Daily Archives: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Report on `Beyond Borders’: the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archivists

Beyond BordersReport on:

Beyond Borders: San Diego 2012 – the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists

Beyond Borders - Full Programme

Beyond Borders – Full Programme

During early August 2012, at the height of the Olympic glow in the East End of London where I live and work, it seemed almost surreal to be preparing myself for a trip to the West Coast of the United States in order to attend the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) to be held in San Diego.  I had been very fortunate to receive a bursary from the Section for International Engagement at the Archives and Records Association in order for me to be able to attend the Conference, and several months after originally being approached to submit a panel paper, it was hard to believe that the time to fly had actually come.

My background is as the Archivist responsible for the Refugee Council Archive, located on the Docklands Campus of the University of East London, (UEL).  This represents the archival collection which was developed and maintained by the British Refugee Council from the early 1950s through to the late 1990s.  It was with this association in mind, that I was initially contacted by Anna Marie Mallett, Vietnamese American Heritage Archivist at The Vietnam Centre and Archive, Texas Tech University, to see if I would be interested in forming a panel session for the 2012 SAA conference on the subject of refugee archives.  The conference theme for 2012 was centred around the idea of `Beyond Borders’ which seemed to fit nicely with the work we were all doing in relation to working with archival collections relating to refugee communities.  The conference was scheduled to take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel with the Pre-Conference Programs taking place between August 5, 2012 – August 7, 2012 and the main Conference Datesbeing between August 6, 2012 – August 11, 2012. A full `Beyond Borders’ Conference Program is available for reference.

I will admit to a little apprehension having never previously presented at an international conference, but felt equally this was a unique opportunity to gain and share professional experience within an international archival setting.  Our panel proposal subsequently became session number 509, entitled, “Beyond Resettlement: Overcoming Hurdles to Document the Experiences and Contributions of Refugees.”  It was now down to me to secure the funding to make the trip actually happen and after making contact with the Archives and Records Association; I elected to apply for their International Engagement bursary.  I applied in hope rather than expectation and I was certainly taken by surprise when the award of the bursary was confirmed.

I arrived in San Diego on the evening of Wednesday 7thAugust and after a

San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel

San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel
© Paul V. Dudman.

long but largely uneventful flight from London Heathrow to San Diego via Philadelphia.  The Hilton Bayfront Hotel is situated on a wonderful location, situated as it is right next to the San Diego harbour.  After a suitably refreshing San Diego breakfast the following morning, it was time to start the conference proper with the first plenary session, which included the keynote address given by John Voss, and entitled Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data on the Web.” 

During the next three days, I was able to attend a number of interesting and informative presentations and in hindsight I only wish I could have attended more of the sessions that were on offer.  The following sessions were particularly noteworthy:

SESSION 102 – Archiving Mujeres: Un Movimiento Toward Greater Indiscriminate and Inclusive Recordkeeping Practices Within Information Repositories.

This panel provided an interesting account of some of the work that is being done in an attempt to record and preserve the diverse experiences of Latinas and to make their testimonies more visible within the archival record.

SESSION 203 – To the Community and Beyond: Engaging Users to Interact with Participatory Archives.
This panel session provided a thought provoking discussion on how the combination of outreach and new social media tools could be used to reach those especially under-documented communities in order to help encourage them to tell their stories and to share their history.  Each of the speakers presented their own approaches to the use of technology within an outreach context to help discover and document those testimonies that may be overlooked by more traditional archival approaches to acquisition and dissemination.

SESSION 509 - Beyond Resettlement: Overcoming Hurdles to Document the Experiences and Contributions of Refugees

SESSION 509 – Beyond Resettlement: Overcoming Hurdles to Document the Experiences and Contributions of Refugees
© Paul V. Dudman.

