situation globally and one of the world’s dominant protracted refugee situations. Thus both countries have carried a substantial burden since 1979 and, despite their own economic and developmental challenges, have made considerable efforts to accommodate the Afghan population and to afford minimum standards of protection. Against this background the report investigates the legal, governance and policy frameworks for the rights and protection regimes for the Afghan population in both countries (including both recognised refugees and other forcibly displaced without a formal protection status). Key protection benchmarks (refugee status determination (RSD) and protection, repatriation and deportation, freedom of movement, right to work, and access to education) are deployed. These benchmarks establish important prerequisites for refugee livelihoods and economic well-being, significant in situations of protracted displacement such as the Afghan’s experience in Iran and Pakistan. The overall aim is to clarify the complex international and domestic legal protection frameworks and contingent rights related to this population. The findings provide a platform for humanitarian and development actors to tackle key operational challenges and to enhance their advocacy for improved protection guidelines and strategies for the Afghan population in exile in these two countries.
With 2.5 million registered Afghan refugees between them, Pakistan and Iran are respectively the second and fifth largest refugee hosting countries world-wide. In addition these two countries host, in total, an estimated undocumented Afghan population of between 2 and 3 million, the majority of whom are likely to have been forcibly displaced. Characterised by cycles of exile, repatriation, deportation and subsequent episodes of re-exile, globally this constitutes both the second largest and one of the world’s dominant protracted refugee situations. Given the length of the displacement crisis, the majority of displaced Afghans have been born in exile in Pakistan and Iran. Both countries have therefore carried an enormous burden over many decades and, despite their own economic and developmental challenges, have made considerable efforts to accommodate the Afghan population and to afford minimum standards of protection. Against this background, the aim of this briefing note is to describe and provide key stakeholders with an up-to-date overview of the complex legal, governance and policy frameworks for the protection and contingent rights of the Afghan population (including both recognised refugees and other forcibly displaced Afghans without formal protection status), residing in Pakistan and Iran. Based only on a desk study analysis which synthesises available documentation and secondary data, it is important to emphasise that this briefing note has not benefitted from primary data collection, such as interviews with key stakeholders, which would have provided a more detailed and nuanced account of these conditions.
Re‐conceiving or re‐framing the humanitarian consequences of displacement in terms of ‘dispersed dependencies’, a term drawn from the field of mental health, sheds light on the disruptive experience of displacement and on relations with other displaced people, hosts, states and humanitarian actors. Dependency for a person is neither a problem nor abnormal; independence is in effect about having a viable set of dispersed dependencies. This description, when applied in the context of disaster or displacement, challenges some humanitarian attitudes and offers some positive directions for humanitarians seeking to engage in assistance that is sustainable, contextual, and focused on human choice and dignity.
Resettlement needs to be better understood as a political event and process. Along with repatriation and local integration, it is considered one of three traditional ‘durable solutions’ for refugees, with ‘success’ typically assessed by whether resettled refugees are provided with the tools they need to achieve ‘integration’ in their new ‘host-state’. Yet, how much do we understand resettlement beyond these policy-oriented categories? It is no secret that resettlement is an inherently political tool at the national and international level. And with increasingly stricter immigration policies in the West, attention has shifted to emerging resettlement actors, such as Latin American countries, to fill protection gaps. Although states are essentially in full control over who they admit, they are not the only actors with distinct (political) interests in relation to being engaged and involved in resettlement processes. The gradual withdrawal of states from resettlement has been followed by the creation of alternative roles for civil society. For example, migrant(/refugee) communities provide assistance to others from that group to adapt in their new host countries and are essentially portrayed as resources for integration akin to any NGO. Overall, there is a lack of understanding about what this ‘co-national resettlement support’ represents for refugees and their communities alike, and about the (political) significance of such support. In 2008, 117 Palestinian refugees were resettled to Chile from Iraq. In parallel to the ‘formal’ implementation of the project by the Chilean Government, UNHCR and their NGO partner the Vicaría, the long-settled Palestinian community supported their ‘compatriots’ by providing material and cultural resources. To merely focus on the relation of these practices to integration would obscure the fact that this participation was also highly politicised. Rather than positing the engagement of the ‘Chilean-Palestinian’ community as static and essentialised, this paper delves deeper into the motivations, worries and political repercussions that characterised their involvement in resettlement. It focuses on how the project was negotiated, framed and performed at both macro and micro levels by various actors within and peripheral to the Palestinian community in Chile. By conceptualising Chilean-Palestinians as a ‘diaspora’, I argue that the arrival of Palestinian refugees was an event where different (re-)formulations of (Chilean-)Palestinian identity and politics were centre stage. By using this project as a case study and applying diaspora theory as a framework, it becomes possible to elucidate the politics of resettlement and move beyond mere policy and state-centric considerations.
