Daily Archives: Thursday, January 24, 2013

5th Spanish Conference on Humanitarian Action

5th Spanish Conference on Humanitarian Action

14 March 2013

The Conference “Humanitarian action in times of crisis: improving the quality, transparency and accountability” pursues the exchange and betterment of knowledge about the serious and worrying situation in the current Spanish humanitarian sector, in a context marked by the economic crisis and profound social cuts, especially to the humanitarian sector. The Conference´s goal is none other than to tackle the humanitarian action challenges in a time when the international economic situation is impacting the overall amount of aid and the most vulnerable groups on our planet. Today more than ever, maintaining the humanitarian commitment involves increasing efforts in terms of quality, accountability and transparency.

The conference will take place in the Auditorium of La Casa Encendida (Caja Madrid) and is supported by the General Secretariat of International Cooperation for Development (SGCID – MAEC).

Preliminary program

(Source: ALNAP)

 

irregular voices

Dramatisation based on interviews collected for the research project ‘Undocumented children and families in the UK’ carried out at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford. The research was funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. The final report No way out, no way in: Irregular migrant children and families in the UK by Nando Sigona and Vanessa Hughes (2012) is available here.

The video was produced by Bleeding Heart Films and Ice & Fire. Credits at the end of the film.

View original post

irregular voices

Dramatisation based on interviews collected for the research project ‘Undocumented children and families in the UK’ carried out at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford. The research was funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. The final report No way out, no way in: Irregular migrant children and families in the UK by Nando Sigona and Vanessa Hughes (2012) is available here.

The video was produced by Bleeding Heart Films and Ice & Fire. Credits at the end of the film.

View original post

Refugee Archive:Off Air Recording Requests: WB 26/01/2013

The following off-air recordings have been requested for the Refugee Council Archive for the week beginning 26 January, 2013.  Further details are as follows:

Saturday 26 January

2100-2200: More 4: Japan’s Tsunami: How it Happened

Sunday 27 January

2000-2130: BBC4: Holocaust: A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz

2225-2310: BBC1: Prisoner Number A26188: Henia Bryer

Monday 28 January

2100-2200: BBC4: (3/4) Lost Kingdoms of South America.  (Part 3 Lands of Gold). Series Recording.

Tuesday 29 January

0155-0250: BBC3: Life After War: Haunted by Helmand

2200-2300: BBC4: Illuminations: The private Lives of Medieval Kings.  (Part 3 Libraries Gave Us Power).

2235-2325: BBC1: The Richard Dimbleby Lecture 2013.

Wednesday 30 January

2100-2200: BBC3: Make Me A Muslim.

2230-2330: Channel 4: Dispatches Britain’s Hidden Child Abuse.

Thursday 31 January

2000-2100: ITV4: (9/13) Border Security. (Part 9 of 13). Series Recording.

Friday 1 February

2200-2300: BBC4: Ravi Shankar: Between Two Worlds.

2300-2345: BBC4: A Concert for Bangladesh Revisited.

Re-blog: Ghostbusting with Panorama – National and Local debates on Immigration

Original Link: http://ramfelspeaksout.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/ghostbusting-with-panorama-national-and.html

