Forced Migration Review issue 52 on ‘Thinking ahead: displacement, transition, solutions’

FMR52: Thinking ahead: displacement, transition, solutions.
May 2016

The new issue of FMR explores the ideas and practices that are being tried out in order to engage both development and humanitarian work in support of ‘transitions’ and ‘solutions’ for displaced people. What we need, says one author, is “full global recognition that the challenge of forced displacement is an integral part of the development agenda too”. FMR issue 52 includes 32 articles on ‘Thinking ahead: displacement, transition, solutions’, plus ten ‘general’ articles on other aspects of forced migration.

Reading and download options

Please note that both the magazine and the digest are published in A5 format (half of A4). In order to print them out properly, please use your printer’s ‘Booklet’ setting.

This issue of FMR will be available online and in print in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. The English versions of articles are also available in audio format.

Also available is the FMR 52 digest to help you gain easy online access to all the articles published in FMR 52. Formerly called the ‘Listing’, this is now in a new A5 format to match the magazine. It provides for each article: the title, the author(s) and their affiliation, the introductory sentences and links to the full article online. The digest will be available online and in print in all four languages.

If you would like printed copies of either the magazine or the digest, please email us at

Requesting copies
If you would like to receive a copy of FMR/FMR digest for your organisation, or if you require multiple copies for distribution to partners and policy/decision makers or for use at conferences/workshops, please contact the Editors at We will need your full postal address. (We prefer to provide the digest if large numbers are required for conferences and training, to save postage costs.)

Please help disseminate this issue as widely as possible by circulating to networks, posting links, mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook and adding it to resources lists. We encourage you to circulate or reproduce any articles in their entirety but please cite: Forced Migration Review issue 52

– See more at: 

Film: “Inside Story” of EU migration crisis

The European Council has released a 20-minute film about what it calls the “inside story” of the European migration crisis, as told by key witnesses from the Council of the EU and the European Commission. The film-makers say that it is an attempt to explain the complexities of one of the biggest crises the EU is experiencing. It covers 9 months of crisis in 2015, and is available in 24 EU languages.

Watch the documentary now:


New Report: Measuring well-governed migration – The 2016 Migration Governance Index

New Report:

Measuring well-governed migration – The 2016 Migration Governance Index

Poorly managed migration can lead to harm, danger and insecurity, says a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. It can encourage migrant smuggling and human trafficking, as well as social unrest, xenophobia and discrimination—as observed amid Europe’s ongoing “migration crisis”. It can also create missed opportunities when receiving and sending countries are blocked from harnessing the development gains available through mobility.

Well-governed migration brings profound benefits to both “receiving” and “sending” countries. Receiving countries get productive workers who fill key gaps in the labour market and help their demographic profiles. Sending countries receive billions of dollars in remittances from their overseas workers, attract investment from affluent members of their diaspora, and leverage the benefits of “circular migration” when returning emigrants bring back their skills, expertise, contacts and personal wealth.

Text courtesy of Migrants’ Rights Network – Poorly managed migration harmful says report.


New Survey by Amnesty International: Refugees Welcome Survey 2016

Refugees Welcome Survey 2016: Views of Citizens Across 27 Countries
by Amnesty International

The vast majority of people (80%) would welcome refugees with open arms, with many even prepared to take them into their own homes, according to a global survey commissioned by Amnesty International.

The new Refugees Welcome Index, based on a global survey of more than 27,000 people carried out by the internationally renowned strategy consultancy GlobeScan, ranks 27 countries across all continents based on people’s willingness to let refugees live in their countries, towns, neighbourhoods and homes.

The survey shows people say they are willing to go to astonishing lengths to make refugees welcome. It also shows how anti-refugee political rhetoric is out of kilter with public opinion.

Download: Global Refugees Survey 2016

Further news: Refugees Welcome Index shows government refugee policies out of touch with public opinion.


Migration Museum: Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond

Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond

2 June – 22 June 2016  | 12pm–8pm (open every day) | Free admission
Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch St, London E2 7DP
Transport: Overground (Shoreditch High Street – 2 min walk), Tube (Old Street/Liverpool Street – 10 min walk), Bus (8, 23, 26, 35, 47, 48, 67, 149, 242, 388)

The Calais camp has become a potent symbol of Europe’s migration crisis. Public opinion on this ever- evolving shantytown and its inhabitants is polarised: to some a threatening swarm seeking entry to our already overstretched island-nation, to others a shameful symbol of our failed foreign policy. Amid such debate, it is easy to lose sight of the thousands of individuals who have found themselves in limbo in Calais, each with their own story and reasons for wanting to reach Britain.

Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond is a multimedia exhibition, taking place in a momentous month that sees both the EU referendum and Refugee Week. It explores the complexity and human stories behind the current migration crisis, with a particular focus on the Calais camp.

The exhibition features compelling works by established and emerging artists, refugees, camp residents and volunteers. These include a powerful new installation by award-winning artist Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, art by ALPHA using materials from the camp, drawings of Calais by illustrator Nick Ellwood, art and photography by camp residents, and an installation of lifejackets embedded with the stories of their wearers. It will serve as a forum for a range of discussions, film screenings and performances, including a poetry evening hosted by Michael Rosen. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to leave their responses, which will become part of an art piece by artist-in-residence, Cedoux Kadima.

The Migration Museum Project would like to thank the following donors for their generous grants and support, without which we would not have been able to stage this exhibition: Londonewcastle, Arts Council England, ESRC, Citizenship and Governance Research at The Open University, The University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and all of the generous contributors to our crowdfunding campaign, including Michael and Em O’Kane, David Warren, Richard Buccleuch and Tom Jupp. We would also like to thank Counterpoints Arts for their advice and support during the planning of this exhibition.

View and download the press release here.

Events associated with this exhibition:

Birds Crossing Borders drop in art workshop, 4 June 2016, 2 -4 pm

Poetry of Migration, 6 June 2016, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

What is Britishness? 14 June 2016, 7 – 9 pm

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CalaisStories. You can find us at @MigrationUK.
Share our Facebook event page and let us know if you’re coming to the exhibition!

Event: Liverpool ARK: The health and wellbeing of refugees

Liverpool ARK: The health and wellbeing of refugees

Join us at the first event organised by Liverpool ARK – Liverpool Asylum and Refugee Knowledge, the University of Liverpool interdisciplinary network on refugee studies.

This event will address the health and well-being of refugees, and aims to share current research in the field, link researchers and local experts, and develop an agenda to meet local challenges.

A team from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology Health and Society will present findings from several refugee health projects they have been involved with.

Booking Via Eventbrite:

Lunch and refreshments provided. [Foyer for refreshments]


  1. Share current research in the field
  2. Link researchers and local experts
  3. Develop agenda to meet local challenges


1.00 – 1.45:      Lunch

1.45 – 2.00:      Welcome and programme outline                 Chris Dowrick

2.00 – 3.00:      Sharing current research in the field

  • Responding to the health needs of asylum seekers and refugees: findings from the EUR-HUMAN project. Nadja van Ginneken
  • Building mental health research capacity of frontline workers in low resource settings: ethical and educational dimensions. Anna Chiumento
  • Evidence-based psychological interventions for asylum seekers and refugees: international perspectives. Atif Rahman
  • Improving access to high quality primary care: key results of the AMP and RESTORE programmes. Chris Dowrick

3.00 – 3.10:     Liverpool ARK – broad objectives                   Nuno Ferreira

3.10 – 3.15:      Refreshments

3.15 – 4.00:      Linking researchers and local experts

  • Workshops to consider the following topics: needs assessment; methods and evaluation of training; effective interventions; access to healthcare;

4.00 – 4.30:      Feedback and agenda setting:

  • What are our key research and implementation activities?
  • What are our key partnerships?

When Wednesday, 22 June 2016 from 13:00 to 16:30 (BST) – Add to Calendar Where University of Liverpool – Rendall Building, Seminar Room 11 – 74 Bedford St S, Liverpool, L69 7ZT – View Map

INVITATION: Europe’s refugee crisis – whose crisis is it?


Europe’s refugee crisis – whose crisis is it?