SESSION 405 – Contesting History in the Archives
This panel session provided the basis for the speakers to consider how the role of history can be contested from within the archives, with a particular emphasis on the growth of women’s studies and also minorities studies.  The panellists reflected upon the need for an increasingly diverse archival collection in order to meet the growing needs of historical scholarship, which is moving beyond the traditional areas of study to examine the roles of previous under-discussed communities within society.  This was a subject close to my own heart in relation to the Refugee Council Archive as the University of East London has been running a postgraduate MA Course in Refugee Studies.  Indeed, I kept being reminded of the 2007 article by Philip Marfleet entitled `Why we must address the past’ in which the author argues, “Why have historians ignored most refugee movements and `silenced’ those involved? Can refugees be re-installed on the historical record?”[i]

The Vietnam Centre and Archive

The Vietnam Centre and Archive

Our Session 509 took place on the Saturday morning between 8am and  9:30 am in room  Indigo D.  The speakers for our panel session included Anna Marie Mallett, Vietnamese American Heritage Archivist at The Vietnam Centre and Archive, Texas Tech University, Christina Woo, Research Librarian for Chicano/Latino Studies, Linguistics, Women’s Studies, Athletics, and the Southeast Asian Archive in University of California, Irvine (UCI) Libraries, and Thúy Võ Đặng, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of

SEAA Brochure

SEAA Brochure

Asian American Studies at UCI.  For the record, my paper was entitled, “Rescuing Refugee Archives: Preserving the history of the refugee experience, a UK perspective.”  In the preparation for this paper, I had attempted to explore the concept of the refugee as being a traditionally under-documented and under-represented group within the broad remit of the archival record and this was to prove a reoccurring theme throughout all of the papers within our panel.

Thúy Võ Đặng’s paper focused on the collection of oral histories from the local Vietnamese American Community,

The Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP) at UC Irvine

The Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP) at UC Irvine

which has provided the basis for the Vietnamese Oral History Project at UCI.  This project began in 2011 with aim of assembling, preserving, digitising, and disseminating the life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California.  Once completed, the oral histories will be preserved at the Southeast Asian Archive  at UC Irvine Libraries. Indeed, the official library website for this project was launched on the 24 October, 2012 with press coverage including both The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

Christina Woo’s presentation investigated the work being undertaken by staff at the Southeast Asian Archive in attempting to use material from the Archive in their outreach work with local communities.  Anna Marie Mallett, focused her presentation on her work as the Vietnamese American Heritage Archivist at The Vietnam Centre and Archive, in a paper entitled, ` Saving the Voices of Au Lac.’

I found the experience of attending the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists to be a very informative and rewarding one.    It was a wonderful opportunity to mix and network with colleagues, both from the United States and internationally, to see at first hand the successful and stimulating work that is being undertaken to help preserve the records and testimonies of many communities in many different ways. It has also reinforced the belief that there is still much work to be done in order to understand how archival institutions can best work with refugee and other communities to record and document their voices for posterity.  However, The Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archivesthere is still much left to do and It is perhaps good timing therefore, that we have just witnessed here in the UK, the launch of the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives which is a campaign dedicated to the preservation of our voluntary sector archives.

A San Diego Sunset

A San Diego Sunset

Before flying home, there is was a little time left to relax and explore the many amenities and places of interest that San Diego has to offer.  Being my first time in the United States, I was curious to experience as much as possible.  My

San Diego Seaport Village

San Diego Seaport Village
© Paul V. Dudman.

last full day in San Diego was therefore spent trying to visit as many places of interest as I could.  In the short time that I had, I was able to visit the amazing beach at Coronado; the shops and restaurants and San Diego Seaport Village; a tour of the city on a San Diego Old Town Trolley, (incorporating a tour of Balboa Park); and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  However, as a final footnote to this posting, it was interesting to note that whilst exploring the Maritime Museum of San Diego, I was able to explore the nineteenth-century sailing ship the Star of India.  The Star of India, under her former name of Euterpe. Had spent almost 25 years has an emigrant ship transporting mainly British emigrants from London to the New Zealand and Australia.  After experiencing a very engaging seminar on the issues concerning refugee archives, this just helped reinforce that the refugee experience is always around us and often appears in the places that you least expect it!

The Star of India

The Star of India

[i] Marfleet, Philip. (2007). Refugees and History: Why We Must Address the Past.  Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 136-148.

