Daily Archives: Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “Accommodation centres are much more than means of securing asylum seekers’ housing needs. They are an embodiment of asylum and immigration policies. To understand these policies and their effects on asylum seekers, we need to ask what interests different institutional actors have in keeping asylum seekers in the centres. Based on the study of accommodation centres in the Czech Republic, in this paper I argue that the centres serve as tools of migration control. The prolonged confinement of a highly diverse group of people produced by the interconnectedness between asylum and immigration policies leads to asylum seekers’ disillusionment about the asylum procedure and nourishes various illicit activities. The centres enable state institutions to determine the nature of assistance available to asylum seekers, including legal aid provided by non-governmental organizations. By actively promoting the image of accommodation centres as benign places, the state also controls the dominant representation of refugee reception. In everyday practices in the centres, control and assistance are closely intertwined and produce an oppressive environment that engenders asylum seekers’ dependency.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In this paper, we analyse wage differences between foreign and Spanish nationals in Spain. This analysis is relevant because Spain has witnessed a sharp increase in the proportion of foreign workers over the past decade. In our analysis, we explicitly account for unobserved heterogeneity at firm level, a situation which occurs when relevant covariates (for example, those connected to a specific firm’s production process) are not included in the model because they are unmeasurable, unobservable or unavailable for the researcher. When accounting for such heterogeneity, our results show that wage gaps between foreign nationals from developing countries and Spanish nationals range between −6.35 per cent and −11.30 per cent. We also find that wage differences, between Spanish nationals and others in the same firm and job, are substantially greater for almost every group of low-tenured foreign workers and also for those holding open-ended contracts.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Unlike in the case of refugees, there is neither an international convention nor a dedicated UN agency in place to protect internally displaced persons. This discrepancy has, however, not stopped the law on internal displacement from emerging, filling the normative void around internal displacement. The UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of 1998, a soft law instrument on the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons, is a success story, having faced disapproval in the past but now being an internationally recognized standard. Most importantly, the principles have become the point of reference for states developing national laws and policies addressing internal displacement. These national developments across the globe are an expression of the recognized and assumed responsibility of national authorities for the displaced and, although such instruments show shortcomings and weaknesses, their greater good for the better protection of internally displaced persons is undeniable. While national instruments on the protection of internally displaced persons are a still emerging tool of protection, they are also the future of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Border guards are the first actors that asylum-seekers and refugees encounter when crossing national borders to seek asylum. What assures the capacity of border guards is training and, in the European context, the European Union border agency Frontex has developed a common border guard training regime that European Union Member States have participated in forming. This article asks what impact this Frontex training has brought to the field of European Union external border management. Building upon the works of sociological institutionalists, it argues that Frontex training has brought an integrative effect to the field with the effects of socialization and professionalization at a European level. These effects, which are brought through the use of common training and training materials, have promoted the sharing of the views of border guards and the creation of a professional community at the European level. This implies that the way that policies are implemented on the ground is largely shifting toward convergence. It is also identified that what supports the high degree of participation in Frontex training is the understanding of Member States that participation converges with their interests in relation to others in the same field. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Background

    Despite the fact that the Colombian armed conflict has continued for almost five decades there is still very little information on how it affects the mental health of civilians. Although it is well established in post-conflict populations that experience of organised violence has a negative impact on mental health, little research has been done on those living in active conflict zones. Medecins Sans Frontieres provides mental health services in areas of active conflict in Colombia and using data from these services we aimed to establish which characteristics of the conflict are most associated with specific symptoms of mental ill health.
    Methods

    An analysis of clinical data from patients (N = 6,353), 16 years and over, from 2010–2011, who consulted in the Colombian departments (equivalent to states) of Narino, Cauca, Putumayo and Caqueta. Risk factors were grouped using a hierarchical cluster analysis and the clusters were included with demographic information as predictors in logistic regressions to discern which risk factor clusters best predicted specific symptoms.
    Results

