Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • Protecting Palestinian children from political violence: the role of the international community

    20 November 2013

    Drawing on extensive field and desk research, this policy brief considers the role of international and UN organisations in protecting Palestinian children. Four distinguishing features of a rights-based approach to child protection are identified: the prioritisation of child protection over national self-interest, a focus on causes and not merely effects, the need for political engagement around international legal standards, and the mobilisation of public opinion. The report concludes that international and UN organisations have allowed their protection efforts to stray a significant distance from this approach. It traces such divergence through consideration of conceptual, institutional and political factors. While the study specifically considers the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it has important implications for child protection efforts elsewhere: raising questions about the consequences of, for example, an avowedly de-politicised, technocratic approach; institutional hierarchies; and the increasingly close and dependent relationship of child protection organisations to governmental donors.

  • Protecting Palestinian children from political violence: the role of the international community (Arabic)

    20 November 2013

    Drawing on extensive field and desk research, this policy brief considers the role of international and UN organisations in protecting Palestinian children. Four distinguishing features of a rights-based approach to child protection are identified: the prioritisation of child protection over national self-interest, a focus on causes and not merely effects, the need for political engagement around international legal standards, and the mobilisation of public opinion. The report concludes that international and UN organisations have allowed their protection efforts to stray a significant distance from this approach. It traces such divergence through consideration of conceptual, institutional and political factors. While the study specifically considers the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it has important implications for child protection efforts elsewhere: raising questions about the consequences of, for example, an avowedly de-politicised, technocratic approach; institutional hierarchies; and the increasingly close and dependent relationship of child protection organisations to governmental donors.

  • Protecting Forced Migrants: A State of the Art Report of Concepts, Challenges and Ways Forward

    5 February 2015

    This study, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Commission on Migration, investigates how the complex and multi-causal nature of forced displacement in the contemporary world has contributed to an increasing range of protection gaps and to the diminution of protection space for refugees, and especially the increasing number of people who fall outside the recognised refugee and asylum apparatus. The study explores the current and future challenges to the provision of protection, and makes recommendations on how these challenges might be met and how protection can be enhanced. The study report is available from the Commission in both English and French.

  • Protecting people displaced by climate change: some conceptual challenges

    20 November 2013

    Environmental migration is not new. Nevertheless, the events and processes accompanying global climate change threaten to increase human movement both within states and across international borders. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted an increased frequency and severity of climate events such as storms, cyclones and hurricanes, as well as longer-term sea level rise and desertification, which will impact upon people's ability to survive in certain parts of the world. This book brings together a variety of disciplinary perspectives on the phenomenon of climate-induced displacement. With chapters by leading scholars in their field, it collects in one place a rigorous, holistic analysis of the phenomenon, which can better inform academic understanding and policy development alike.

  • Transnational abductions and transnational responsibilities? The politics of ‘protecting’ female Muslim refugees abducted from Spain

    13 November 2013

    This paper proposes the importance of examining not only how and when diasporas are mobilized by political brokers, but also which members of diasporic populations are strategically engaged both according to their own characteristics (including their age) and the nature of their diasporic hosting context. It explores how Sahrawi refugee children and youth in the Algeria-based Sahrawi refugee camps, Cuba, Syria and in Spain have been mobilized by their political representatives (Polisario), asking why particular cohorts of youth have been actively encouraged to promote and protect ‘the Sahrawi cause’, while other members of the diaspora have not. Drawing on a framework that facilitates comparison both within and across cases, the paper argues that a combination of factors influence the extent to which the Polisario is able and interested in activating the support of Sahrawi children and youth, including the characteristics of the students themselves, their position within the respective host contexts, and the space and resources available to the Polisario/SADR in each location.

  • Invisible refugees: protecting Sahrawis and Palestinians displaced by the 2011 Libyan uprising

    27 January 2014

    This article examines the experiences of two Middle Eastern refugee populations (Sahrawis and Palestinians) affected by the 2011 conflict in Libya. Both refugee communities and their political representatives (Polisario Front and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) respectively) have received support from the Libyan government since the 1970s, including through the provision of scholarships to enable refugee children and youth to complete their studies in Libya.

  • Protecting and assisting the internally displaced: the way forward (supplement)

    12 December 2013

    This supplement of Forced Migration Review is published at a crucial moment as the international community recognises the need to urgently address current failures in protection and assistance for internally displaced people. Articles from Jan Egeland (UN Emergency Relief Coordinator) and other key figures in the humanitarian community present a range of views on the future of the IDP regime.

  • Protecting environmentally displaced people: developing the capacity of legal and normative frameworks

    12 December 2013

    Based on evidence collected in four exemplar countries – Kenya, Bangladesh, Ghana and Vietnam – the overall aim of the study is to investigate the capacity of national legal frameworks to protect and mediate the rights of people vulnerable to environmental displacement induced by climate change.

  • Invisible refugees and/or overlapping refugeedom? Protecting Sahrawis and Palestinians displaced by the 2011 Libyan uprising

    13 November 2013

    This article examines the experiences of two North African and Middle Eastern refugee populations (Sahrawis and Palestinians) affected by the 2011 conflict in Libya who have remained largely invisible to the international community. The challenges that they have faced since the outbreak of violence in February 2011, and the nature of international responses to these challenges, highlight a range of interconnected issues on both conceptual and practical dimensions. After outlining the scale and nature of the internal and international displacement arising from the 2011 conflict, and the history of these refugees’ presence in Libya, the article explores whether Sahrawis and Palestinians can be categorised and conceptualised as ‘refugees’ in Libya, given their ‘voluntary’ migration to the country for educational and/or employment purposes. Drawing on a number of historical examples of protection activities by UNHCR for Sahrawi and Palestinian ‘refugee-migrants’, the article explores the potential applicability of a framework that highlights ‘overlapping refugeedoms’ without negating refugees’ agency. Given that neither population has a ‘country of origin’ or effective diplomatic protection, the article then explores which state and non-state actors could be considered to be responsible for their protection in this conflict situation. Finally, analysing the ‘solutions’ promoted for Sahrawi and Palestinian refugees in this context leads to an assessment of whether such responses can be considered to offer effective protection to these populations. Ultimately, the article examines a range of protection gaps that emerge from these groups’ experiences during the 2011 North African uprisings, arguing in favour of a critical assessment of the protection mechanisms in place to support refugees who ‘voluntarily’ migrate for economic and educational purposes. Such an evaluation is particularly important given policy-makers’ increasing interest in presenting mobility as a ‘fourth durable solution’.

  • Protecting People in Conflict and Crisis: Responding to the Challenges of a Changing World

    24 February 2014

    Ten years ago the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) defined humanitarian protection as including “all activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and spirit of the relevant bodies of law (i.e. human rights, humanitarian and refugee law).” Since then humanitarian protection has received growing attention within the humanitarian sector, becoming not one of the central aims of the international community but also one of its greatest challenges. This conference, which was hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and with generous support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, convened over 180 participants from more than 40 countries to discuss the current state of humanitarian protection research, policy and practice, with a view to developing new ideas for the protection of people in conflict and crisis in the 21st century. The conference revolved around six thematic tracks: concepts of protection; the politics of protection; populations at risk; protection, security and the military; national and regional responsibilities to protect; protection in practice. Eighty-four papers were presented and it is impossible to represent the depth, richness and complexity of the debates that took place. With that in mind however, a number of key themes emerged strongly, particularly around the challenges faced by humanitarian practitioners seeking to deliver ‘protection’ in a hostile world and the role which academics could play in addressing these challenges. The text below provides some reflections of those themes.