Ghostbusting with Panorama – National and Local debates on Immigration

We are months of from Halloween but obviously Panorama likes to get in quick. Whether imagined or real there are ‘ghosts’ within all communities, people who for one reason or another are forced  to live in the shadows by the state apparatus that either conspires against them or is too incompetent to work with them.
There is good and bad in every community, but Panorama’s documentary ‘Immigration Undercover’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q9vds would have us believe that all migrants are bad, fused with an inner evil that makes them prone to criminality. We need to recognise that it is the state system that doesn’t recognise them emotionally, financially or politically that can in some cases force people into such behaviour.
There is so much said and written at the national level, both by government and the growing industry of ‘think tank’ organisation’s  like British Future,  who claim to be promoting integration, and a better understanding of immigration. However, it’s a different dialect and approach to working at the local level, which dare I say is where most of the work needs to be done, especially in the run up to next year’s local council elections in London and the general election in 2015.
Tweeting endlessly about immigration, does no one any favours, it is a closet group of concerned activists, who share reports and diatribes amongst their own. Reaching Joe and Joanne, or for that matter Jagdeep and Jana public is far more difficult.
After the last election a group of funders got together and formed what they called the ‘Changing minds’ initiative. Absolutely what was needed at the  time and well meaning, interesting to see how such thinking has now become embedded at the national level but remains so disconnected from what is going on locally.
Immigration debates today at neighbourhood, ward meetings are not about the old issue of black and white racism they are as likely to be embodied with community tensions between different ethnic minority groups – a more complex system of Fugi’s and Freshies, ethnic minorities with rights and those with out.
So let’s take a local area like  Ilford and look at what last night’s Panorama means at the local level.
First the facts about Ilford. The issue of street sleepers from the Asian community has been an issue for some time in the borough. There is an issue around prostitution in the area, but not as defined by the Madame in the programme. The council along with various other agencies have tried time and time again to ‘deal’ with the situations, but it is a stop and start approach, fuelled by a hesitancy and lack of resources, and a definite lack of leadership.
The street sleepers spend the day either at our offices, those of another local charity or  opposite the local police station because that is where they feel safe. They come from all communities, and it is the best example of community cohesion and integration there is. Walk past the benches any time of the day or night and you will hear at least six or seven languages being spoken, and people joking and jostling with one another. To the outsider it can appear intimidating, can appear hostile, and alien, but that doesn’t make it criminal.
At the moment two shelters are being run in the borough to support these individuals the vast majority of whom are homeless. What is interesting about this is the way the local council chooses to support such activities. All the support and funding for the Cold winter Shelters locally is being ploughed into the Salvation Army (who are doing a fantastic and amazing job), however the council have said that they can’t and won’t support the main Gurdwara in the borough.
Reason because they work on the basis of Equal Opportunities! No we don’t understand it either.
At the moment RAMFEL is providing, (90% unfunded), legal advice services to those staying  both at the Salvation Army and Gurdwara. There must be at least 100 people sleeping every night across both sites. So far we have been able to get 2 people into private housing, have another 11 awaiting for properties (both in an out of the borough) got two people into employment and training and helped six opt for voluntary return back to their country of origin, whilst another 3 have possible immigration applications that need to either be made or looked into.
Last time Panorama came to Ilford was about operation Norman, when it looked at the issue of child trafficking in the Romanian Roma community. At the time even the signs on the A12 saying Ilford scared the council senseless – what would this do to the reputation of Ilford? house prices, and tensions between local communities.
A lot was said by all concerned including the police, but very little happened. The real issue is if the legislative framework which means that the Romanian Roma cannot access benefits, cannot get work or now even become self employed as easily means  fuelling tensions, based on false perceptions and a lack of understanding about immigration law. At the moment what  all we hear about nationally is the prospect of all of Bulgaria and Romania emigrating to the UK in January 2014.There is a rightful place and need for such debates and discussions, as the excellent Migration Observatory’s work shows (another Changing Mind’s initiative, but possibly only one of a few that has the power to actually change minds), but it does also need to be understood at the local level. We have all (national, local government and voluntary organisations) collectively missed a trick, we should be seeking to make the Integration guidance a part of the statutory framework, because there remains such a huge disconnect between the national media, national agencies and what is going on locally on the ground.
Ilford and Redbridge is not a bad borough because of migration, it’s a better borough for it, no ifs and no buts, but who apart from the us is going to stand up locally and say that.
The silence is deafening.