    Three clear risk factor clusters emerged which were interpreted as ‘direct conflict related violence’, ‘personal violence not directly conflict-related’ and ‘general hardship’. The regression analyses indicated that conflict related violence was more highly related to anxiety-related psychopathology than other risk factor groupings while non-conflict violence was more related to aggression and substance abuse, which was more common in males. Depression and suicide risk were represented equally across risk factor clusters.
    Conclusions

    As the largest study of its kind in Colombia it demonstrates a clear impact of the conflict on mental health. Among those who consulted with mental health professionals, specific conflict characteristics could predict symptom profiles. However, some of the highest risk outcomes, like depression, suicide risk and aggression, were more related to factors indirectly related to the conflict. This suggests a need to focus on the systemic affects of armed conflict and not solely on direct exposure to fighting. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Unlike in the case of refugees, there is neither an international convention nor a dedicated UN agency in place to protect internally displaced persons. This discrepancy has, however, not stopped the law on internal displacement from emerging, filling the normative void around internal displacement. The UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of 1998, a soft law instrument on the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons, is a success story, having faced disapproval in the past but now being an internationally recognized standard. Most importantly, the principles have become the point of reference for states developing national laws and policies addressing internal displacement. These national developments across the globe are an expression of the recognized and assumed responsibility of national authorities for the displaced and, although such instruments show shortcomings and weaknesses, their greater good for the better protection of internally displaced persons is undeniable. While national instruments on the protection of internally displaced persons are a still emerging tool of protection, they are also the future of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Purpose – Purpose: The purpose of the research reported in this article is to understand how refugees learn to engage with a complex, multimodal information landscape and how their information literacy practice may be constructed to enable them to connect and be included in their new information landscape.

    Design/methodology/approach – The study is framed through practice and socio-cultural theories. A qualitative research design is employed including semi-structured face-to-face interviews and focus groups which are thematically analysed through an information practice lens.

    Findings – Refugees encounter complex and challenging information landscapes that present barriers to their full participation in their new communities. Social inclusion becomes possible where information is provided via sharing through trusted mediators who assist with navigating the information landscape and information mapping, and through visual and social sources.

    Research limitations/implications – The study is local and situated and therefore not empirically generalizable. It does however provide rich, deep description and explanation that is instructive beyond the specific research site and contributes to theory building.

    Practical implications – The study highlights the role, and importance, of social and visual information sources and the key role of service providers as mediators and navigators. Governments, funders and service providers can use these findings to inform their service provision

    Originality/value – This is an original research paper in which the results provide practical advice for those working with refugees and which also extends theories of information literacy practice as an information practice.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • Today, there are many refugees living displaced and often separated from their family and loved ones. A partnership between a corporation, a United Nations function and a non-governmental organization has been formed with the goal of reuniting these refugees. The actors involved are Ericsson, Refugees United, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This results in an interesting and unique corporate responsibility project. The initiative is evaluated and described in this report from a social responsibility perspective by developing a qualitative case study using triangulating methods. The result is a study interesting for all three parties. The assessment showed that the project is advantageous from a social responsibility perspective and it also highlights areas that can be further investigated.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) are considered at high risk for mental health problems, yet few studies focus on single ethnic populations. This study presents results from the largest Afghan UASC mental health survey in the UK. Specifically, the study aims to estimate the prevalence of emotional and behavioural problems and to investigate the associations of these problems with demographic variables, cumulative traumatic events, and care and migration variables. A census sample of 222 Afghan UASC was interviewed using validated self-report screening measures. Emotional and behavioural problems were screened using the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist 37A (HSCL-37A). Pre-migration stressful life events were screened using the Stressful Life Events Questionnaire. Administrative data on care and asylum were provided by the local authority social services and the UK Border Agency. Approximately one-third (31.4 %) scored above cut-offs for emotional and behavioural problems, 34.6 % for anxiety and 23.4 % for depression. Ordinary least squares regression indicated a significant dose–response relationship between total pre-migration traumatic events and distress as well as between increased time in the country and greater behavioural problems. Compound traumatic events in the pre-migration stages of forced migration have a deleterious association with UASC well-being. Increased time in country suggests a possible peer effect for these children. Consistent with other studies on refugee children, it should be stressed that the majority of UASC scored below suggested cut-offs, thus displaying a marked resilience despite the experience of adverse events.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Background