We are delighted to invite you to the discussion on our recently published report ‘Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Press Coverage’.

Date: Thursday 9 June 2016, 12–1pm

Venue: The Finnish Institute in London, Unit 1, 3 York Way, London N1C 4AE

Coffee and sandwiches will be served.

The study carried out by the Finnish Institute in London and the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux focuses on how six European newspapers from three different countries covered the refugee and asylum seeker situation in January 2016. Newspapers examined were The Guardian and The Times from the UK, Helsingin Sanomat and Aamulehti from Finland, and Le Soir and De Morgen from Belgium.

The report will be presented by Johanna Sumuvuori, Head of Society Programme, Finnish Institute in London and Annukka Vähäsöyrinki, Head of Projects, Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.  The guest speakers at the event include Milica Pesic, Executive Director of the Media Diversity Institute (UK), Gulwali Passarlay, Afghan refugee who is a published author, TEDx speaker, and a Politics major at the University of Manchester and Thomas Coombes, Media Manager on Global Issues, Amnesty International.

There are 59.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world. Last year, over 1 million asylum applications were filed in Europe. The movement of refugees on the continent in such a large scale was widely covered in European newspapers. The report on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Press Coverage is launched in order to raise discussion on the role of media in dealing with the humanitarian crisis that concerns all of Europe.

Please find the report here:

RSVP by 6 June 2016 to:

Please note that seats are limited.

Event: Occupy the Archives: Radical Histories & You (Part of the AntiUniversity Now Festival)

Occupy the Archives: Radical Histories & You (Part of the AntiUniversity Now Festival)

Host: Joanne Anthony (Hackney Archives)
Venue: Hackney Archives, Level 2 of Dalston CLR James Library, Dalston Square, E8 3BQ
Date: Thurs 9 June 2016
Time: 6-8pm

“Partial, inaccurate and exclusive history is of benefit to no-one and leads to a society in which citizens are not fully equipped with the knowledge to understand the past and hence the present, nor the power to challenge stereotypes, ignorance and racism.” [Northampton Black History Project]

Can you see yourself – your passions, everyday experiences, artistic or political expressions – reflected and celebrated in your local archives, museums or libraries? If not, why?

Building on last year’s Occupy event, we’ll now take a practical look at exploring:
– What radical collecting actually is?
– The power of archives to affect change for social justice
– Your role in making history & evening the balance in how our shared history is remembered.

Community-led campaigns to create an archive of active social and political movements are taking place across the world: from the Occupy movement, Radical publishers, LGBT to Trade Union, and Black-led cultural movements. We’ll continue to draw inspiration from these movements, along with pioneers like C.L.R James, in how we can create crucial counter-narratives.

Join us for a collective exploration of what we can all do to capture stories and memories that reverberate into the future.

Hackney Archives is keen to continue beyond the AntiUniversity Festival to offer a hub for community archives advice and to support an informal network of Radical Activist-Archivists, “where archives and social justice meets”.

All welcome – please book via Eventbrite

A Research-based Report on the Recent Situation of Divorced Women and Girl- Child out of Wedlock in Bangladesh

Community Women's Blog

By Rumana Hashem

This report is about how divorced women and female-child out of wedlock could be treated in Bangladeshi society. This is also a report on violence against women and the mistreatment of women in Bangladesh. I write this report as I have been asked to give my opinion with regard to risks and dangers that a divorced woman and a returnee-single mother with a female-child out of wedlock may face in Bangladesh.  I shall consider the issue of whether or not protection would be provided by the Bangladesh state authorities to women and girls who fear gender based persecution. In this report I shall try to answer the following questions in detail:

  1. What would generally be the societal perceptions of a divorced woman  and a girl-child on return to Bangladesh? What is society’s attitude towards women who have extra-marital affairs? How likely is it for them, as someone…

View original post 6,015 more words

UCL Migration Research Unit (MRU) Student Conference: Moving Beyond Borders: Comparative Perspectives on Refuge

Moving Beyond Borders: Comparative Perspectives on Refuge

We invite you to join us at this year’s UCL Migration Research Unit (MRU) Student Conference which offers a forum for discussing the reception and integration of refugees in a number of different contexts.

Students from across the UK and Europe will present their research to initiate an interdisciplinary debate on refugee agency, non-conventional responses to the current migration ‘crisis’ and representational discourses. Attendees will be given a chance to reflect on how research involving refugees presents methodological and ethical challenges through a number of exciting panel discussions.

Have you ever reflected on how the media’s use of language and images influences our perception of refugees? Have you ever thought about how the architecture of reception centres influences refugees’ experiences? Are you interested in hearing about the situation in the Calais Camps from researchers on the ground?

Join us in discussing these and many more questions and think beyond borders.

Read the full conference programme here.

About the Migration Research Unit (MRU)

The Migration Research Unit is a critical nexus for research on migration across UCL and includes as members researchers from the department of geography and from across the social sciences and humanities at UCL. MRU members’ ongoing research contributes to key debates pertaining to diasporas and transnationalism, asylum and refugees, national and international migration policies, theorising movement and (im)mobilities, development and migration, and measuring and mapping migration. The MRU was established by Professor John Salt in 1988, and currently brings together academics whose research also directly informs their teaching and supervision of research students, including students taking the MSc in Global Migration. The MRU hosts an annural student conference, and regularly organises seminars and conferences to engage with and advance understandings of experiences and processes of and responses to different forms of migration. The MRU is co-directed by Professor John Salt, Dr Claire Dwyer and Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh.

Keynote Address: Maurice Wren

Maurice Wren joined the Refugee Council as Chief Executive in March 2013, having previously been the Director of Asylum Aid (2002 – 2013). Prior to Asylum Aid, Maurice held senior positions in the homelessness field at Shelter and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust (HACT).  Maurice was a co-founder of the Independent Asylum Commission (2007-09) and of Detention Forum (2009-present). He is presently co-Chair of the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum at the Home Office and Chair of the Refugee Week Steering Group. Maurice is a Trustee of Migrant Voice; Every Casualty Worldwide; and the European Network on Statelessness; and was recently appointed a Patron of Action Foundation.


Friday, 3 June 2016 from 09:00 to 18:00 (BST) Add to Calendar
University College London – Gower Street Pearson Building, London, WC1E 6BT – View Map

Event: Cast Away: stories of survival from Europe’s refugee crisis and Breach, tales from the Calais Camps, at the Greenwich Book Festival

Cast away: stories of survival from Europe’s refugee crisis and the Calais camp: Greenwich Book festival

‘Why don’t you try and bring these people here safely? If you arrive, they say ‘welcome‘ if you die in the sea, they say, ‘Never mind. Why?’; Hanan al-Hasan, Syrian refugee.

Armies are shutting borders, 800 lives are lost in a single shipwreck, a boy’s body washes up on a beach: this is the European Union today. But how did a bloc founded upon the values of human rights reach this point?

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has been a foreign correspondent for over 14 years, and now covers the EU for publications including Time magazine. In her book Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis (Portobello Books) she tells the story of the European migration crisis in the Mediterranean, through the stories of those caught up in the tumult.

Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola and Zimbabwean Annie Holmes discuss their experiences of visiting the Calais refugee camps – and the fiction book, Breach, which they co-wrote on their return, based on their interviews. Breach will be the first title in the Pereine Now! Series

Arifa Akbar, former literary editor of The Independent comperes.

Event, to be followed by a book signing, is held in the National Maritime Museum Lecture Theatre, as part of the Greenwich Book Festival.



New Report: Shifting Ground: Views on immigration during the long term and during election campaigns

A new study by Ipsos MORI looking at how British attitudes towards immigration have changed over the long term and during election campaigns is published today. The report, “Shifting Ground”, combines existing data with new findings from a longitudinal study which followed voters during, throughout, and after the 2015 General Election campaign in order to track changes in individuals’ attitudes.

The study finds concerns about immigration have indisputably risen over the long term. The importance of immigration as an issue facing Britain on the Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index reached record levels in 2015, with 56% of the public mentioning it in September; the highest level ever recorded since the series started in the 1970s.