Off Air Recordings: WB 21 January 2013 (inc: Panorama on Immigration Undercover)

The following off-air recordings were requested for the Refugee Council Archive for the week beginning Monday 21 January.  Further details are as follows:

Monday 21st January

2030-2100: BBC1: Panorama Immigration Undercover

From the BBC Panorama website:

More than half a million foreign migrants are estimated to be hiding from the authorities in the UK. Some are failed asylum seekers who live in graveyards and abandoned garages or ‘disappear’ within their own communities. They include bogus students planning to work illegally and others who have crossed the Channel hidden in the back of a lorry.

Many of those without papers turn to a life of criminality involving drugs, violence and prostitution – and with money Panorama has discovered they can come and go on an illegal travel network which smuggles them OUT of the UK as well as in.

Reporter Paul Kenyon goes undercover with this new type of smuggling gang – charging £1,500 a time – to help illegals out of the UK right under the nose of the British authorities.

There is also a report of this programme on the RAMFEL Blog – Ghostbusting with Panorama – National and Local debates on Immigration

2100-2200: BBC4: (2/4) Lost Kingdoms of South America.. (Part 2  The Stone at the Centre.).  Series Recording.

2200-2330: BBC4: Storyville Sing Your Song.

Tuesday 22 January

2000-2100: BBC3: (2/2) Growing Up Poor. (Part 2: Lads).  Series Recording.

Call for Papers: Boston Seminar in Immigration and Urban History

Call for Papers:

The Boston Seminar in Immigration and Urban History Underwritten in part by Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, Massachusetts

Deadline: March 15, 2013

The Boston Seminar in Immigration and Urban History invites proposals for sessions in its 2013-2014 series.  Programs take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society, usually on the third or fourth Tuesday evening of the month between September and April.  The Seminar’s steering committee welcomes suggestions for papers dealing with all aspects of American immigration and urban history and culture.  Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics, nor are they limited to the research of historians.  Papers comparing the American experience with developments elsewhere in the world are welcome.

The audience for the seminar consists of regular participants and others drawn to a specific topic; the seminars are widely announced on H-Net and in M.H.S. publications.  Each session focuses on the discussion of a pre-circulated paper.  The essayist and an assigned commentator will each have an opportunity for remarks before the discussion is opened to the floor.  Papers must be available for circulation at least a month before the seminar date.

The seminar’s steering committee would like to fill at least two sessions through this call for papers.  If you would like to be considered for a slot, please send your CV and a one-page précis of your paper by March 15 to Conrad E. Wright, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, or to cwright@masshist.org<mailto:cwright@masshist.org>.

In your proposal, please indicate when your paper will be available for distribution.  If there are special scheduling conditions, such as a planned trip to Boston or an extended period when you can not make a presentation, please indicate in your proposal.

For more information on the Boston Seminar in Immigration and Urban History, please visit the series webpage at http://www.masshist.org/2012/calendar/seminars/immigration-and-urban-history

 

New Journal and Periodical Volumes

European Journal of Migration and Law
Volume 14, Number 4
[Access]

Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Volume 10, Issue 4, 2012
[Access]

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume 39, Issue 2, 2013
Special Issue: Regimes of Mobility: Imaginaries and Relationalities of Power
[Access]

Journal of Australian Studieshttp://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjau20/current
Volume 36, Issue 4, 2012
Special Issue: The Vietnam Inheritance
[Access]

Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
Volume 18, Issue 4, 2012
[Access]

Population, Space and Place
Volume 18, Issue 6, Pages i–ii, 677–753 (November/December 2012).
Special Issue: Immigration Detention
[Access]
Articles Include:

Why Immigration Detention is Unique (pages 677–686)
By Stephanie J. Silverman and Evelyne Massa

Finding Foreigners: Race and the Politics of Memory in British Prisons (pages 701–714)
By Emma Kaufman

Updated: New Report from the UK Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Further to my earlier blog posting on the publication of the latest report by The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, detailed below, I can now update this post with some further related information which has now been published.  Details are as follows:

UKBA (24/01/2013): Independent Chief Inspector’s report on an inspection of applications to enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage and civil partnerships

Today the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, published his report on an inspection of applications to enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage and civil partnerships.

