Daily Archives: Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “Julie Macfarlane explores how North American Muslim communities manage marriage and divorce processes. She draws from interviews with 212 Muslims in the United States and Canada, including imams, religious scholars, community leaders, social workers, and divorced men and women. Macfarlane uncovers a dedication to Islamic marriage and divorce practices across ethnic origins, class, and educational backgrounds and focuses on individual interpretations and applications of shari’a law shaped by encounters with Western culture. Her interviews provide detailed accounts of the complexity of ethnic religious identity, specifically for Muslims in a post-9/11 society shaped by fear of Islamic beliefs and practices. The book is important in several ways. It contributes to the scant qualitative literature on divorce and religious experience. It counters media and widespread assumptions of Islamic marriage and divorce as backward and anti-American. The book also offers valuable knowledge for those interested in applied Islamic family law a”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “As part of the recent wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union (FSU), about 300,000 non-Jews came to Israel as spouses of Jews or partly-Jewish offspring of ethnically-mixed families. The purpose of this article is to examine the experiences of non-Jewish women, wives of Jewish husbands, who came to Israel after 1990 under the Law of Return. The study is based on the qualitative analysis of 20 semi-structured in-depth interviews with these immigrant women, aiming to explore their perceptions of religious practices, Jewish holidays, conversion (giyur), and their political views – in order to understand their constructions of Israeli citizenship. The issues of citizenship and loyalty to the Jewish state are resolved by Russian immigrant women in a variety of ways. Some women (a small minority) opt for ethno-national citizenship through religious conversion – giyur, typically for the children’s sake. Others prefer to become part of Israeli society through experiences connected to the military service of their children and grandchildren, which can be seen as a version of republican citizenship. For most women in this study, the process of getting closer to the Israeli society and its traditions often occurred via embracing local culinary customs and specific holiday foods. In any case, the gender roles as wives and mothers appeared to be central in our informants’ understanding of Israeli citizenship. The adoption of political views of Israeli Right and militant anti-Arab discourse also served as a venue for their ‘nationalization’ through republicanism. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “We describe a method for producing annual estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United Sates and components of population change, for each state and DC, for 1990–2010. We quantify a sharp drop in the number of unauthorized immigrants arriving since 2000, and we demonstrate the role of departures from the population (emigration, adjustment to legal status, removal by the Department of Homeland Security [DHS], and deaths) in reducing population growth from one million in 2000 to population losses in 2008 and 2009. The number arriving in the U.S. peaked at more than one million in 1999–2001 and then declined rapidly through 2009. We provide evidence that population growth stopped after 2007 primarily because entries declined and not because emigration increased during the economic crisis. Our estimates of the total unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. and in the top ten states are comparable to those produced by DHS and the Pew Hispanic Center. However, our data and methods produce estimates with smaller ranges of sampling error.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Background
    Recent initiatives by international health and humanitarian aid organizations have focused increased attention on making HIV testing services more widely available to vulnerable populations. To realize potential health benefits from new services, they must be utilized. This research addresses the question of how utilization of testing services might be encouraged and increased for refugees displaced by conflict, to make better use of existing resources.

    Methods
    Open-ended interviews were conducted with HIV-infected refugees (N=73) who had tested for HIV and with HIV clinic staff (N=4) in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in southwest Uganda. Interviews focused on accessibility of HIV/AIDS-related testing and care and perspectives on how to improve utilization of testing services. Data collection took place at the Nakivale HIV/AIDS Clinic from March to July of 2011. Observations of clinical activities were also carried out. An inductive approach to data analysis was used to identify factors related to utilization.

    Results
    In general, interviewees report focusing daily effort on tasks aimed at meeting survival needs. HIV testing is not prioritized over these responsibilities. Under some circumstances, however, HIV testing occurs. This happens when: (a) circumstances realign to trigger a temporary shift in priorities away from daily survival-related tasks; (b) survival needs are temporarily met; and/or (c) conditions shift to alleviate barriers to HIV testing.