As well as growing concern overall, there were changes in the profile of people who are concerned about the issue. In particular, in the early 2000s there was relatively little difference between the oldest and youngest generations on concern about immigration, but in the last few years there is a growing generational divide with older generations having become much more concerned than younger generations.

Download PDF

Read Full Article: Shifting Ground: Views on immigration during the long term and during election campaigns.



New Report: OU research highlights benefits and risks of smartphones for refugees

New Report:

OU research highlights benefits and risks of smartphones for refugees

Today (16 May) marks the launch of a new academic report by the Open University, Mapping Refugee Media Journeys: Smart Phones and Social Media Networks. The research identified a huge gap in the provision of relevant, reliable and timely news and information for and with refugees that is endangering their lives.

“Our research suggests that the information and news needs of refugees are not sufficiently taken into account by governments and news organisation as they make perilous journeys from war-torn parts of the world to Europe and when they arrive. EU member states have failed to develop a coherent policy strategy to deal with refugees entering Europe,” said Marie Gillespie, OU Professor of Sociology and a member of the OU’s Citizenship and Governance priority research area.

“News and government agencies are effectively reneging on their responsibility under the UN Refugee Charter to provide information and news that can assist their search for protection and safety because they fear that they might be accused of facilitating and encouraging refugees to come to Europe. It’s now such a politicised issue.”

“Quick tech fixes don’t work.”

The research uses an innovative mix of methods: serial interviews with Syrian and Iraqi refugees as they make their journeys, an analysis of news media coverage of refugees and a ‘big data’ analysis of refugee social networks on Facebook and Twitter by computer scientists. It involves interviews with staff at the European Commission, among international broadcasters and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It provides a best practice guide for those providing digital resources for refugees.

The report reveals that refugees access the news and information they need through their mobile phones mainly via links sent by trusted friends and family, as well as by smugglers. The smartphone is both a resource and a threat on their journeys. It is an essential navigation, translation and networking tool but it is also a threat as the digital traces refugees leave behind make them vulnerable to surveillance by extremists and smugglers. The smartphones also contain an ever-expanding photo album of violence and abuse that they may have witnessed.

The need for security forces refugees to go underground digitally where they use avatars and encrypted services to get vital information from smugglers and handlers whom they have to rely on and sometimes trust more than government sources and mainstream media.

Read full press release – OU research highlights benefits and risks of smartphones for refugees.

Mapping Refugee Media Journeys: Smart Phones and Social Media Networks was produced by The Open University and France Mèdias Monde.

Read more about OU research in Citizenship and Governance.


Event: Search and rescue at sea: a legal obligation?

Search and rescue at sea: a legal obligation?
Humanitarian and legal perspectives on the ‘Refugee Crisis’

An event co-organised by Middlesex UniversityAIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), University of Palermo and CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani)


Confirmed speakers

  • Giorgia Bevilacqua, Second University of Naples
  • Brad Blitz, Middlesex University
  • Elena Consiglio, CLEDU / University of Palermo
  • Anthony Cullen, Middlesex University
  • Alessio D’Angelo, Middlesex University
  • Ian Greatbatch, Kingston University
  • Roberta Greco, Saccucci Fares & Partners
  • Eleonore Kofman, Middlesex University
  • Nuala Mole, AIRE Centre
  • Violeta Moreno Lax, Queen Mary University
  • Markella Papadouli, AIRE Centre
  • Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo CLEDU / University of Palermo
  • Helena Wray, Middlesex University
  • Martin Xuereb, former director of MOAS

To download the full programme click here.

The context

Between January and May2016, over 150,000 migrants crossed the Aegean sea to reach Europe, mostly escaping the war in Syria. In the same period, nearly 30,000 people reached the Italian shores through the central Mediterranean route. The majority of them flee their countries because of war, conflict or persecutions. Many of the migrants, who, risking their lives, undertook an extremely dangerous journey to look for a better life in Europe or to get international protection, died because they were not rescued in time. The EU member states are bound by international and EU law to assist and protect them.

The EU member states carry out external sea borders surveillance operations aimed at preventing unauthorized border crossing. During such operations, they may intercept or rescue persons. The International Chamber of Shipping reported that the merchant vessels rescued around 40,000 people during 2014. This number increased significantly during 2015. More than 1,000 merchant ships have assisted migrant rescue operations since the crisis began to escalate and helped rescuing over 15,200 people in 2015. According to Frontex, their vessels rescued 150,000 lives in the Mediterranean Sea (59,000 in Italy and 91,000 in Greece).

Amongst other legal instruments, the International Convention on Salvage 1989 imposes a positive obligation on contracting states (EU members states included) to render assistance to any person in danger of being lost at sea. EU member states have also further positive obligations under international and EU law in order to ensure the safety of those seeking international protection and to prevent loss of life at sea.

The current dialogue on the issue so far offers lengthy press releases, shocking coffin photographs and an estimate of the number of people drowning in an attempt to reach safety. Tearful press obituaries and background policy analysis as to the reasons why this situation is occurring complete the picture of the ongoing debate at present. However, what is not heard so far is the voice of law: what are the obligations of the EU, its member states, and other neighboring countries towards the migrants attempting this risky journey? And importantly, are there any legal steps that can be taken in order to help eliminate deaths in the Mediterranean?
The event and its aims

Middlesex University (London), the Italian legal clinic CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani) and the UK legal organisation AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) are working together to take forward this debate by holding a roundtable on the positive legal obligations of EU member states under international maritime law, EU law and national law towards migrants, asylum seekers and persons in distress at sea.

The roundtable will take place in London, at Middlesex University, on 8 June 2016, bringing together European experts on the subject.

It will include a thorough analysis of relevant rules and instruments of international maritime law adopted by EU member states, as well as a discussion of their different interpretations and implementations. The event aims to lead to a common, informed position paper, outlining the legal obligations of different stakeholders when dealing with migrants at sea.

The event is part of the ‘Migration at Middlesex’ 2016 seminar series and funded within the ‘impact strategy’ of Middlesex University research project ‘EVI-MED – Constructing an Evidence Base of Contemporary Mediterreanean Migrations’ (

To download the full programme click here.

When Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (BST) – Add to Calendar Where Middlesex University London – The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT – View Map


Event: Research for Action and Influence conference

‘Research for Action & Influence’ Conference

Book Online:

The Evelyn Oldfield Unit is holding a half day conference presenting brand new evidence on the experiences of migrant and refugee communities in London.

The conference will conclude a 9 month accredited Research for Action & Influence course run by the Evelyn Oldfield Unit. This capacity building course for members of refugee and migrant community organisations develops their skills and trains them to become community researchers. Each of these researchers has been conducting research on issues affecting refugees and migrants living in London.

This year’s research topics include unaccompanied minors transitioning into adulthood, Latin American and Filipino grassroots campaigning, language as a barrier to accessing healthcare, health needs of Greek and Greek Cypriot women in north London, the role of churches in refugee integration, impact of domestic violence on children, secondary torture survivors, Somali youth crime, and trafficking and modern slavery among Bangladeshis in east London.

This event will feature the results of these studies as well as guest speakers from the refugee and migrant sector. A detailed programme of the conference will be announced nearer the time.

Guest speakers include:

Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust

Yuliana Topazly, Migrant Entrepreneurs Network

Umut Erel, The Open University, and Tracey Reynolds, University of Greenwich

Don Flynn, Migrants Rights Network

Elena Vacchelli, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University

Lisa Doyle, Refugee Council

Michelline Safi Ngongo, Islington Councilor

+ Students presentations

The conference will take place at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, N7 6PA from 1.30-5.00pm.

Please book your free tickets on Eventbrite.

For any queries contact Andreja Mesaric at or 020 7697 4102.

When Thursday, 2 June 2016 from 13:30 to 17:00 (BST) – Add to Calendar Where Resource for London – 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA – View Map


Event: Search and rescue at sea: a legal obligation?