    Screening and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in asylum seekers (AS) may prevent future cases of tuberculosis. As the screening with Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) is costly, the objective of this study was to assess which factors were associated with LTBI and to define a score allowing the selection of AS with the highest risk of LTBI.
    Methods

    In across-sectional study, AS seekers recently arrived in Vaud County, after screening for tuberculosis at the border were offered screening for LTBI with T-SPOT.TB and questionnaire on potentially risk factors. The factors associated with LTBI were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression.
    Results

    Among 393 adult AS, 98 (24.93%) had a positive IGRA response, five of them with active tuberculosis previously undetected. Six factors associated with LTBI were identified in multivariate analysis: origin, travel conditions, marital status, cough, age and prior TB exposure. Their combination leads to a robust LTBI predictive score.
    Conclusions

    The prevalence of LTBI and active tuberculosis in AS is high. A predictive score integrating six factors could identify the asylum seekers with the highest risk for LTBI. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “During the 1980s, approximately three million people migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan and sought refuge in several cities including the city of Karachi. After the initial settlement of the refugees, the international organizations transitioned the health care of these refugees to the two local non-profit service agencies in Karachi. One of these agencies subsidized health care to the refugees under their care and the other agency encouraged the refugees under their care to utilize governmental and non-governmental private health resources at the disposal of general public. Our objective was to measure the effect of health subsidy on the uptake of contraception among Afghan refugee women and compare them to the group of Afghan women without such a subsidy.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Background