Report on the Launch of the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives, House of Lords, Monday 15 October 2012

Launch of the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives

House of Lords, Monday 15th October 2012

Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives

Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives

On Monday 15th October 2012 I was fortunate to be able to attend the Launch of the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives, (CVSA) at the House of Lords.  The Campaign launch was sponsored by Baroness Pitkeathley and funded by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

The idea for the Campaign originated with the Voluntary Action History Society (VAHS) who have long been aware of the importance of the Archives of charities and voluntary sector organisations, both large and small, the importance of helping to preserve these collections for future generations.  Indeed, a survey conducted by the VAHS in the 1990s of larger voluntary organisations indicated there were significant issues faced by these organisations in continuing to preserving their archives and to make them available for researchers.  Similar issues were involved in relation to some of the refugee archives we look after here at the University of East London.  We were fortunate to be able to secure the long term future for the archive of the British Refugee Council and we also hold several smaller collections of charitable organisations who had been working in the refugee sphere but are sadly no longer in operation.  These collections are currently awaiting cataloguing.

The Campaign was therefore born out of the genuine concern for the need to preserve, make accessible and to save from neglect the archives and records from across the voluntary sector.  As the VAHS so eloquently argue, “We cannot write the history of Britain without recourse to the records of voluntary organisations.”[i]   There is currently very little legal protection for charity archives at present, as they are covered by the same legal protection as public records, which will normally be deposited within the protection of the National Archives at Kew. In addition to the legal issues relating to voluntary sector archives, the VAHS has been aware of a several ongoing issues for voluntary sector organisations in relation to the continued preservation of their archives, whether it is issues pertaining to knowing which records to keep; a lack of resources, especially within smaller organisations, in being able to maintain their archives and the new challenges faced by these organisations in relation to born digital records.

The result of this concern in relation to voluntary sector archives resulted in

Campaign Launch at the House of Lords

Campaign Launch at the House of Lords.
© Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives.

the agreement to establish the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives.  An initial action group had met in October 2011 at the British Library, and this had included representatives from both national charities like the Red Cross and the Children’s Society, and `trusts and foundations including The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Barrow Cadbury Trust, together with academics, librarians and archivists from a range of bodies including the British Library, The National Archives, London School of Economics, British Records Association and the Charity Archives and Records Management group, (CHARM).’[ii]

After much planning, preparation and organisation, the invite-only Launch of the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives took place at the House of Lords on Monday 15th October 2012.  The launch event consisted of both an afternoon and an evening progamme.  A full programme of all of the speakers in both sessions is still available online.  The afternoon session took place in  Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords, with a welcome and introductory speech by Baroness Pitkeathley to begin.  This was followed by two panel discussions, the first being on `The Business Case for Archives of Voluntary Organisations’ which included short presentations from Matthew Hilton, Professor of Social History, University of Birmingham;  David McCullough, Chief Executive, WRVS; and Judy Burg, University Archivist, Hull History Centre.  After questions and discussion, this was followed by the second panel session on the complimentary panel session on `The Role of Trusts and Foundations’, which included presentationsfrom Diana Leat, Board Member, The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund; Carole Souter, Chief Executive, Heritage Lottery Fund; and Anna Southall, Trustee, Barrow Cadbury Trust.  The evening session took place in the River Room at the House of Lords and featured presentations byhistorian and MP Tristram Hunt, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes Ruth Bond and Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives.

In an attempt to avoid re-inventing the wheel, an excellent summary of the main points raised by each of these speakers has been included in a blog posting on the VAHS blog entitled, `Launching the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives’ by Dr. Georgina Brewis, who is one of the organising committee behind the CVRS campaign launch.  One of the core aims of the Campaign is to seek to involve a wide range of stakeholders to actively support voluntary sector archives and to help support this; a new website and Listserv were also launched as part of the event at the House of Lords.  Further information on the aims and objectives of the Campaign can be found on the website at www.voluntarysectorarchives.org.uk.  Without wanting to take to much of the credit, I was asked by Brenda Weeden of the Campaign organising time if I would be prepared to set-up the CVSA Jiscmail Listserv in order to help support the Campaign.  I am please to say that this is now up and running and further details can be found online here: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=VOLUNTARY-SECTOR-ARCHIVES



As a final note, the Voluntary Action History Society are currently in the process of planning for their 2013 annual conference.  Voluntary Action History Society Fifth International Conference to be held at the University of Huddersfield, between 10-12 July 2013.  Further details on this Conference and the Call for Papers can be found on the VAHS website at:  http://www.vahs.org.uk/events/conference/

For further information background articles, please refer to the following links and resources:

Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives:  http://www.voluntarysectorarchives.org.uk/

Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives Listserv:


Voluntary Action History Society:


A slide show of images is available at: http://www.voluntarysectorarchives.org.uk/events

A list of write-ups is at:  http://www.voluntarysectorarchives.org.uk/press

[i] Voluntary History Action Society  (2012).  Archives.  Available at: http://www.vahs.org.uk/archives/  (Accessed: 6 November 2012).