Search and rescue at sea: a legal obligation?
Humanitarian and legal perspectives on the ‘Refugee Crisis’

Wednesday 8 June 2016, Middlesex University (London)

An event co-organised by Middlesex University, AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), University of Palermo and CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani)

Between January and May 2016, over 150,000 migrants crossed the Aegean sea to reach Europe, mostly escaping the war in Syria. In the same period, nearly 30,000 people reached the Italian shores through the central Mediterranean route. The majority of them flee their countries because of war, conflict or persecutions. Many of the migrants, who, risking their lives, undertook an extremely dangerous journey to look for a better life in Europe or to get international protection, died because they were not rescued in time.

The current debates on the issue offer lengthy press releases, shocking photographs and estimates of the number of people drowning in an attempt to reach safety. Tearful press obituaries and background policy analysis as to the reasons why this situation is occurring complete the picture. However, what is not heard enough is the voice of the Law: what are the obligations of the EU, its member states, and other neighbouring countries towards the migrants attempting this risky journey? Are there any legal steps that can be taken in order to help eliminate deaths in the Mediterranean?

Middlesex University (London), the Italian legal clinic CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani) and the UK legal organisation AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) are working together to take forward this debate by holding a roundtable on the positive legal obligations of EU member states under international maritime law, EU law and national law towards migrants, asylum seekers and persons in distress at sea. The roundtable will take place in London, at Middlesex University, on 8 June 2016, bringing together European experts on the subject.

For further information and to book a place visit:


2nd Refugee in a Week Sets Herself Afire on Nauru

ESPMI Network

03NAURU-master768 A vigil in Sydney, Australia. Getty Images.

Below is Guardian reporting on the same event:

The young woman, from Somalia, has severe burns and is being treated in a hospital on the islan

A young refugee woman from Somalia has set herself alight at an Australian detention centre on Nauru, just days after a 23-year-old man, Omid, died of injuries sustained in a similar act.

It comes amid moves by the Australian immigration department to shift detainees out to other mainland facilities, a worsening mental health crisis in the offshore processing centres, and the sudden partial collapse of Australia’s offshore processing policy.

Omid’s widow on Monday told Guardian Australia that she is being kept in a Brisbane hotel by immigration authorities, denied access to a lawyer and sedated.

The name of the…

View original post 830 more words

Event: Placeless People: What can History Tell us About Today’s Refugee Crisis?


Placeless People: What can History Tell us About Today’s Refugee Crisis?

Organised by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

Date: Monday 20 June 2016

Venue: Birkbeck University of London, WC1E 7HX, Council Room, Torrington Square main entrance

Time: 9.00am (registration) 9.25am – 6.00pm

The aim of the workshop is to bring together experts in a range of fields – leading historians and scholars, policy makers, representatives from local government, NGOs, think tanks, advocacy groups and the media, to explore how history, in its broadest political, cultural and social senses, can usefully be employed to inform our understanding of the current refugee crisis and help shape our responses to it.

The workshop will address the following questions among others: are there connections between refugee crises in the past and the present? What lessons can be drawn? What kind of historical accounts do NGO’s and policy makers need to make their cases?  How might the recasting of refugee stories on a bigger historical canvas re-shape perception? And, most pressingly, how should policy and responses to the future be shaped by grasping that mass displacement may become the norm?

The day is organised into three panels. The presentations will be short, leaving plenty of time for discussion. The following speakers are confirmed:

Panel 1: Refugees Now – Representations and Perspectives

This session will ask those working with refugees and communities affected by the current refugee crisis to talk about the problems of the current terms of media and political debates.

  • Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust
  • Daniel Trilling, journalist, editor and author
  • Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refuge in a Moving World Network, University College London
  • Colin Yeo, immigration barrister and blogger, Garden Court Chambers

Panel 2: Lessons from History

This session will see historians exploring the different lessons we might draw from histories and the dangers of lazy historical comparisons.

  • Simon Behrman, University of East Anglia
  • Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester
  • Tony Kushner, University of Southampton

Panel 3: Making History Now

This session will look at different ways of and attempts at documenting the current refugee crisis.

  • Lyndsey Stonebridge, University of East Anglia
  • Yousif Qasmiyeh, poet and writer
  • Zrinka Bralo, Migrants Organise and Open Democracy
  • Representative of Freed Voices from Detention Action

When Monday, 20 June 2016 from 09:00 to 18:00 (BST) – Add to Calendar Where Birkbeck, University of London – Council Room, Torrington Square main entrance, WC1E 7HX – View Map

Syria and climate change: did the media get it right?

ESPMI Network

ChCsNueW0AQjb3yPlease visit the original website to see all video and multimedia content, as well as full text of the article (full access cannot be replicated in this blog entry).

The Climate and Migration Coalition exists to support and protect people at risk of displacement linked to environmental change. The Coalition is a network of refugee and migration NGOs. The network is managed by the UK charity Climate Outreach.

During 2015 the media started connecting climate change with the conflict in Syria and subsequent refugee movements across Europe. Many reports were in direct response to new research making this connection. Other reports mentioned this research while examining other major events such as the drownings in the Mediterranean, the refugee camp in Calais and the terrorist attacks in November 2015. But did those media reports accurately represent the research they referenced?

Some elements of media reporting accurately represented the research, especially when coverage…

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From war to sweatshop for Syria’s child refugees in Turkey (includes video)

ESPMI Network

5760 Shoes made in the factory. Photograph: Ahmed Deeb

Hamza sits at a sewing machine in a gloomy warehouse in southernTurkey, where he works 12 hours a day, six days a week. The Syrian can perform most of the roles on the assembly line: he knows how to mould leather into the shape of a shoe, or attach its sole with glue. Today Hamza threads its different parts together with the machine, and his boss looks on approvingly.

“He can make 400 shoes a day,” says the factory manager. “He’s a real man.”

Only he’s not. Aged just 13, Hamza is in fact a child. And so are more than a third of the workers in this sweatshop.

This is no anomaly. According to Unicef, more than half of Turkey’s 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees are children…

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Call for Proposals (May 10): Workshop “Seeking Asylum – Regional and Global perspectives” Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

ESPMI Network


The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin invites graduate students and activists to apply for the international workshop “Seeking Asylum – Regional and Global perspectives”. While primarily focusing on the case of Syria, the workshop will also discuss the situation at other sites of violence and armed conflict such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Through the participation of scholars, grassroots activists and NGO workers the workshop seeks to forge a synthesis of theoretical insights and practical expertise as academic findings shall be combined with first-hand experience.

We particularly encourage contributions on the following topics:
I) Understanding war-induced flight: Analysis of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan
II) Reconstructing escape routes and impact on direct neighboring countries: Perspectives
from Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
III) Europe between refugees welcome and the rise of the ultra-right


Graduate students and early-in-career scholars from the Social Sciences, Humanities as well as from other disciplines, NGO…

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Australia’s Migration Policy: Papua New Guinea’s planned closure of a detention center

ESPMI Network

Australia Asylum Seekers In this file photo from Dec. 15, 2010, people clamber on the rocky shore on Christmas Island, Australia, during a rescue attempt as a boat breaks up in the background, killing 48 asylum seekers. The asylum seekers who head to Australia in rickety fishing boats are just a trickle in the global flow of refugees. But given the top-tier debate they have ignited in Australia, they might as well be an invading armada. (AP Photo/ABC, FIle) AUSTRALIA OUT

The first boat people to arrive on Australian shores were three young friends and two brothers from Vietnam who’d navigated the seas with a map torn from a school atlas. It was April 1976, and they fled the scars of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon on a 65-foot wooden fishing boat. The migrants were called boat people quite simply because that’s how they…

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Paying Eritrea to stop their slaves escaping is the road to moral ruin

Development and Human Rights

When Britain outlawed slavery many centuries ago, wealthy slave owners were granted heavy compensation to make up for their losses. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, consider the thousands of people trapped in military slavery in Eritrea, who this week may have been made aware of the news that the European Union is to hand over ‎€200m directly to the Eritrean government to actively stop them from escaping.

The migrant crisis has become an embarrassment for the EU. Locked for years in an internal battle, and having failed to come up with anything even close to the political consensus needed to cope with the crisis in a humane and rational manner, it appears the only thing anyone can vaguely agree on is that it would be helpful if the migrants stopped coming. Apparently, anything that may prevent this, regardless of how despicable it might be, is now being considered…

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1st Annual Conference: The Future of Refugee Law? University of London

ESPMI Network

Full Programme available – limited places remaining!