    Pervasive refusal syndrome (PRS) is a rare but severe condition, characterised by social withdrawal and a pervasive active refusal in terms of eating, mobilisation, speech and personal hygiene. PRS has been proposed as a new diagnostic entity in child and adolescent psychiatry, although the diagnostic criteria are debated. In the past 10 years there has been an increase in PRS symptoms among asylum-seeking children and adolescents in Sweden. Here, we describe five cases of PRS among asylum-seeking children and adolescents.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Using the Furundzija case as an insight into the relationship between law and psychology, this article focuses on the need for those that work on the legal field to take into account the research developments around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Challenging the claim that the credibility of witness evidence is compromised by PSTD, this article stresses the need for awareness of the complexity around determining the reliability of the memory of a witness with PTSD. It also highlights the distinction between the reliability (accuracy) of a witness account and its credibility (whether it is true or not). These conclusions are highly relevant for asylum and refugee cases where traumatic events on a witness testimony are dismissed as not credible due to inconsistencies or to changes in the details of a witness account.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “BackgroundA small body of evidence demonstrates the challenges faced by migrant communities living with HIV but has yet to consider in-depth the experience of asylum seekers whose residency status is undetermined. The overall aim of our study was to explore the experiences of those who are both living with HIV and seeking asylum. This paper focuses on the stressors precipitated by the HIV diagnosis and by going through the asylum system; as well as participants’ resilience in responding to these stressors and the consequences for their health and wellbeing.MethodsWe conducted an ethnographic study. Fieldwork took place in the UK between 2008–2009 and included: 350 hours of observation at voluntary services providing support to black and minority ethnic groups living with HIV; 29 interviews and four focus group discussions with those who were seeking asylum and living with HIV; and 15 interviews with their health and social care providers. Data were analysed using the constant comparative methodResultsThere were three main stressors that threatened participants’ resilience. First, migration caused them to leave behind many resources (including social support). Second, stigmatising attitudes led their HIV diagnosis to be a taboo subject furthering their isolation. Third, they found themselves trapped in the asylum system, unable to influence the outcome of their case and reliant on HIV treatment to stay alive. Participants were, however, very resourceful in dealing with these experiences. Resilience processes included: staying busy, drawing on personal faith, and the support received through HIV care providers and voluntary organisations. Even so, their isolated existence meant participants had limited access to social resources, and their treatment in the asylum system had a profound impact on perceived health and wellbeing.ConclusionsAsylum seekers living with HIV in the UK show immense resilience. However, their isolation means they are often unable to deal with their treatment in the asylum system, with negative consequences for their perceived health and wellbeing. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Background. Despite the frequency of traumatic or stressful events experienced by refugee children and adolescents prior to migration and following resettlement, the majority do not experience mental health problems emphasising the critical nature of resilience. While a host of factors deemed to be protective of mental health in young refugees have been identified, there has been little research exploring the role of resilience as a distinct psychological construct. This study aimed to explore the nature of psychological resilience in refugee adolescents and the relationship between resilience and depression, other emotional and behavioural problems, and mental health service uptake. Method. One hundred and seventy multiethnic refugee adolescents aged 13–17 from South Australia were administered a survey comprising the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results. Females tended to have higher resilience, as did those adolescents who had been living in Australia longer. Adolescents suffering from depressive symptoms or other emotional or behavioural problems had lower resilience. There was little evidence of an association between resilience scores and exposure to trauma or service utilisation. Discussion. Fostering resilience may be critical to efforts to prevent or reduce mental health problems in refugee adolescents.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Engaging and challenging central institutionalist concepts, this article focuses on the involvement of churches and other Christian organizations in HIV/AIDS programs in South Africa in order to analyze the ensuing organizational dynamics. It argues that the asymmetrical power relations between mostly Northern donors and local churches, within which these organizational dynamics unfold, engender two interlocked processes: on the one hand, institutional isomorphism, which is reflected in the adoption by local actors of the technocratic and official templates promoted by the dominant discourse on civil society and its main protagonist, the nongovernmental organization; and on the other hand, local actors’ deployment of strategies of extraversion that contradict the “paper versions” of faith-based development. This article analyzes how the resulting contradictions are played out and shows how both the compliance with, and the strategic refractions of, organizational templates depend on one another. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This paper locates responses to the 2011 Tottenham riots within a historical analysis of planning, regeneration and the politics of community participation in the London Borough of Haringey. It examines understandings of the role of such participation and related recommendations within three 2012 reports: North London Citizens, an alliance of mostly faith organizations, The Tottenham Community Panel established by Haringey Council and the Riots, Communities and Victims Panel set up by Parliament. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article represents one orientation to postcritical ethnography. Framing research with Burundian children and their teachers in a small city in Appalachia, the author shares the ways postcritical ethnography informed the process and representations of her work. After introducing postcritical ethnography and early beginnings to the research, the author reviews some of the issues children with refugee status endure in U.S. public schools. Using commitments from postcritical ethnography, the author explores the relationships between these children and their teachers, and their teachers and the county in which they teach. Addressing issues of access to resources and professional development, the author situates an account of school discipline at the intersections of refugee status, teacher education, and postcritical ethnography. Throughout, the author narrates the process as an ethnographer and the navigation of the commitments of postcritical ethnography.