The agency’s detailed response to the report can be found on the right of this page. [see below]

[UKBA’s response – applications on the basis of marriage and civil partnerships (PDF Format)]

The Guardian News Blog (24/01/2013):  UK Border Agency – your stories

The Daily Telegraph (24/01/2013): Video – UK Border Agency under fire over immigrant backlog

Copy of Original Posting

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has just published their latest inspection report entitled, “An inspection of how the
UK Border Agency and Border Force handle customs and immigration offences at ports: May-October 2012.”

Further information can be found in the press releases, entitled: “Decisions in Marriage Applications are Reasonable but Chief Inspector Raises Concerns About Backlogs and a Lack of Consideration of the Best Interests of Children.”  The following information is taken from the press release:

The majority of decisions in marriage applications are reasonable said the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, but he was concerned about backlogs of cases and a lack of consideration of the best interests of children. These findings were published today (24th January) in an Independent Chief Inspector’s report looking at the way the UK Border Agency dealt with applications to enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage or civil partnership.

The inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s handling of marriage and civil partnership applications, with a particular focus on the extent to which a consistent approach was adopted overseas and in the UK.

[Download Full Report]

Press Coverage of the Report

The Independent (24/01/2013) – Thousands of immigrants caught up in Border Agency forgotten box farce blunder

The Guardian (24/01/2013) – Inspector finds UK Border Agency backlog dating back 10 years

The Daily Telegraph (24/01/2013) – Immigration backlog of 16,000 migrants uncovered by inspectors

The Daily Telegraph (24/01/2013) – New backlog of 16,000 immigrants just a ‘customer service’ issue, says minister

The Refugee Council (24/01/2013) – More calls for improvements at UKBA: our response

 

New Publications on National Legislation; International migration; and Egypt

New Publications on National Legislation

Details of these new publications were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

The Refugee Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town has published the following working papers as part of its “Analysis of Domestic Refugee Legislation in the SADC” research project:

  • Working Paper on Namibia’s Refugee Legislation, Paper no. 1 [text]
  • The Institution of Asylum in Malawi and International Refugee Law: A Review of the 1989 Refugee Act, Paper, no. 2 [text]
  • Working Paper on Zambia’s Refugee Legislation, Paper no. 3 [text]

UNHCR is another useful resource for this type of analysis. You can find many of its comments on national laws and policies in Refworld under the following sections:

  • Category: Policy documents–UN High Commissioner for Refugees–Comments on national legislation [access]
  • Category: Policy documents–UN High Commissioner for Refugees–Commentaries (these are mainly related to EU developments) [access]
  • Category: Legal information–UN High Commissioner for Refugees–Comments on national legislation [access]

Actually, since these documents are not consistently indexed, it may be best to look to see what is available for a specific country.  For example, to see if UNHCR commented on Canada’s recent legislative developments, select the country from under the appropriate regions list, then select “UN High Commissioner for Refugees” from the publisher tab.  The subsequent listing includes “UNHCR Submission on Bill C-31: Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.”

Other Publications

International migration and over-indebtedness: the case of Filipino workers in Italy.
By Charito Basa, Violeta De Guzman, Sabrina Marchetti for the International Institute for Environment and Displacement, (IIED).

Remittances from international migrants are a crucial component of the economy of the Philippines and a vital resource for many households, increasingly so as the prices of basic commodities skyrocket as a result of the current global financial crisis. The latter also affects Italy, a main destination for Filipino migrants, with declining demand for workers in domestic and care services where migrants concentrate. The upshot is growing levels of indebtedness among Filipino migrants. Building on the long-standing work of the Filipino Women’s Council, a grassroots migrants’ association, this paper explores the various dimensions of such indebtedness and its root causes. It analyses how limited access to formal financial institutions, responsibilities towards relatives and the combined impacts of economic pressures in both the Philippines and Italy affect migrants’ incomes and the need to borrow. While indebtedness has long been overlooked in debates on migration and development, there is growing evidence that it is a rapidly emerging problem that requires further investigation and appropriate, supportive policies.