Refugee Law Initiative, University of London
29 June – 1 July 2016

Recent years have seen refugee law doctrine moving in innovative new directions, as the discipline reflects deeply on its relationship to the wider field of international law. At the same time, refugee protection faces renewed challenges on the ground in a number of regions, not least in the refugee and displacement-related consequences of humanitarian crises such as Syria. The fifth anniversary of the RLI presents us with a timely opportunity to proactively consider the future of refugee law.

Keynote speakers:
– Dr Volker Turk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR
– Prof Guy Goodwin-Gill, All Souls College Oxford
– Dr Chaloka Beyani, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of IDPs
– Prof Walter Kalin, University of Bern
– Eleanor Sharpston QC, Advocate General…

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Mass Atrocity Monday, 5/2/2016: The Wagalla Massacre

Justice in Conflict

Wagalla Massacre Monument, from website of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Wagalla Massacre Monument, from website of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people died on the Wagalla airstrip in early February, 1984. The victims were ethnic Somalis living in Kenya’s North Eastern province. Their killers were members of the Kenyan army, ostensibly investigating reports of a planned rebellion by members of the Degodia clan.

Over the course of several days, troops burst into homes, raping women, destroying property, and seizing the men. The Degodia men, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught up in the search, were taken to the airstrip. Once there, they were told take off their clothes and lie on the hot ground. Those who refused were shot on the spot. The rest were beaten and tortured, asked over and over if they owned a gun, and where it was. They were there for days, without food or water, baking in the hot sun.

Survivors say more…

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In with tourists, out with refugees: Greece moves refugees from Athens to the outskirts

ESPMI Network


29 Apr 2016 19:47 GMT

The Greek government is moving thousands of refugees from camps in central Athens to new settlements on the city’s outskirts to prepare for the arrival of tourists.

Greece expects 23 million visitors this year, who are expected to bring in about $20bn in revenue.

For months the streets of the Greek capital were home to refugees from Syria and other countries living rough as they prepared for the next step of their journeys to northern and western Europe.

Makeshift refugee camps in Athens, once at the centre of the refugee influx, are now disappearing as residents are bussed out to new settlements far from the eyes of tourists on whom Greece’s faltering economy relies.

The new camps are air-conditioned and provide adequate sanitation facilities, a big improvement on the old ones, which lacked the most basic necessities.

But many refugees are reluctant to make the…

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ESRC Festival of Social Science

UEL Research, Innovation and Enterprise

The Festival of Social Science offers an opportunity for researchers to hold events aimed at non-academic audiences. Events which are aimed primarily at academic audiences are not eligible to be part of the Festival or to receive sponsorship.

The Festival of Social Science 2016 will take place from 5-12 November, and applications for sponsorship of up to £1,000 can be made to assist with events.

The Festival of Social Science is designed to promote and increase awareness of social sciences and ESRC’s research, enable social scientists to engage with non-academics and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society.

Each year the Festival:

  • offers a week of activities celebrating the diversity of ESRC funded and social science research
  • has an even geographical spread of activities across the UK
  • continues to increase the number events focused on engaging the public…

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Psychology Seminar Series: 11th May 2016, Professor Catherine Campbell

Now published: Syrian Researchers in Exile

ESPMI Network


To download the full volume, click here.

Part I
Interview with James King – Assistant Director IIE-SRF

Syrian Academics between Reality and Ambition: The Perspective of a Syrian Academic in Exile

Returning Before the Crisis and then Leaving Again

Articles and interviews with Syrian Researchers in Exile

The Role of Risk and Resilience in Access to Education: A Case Study of a Syrian Community School in Beirut Lebanon

Data Analytics in Citizen Cyberscience: Evaluating Participant Learning and Engagement with Analytics

Interview with Dr. Oula Abu-Amsha – The Role of Risk and Resilience in Access to Education: A Case Study of a Syrian Community School in Beirut Lebanon

Governance of Agriculture in Syria between Economics and Politics: Analysis of the Pre-Revolution Period

Interview with Dr. Ahmad Sadiddin – Governance of Agriculture in Syria between Economics and Politics: Analysis of the Pre-Revolution Period

Algorithm and Techniques of Prediction, Data Mining, and Big…

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The UK to take 3000 extra refugee children by 2020: generous, isn’t it?

#ArchivesRock on International Archives Day 2016

Ask Archivists

Zeeuws Archief_nl-mdbza_296-988_kzwg-zi-iii_rederijkers_middelburg_1785 Parade of ‘Rederijkers’ making music in Middelburg (province Zeeland, The Netherlands). Engraving by Daniël Veelwaard and Jan Arends, ca 1784/1785. Zeeuws Archief/Zeeland Archives, Zeeuws Genootschap, Zelandia Illustrata, dl III, nr 988.

Let’s celebrate June 9

International Archives Day 2016 #IAD16 is coming up! Like every year Follow An Archive and Ask Archivists organize a celebration event on Twitter.
With the celebration event we join the June 9 theme ‘Archives, Harmony and Friendship‘ of the International Council on Archives (ICA).
The theme of the annual Twitter event will be #archivesrock. It’s about music in archives.

Archives rock

Music makes a perfect match with the ICA theme ‘Archives, Harmony and Friendship’!
Remember the song ‘Ebony and Ivory’, a 1982 number-one single by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder?
“Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony | Side by side on my piano…”.
It contains music and lyrics worth to…

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Call for Applications – (Forced) Migration and Media Workshop – 13th of June, University of Leicester

Call for Applications – (Forced) Migration and Media Workshop – 13th of June, University of Leicester

Call for Applications – Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media at the University of Leicester

13th and 14th of June, 2016

This workshop consists of two days: the first day is targeted on academic knowledge sharing whereas the second day is aimed at dialogue with community organisations in and around Leicester. 

For the first day of this workshop – Monday, the 13th of June – we are looking for applicants who conduct research on how media and forced migration intersect. The deadline to submit your abstract is on the Sunday, the 15th of May, 23.59 GMT.

Delegates are more than welcome to also attend the workshop of the 14th of June.  

Outline Day 1 – Interdisciplinary Workshop aimed at academic knowledge exchange

Digital technologies have “woven themselves into the everyday lives of refugees” (Wilding and Gifford , 2013), opening up new spaces for agency and creativity. For example, 96% of the refugees in Uganda use mobile phones, which is a much higher percentage than the general population (Betts, 2014). We aim to bring together established and upcoming scholars from different areas together in order to further understand and increase our knowledge on the mediation of (forced) migration.

The academic interest for (forced) migrants and media is very topical given the influence of the ‘refugee crisis in Europe’- for instance in dehumanizing language regarding refugees and other migrants in the British media or the confusion about the realization that refugees own smartphones.

But while ethnographic research has indeed shown that diasporic communities are often vanguards of digital technologies and it is clear that forced migration and mediated connectivity are increasingly intertwined, critical research in this area is still lacking. The few notable exceptions show that media (mass media and social media) can influence one’s feelings of security, but can also provide opportunities to strategise and negotiate one’s position of insecurity (Aouragh, 2011; Collyer, 2007; Dekker and Engersen, 2012; Horst, 2006; Moore and Clifford, 2007; Wilding and Gifford, 2013).

We are looking for applicants who conduct research to further the understanding on how media and forced migration intersect. New and old media play a crucial role in the lives of (forced) migrants. Within this workshop we aim to explore how we can understand the intersections between different media forms, including people’s own media use, and (forced) migration. We bracket the forced, as we recognise that the label ‘refugee’ can have its own difficulties, and could even be considered as a governing tool appropriated by nation-states. This workshop could therefore also be opened up to people who consider mixed migration or challenge the distinction between economic and forced migrations in regard to media.

The workshop (see a detailed program in the attachment) includes interactive activities in which established scholars, new career researchers and post-graduate students from a wide variety of fields are able to learn from each other and write together. 