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In Canada, the mainstream newsprint media contains dominant discourses of multicultural neo-liberalism. This paper explores how migrant domestic workers and migrant farm workers, as well as their citizen-employers, are represented within these discourses. Examined are the ways in which certain emotions are expressed and how these expressions shape certain conditions for migrant workers. A common tendency is that citizens, including citizen-employers of migrant workers, accept, and even claim to love migrant domestic workers and farm workers, so long as they exercise so-called good and obedient behaviour. In cases where migrant workers display any type of resistance, or rejection of the ideal multicultural, loving subject, the loving sentiment is absent. The love is therefore conditional. Lacking in the newsprint media are accounts of the historical and current realities of migrant work as an unfree form of labour. As a result, news coverage neglects a genuine call for solidarity with migrant workers. This paper seeks to deconstruct dominant representations of the subject and the other as a way to challenge them, and make way for anti-oppressive methods of representation.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article examines data from a qualitative study of post-accession Polish migrants living in the UK. We examine themes from our interviews such as ‘dignity’, ‘normality’, ‘happiness’ and the ‘affordability’ and ‘ease’ of life in the UK (compared to Poland). We focus on the autobiographical or intra-personal discursive practices that define what Habib calls migrants’ continuing relationship with their ‘homeland’. We draw on Emirbayer and Mische’s analysis of the relationship between ‘agency’ and what they call ‘embedded temporalities’ to examine the interaction between our participants’ recollections of life in Poland and their evaluation of their present lives in the UK in order to examine the impact of these on their future plans (to stay in the UK or return to Poland). We locate this analysis in what we call a transnational autobiographical field which is a modification of what Levitt and Glick Schiller call a transnational social field. Rather than examine, for example, how decisions to migrate, settle and re-migrate are embedded in inter or trans-personal social relations and networks, in this article we examine the self-dynamics associated with our participants’ articulation of their intra-personal and autobiographical embedded temporalities. Our argument is that articulations of individuals’ pasts, presents and anticipated futures are also significant factors shaping their migration, settlement, and re-migration decisions.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Teaching is a highly personal endeavor shaped by ‘funds of knowledge’ and beliefs about teaching, learning, and students. This case study examines how one Asian immigrant teacher’s personal expectations and beliefs influenced his expectations of students and the teaching and instructional strategies he employed. His expectations of students’ behavior and their failure to conform to his expectations influenced him to utilize more traditional, didactic instructional practices and responses to classroom management dilemmas. It is generally assumed that immigrant and minority students will benefit from exposure to teachers from similar backgrounds, and that ethnically diverse teachers can better prepare minority students for the multicultural workplace and global economy. This study focuses on the role a teacher’s background and experiences play in development of their beliefs about teaching and learning, their expectations of students, and the instructional decisions they make regarding teaching and learning. This study suggests that teachers draw on their personal histories and cultural understandings to create classroom practices which are molded by microcosms of personal ‘funds of knowledge’ and beliefs about teaching and learning. In contrast to conventional wisdom and unquestioned myths, this study emphasizes the importance of knowing that teachers’ cultural backgrounds do not necessarily qualify them to provide the most appropriate instructional environment for students from similar cultural backgrounds. This study suggests that all teachers need to learn to recognize and negotiate the unique social elements culturally diverse students bring to the classroom.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In this article, we utilize the concepts of conceptual metaphors, cultural models, and master myths to discuss the ways by which three new immigrant children, native speakers of Spanish, were developing conceptions of English language, literacy, and learner’s identities. Our findings point to 3 main metaphors that were often implicit in the school environment: (a) writing as procedures, (b) English as success, and (c) learners as test scoring categories. These metaphorical conceptualizations appear to be a reflection of the discourse around No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policies that permeate American school contexts. We argue that this discourse can serve to promote reduced conceptions of literacy (and writing in particular), to essentialize learners’ identities, and to preserve the hegemony of English. We suggest that a focus on meaning during literacy instruction can be helpful in providing opportunities to counteract these conceptions and to foster the development of more robust ones.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Through a focus on the UK’s ‘High Value Migrants’ programme, this article directs attention to how commercial migration laws and policies of developed countries could negatively affect the global South. Drawing mainly on insights from criminology and development studies, it investigates how the commercial migration laws and policies, specifically the aspects that deal with encouraging or attracting ‘high-value’ foreign entrepreneurs and investors, make the state potentially complicit in corruption and underdevelopment in the global South. There is an important need to address the implicated migration laws and policies as a critical and integral part of international efforts to combat corruption and promote peace and development in the global South. Reform of such laws and policies is in the long-term interest of all stakeholders.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The greatest challenge we face today is how to live well together. This challenge, of fostering intimate participation in a civic setting, has always been there but it has been thrown into sharp relief in recent decades by the speed of change in our societies, especially, though not only, as a result of immigration. Immigrants have long flocked to major urban centres like London, New York, and Paris, cities which have been more or less able, over time, to evolve institutions, mores, and narratives that foster integration.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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