This article suggests that there exists an alternative form of international political behavior between countries who share a common traumatic past: diplomacy with memory. Diplomacy with memory manifests itself as an official, diplomatic team performance that aims at conveying a certain historic image for the purpose of achieving rational aims on the international stage. In a first step, a theoretical and empirical framework is developed that highlights diplomacy with memory as a strategic diplomatic action that does not conform with mainstream IR models of state behavior. In a second step, the new theoretical model is tested on two selected postconflict scenarios: The bilateral negotiations between West Germany and Israel, and between Austria and Israel about eventual reparation payments to the Jewish state in the early 1950s. Extracting the core elements of the diplomacy with memory from these historical examples, this paper suggests amending the toolkit of traditional diplomatic strategies with memory in order to better explain state behavior in other postconflict situations as they emerge.
Background The EU has, at its heart, a legal commitment to combat discrimination, including that based on sex, and to promote gender equality. It has however, been subject to sustained and justified criticism for its failure(s) to live up to these commitments, particularly in relation to its treatment of migrant and refugee women. The announcement by the Commission in 2016 that the EU would sign and conclude (ratify) the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence Against Women (the Istanbul Convention) was, therefore, warmly received by activists and academics alike.
Contributors or competitors? Complexity and variability of refugees’ economic ‘impacts’ within a Kenyan host community
Drawing upon in-depth qualitative research with refugees and host populations in Kenya, this article offers a diverging viewpoint towards refugees’ economic impacts within a hosting area and sheds light on the complexity and variability of such impacts perceived by different members of a host community. Due to the unprecedented numbers of refugees worldwide, assessing the impacts of hosting refugees is currently a ‘hot topic’ in the international community. However, the primary complication for studies that attempt to measure economic impacts are the complex patterns of economic interactions that refugees have with host communities. This means that refugees’ economic impacts may be viewed, experienced and distributed unequally amongst the members of receiving society. Through a case-study in Nairobi’s outskirts, this article demonstrates different patterns of engagement between refugees and the local population in the context of a labour market, and reveals contrasting views towards refugees’ economic impacts within the host community.
Immigration law prescribes a range of statuses into one of which individuals must try to fit to be allowed entry. This range establishes a hierarchy from highly advantageous forms of permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to ones to which few rights accrue, which create dependency or are precarious. Against the backdrop of this hierarchy, I make two claims: that women are disadvantaged by immigration law’s distribution of migration statuses; and, that this disadvantage is the result of rules which indirectly discriminate against women, discrimination which may be unlawful under Article 14 ECHR. As it is well-established that indirect discrimination may be revealed by statistical information, I rely on data from over 10 years to demonstrate that certain migration opportunities are distributed differently to women and men. This distribution is then subjected to scrutiny, potential ‘justifications’ for it, including those premised on sexed/gendered stereotypes, being analysed and refuted. Finally, an understanding of women’s disadvantageous and discriminatory treatment in relation to the family and labour migration routes considered, is combined with a broader consideration of gendered patterns of migration and the statuses that such patterns produce, to found the normative claim that immigration law as whole disadvantages
Education is one of the most important aspects of our lives – vital to our development, our understanding and our personal and professional fulfilment throughout life. In times of crisis, however, millions of displaced young people miss out on months or years of education, and this is damaging to them and their families, as well as to their societies, both in the short and long term. This issue of FMR includes 29 articles on Education, and two ‘general’ articles.
In this research brief Alexander Betts reports on his recent mission to learn about Colombia’s response to the recent Venezuelan influx, and to share experiences and best practices based upon his research relating to the socio-economic integration of refugees and migrants elsewhere. During the mission, he visited La Guajira and Norte de Santander along the border, spent time in Bogotá, and spoke to a wide variety of people, including national and local government, NGOs and international organisations, business and the private sector, and Venezuelan migrants and their representative organisations. The international community’s predominant response to the Venezuelan migration crisis remains focused on humanitarian relief. This is important, for two populations: a) the over 50,000 ‘pendular’ migrants who go back and forth across the border every day in order to access food and basic services; b) those who seek residency in Colombia or another country, and require immediate support in terms of food, shelter, and medical access. However, Betts states, for the over 1.2 million migrants who have settled in Colombia, a longer-term vision is needed, which must be based on seeing Venezuelan migration as a development opportunity that can benefit both migrants and citizens. The crisis represents a particular opportunity to support the regional development of the historically neglected border zones.
The literature on migrants’ religious movements generally see them as backward and conservative movements that are resistant to change. On the contrary, this paper shows that transnational religious movements are shaped by interactions between origin and destination places’ political, legal and social structures, and may take different pathways across time and place. Analysing the development of the Alevi diaspora movement in Germany and the recent efforts to establish the World Alevi Union, the article argues that both the (old and new) states and the (old and new) societies they live in, as well as broader paradigm changes and their agency have a direct influence on the ways migrants’ daily life practices alter in time.
Subversive Humanitarianism and Its Challenges: Notes on the Political Ambiguities of Civil Refugee Support
Chapter in ‘Refugee Protection and Civil Society in Europe’. About the book: This volume analyses civil society as an important factor in the European refugee regime. Based on empirical research, the chapters explore different aspects, structures and forms of civil society engagement during and after 2015. Various institutional, collective and individual activities are examined in order to better understand the related processes of refugees’ movements, reception and integration. Several chapters also explore the historical development of the relationship between a range of actors involved in solidarity movements and care relationships with refugees across different member states. Through the combined analysis of macro-level state and European policies, meso-level organization's activities and micro-level individual behaviour, Refugee Protection and Civil Society in Europe presents a comprehensive exploration of the refugee regime in motion, and will be of interest to scholars and students researching migration, social movements, European institutions and social work.