    Conclusion
    HIV testing services provided for refugees must be not just available, but also utilized. Understanding what makes HIV testing possible for refugees who have tested can inform interventions to increase testing in this population. Intervening by encouraging priority shifts toward HIV testing, by helping ensure survival needs are met, and by eliminating barriers to testing, may result in refugees making better use of existing testing services.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The Court’s case law on the applicability of the prohibition of discrimination of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights has always been ambivalent. From the 1970s onwards, there are two parallel lines of case law, one allowing complaints about almost all differences in treatment, regardless of their grounds, and another allowing only complaints about discrimination based on personal status or personal characteristics. Although the Court tried to bring its case law together in the cases of Carson and Clift, an analysis of subsequent cases makes clear that its approach is still confused. It is argued here that the inconsistencies in the definition of grounds of discrimination reflect a fundamental ambivalence as to the theoretical principles underlying Article 14. The article sets out two different rationales for non-discrimination law that may provide a sound basis for a certain approach towards the definition of grounds of discrimination. Both rationales have important but radically opposed consequences for the way Article 14 is applied as well as for the position of the Court. Although the Court may not want to do so, and although both conceptions are defensible, it will need to make a choice in order to guarantee a transparent and predictable non-discrimination case law.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article discusses how security must be understood from a human rights perspective. It is submitted that human rights law—i.e. classic civil human rights—in fact presupposes four different concepts of security: international security; negative individual security against the state; security as justification to limit human rights; and positive state obligation to offer security to individuals against other individuals. These concepts are explained, discussed and criticised individually and in combination. Reasons are given why several of the concepts insufficiently substantiate what security encompasses: not all concepts are mutually reinforcing; in some cases they even undermine each other. This implies that international human rights law fails to provide a comprehensive, balanced view of what security means from a human rights perspective. As a result, human rights law offers less substance and direction to the security discourse than it potentially should be able to; and, moreover, this is harmful to the capacity of human rights to protect the individual. Throughout the article suggestions are made to remedy these weaknesses.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article argues that the fate of veil bans under European law is uncertain. It shows that European commitments to free speech and freedom of religion cannot accommodate an absolute ban justified solely on grounds of the offensiveness of the veil. However, a ban that applies to public face-covering in general (rather than a ban that only targets the veil), that relates to the specific (though admittedly broad) context of social life and that provides some exceptions allowing the veil to be worn in specific religious or expressive contexts, has a reasonable chance of being upheld by European courts despite the significant infringement of personal autonomy it would involve.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark decision on the admissibility of Aboriginal oral narratives. In Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (Delgamuukw III), the Supreme Court declared that oral tradition evidence should no longer be considered inferior to written sources. Trial judges were to be more flexible and culturally sensitive when evaluating oral narratives and to develop guidelines favoring optimum admissibility. The Court’s decision was hailed by many in both Canada and internationally as a major breakthrough for Aboriginal societies that were trying to use the legal system to regain or protect rights that had been either taken away or were currently threatened.

    Unfortunately, as Professor Bruce Granville Miller points out in this thorough and incisive monograph, the promise of Delgamuukw III has been largely unrealized. Although he lays much of the responsibility for this at the feet of the attorneys for the Crown, he also recognizes that …”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “There is a critique of research conducted in communities which fails to include communities in its design and undertaking. In parallel, academic research is increasingly being measured according to its benefit to the wider society. Co-productive research is a response to these challenges which offers a way of recognizing the resource contribution of communities to research and emphasizing the conduct of research ‘with’ communities rather than ‘on’ communities. This article identifies the reliance on ‘text’ in the research process as a barrier to delivering meaningful co-productive research with communities. ‘Beyond-text’ tools are emerging across academic disciplines and include story-telling, performance, art and photography. Recent research emphasizes the empowering potential of these methods by facilitating greater reflection on the lived experience of those involved. This article looks at examples of research which have employed ‘beyond text’ methods to consider their potential to deliver co-produced research with communities. It also asks whether it is the application of specific technical approaches and methods, or the underlying ethos within which research is conducted that is most critical to challenging unequal power relationships. It argues that beyond-text methods need to be applied within a wider set of values which re-conceptualize the role of the researcher working with communities.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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