[Download Full Report]

Rampant Impunity: Still no justice for protestors killed in the `25 January Revolution.’
By Amnesty International.
[Download Full Report]
See Also: Press Release – Egypt: Security forces continue to get away with murder two years on from start of uprising

 

 

New Report from the UK Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has just published their latest inspection report entitled, “An inspection of how the
UK Border Agency and Border Force handle customs and immigration offences at ports: May-October 2012.”

Further information can be found in the press releases, entitled: “Decisions in Marriage Applications are Reasonable but Chief Inspector Raises Concerns About Backlogs and a Lack of Consideration of the Best Interests of Children.”  The following information is taken from the press release:

The majority of decisions in marriage applications are reasonable said the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, but he was concerned about backlogs of cases and a lack of consideration of the best interests of children. These findings were published today (24th January) in an Independent Chief Inspector’s report looking at the way the UK Border Agency dealt with applications to enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage or civil partnership.

The inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s handling of marriage and civil partnership applications, with a particular focus on the extent to which a consistent approach was adopted overseas and in the UK.

[Download Full Report]

Press Coverage of the Report

The Independent (24/01/2013) – Thousands of immigrants caught up in Border Agency forgotten box farce blunder

The Guardian (24/01/2013) – Inspector finds UK Border Agency backlog dating back 10 years

The Daily Telegraph (24/01/2013) – Immigration backlog of 16,000 migrants uncovered by inspectors

The Daily Telegraph (24/01/2013) – New backlog of 16,000 immigrants just a ‘customer service’ issue, says minister

The Refugee Council (24/01/2013) – More calls for improvements at UKBA: our response

 

New Publications on Australia; Humanitarian Assistance; and Children, Education

Details of these new publications were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

New Publications on Australia

Activists Rap Australia’s Offshore Processing of Migrants (IRIN, Jan. 2013) [text]

“Collateral Damage: The Impact of Australian Asylum Seeker Policy on Christmas Islanders (2001-2011),” Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, vol. 6, no. 2 (2012) [open access text]

Experiences of Parenting among Burmese Refugee Mothers in a Facilitated Playgroup (Edith Cowan University, Oct. 2012) [text]
– Looks at the experiences of refugee families in Australia.

“Dark Justice: Australia’s Indefinite Detention of Refugees on Security Grounds under International Human Rights Law,” Melbourne Journal of International Law, vol. 13, no. 2 (Forthcoming, Nov. 2012; posted Jan. 2013) [text via SSRN]

“‘Fair Shake of the Sauce Bottle’: Reform Options for Making ASIO Security Assessments of Refugees Fairer,” Alternative Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 4 (2012) [preprint via SSRN]

Insider Resistance: Understanding Refugee Protest against Immigration Detention in Australia 1999-2005 (Centre for Human Rights Education, Nov. 2012) [text]
– Includes link to thesis.

Released but not yet Free: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Community after Long-term Detention (Centre for Human Rights Education, Dec. 2012) [text via BroCAP]

“UNHCR Takes Aim at Australia over Nauru Detainees ,” Town & Country Magazine, 14 Dec. 2012 [text]

New Publications on Humanitarian Assistance

Aid Worker Security Report 2012: Host States and Their Impact on Security for Humanitarian Operations (Humanitarian Outcomes, Dec. 2012) [text]

Mapping and Navigating the Humanitarian System: An Interactive Guide (Development Initiatives, Jan. 2013) [access]

“Principles and Practices of Evaluating Humanitarian Programmes,” Workshop at 10th EES Biennial Conference, Helsinki, 1-5 October 2012 [info]
– See also related ALNAP and DARA blog posts.