In this piece, I consider the relationship between denationalisation and discrimination. Denationalisation, the involuntary removal of citizenship or nationality by the state, has a dark history, reflected in the Nazi use of the power. Yet before 1945, many liberal democratic states also practiced citizenship-stripping, in ways informed by considerations of gender, race, national origin, and mode of citizenship acquisition. As denationalisation is currently making a revival across a range of liberal democratic states as a way of responding to ‘home grown’ terrorists, a question emerges: Do recent denationalisation provisions manage to break free of this discriminatory past? Here, I use a discussion of denationalisation’s history and examination of the U.K. as the basis for a critical assessment of the power’s contemporary incarnations. I find that contemporary denationalisation power is still a powerful tracer of groups within the polity who, despite holding formal citizenship, are viewed as foreign.
This introduction sounds a call for ethnomusicologies of radio. Radio remains amongst the most widespread electronic mediums on earth. The tensions that accompanied its development continue to populate our present media landscapes, and many of these same tensions animate ethnomusicological endeavour. Here, we develop two central arguments. First, histories of radio and ethnomusicology are bound up together: that ethnomusicology is radiophonic and radio is ethnomusicological. Second, that radio is a vector of modernity that means different things in different times and places. Through these multiplicities, radio is less a thing or an apparatus than it is an ethnographic site. We begin by listening to the modernities that radio makes audible, before turning to the kinds of citizenship that are constructed through radio broadcasting. We close by sketching the disciplinary formations, theoretical concerns and ethnographic orientations that ethnomusicologies of radio might entail; and by introducing the articles that sound out these ideas and comprise this special issue.
While the literature on boundary making has mainly documented variations in boundary work between groups and institutional contexts, scholars have paid less attention to boundary work in the context of unexpected dislocation of a group to a new context. This article examines how Syrian refugees in Belgium deal with a sudden loss of social status, by analysing how they draw symbolic boundaries among themselves, established immigrants and native Belgians. Drawing on 26 in-depth interviews with 39 Syrian refugees as well as on-going participant observation, we describe how our respondents use ‘comparative strategies of self’ to position themselves as dignified and worthy individuals. We present two types of moral, and two types of cultural boundary work our interlocutors engaged in. They stressed their moral worthiness by, first, distancing themselves from the bad behaviour of ‘uneducated’ refugees in reception centres, and from established immigrants in materially deprived urban neighbourhoods. Second, especially male interlocutors displayed a strong work ethic highlighting how they renegotiated their masculine worthiness in response to their loss of status and their refugee condition. In addition, they demonstrated their cultural qualities by articulating, first, their personal competences and aesthetic refinement as individuals, and, second, by highlighting the general level of education, wealth and cultural achievements of Syrian people as a whole. In sum, these four boundary-making strategies served to legitimise their presence and strengthen their position vis-à-vis other social groups such as their compatriots, established immigrants and native Belgians. In line with previous studies by Sherman (2005) and Purser (2009), we find that these moral and cultural boundaries are significant in reasserting disadvantaged individuals’ sense of dignity, whilst working against the emergence of solidarity between wider groups of immigrants in similar socio-structural positions.
While citizenship scholars have documented the increasing moralisation of immigration and integration policies, relatively few have explored how immigrants themselves make sense of their (partial) membership of European welfare states. Drawing on semi-structured interviews and participant observation with Syrian refugees, this article documents how they interpret and act upon the partial and limited citizenship status they are given in Belgium. We focus on one dimension of their experiences: their stigmatic dependency upon the Belgian welfare state. While their accounts can be partly understood as reproducing neoliberal discourses, we argue that they are also a strategic reaction against the dependency that is inadvertently created by European welfare states. From our respondents’ perspectives, their social rights thus appear not so much as entitlements to be claimed, but as a continuation of the humanitarian logic of the (unreciprocated) gift.
Instability in the Middle East has become increasingly marked since the so-called Arab Spring in 2011 and escalating refugee flows and internally displaced populations continue to invoke global humanitarian and political concern. Although neighbouring countries have predominantly assumed responsibility for those displaced in the region, movements of desperate people into Europe has further heightened awareness of the regional crisis. While there is international awareness through press coverage and all-pervasive social media forums, for those interested in accessing more critical and comprehensive sources for Middle Eastern refugees there is a wealth of material available. This article provides an overview to a selection of these, much of which are Open Access. As Subject Consultant for Forced Migration at the Bodleian Social Science Library at the University of Oxford, Sarah Rhodes is fortunate to work with one of the world’s best collections on population displacement. This collection, formerly housed at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), was created in the mid-1980s and consequently also charts some of the earlier conflicts within the region. The library catalogue, Search Oxford Libraries Online (SOLO), can be searched, and in some cases full-text documents from the unpublished document collection can be accessed as a link through the Forced Migration Online Digital Library.