After a general opening and key note speeches, the keynote speaker will be working within a small group of early career researchers (max. 5/6 people) on a specific subject which is related to the one of the 4 streams.
The 4 streams are:
1. Media representations of (forced) migration.
2. Methodology, media and migration.
3. Trajectories of (forced) migrants.
4. Media power in the politics of (forced) migration.
For a more detailed description of these streams, please have a look at the attachment or on our Facebook event-page: Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media.

The objective of the afternoon session is creating a more informal space where researchers working on similar subjects can present their work with people working on similar issues and to someone who has a tracked record in the field.

In the closing plenary session we will look for bridges, and consider how we as academics can best engage to policies and practices.

We ask you to submit the title of your work, an abstract of maximum 300 words and a short motivation of maximum 200 words why your works fits best in what particular stream by Sunday, the 15th of May, 23.59 GMT to

Accepted participants will be notified by the 20th of May.

Costs: Attendees are asked to contribute £10 each, in order to contribute to the travel costs of attendees without funding. Those attendees who have to travel far within the UK and do not have funding to cover travel costs can contact us for additional funding.

Full details on the streams and program can be downloaded as follows: Streams and Program – Workshop Forced Migration and Media.

For more information or any questions, please contact, Mirjam Twigt, or Zakaria Sajir: or contact us through the Facebook event-page: Workshop (Forced) Migration and Media.

For more information on the Community Impact Event on the 14th of June, please contact Idil Osman or Mirjam Twigt:

What it’s like to live on a Syrian refugee’s stipend

ESPMI Network

syrian-refugees-1-2000x1333 (Image: Kayla Rocca)

Once the tearful photo-ops are over, newly arrived Syrian refugees face the task of making a life in Canada. It’s not a leisurely process: the vast majority need to learn English, integrate into a new culture and acquire the skills necessary to support themselves before their financial aid runs out. Complicating matters further is the fact that Canada’s refugee support system is two-tiered: some arrivals are sponsored by private groups with enthusiastic volunteers and ample funds, while others are sponsored by a resource-strapped federal bureaucracy. Here, a close-up look at the financial realities faced by three groups of recent arrivals who, despite having fled from the same country at roughly the same time, now face very different circumstances in Toronto.

The Al Rassoul family

Who: Mahmoud, 40; Isaaf, 38 (Mahmoud’s wife); Reyak, 39 and Saadah, 30 (Mahmoud’s sisters); Malek, Mohammad, Maher, Mohannad…

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Asotthalom, Hungary: Hungary’s Border War on Refugees

ESPMI Network

86659561fe874904af3cbc64fafabe8a_18 A village patrol officer driving along the border fence [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera] Asotthalom, Hungary –   A group of five police officers chopped wood and tossed it in a small fire pit as the brisk wind rattled their makeshift tent, hastily constructed with plastic tarps and tree branches to shield them from the cold on a morning in early March near the Hungarian border village of Asotthalom.

On the Serbian side of the Hungarian border fence that lines the 175-kilometre border between the two countries, abandoned Yugoslav army barracks and watchtowers testified to wars that had concluded 15 years earlier.

Today, however, the Hungarian army has launched a war of its own – one to stem the flow of refugees and migrants into Central Europe.

An army jeep bounced along the dirt road that hugs the barbed wire-crowned fence. A unit of officers from the village patrol sauntered along the…

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News: Border force warns terrorists could enter EU by abusing asylum checks


Border force warns terrorists could enter EU by abusing asylum checks
By Migration correspondent at The Guardian

Frontex police escort migrants, who are being deported from Lesbos, on to a ferry before it returns to Turkey. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Frontex border agency’s annual risk analysis echoes previous warnings that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU.

The EU’s border force has warned that terrorists may have infiltrated Europe by hiding among asylum seekers, noting that two of the bombers in last November’s Paris attacks arrived on the continent in a smuggling boat from Turkey.

Frontex’s annual risk analysis, released on Tuesday, said: “The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU.”

Echoing observations made five months ago, the report added: “Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process.

“As the vast majority of migrants arrive undocumented, screening activities are essential to properly verify their declaration of nationality.”

Frontex’s suggestions come weeks after European politicians introduced a stringent new border policy that will see almost all asylum seekers landing on islands such as Leros returned to Turkey.

Read Full Article – Border force warns terrorists could enter EU by abusing asylum checks.


New Journal Research Articles for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (weekly) (weekly)

  • “Online research methodologies may serve as an important mechanism for population-focused data collection in social work research. Online surveys have become increasingly prevalent in research inquiries with young people and have been acknowledged for their potential in investigating understudied and marginalized populations and subpopulations, permitting increased access to communities that tend to be less visible—and thus often less studied—in offline contexts. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) young people are a socially stigmatized, yet digitally active, youth population whose participation in online surveys has been previously addressed in the literature. Many of the opportunities and challenges of online survey research identified with LGBTQ youths may be highly relevant to other populations of marginalized and hard-to-access young people, who are likely present in significant numbers in the online environment (for example, ethnoracialized youths and low-income youths). In this article, the utility of online survey methods with marginalized young people is discussed, and recommendations for social work research are provided. “


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Call for Papers: Signs Journal invites submissions for special issue on ‘Displacement’

ESPMI Network


Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invites submissions for a special issue titled “Displacement,” slated for publication in spring 2018.

The current refugee crisis gives new urgency to questions of gendered displacement. The United Nations’ most recent statistics place the number of registered Syrian refugees at 4.7 million, 50.7 percent of whom are women and over half of whom are children under eighteen. During the same period, tens of thousands of Central American women and children have crossed the Rio Grande into the United States. Feminists have already responded to concerns about sexual violence in refugee camps and during refugees’ journeys and to the gendered response to the crisis on the part of receiving states (i.e., demographic concerns surrounding gender ratios of migrants admitted). What are the larger questions of “displacement” that require an interdisciplinary and transnational feminist lens?

This special issue of Signs seeks submissions reflecting multifaceted…

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Rewiring the Trojan Horse scandal

Postcards from ...

I’ve found my highlight for this year’s British Sociological Association conference held at the University of Aston – a small fringe event in the lunch break organised by the webzine Discover Society entitled ‘Questioning British values?’

It rarely happens (mostly because of my laziness perhaps) to come out from a conference session with a new way of seeing the world. The panel did it for me in relation to the Trojan Horse scandal, unpicking its significance on multiple levels and raising questions whose implication are far reaching.  Is it not unusual that to address fundamentalism we recur to a vocabulary of fundamental values? Was the academisation of school not all about raising education standard and involvement of local communities? How come that the same initiatives that OFSTED had raised as evidence of success for one school, became evidence against the same school a few months later? How vulnerable to political…

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New “How I Got Here” Series: #1 Being a Jew in Baghdad wasn’t safe anymore

ESPMI Network

346 Zigi Ben-Haim in the Bay Area, 1973

I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1945. When I was four, it started to get dangerous for my parents to continue to live there. The authorities were after my father. This forced us to leave the country in a hurry. To make sure our house help wouldn’t suspect our plans, we made the breakfast table look as if we were ready to eat in the morning. But by time the sun rose, we were gone.

We escaped our house through a hole we dug under the exterior walls the night before. Leaving through the main door would have aroused too much suspicion. A car was waiting to take us away when we crawled out. We left behind our property, all our possessions and wealth. The smuggler was well-paid. He added us to a group of Shia pilgrims who were on their way…

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News: Greece on brink of chaos as refugees riot over forced return to Turkey

News from The Guardian (UK):

Greece on brink of chaos as refugees riot over forced return to Turkey

A woman feeds pigeons at the port of Piraeus near Athens where migrants are camped out. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/AP Image Copyright: Guardian and Associated Press.

The Greek government is bracing itself for violence ahead of the European Union implementing a landmark deal that, from Monday, will see Syrian refugees and migrants being deported back to Turkey en masse.

Rioting and rebellion by thousands of entrapped refugees across Greece has triggered mounting fears in Athens over the practicality of enforcing an agreement already marred by growing concerns over its legality. Islands have become flashpoints, with as many as 800 people breaking out of a detention centre on Chios on Friday.

Some 750 migrants are set to be sent back between Monday and Wednesday from the island of Lesbos to the Turkish port of Dikili.