Protection in Practice: Food Assistance with Safety and Dignity (World Food Programme, Jan. 2013) [text via ReliefWeb]

The State of HR in International Humanitarian and Development Organisations 2013 (People In Aid, Jan. 2013) [text]

New Publications on Children, Education
Getting Real on Children’s Rights: Is Offshore Processing Compatible with Australia’s Legal Obligations to Child Refugee Applicants? (Oxford Human Rights Hub, Sept. 2012) [text]

“Rethinking the Guardianship of Refugee Children after the Malaysian Solution,” Sydney Law Review, vol. 34, no. 3 (Sept. 2012) [full-text]

“United by Language, Literacy and Learning: Creating Spaces in Schools to Support Refugee Literacy,” PRISM: A Journal of Regional Engagement, vol. 1, no. 2 (2012) [open access text]

What Future for Undocumented Migrant Children in the UK? (Postcards from…, Jan. 2013) [text]

“Where Have All the Teachers Gone? Why There Are Never any Teachers in Africa’s Refugee Camps and What We Can Do about It,” Chapter in Next Steps in Managing Teacher Migration: Papers of the Sixth Commonwealth Research Symposium on Teacher Mobility, Recruitment and Migration, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 8-9 June 2011 (UNESCO & Commonwealth Secretariat, 2012) [full-text]
– Scroll to p. 88.

 

New Publications on Law/Policy Items and North American Legal Items

Details of these new publications were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

New Publications on Law/Policy Items

Exclusion from Refugee Convention (Free Movement, Jan. 2013) [text]
– Comment on Al-Sirri v Secretary of State for the Home Department; DD (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

“Faith and Protection,” High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges, Geneva, 12-13 December 2012 [access]
– Follow the link for background documents, programme, participants, and the HC’s opening and closing speeches.

Human Rights at International Borders: Exploring Gaps in Policy and Practice Geneva, Switzerland, 22-23 March 2012 [summary conclusions]

IARLJ World Conference Reports (IARLJ, 2013) [access]
– PDFs for reports from the first eight conferences are now available online.

“One Health, One World—The Intersecting Legal Regimes of Trade, Climate Change, Food Security, Humanitarian Crises, and Migration,” Laws, vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 2012) [open access text]

“Protection,” Oxford, 16 Jan. 2013 [access]
– Podcast for the first presentation in the RSC’s Public Seminar Series on “protection.”

New Publications on North American Legal Items

Comment on BC Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down Smuggling Law (Canadian Council for Refugees, Jan. 2013) [text]
– See also related news story.

The Inefficiencies of American Refugee Law as Highlighted by the Current Plight of Mexican Immigrants, Paper presented at 47th Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Boston, 14-18 Nov. 2012 [text]

The Impact of the Lack of Legal Representation in the Canadian Asylum Process (UNHCR Canada, Nov. 2012) [text]

Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Supreme Court of Canada, Jan. 2013) [info]
– See also related news story, CARL factum and CCLA factum.

Reclassifying “Terrorists” as Victims: Integrating Terrorism Analysis into the Particular Social Group Framework of Asylum (ExpressO, Jan. 2013) [text]

“What You Are Depends on Where You’re Standing: How Expanding Refugee Protections to the Internally Displaced through the Refugee Act of 1980 Violates International Law,” University of Pittsburgh Law Review, vol. 74, no. 1 (2012) [full-text]

 

New Publications from Human Rights Watch

Waiting for Justice: Accountability before Guinea’s Courts for the September 28, 2009 Stadium Massacre, Rapes, and Other Abuses.
By Human Rights Watch.

This 58-page report analyzes Guinea’s efforts to hold those responsible for the crimes to account. On that day, several hundred members of Guinea’s security forces burst into a stadium in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters peacefully gathered there. By late afternoon, at least 150 Guineans lay dead or dying, and dozens of women had suffered brutal sexual violence, including individual and gang rape. More than three years later, those implicated have yet to be held accountable.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release: Guinea: Step Up Efforts to Ensure Justice for Stadium Massacre

Under Siege: Indiscriminate Bombing and Abuses in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States
By Human Rights Watch.