[ii] Voluntary History Action Society  (2012).  Archives.  Available at: http://www.vahs.org.uk/archives/  (Accessed: 6 November 2012).



Report on the Workshop on South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement, RSC, Saturday, October 06, 2012

Report on the Workshop on South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement

Date: 10:00am, Saturday, October 06, 2012

Presenter/Convenor: Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh / RSC

Location: Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Workshop Report

Workshop Report

On Saturday 6 October 2012 I attended the one-day workshop at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford entitled South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Displacement.  This workshop represented an initial event as part of the Refugee Studies Centre research project on South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement.

The programme for the event was as follows:


09.45–10.10    Registration (Tea/Coffee)

10.10–10.20    Welcome and Introduction, Prof. Dawn Chatty (Director, RSC, Oxford University)

10.20–10.30    Opening Remarks, Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (RSC, Oxford University)

10.30–11.15    Opening Lecture: Contemporary Humanitarian Action and the Role of Southern Actors: Key trends and debates, Simone Haysom (Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute)

11.15–13.00    Session 1: South-South Civil Society Responses to Displacement: Past and Present, Chair: Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (RSC, Oxford University)

  • Bottom-Up, Not Top-Down: Accommodating the displaced in mid-Albania in 1918, Beryl Nicholson (Independent researcher, UK)
  • An Activist’s Perspective on South-South Humanitarianism in North-West Bangladesh, Rumana Hashem (University of East London)
  • South-South Faith-Based Humanitarianism: Understanding the Social and Spiritual Capital of Local Faith Communities, Helen Stawski (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Deputy Secretary for International Development)

13.00–13.45    Lunch

13.45–15.30    Session 2: Southern Host States’ Responses to Different Forms of Displacement: Humanitarianism or Politics? Chair: Simone Haysom (Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute)

  • Who Is a Refugee? Explaining Variation in African Host State Policies, Alexander Betts (RSC, Oxford University)
  • Contradictions in South-South Counter-Trafficking Initiatives: A case-study of post-war Iraq, Julia Smith (IOM Iraq)

15.30–15.45    Coffee

15.45–16.45    Session 3 Beyond Hosting: The Politics of Southern Donor States, Chair: Jeff Crisp ( Policy Development and Evaluation Service-UNHCR)

  • Controversial South-South Humanitarianism: Brazil’s performance in post-disaster Haiti and towards Haitian displacement to Brazil, Diana Zacca Thomaz (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil) and Fernando Brancoli (San Tiago Dantas Program, Brazil)
  • South-South Humanitarianism and its Impact(s): Reflections on the Sri Lankan experience, Bhavani Fonseka (Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka)

16.45–17.15    Closing Remarks, Jeff Crisp ( Policy Development and Evaluation Service- UNHCR)

17.15–17.30    By Means of Conclusion: Future steps, Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (RSC)

The purpose of the day was to investigate issues surrounding South-South humanitarian partnerships in relation to the context of forced migration and displacement.  For a long time research has focused upon the responses of the North, primarily Europe and North America, and their humanitarian responses to displacement-induced humanitarian situations within a Southern context.  Whilst there has been research on issues pertaining to South-South development programmes, there is a need to further explore the issues surrounding the growing models of South-South humanitarian intervention.

The purpose of this workshop was therefore to provide a `critical reflection upon the various histories, modes of operation and implications of diverse “alternative” models of humanitarian action; such critical analysis is particularly important given increasing governmental and UN interest in Southern-led humanitarianism for a variety of financial and political reasons.’

It is hoped that this will be the first of a number of events exploring different aspects of Southern humanitarian responses to displacement.  A Workshop Report on South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement, written by Julia Pacitto, has now been published and is now available to download from http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/publications/rsc-reports/wr-south-south-humanitarianism-261012.pdf/view

In the Refugee Studies Centre press release for this report, it is argued:

This workshop report offers a thematic discussion of the main issues covered throughout the course of the international workshop on ‘South-South humanitarian responses to forced displacement’ convened by Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford in October 2012, in addition to presenting areas and questions for further research.

