Daily Archives: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Event: Gaza calling: conflict and displacement in the Gaza Strip


Gaza calling: conflict and displacement in the Gaza Strip

14:00 – 16:00 04 March 2013 (GMT+00)

A view of Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza A view of Jabalia refugee camp. Jabalia is the largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps. It is located north of Gaza City, close to a village of the same name License: Creative Commons Credit: Suhair Karam/IRIN Source: IRIN

Overseas Development Institute and streamed live online

This event is scheduled to launch Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability in the Gaza Strip, a look at internal displacement over the past ten years in Gaza.

Displacement is a common feature of life in Gaza; around 1.1 million people are currently considered displaced and 70% of the population are registered refugees. Yet the population faces multiple, often compounding vulnerabilities, as a result of the blockade and the long-running conflict. HPG’s work has looked at how internal displacement interacts with high levels of overcrowding, basic services that are overburdened and deteriorating, rising poverty and unemployment and on-going threats to safety and security.

This events aims to provide multiple perspectives on the challenges displacement poses to Palestinians in Gaza and those trying to provide assistance to them. Speakers will address the difficulties of measuring and reporting on the effects of displacement when people are prevented from truly fleeing danger as well as the complexities of responding to the needs of those displaced in the context of chronic and rising poverty in the population at large.

With a live video link to Gaza, this event will bring together Palestinian and international speakers to explore the multi-faceted effects of the conflict on civilians, and up-to-date assessment of how displaced populations have fared since the Pillar of Defence military operation in November 2012.

Follow #GazaCalling on Twitter for live coverage.


Robert Turner – Director of Operations – Gaza, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Ahmed Tawatina – Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

Mona Al Farrah – Deputy Chair, Palestinian Red Crescent Society (TBC)

Sarah Adamzcyk – Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) Project Manager, Norwegian Refugee Council
Simone Haysom
– Research Officer, Humanitarian Policy Group and co-author of Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability in the Gaza Strip

Rushanara Ali MP – Labour Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Shadow Minister for International Development


Sam Farah – Deputy Head of Programmes and TV Presenter, BBC Arabic


Call for Papers: Little Britain’s Memory of Slavery: The local nuances of a ‘national sin’

Call for Papers:

Little Britain’s Memory of Slavery: The local nuances of a ‘national sin’

*** Little Britain’s Memory of Slavery: The local nuances of a ‘national sin’ *** A partnership conference organised between University College London, University of York and the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) Hull UCL, London September 13th and 14th 2013 Keynote Speakers: Catherine Hall (UCL), Madge Dresser (UWE) Plus ‘Artists in conversation’ interview session chaired by Professor Alan Rice (UCLAN) Welcome address from Professor John Oldfield (WISE)

Call for Papers

In recent years there has been an explosion of interest around the history of the transatlantic slave trade fuelled largely by public, academic and institutional activities and projects undertaken for the national marking of 2007 as the Bicentenary of the Abolition Act in Britain. Alongside this there has been a greatly heightened academic and scholarly consideration of the way Britain has remembered this history through museum exhibitions, memorialisation and cultural representations in media, film and literature. Further large scale research initiatives have been set in motion to assess and explore the legacies of this history such as the ESRC funded Legacies of British Slavery Project at UCL and the recently initiated European-wide project combining genetics, archaeology and public history (EUROTAST). Numerous postgraduate and early career researchers across the country have also embarked upon individual projects of their own in a variety of disciplines across the humanities, including the organisers of this conference. Much of the research currently being done is turning away from the national picture and increasingly focusing on the smaller scale specifics of British involvement in transatlantic slavery, on the memory and legacies of individual people and places in their specific contexts and we are honoured to welcome some of the people pioneering these research strands from Catherine Hall’s work on nineteenth century biography, Alan Rice’s research into Lancaster’s memorial project, and Madge Dresser’s consideration of Bristol’s ‘obscured’ links to its involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

This two day conference aims to facilitate a dialogue across institutions, disciplines and subject areas between people whose work addresses the smaller-scale specifics of Britain’s memory of slavery in more ‘local’ projects, looking at case studies of places, the lives and memory of individuals, networks and organisations across a broad span of time, from the 18th century to the present day. Through this intellectual exchange we aim to correlate the micro with the macro and probe the extent to which the literature on Britain’s national memory of slavery holds true for more nuanced case studies and specific research currently being carried out. The dialogue will thereby explore the interactions of ‘levels of memory’ in relation to this history whilst giving focus to individual and local agency and aiding a more complex understanding of the workings of memory in line with history.

Potential panel areas could cover though are by no means limited to:

·  People and memory: enslaved and free black people living in Britain, black and white abolitionists in Britain and their contexts; merchants and the legacies of individual and family wealth; politicians (pro and anti-slavery), historians and authors – writing slavery, artists and performers – contesting and creatively engaging with memory ·  Place and memory: towns and cities – the urban landscape of slavery memory; ports and the ‘maritimization’ of slavery; country houses and the elaborate display of excessive wealth; parks and gardens – open public spaces; local art exhibitions and artist interventions; walking tours and history trails ·  Organisations and Networks: public and private institutions (schools, banks, high culture) and remembered/forgotten connections; charitable organisations and people – the paradox of philanthropy; religious organisations and campaigning ·  Memory Work: local museums, galleries and the exhibition of memory; local memorials – creating tangible memory; heritage projects and the communal effort ·  Education: teaching slavery in schools, informal learning and adult education ·  Engaging with communities and conducting outreach: token gestures or meaningful encounters?