This 39-page report is based on five research missions to the hard-to-access rebel-held areas in the two states and to refugee camps in South Sudan. It documents the government’s indiscriminate bombing and other attacks on civilians since conflict between the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) broke out in June 2011 in Southern Kordofan following disputed state elections. The report also describes the effect of Sudan’s refusal to allow humanitarian assistance into rebel-held areas. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced inside the two states, surviving on very little, while more than 200,000 have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release: Sudan: Civilians Describe Toll of Attacks

Why They Left: Stories of Iranian Activists in Exile
By Human Rights Watch.

The 60-page report documents the experiences of dozens of rights defenders, journalists and bloggers, and lawyers whom security and intelligence forces targeted because they spoke out against the government. Some who took part in anti-government protests after the 2009 election had never been politically active before, but suddenly found themselves in the crosshairs of security and intelligence forces. Many Iranian refugees and asylum seekers interviewed by Human Rights Watch described difficult conditions and long processing times for their asylum applications during their stay in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Iran: Activists Fleeing Assault on Civil Society

Race Against Time: The Need for Legal and Institutional Reforms Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections
By Human Rights Watch.

This report assesses the legislative and electoral reforms undertaken by the unity government, which was established in 2009 after the 2008 elections resulted in violence. The unity government consists of the former ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the two factions of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Human Rights Watch stated the deeply fractured unity government has failed to reform key laws or the justice system, which remains extremely partisan toward ZANU-PF. It has also failed to hold accountable those responsible for past human rights abuses, including during the 2008 electoral violence.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Zimbabwe: Rights Reforms Needed Before Elections

Hear No Evil: Forced Labor and Corporate Responsibility in Eritrea’s Mining Sector
By Human Rights Watch.

The 29-page report describes how mining companies working in Eritrea risk involvement with the government’s widespread exploitation of forced labor. It also documents how Nevsun – the first company to develop an operational mine in Eritrea – initially failed to take those risks seriously, and then struggled to address allegations of abuse connected to its operations.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Eritrea: Mining Investors Risk Use of Forced Labor

Turned Away: Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece
By Human Rights Watch.

This report documents the failure of Italian border police at the Adriatic ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, and Venice to screen adequately for people in need of protection, in violation of Italy’s legal obligations. Human Rights Watch interviewed 29 children and adults who were summarily returned to Greece from Italian ports, 20 of them in 2012.

[Download Full Report]
See Also – Human Rights Watch press release:  Italy: Summary Returns to Greece Violate Rights

 

Call for papers: NORDIC ASYLUM LAW SEMINAR 2013

Reminder! Abstract deadline on Monday, January 28

NORDIC ASYLUM LAW SEMINAR 2013

Since the 1970s, the Nordic Asylum Law Seminar has provided a forum for exchange and dialogue on issues related to domestic, European and international refugee and migration law between academics, governments, judicial institutions, advocates and civil society in the Nordic context. This year´s seminar takes place from June 6-7 at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen (Norway).

The seminar program and the registration form are online at https://www.uib.no/jur/seminar/2013/01/nordic-asylum-law-seminar-2013.

Attendance of the seminar is free of charge, but travel and accommodation costs must be paid by participants. The deadline for registration is on April 15, 2013.

The seminar will consist of plenary sessions as well as workshops. For participants interested in presenting original research, we welcome abstracts of not more than 300 words on the following themes:

•           The EU and Nordic asylum law and policy

•           Exclusion from refugee status/complementary protection

•           Asylum applicants with special needs

•           Generalized violence and the need for international protection

•           Protection of environmental refugees

We especially encourage early career researchers to submit new material for the workshops. Abstracts should be sent to Jessica Schultz at jessica.schultz@jur.uib.no by Monday, January 28, 2013. A final decision on the abstracts will be communicated by February 13, 2013.