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The RSC Research Associate takes part in an online debate about refugee camps

Photo left: Street in Eastleigh, Nairobi, home to many Somali refugees. Credit: C Rodgers. Photo right: Kakuma 4 area of Kakuma refugee camp. Credit: UNHCR/W. Swanson

Dr Jeff Crisp (RSC Research Associate and Associate Fellow at Chatham House) has recently taken part in an online debate on the question “Should refugees be sheltered and contained in organized camps or in urban and rural areas?” at, organized by the Canadian Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Reconstruction Research Alliance and i-Rec.

Dr Crisp argues the case against camps, while Kamel Abboud (Professor, Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts–ALBA) argues the case in favour.  In a debate of three parts – opening, rebuttal and closing remarks – Dr Crisp states in his closing remarks:

“…camps have usually been associated with violations of fundamental human rights, especially freedom of movement. They have often been located in hostile environments, and have rarely provided their residents with decent living conditions or the opportunity to become self-reliant. By definition, they segregate refugees from other members of the population, based on a misguided assumption that if they are allowed to mix and integrate with the local community, they will never choose to return to their country of origin. In fact, for the many thousands of refugee children who have been born and brought up in refugee camps, it is difficult to say what their ‘country of origin’ is.”

The moderator’s closing remarks will be posted tomorrow, followed by the announcement of the final poll result on 2 June.

Read the full debate here >>

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