“We are expecting violence. People in despair tend to be violent,” the leftist-led government’s migration spokesman, Giorgos Kyritsis, told the Observer. “The whole philosophy of the deal is to deter human trafficking [into Europe] from the Turkish coast, but it is going to be difficult and we are trying to use a soft approach. These are people have fled war. They are not criminals.”

Barely 24 hours ahead of the pact coming into force, it emerged that Frontex, the EU border agency, had not dispatched the appropriate personnel to oversee the operation. Eight Frontex boats will transport men, women and children, who are detained on Greek islands and have been selected for deportation, back across the Aegean following fast-track asylum hearings. But of the 2,300 officials the EU has promised to send Greece only 200 have so far arrived, Kyritsis admitted.

Read Full Article: Greece on brink of chaos as refugees riot over forced return to Turkey.

News: Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos

News from ReliefWeb:

Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos

Media Contact:

FAIRFIELD, CT (April 3, 2016) — Save the Children expressed deep concern today over the deplorable conditions in Moria detention center on the Greek island of Lesvos, where more than 1,000 children, many traveling alone, are detained as part of the EU-Turkey deal.

In addition to concerns around the detention of asylum seekers, the agency is also shocked by the lack of safeguards in place for those likely to be returned to Turkey in less than 24 hours. It calls on European leaders to urgently rethink their proposal and suspend all transfers to Turkey until there is a guarantee that those in need of international protection will receive it.

“The situation inside Moria detention center is deteriorating rapidly,” said Simona Mortolini, Save the Children Team Leader in Greece. “We have spoken to families and children who are sleeping outside on the cold ground on thin blankets because there is nowhere else for them to sleep in the overcrowded accommodation facilities. The camp was initially designed to host a few hundred people transiting through within a day. It now hosts 3,300 people, many have been trapped there for more than a week.”

“People continue to arrive to the island and the number of families detained in the center continues to increase by the day. It is extremely dangerous for children and we are worried about their physical and mental well-being, especially those children travelling alone.”

“There are reports of protests and people have told us they will commit suicide if they are sent back to Turkey. Some said they will jump off the boats. People are absolutely desperate. They have sold all their worldly possessions to pay for the journey from Turkey to Greece, they already risked their lives at sea to make the crossing. There is nothing left for them to return to – in Turkey or in their countries of origin that are marred by wars and widespread violence and insecurity.”

As part of the new EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect on 20 March, newly-arrived vulnerable children and their families, regardless of their status, have been detained in closed facilities on the Greek islands until their individual interview and assessment take place – which could take weeks or months.

Read Full Article – Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos


News – Migrant crisis: Greece starts deportations to Turkey

From the BBC News Service:

Migrant crisis: Greece starts deportations to Turkey

First group of returned migrants were welcomed by Turkish officials in Diki. Image Copyright: BBC.

The first boat carrying migrants being deported from Greece has arrived in Turkey as part of an EU plan aimed at easing mass migration to Europe.

Scores of migrants boarded ferries on the Greek island of Lesbos and arrived in Dikili, western Turkey.

Frontex, the EU’s border agency, told the BBC that most of the 136 people who left Lesbos on Monday were Pakistanis.

Meanwhile, the first group of 16 Syrian migrants has arrived in Germany from Turkey, officials say.

Under the deal, for each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the EU is due to take in another Syrian who has made a legitimate request.

However, Greek authorities said the first deportees were those who had not applied for asylum, and included citizens from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Morocco.

And Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir said there were no Syrians among the first group of migrants sent from Greece.

Another ferry carrying migrants to Turkey is also due to leave the Greek island of Chios on Monday.

The returns were carried out calmly, despite a small protest at the gate of Lesbos port, where activists shouted ‘No to deportations’ and ‘EU shame on you’, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford at the scene said.

Read Full Article – Migrant crisis: Greece starts deportations to Turkey.

See Also – ReliefWeb: Turkey prepares for up to 500 migrants from Greece on Monday

New Journal Research Articles for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies 04/03/2016

  • “Why did the United Nations General Assembly confer upon the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a broad global mandate to address statelessness only in 1995 (four decades after the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons was adopted) and not before? To address this question, this article examines the evolving relationship between UNHCR and the international community in regard to statelessness before 1995, drawing upon UNHCR archival records and official documents, Executive Committee conclusions, and General Assembly resolutions. Contrary to popular perception, UNHCR attempted to engage states on statelessness during the Cold War, exceeding its formal powers in doing so. However, states remained indifferent to UNHCR’s efforts. After the Cold War, the international community grew increasingly concerned with mass influxes of refugees possibly resulting from large-scale situations of statelessness in Eastern Europe, and pressured UNHCR to assume greater responsibility for averting such crises – and UNHCR was willing to do so. By 1995, the timing was opportune for the international community to empower UNHCR to lead the global effort against statelessness. As this article demonstrates, the refugee problem remained central to actions involving – and attitudes towards – statelessness by UNHCR and the international community, both during and after the Cold War. “


  • “Central America’s ‘Northern Triangle’ (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) is now among the most violent areas in the world due to the confluence of drug trafficking, gang culture, and lack of state control in some areas. As a result, thousands have fled to seek protection abroad. Nevertheless, asylum rates do not seem properly to acknowledge that a large proportion of these individuals may be entitled to refugee status or other forms of international protection. The purpose of this paper is to study how the particular characteristics of these forms of violence create international protection needs and how law and practice have responded to them. This issue is further explored through an analysis of eleven protection profiles from the region and their particular challenges in obtaining international protection. “


  • “The Almaty Process, a regional consultative process on migration, brings together international organizations, four Central Asian states and several neighbouring states, and civil society organizations to find solutions to regional migration challenges through intergovernmental dialogue, cooperation, and capacity building. The Almaty Process began in 2011 with the Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in Central Asia. It is the fifth in a series of regional consultative processes organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration in regions where refugee protection is in jeopardy. It offers participating states an opportunity to discuss and resolve important migration issues in an environment that respects state sovereignty and security as well as human rights. International organizations play an essential role in the Almaty Process in terms of funding, organizational and technical support, and educating and socializing participating state actors. Among other objectives, through the Almaty Process, UNHCR seeks to assist participating states in improving compliance with international refugee law, while also ensuring the protection of national security. Although the participating Central Asian countries are ‘awkward states’, and the Almaty Process faces various challenges, it has the potential to facilitate increased compliance with international refugee law in Central Asia. Ultimately, the Almaty Process could also contribute to addressing some of the root causes of migration in the region, particularly the underlying lack of respect for human rights. “


  • “Recently, in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, tribunals determining refugee status appear to have adopted the position that North Korean refugee claimants are indeed South Korean nationals (and thus dual nationals). Accordingly, unless North Korean claimants can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), they should be denied international protection under the Refugee Convention. A well-founded fear of persecution has long been recognized as the core element of refugee status in international refugee law. However, a growing number of scholars have begun to challenge the dominance of this view of refugee status. The emerging perspective points to lack of state protection as the essential aspect of refugee status. According to this ‘protection perspective’, refugee status is premised on the assumption that there should be a meaningful protection relationship between a state and its citizens that reflects the normative values formalized in the legal concept of ‘nationality’ or ‘citizenship’. According to this emerging view, one should look beyond merely theoretical nationality and determine whether each nationality of a refugee is effective. This understanding of nationality in the context of the refugee determination process gives rise to a new juridical approach in which the claims of North Korean refugees should be assessed according to different criteria. This article argues that, at least in cases of dual nationality, the protection perspective should be adopted. Where the facts permit, international protection should be provided to North Korean refugees, even outside South Korea. “