The workshop was generously supported by the Oxford Department of International Development and Refugee Studies Centre (University of Oxford) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Policy Development and Evaluation Service (UNHCR-PDES). Dr. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s broader research project, South-South Humanitarianism in Contexts of Forced Displacement, is funded by an Oxford University Fell Fund Award (2012-2013).

This Workshop report reflects the papers presented and key themes and questions arising out of the workshop.  In addition, there is also now a podcast of the keynote presentation by Simone Haysom of the Humanitarian Policy Group is now available to download from the RSC webpage, alongside links to two of the papers which Simone referred to in her presentation: http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/south-south-humanitarianism.

The background paper underpinning the workshop will be available to download from this page in October 2012. A selection of the papers presented at the workshop will in turn be published as part of the RSC Working Paper Series and in a peer-reviewed journal Special Issue or edited collection.


Brief Resume of the Conference of the Migration Statistics User Forum, 18 September 2012

Brief Resume of the Conference of the Migration Statistics User Forum

18 September 2012 10:30 – 16:00 Registration from 9:30

Home Office HQ, 2 Marsham Street, London SWIP 4DF

On Tuesday 18th September, I was able to attend the 2012 annual conference organised by the Migration Statistics User Forum in partnership with the Home Office Statistics.  The purpose of my attendance at this session was to learn more about the methods and approaches employed in the collection of statics in relation to migration within the UK.  According to the introductory text used to advertise this full day workshop:

 “This day event has been designed to appeal to a wide range of users of migration statistics and relates to the Migration Statistics User Forum’s aims to provide a forum for discussion on migration statistics and to enable users to discuss their needs and use of data and for producers to consult on presentation and changes.”

This conference provided an excellent opportunity to gain some valuable background knowledge on both the work being done and the problems faced in the collection of statistics in relating to migration.  The day enabled me to learn more about the work being done by the Home Office, the Office for National Statistics; the European Migration Network; the House of Commons Library and the Migration Advisory Committee in collecting both national and international statistics on all aspects of the migratory experience.  A number of publications were also made available on the day for participants and these will be added to the Refugee Council Archive in due course.

The Migration Statistics User Forum runs a JISCMAIL list which is open to anyone that wishes to join.  As detailed, the aim of the Forum is as follows:

This is a forum for discussion of migration statistics that allows users to discuss their need for and use of the data and for producers to consult on presentation and changes. The main focus will be on figures for the United Kingdom, but this would not exclude discussion of migration statistics for other countries”.

The list can be joined by following the link here: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=MIGRATION-STATS).

In addition, many of the presentations detailed above have been made available in the filestore area of the JISCMAIL list, which should be accessible via:



Feedback on World Disasters Report Launch, Thursday 18th October, 2012

Launch of the World Disasters Report 2012 on Forced Migration and Displacement’

Held at the Overseas Development Institute on Thursday 18th October, 2012, 1230-1400.

World Disasters Report 2012

On Thursday 18th October 2012, I attended the launch of the 2012 World Disasters Report held at the Overseas Development Institute.  The World Development Report (WDR) is an annual flagship publication of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, (ICRC) and for this year’s report focused specifically on the subject of `forced migration and displacement’ and thereby focusing upon `people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and developmental projects.’

The launch event was chaired by David Peppiatt, international director for the British Red Cross; and the speakers included Professor Roger Zetter who was the editor of WDR 2012 and who is based at the University of Oxford; Dr. Sara Pantuliano who is head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute and Dr. Nando Sigono who is Senior Research Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and also a contributor to WDR 2012.

In his introduction to the session, David Peppiatt stressed that whilst the WDR 2012 is produced by the ICRC, it continues to be an annual independent report, which incorporates the very valuable CRED database of disasters.  David highlighted the many different forms of vulnerability faced by those who experience forced migration and displacement and that their situation is often both complex and multi-faceted.

A video-clip produced by the IFRC and is available as follows:

In his talk, Professor Roger Zetter reinforced the point that he had been granted complete editorial freedom in the preparation of the report and argued that its significance could not be over-emphasised.  It represented, Zetter argued, an urgent and timely review of humanitarian assistance and which covers a broad range of issues.  Zetter highlighted one of the key statistics in the book that there are currently 73 million forced migrants in the word, which represents about 1 in every 1,000 of the world’s citizens.  was also the issue of the urbanisation of forced displacement as the majority of refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs) now live in urban areas, rather than camps.

Issues surrounding urbanisation were further developed by Dr. Sara Pantuliano, whose team at Humanitarian Policy Group, had contributed a chapter to WDR 2012 on `Forced Migration in an Urban Context.’  This talk reinforced the fact that urban displacement is an increasing phenomenon with manifold and overlapping causes.  Dr. Pantuliano discussed the role of the Humanitarian Policy Group in contributing their chapter to the final report.  A copy of Dr. Pantuliano’s presentation is now available for download from the ODI website – [Download Here].

Dr. Nando Sigona’s paper concentrated on the `Relationship between migration and mobility in relation to the Arab Spring.’ Dr. Sigona’s paper touched upon a number of issues which have arisen in light of the recent events around the Arab Spring.  These included issues relating to migrants who were already living in Libya prior to the uprising and who, as a consequence of the conflict, were further displaced; and the case of Syrian refugees in Iraq and who held responsibility for their protection as they were facing victimisation from both side in the conflict.

A copy of the report was given to every attendee at the launch event and the

Click the image above to access our new World Disasters Report microsite.

Click the image above to access our new World Disasters Report microsite.

Archive copy will be added to stock in due course.  Further information on the actual report can be found from details in the introduction to the report, namely:

From the executive summary:  “This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on forced migration and on the people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and development projects, whose numbers are increasing inexorably each year. The enormous human costs of forced migration – destroyed homes and livelihoods, increased vulnerability, disempowered communities, and collapsed social networks and common bonds – demand urgent and decisive action by both humanitarian and development actors.

The report analyses the complex causes of forced migration and its consequences and impacts on displaced populations, their hosts and humanitarian actors. It looks at the significant gaps in humanitarian protection for ever-increasing numbers of forced migrants who do not fit into conventional categories of protection, and the public health challenges caused by forced displacement, particularly for women, children and those with mental ill-health problems. It examines the ‘urbanization’ of forced migration, the role of climate change and environmental factors in forced displacement and how new communications, information and social networking technologies are reshaping the links between aid providers and migrants. It also tracks humanitarian funding for forcibly displaced populations, as well as the positive and negative economic impacts they have on host communities and countries.

The report is also available as a complete PDF document in English; alternatively, readers can access individual chapters via the special microsite established for WDR2012.  Also available is a “data dashboard,” with statistical figures for specific disasters and their consequences, and a video section.

Summaries of the report can be retrieved in Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Upper Tribunal confirms the legitimacy of the new immigration rules – but questions their completeness

UK Human Rights Blog

MF (Article 8 – new rules) Nigeria [2012] UKUT 00393(IAC) – read judgment

This tribunal decision is the first to tackle the so-called “codification” of Article 8 considerations in immigration law (see  Adam’s post  on the Home Office’s proposals earlier this year).

Before the new immigration rules were introduced in July,  cases involving Article 8 ECHR ordinarily required a two-stage assessment: (1) first to assess whether the decision appealed against was in accordance with the immigration rules; (2) second to assess whether the decision was contrary to the appellant’s Article 8 rights. In immigration decisions, there was no doubt that human rights were rooted in primary legislation: s.84(1)(c) and (g) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act  2002, the “2002 Act”) allows an appeal to be brought against a decision which unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) (public authority not to act contrary to…

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Event Reminder: Women and the Arab Spring

Please find details below for the following CMRB/Centre for Gender Studies (SOAS) event: Women & The Arab Spring.

It takes place 8th December, 2-5pm at SOAS’ Khalili Theatre.

Women and the Arab Spring

All details in the attached poster and are reproduced below:

CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) (University of East London) and the Centre for Gender Studies (SOAS) would like to invite you to a symposium on the question of


Which will take place at the Khalili Lecture Theatre in SOAS (http://www.soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/)

Saturday 8th December, 2-5pm

Confirmed Speakers:

Prof. Nadje Al Ali, SOAS

Layla El-Wafi, Women4Lybia

Afaf Jabiri, SOAS

Dr. Mariz Tadros, IDS

Prof. Sami Zubaida, Birkbeck

Chair: Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, UEL

Discussant: Dr. Ruba Salih, SOAS

The event is free but places are limited so please RSVP to Jamie Hakim, CMRB administrator (j.hakim@uel.ac.uk).