  • “Land dispossession and conflicts over land compound resettlement efforts in post-conflict contexts. This is particularly true in rural sub-Saharan African countries, where the vast majority of livelihoods depend on maintaining access and rights to cultivable land. This article engages in the active debate on this topic using ethnographic research conducted in the Teso region in eastern Uganda during 2012 and 2013. The Teso region experienced three violent conflicts from the late 1960s to the mid-2000s, which at times were overlapping: large-scale cattle rustling, a civil war, and an insurgency. The research focuses on Amuria District, Katakwi District, and Tisai Island in Kumi District in order to consider three interrelated phenomena: the cyclical nature of the displacement-resettlement process, the intra-regional differences in how this process has unfolded, and the particular ways in which struggles over land are deeply embedded within the post-conflict context. The article argues that post-conflict rearrangements in property relations create complex challenges for resettling populations, and if left unaddressed will merely result in increasingly unstable land tenure regimes. It also argues that struggles over land in Teso should not be understood solely through a post-conflict lens, as there are a variety of drivers – some not tied directly to the violent conflicts – that interact with post-conflict dynamics to create a perfect storm for land tenure instability. “


  • “Several initiatives to create a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for Bosnia and Herzegovina were launched between 1997 and 2006, but none came to fruition. This article explains the rationale behind the pursuit of a truth-telling mechanism alongside the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as the resistance to such initiatives both internationally and domestically. It argues that, despite the considerable efforts of external actors to create a TRC for Bosnia, the project foundered for three principal reasons: political resistance, institutional rivalry between the ICTY and the TRC project, and the TRC project’s lack of legitimacy, notably among Bosnia’s victim associations. The history of the failed TRC project in Bosnia holds important lessons for ongoing truth-seeking attempts in the region and beyond, and highlights problems that arise in postconflict societies with a high level of international involvement. “


  • “In 1967, philosopher Bertrand Russell set up an unofficial war crimes tribunal to investigate the actions of the US in Vietnam. This article explores the link between the Russell Tribunal and transitional justice. In recent years, critical voices have called for a transitional justice that is less legalistic and state-centric and more concerned with socioeconomic issues. The Russell Tribunal was an early instance of a transitional justice practice whose traits resonated with these critiques. It challenged legalism, breached the judicial monopoly of the state and criticized the economic global order. Given this affinity, the Russell Tribunal can provide critical approaches to transitional justice with a historic antecedent and a mechanism to push their agenda forward. Unofficial tribunals, inspired by the Russell initiative, can be useful tools for a transitional justice that is broader and more amenable to alternative perspectives. “


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Table of Contents Alert: International Journal of Refugee Law

Oxford Journals have just published their latest Table of Contents journal alert for the International Journal of Refugee Law.  Further details on the articles included in  Vol. 28, No. 1 (March 2016) are detailed below:


Jane McAdam
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 1-6


The Origins of UNHCR’s Global Mandate on Statelessness
Matthew Seet
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 7-24

Fleeing Cartels and Maras: International Protection Considerations and Profiles from the Northern Triangle
Nicolás Rodríguez Serna
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 25-54

The Almaty Process: Improving Compliance with International Refugee Law in Central Asia
Cynthia Orchard
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 55-84

Lack of State Protection or Fear of Persecution? Determining the Refugee Status of North Koreans in Canada
Seunghwan Kim
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 85-108

Case Law Summaries

Case Law Summaries
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 109-115


Note on International Protection: Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 116-134

Statement by Volker Türk: Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 135-147

Alternatives to Detention: Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 148-155

Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change: October 2015
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 156-162

Book Reviews

Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise, and Testimony
Julia Muraszkiewicz
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 163-166

EU Security and Justice Law: After Lisbon and Stockholm (Modern Studies in European Law)
Christopher Harding
Int J Refugee Law 2016 28: 166-168


Deportations to Jamaica, Honduras could hurt Canada

ESPMI Network


Deporting convicts to Jamaica and Honduras poses a boomerang-style threat because returnees may become involved in international crime that hurts Canada, federally commissioned research says.

While removing people who have committed serious crimes may be an important element of Canadian public security strategy, it places strains on law-enforcement and social services in the two destination countries and could have “unintended consequences” for Canada, say a pair of studies released under the Access to Information Act.

The Security Governance Group of Kitchener, Ont., delivered the findings to Public Safety Canada in January.

The studies suggest the Canadian government could do more to support programs in Jamaica and Honduras to prevent such deportees from returning to crime.

Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, did not commit to more assistance but said the Liberal government believes in evidence-based policy. “We continually monitor global events, ongoing issues and research related…

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The Good Chance Theatre: Calais refugee camp theatre stages a double encore

ESPMI Network

4287 Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy, founders of the Good Chance Theatre company in Calais. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardia

The refugee theatre in Calais that starred the likes of Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch and withstood the worst of the winter in northern France is to rise again, say its two founders.

Due to the unflagging “Dunkirk spirit” of playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, there are soon to be two Good Chance theatre tents, one planned down the coast in Dunkirk and another back in Calais, nearer to the shipping containers that now house 2,000 migrants.

Over six months the tent became famous as it welcomed visiting stars, including Law and Cumberbatch, and a succession of British theatre companies. But for most of that time it was a venue for those living in the Calais camp, known as the Jungle, watching each other sing, dance and tell stories…

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European policy is driving refugees to more dangerous routes across the Med

Postcards from ...

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University and Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

It is estimated that in 2015, more than a million people crossed the
Mediterranean to Europe in search of safety and a better life. 3,770 are known to have died trying to make this journey during the same period. This so-called “migration crisis” is the largest humanitarian disaster to face Europe since the end of World War II.

That’s why we’ve been working to examine the conditions underpinning this recent migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean.

Our first research brief , based on interviews with 600 people, including 500 refugees, shines a light on the reasons why so many risk everything on the dangerous sea crossing. It also offers an insight into why the EU response has been so ineffective.

One of the main problems with the current approach to this crisis is the…

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News: UN rights chief concerned over ‘collective expulsion’ of migrants after EU-Turkey deal

22 March 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency has announced that it is “not a party” to the new provisions agreed between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, and that it will align its work to cope with the deal.

Till now, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the authorities in the so-called “hotspots” on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants were received, assisted, and registered. Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect this past Sunday, these sites have now become detention facilities, and all new “irregular” migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey.

UNHCR has a policy on opposing mandatory detention. Accordingly, it has suspended some of activities at all closed centres on the islands, including provision of transport to and from these sites.

“UNHCR is not a party to the EU-Turkey deal, nor will we be involved in returns or detention,” the agency said in a press release. “We will continue to assist the Greek authorities to develop an adequate reception capacity.”

Read Full Article: UN News Centre – UN rights chief concerned over ‘collective expulsion’ of migrants after EU-Turkey deal.


News: UN refugee agency redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect

22 March 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency has announced that it is “not a party” to the new provisions agreed between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, and that it will align its work to cope with the deal.

Till now, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the authorities in the so-called “hotspots” on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants were received, assisted, and registered. Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect this past Sunday, these sites have now become detention facilities, and all new “irregular” migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey.

UNHCR has a policy on opposing mandatory detention. Accordingly, it has suspended some of activities at all closed centres on the islands, including provision of transport to and from these sites.

“UNHCR is not a party to the EU-Turkey deal, nor will we be involved in returns or detention,” the agency said in a press release. “We will continue to assist the Greek authorities to develop an adequate reception capacity.”

Read Full Article: UN News Centre – UN refugee agency redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect.


Daily News and Updates on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies 05/27/2016

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Daily News and Updates from ReliefWeb 05/27/2016

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Is there a silver lining to the EU-Turkey deal?


Source: The New Arab Source: The New Arab

While managing to circumvent many asylum obligations, both in terms of EU policy and international law, the EU-Turkey refugee deal is stunningly shocking, leading the humanitarian community to object and even protest on the ground.

MSF only last week announced that it would withdraw from the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul this month and has previously withdrawn from the Moria Camp in Greece.

The “refugee crisis” in Europe, which represents a fraction of what Middle East regional states are experiencing, and its management, is an omnishambles. Efforts to create a Common European Asylum System never really solidified, despite work to develop a blueprint for asylum seeking registration.

In practice, each of the 28 states have their own way of dealing with refugees, which have ranged from open pathways to riot tactics and blockades.

The agreement between Brussels and Ankara was an attempt to be innovative, perhaps…

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Daily News and Updates on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies 05/26/2016

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Daily News and Updates from ReliefWeb 05/26/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.