Dr. Ruba Salih, Director of the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS  http://www.soas.ac.uk/genderstudies/

Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, CMRB UEL Director

Prof. Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies and Chair of the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction. Nadje is a feminist and peace activist–academic who co-founded Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq in the late 90s. During this period she also started to get involved with Women in Black UK. Nadje is currently President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS). And a member of the Feminist Review Collective.

Layla El-Wafi, Women4Lybia

Layla El-Wafi is an English qualified lawyer who also has experience working with international and local NGOs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as in New York and London. She is of mixed Libyan and Egyptian heritage, speaks Arabic and regularly travels across the MENA region. Layla is a founding member of Women4Libya which is a priority initiative of the Libyan Civil Society Organisation (LSCO).

Afaf Jabiri, SOAS

Afaf Jabiri is a leading women’s rights activist in Jordan and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Serving as a board member of the Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU) since the 1990s, she worked to establish its hotline and shelter for women survivors of violence, a first in Jordan and the Arab region. In the last four years, Ms. Jabiri served as an advisor on gender-based violence and women’s rights for various UN agencies. Ms. Jabiri is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Gender Studies/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Dr. Mariz Tadros, IDS

Mariz Tadros is an Egyptian political scientist and research Fellow with the Participation, Power and Social Change team at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. She is the author of Democracy redefined or confined?: The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt (Routledge 2012). Her contributions have featured in The Guardian, openDemocracy and The Middle East Report. Prior to joining IDS, she worked as an assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, and has almost ten years of experience as a journalist working for Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper in Egypt.

Prof. Sami Zubaida, Birkbeck

Sami Zubaida is emeritus professor of politics and sociology at Birkbeck College, London. He is the author of Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2011). His earlier books include Islam, the People and the State: Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East (IB Tauris, 1993); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2001); and Law and Power in the Islamic World  (IB Tauris, 2005).

To download the poster in PDF format, click here: [Women and the Arab Spring].

Event Reminder: Haim Bresheeth and Yosefa Loshitzky Festschrift

Please find attached and reproduced below details for the following CMRB/CMFS event: Haim Bresheeth and Yosefa Loshitzky’s Festschrift.

It takes place on Friday 16th November, 16.00–18.30 at SOAS’ Vernon Square Campus, room V211.

All details in the attached poster: Haim Bresheeth Yosefa Loshitzky Festschrift (PDF format).

Haim Bresheeth and Yosefa Loshitzky Festschrift

CMRB– the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging

Haim Bresheeth and Yosefa Loshitzky's Festschrift

(University of East London) –and CMFS – the Centre for Media and Film Studies (School of Oriental and African Studies) – would like to invite you to a celebration of the contributions to the fields of cultural and film studies, Israel/Palestine and Holocaust studies, as well as the academic leadership achievements of Professsors Haim Bresheeth and Yosefa Loshitzky.

Time: 16.00–18.30, Friday 16th November

Place: V211, Vernon Square Campus, SOAS http://www.soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/

We hope that many of you would also like to join us for dinner at 19.00 at a nearby restaurant

Rasa Maricham ,1 King’s Cross Road, WC1X 9HX 020 7833 9787 http://www.rasarestaurants.com/UserPages/Viewrestaurantdetails.aspx?restid=42

Confirmed speakers:

Prof. Tim Bergfelder, University of Southampton

Prof. Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton

Dr. Nir Cohen, SOAS

Dr. Gali Gold, Curator and archivist, Barbican Cinemas

Prof. Ronit Lentin, Trinity College, Dublin

Prof. Phil Marfleet, University of East London

Prof. Nur Masalha, St. Mary’s University College

Dr. Anat Pick, Queen Mary’s College

Prof. Gavin Poynter, University of East London

The event is free but places are limited so please RSVP to Jamie Hakim, CMRB administrator (j.hakim@uel.ac.uk). Please mention whether you plan to join us for dinner.

Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, CMRB Director (UEL)

Dr. Dina Matar, Director of Centre for Media and Film Studies (SOAS)


Event: MENA Solidarity Network – “Teachers and the Arab Spring: Eyewitness reports from Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain”

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

MENA Solidarity Network

*Teachers and the Arab Spring*

*Eyewitness reports from Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain*

Monday 12 November, 7.30pm

Committee Room 8, House of Commons, SW1A 2TT


*Mohamed Sghaier Saihi: UGTT union federation, teachers’ spokesman in the Kasserine region*

*Mary Compton: NUT activist and editor of Teachersolidarity website, recently returned from a delegation to Egypt*

*Ali Alaswad: Resigned MP from al Wefaq Party, Bahrain*

*Anne Alexander: MENA Solidarity Network*


Katy Clark, MP and Nick Grant, National Executive member, NUT*

Teachers are playing a key role in the revolutionary struggles across the Arab world. Strikes by teachers in Tunisia paved the way for the January 2011 uprising, they were among the founders of the first independent unions in Egypt, while teachers were at the forefront of the movement for democracy in Bahrain which has faced brutal repression. On 21 October, Mahdi Abu Deeb and Jalila al-Salma, leaders of the Bahraini Teachers’ Association were jailed for five years and six months respectively for the “crime” of peaceful protest.

Come and hear at first hand about how teachers in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain are still fighting for social justice and freedom, and about what we can do here to build solidarity with their struggles.

All welcome – please leave enough time to pass through security checks on entering the building

Facebook event here:  http://www.facebook.com/events/456728077710774/

About the speakers:

*Mohamed Sghaier Saihi* is a/UGTT union federation executive member, Kasserine province, and regional spokesman for the teachers’ union.  He will speak about the role of teachers in the Tunisian revolution and the waves of strike and protests which are continuing against the neo-liberal Islamist Ennahda party which leads the current government.

Read more here:  http://menasolidaritynetwork.com/2012/10/21/tunisia-revolutions-heartland-in-revolt-again

*Mary Compton* is a leading activist in the National Union of Teachers and editor of the Teachersolidarity.com website. She visited Egypt earlier this month as part of a delegation organised by MENA Solidarity Network and will be reporting on her meetings with the independent teachers’ unions. http://www.teachersolidarity.com/

*Ali Alaswad* is a resigned Bahraini MP from the largest opposition party Al Wefaq. He was elected in October 2010 and resigned in February 2011, alongside 17 other opposition MP’s, in protest at the violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators. During the period of martial law he left Bahrain after he was targeted by the regime and now lives in London where he continues his work for democracy in Bahrain. He will give an update on the case of Mahdi Abu Deeb and Jalila al-Salman after their recent sentencing, and the situation more generally for teachers in Bahrain.

*Anne Alexander* is convenor of the Middle East North Africa Solidarity Network and a member of UCU. MENA Solidarity is a network of activists from different UK trade unions engaged in building solidarity links with workers in the Middle East and North Africa in support of their struggle for social justice and workers’ rights.  Our steering group includes activists from the PCS, RMT, UNITE, UCU, NUJ and MPs John McDonnell and Katy Clark.

We are supported by NUT, UCU, PCS, Barnet TUC, Brent TUC, Cambridge TUC, Chesterfield TUC, Manchester TUC, Haldane Society, Haringey TUC, London Transport Region RMT, London Region UCU, Unison London Fire Authority.

Further information: www.menasolidaritynetwork.com; and www.facebook.com/mena.solidarity
Follow on Twitter: – @menasolidarity


Refugee Council: Off Air Recording Requests: WB 11 Novemeber 2012

The following off-air recording requests have been made for the Refugee Council Archive for the week beginning Sunday 11 November, 2012.  Details are as follows:

Sunday 11 November

2100-2200: BBC1: (8/8).  Andrew Marr’s History of the World (Series 1 Part 7: Age of Extremes).  Series Recording.

2100-2200: Channel 4: (6/12). Homeland.  (Series 2 Part 6 A Gettysburg Address).  Series Recording.

Monday 12 November

2000-2100: Channel 4: Dispatches – Chinese Murder Mystery: Channel 4 Dispatches Special.

2030-2100: BBC1: Panorama.

Wednesday 14 November

2100-2200: BBC1: (4/4) Brazil with Michael Palin. (Series 1 Part 3 – The Deep South). Series Recording.

Thursday 15 November

2000-2100: ITV4: Border Security USA.  (Series 1 Episode 5).  Series Recording.

 Friday 16 November.

1930-1955: Channel 4: Unreported World – (Episode 3 Dominican Republic: Baseball Dreams).  Series Recording.