·  Reparations, social justice and apologies: where are we now?

·  The [contemporary] slavery question: the drive to highlight contemporary global human rights abuses – natural succession or diversion tactic?

Papers are invited from postgraduate students, early career researchers, established academics from any discipline including History, English, Museology, Archaeology, Heritage, Geography, Politics, Philosophy, Sociology, Women’s Studies, Film, Theatre and History of Art. Please send abstracts of 250 words for 20 minute papers along with a 50 word biography to the organisers: Kate Donington, Jessica Moody and Ryan Hanley via email LBMSconference@gmail.com by May 31st 2013


Call for Papers: Creating and Transgressing Barriers

Call for Roundtable Submissions: Creating and Transgressing Barriers: Artificial Borders, Conflict and Cultural Exchange at the 2014 OAH

“Good fences make good neighbors,” at least according to the taciturn neighbor in Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.” However, the creation and demarcation of artificial boundaries and borders has left us with a history rife with incidents of division and exclusion. I am hoping to put together a roundtable to discuss how social, cultural, economic and/or military issues have become defined by artificial borderlands and frontiers. We will be discussing the goals and issues which arise from the way historians have been wedded to the ideas of demarcation and separation. The roundtable will focus on theoretically constructed barriers, including but not limited to Native American reservations, colonial, state, provincial, and national borders, private property demarcations, and other areas where questions of sovereignty, suzerainty, and ownership rights may be disputed.

We envision a roundtable discussion in which participants will not only share their knowledge about specific borderlands, boundaries, and frontiers, but also to engage in a broader discussion of the historical meanings and impacts of artificial divisions. Optimally, this roundtable will address broader questions of how and why barriers between peoples and cultures are constructed, what purposes they are intended to serve, and what results are most often generated. The roundtable will probe such questions as, why are barriers so essential to welfare and security and why do these same barriers so often result in discord and conflict?

Please get in touch at tberson@ufl.edu by no later than noon February 28 (sorry for the tight deadline) if you are interested in participating.

For more information on the conference, see




Course: Upcoming online course on Conflict Transformation, 1-26 April 2013

Course: Upcoming online course on Conflict Transformation, 1-26 April 2013

It is with great pleasure that the Network University announces its online course on “Transforming Civil Conflicts”, which is scheduled to take place from 1- 26 April 2013.

During the course the participants are familiarised with contemporary theories of conflict and conflict transformation, acquainted with a range of relevant information on conflict  and introduced to practical issues and debates within the field. They are brought together in a ‘learning community’ with people with a professional interest in conflict. The subjects for each of the course weeks are: Understanding Conflict, Conflict Transformation and Building a Desired Alternative. The students participate through online debates, assignments and exercises and are coached intensively online. Information about the content, fees, planning and approach to the conflicts can be found in the demo course.

In co-operation with the Center for Conflict Resolution at Bradford University and Modus Operandi, The Network University is organizing its award-winning four-week online certificate course in Conflict Transformation. The course is designed for professionals working in conflict areas and students with a special interest in the topic. For more information contact Claske Dijkema at claske@modop.org, visit our website: www.netuni.nl/demos/tcc/, or read on below.


Transforming Civil Conflicts (TCC) 1 – 26 April, 2013 20 March 2013 Post Conflict Politics (PCP) May 2013 Gender and Conflict Transformation Autumn 2013


The aim of the program is to help prepare participants for work in conflict areas, or to make their work more effective by giving them more insight into the processes in conflicts and the roles that different organizations play. This program focuses on developing critical analytical skills in order to ask relevant questions, rather than finding the right solutions and answers to conflicts straight away.


During the course the participants are familiarized with contemporary theories of conflict and conflict transformation. Furthermore, they are acquainted with a wide range of relevant initiatives and introduced to practical issues and debates within the field. Together with people with a professional interest, they will form a ‘learning community’. The subjects for the course weeks are: Understanding Conflict, Conflict Transformation and Building a Desired Alternative. The students are coached online, and they will participate through online debates, assignments and exercises. An overview of the course content:

1: Understanding Conflict

During the first week we will present you the basic tools to understand conflict dynamics and discuss key concepts in conflict analysis. Different phases of a conflict and the peace building efforts associated with it will be discussed, as well as the difference between Conflict Management, Resolution and Transformation and the three types of violence that we can distinguish in armed conflict situations. The assignments include exercises to map conflict issues, actors and dynamics and the participation in the debate.

2: Conflict Transformation

During this week you will be familiarized with entry points to start a process of conflict transformation. We will look at the creative, constructive and non-violent means of social change that can be used to transform the issues, attitudes and structures dividing conflict parties. Six means of social change will be discussed here: vectors for transformation, balancing power relationships, non-violent action, connectors in conflict, changing perceptions, and Lederach’s concept of moral imagination.

3: Building a Desired Alternative

In this third week participants will be provided with helpful information on strategies to overcome structural violence and to build a desired alternative. The assignment will focus on designing an action plan for conflict transformation, based on examples of other organizations in the field.

Throughout the course participants have access to a library of conflict transformation tools, a map of actors, a glossary and a database of conflict transformation resources.

Target Group

The target groups for this course are professionals that work in conflict areas and students with a special interest in the topic. Some examples are: (inter)national relief agency workers, development professionals, conflict resolution trainers, military personnel, journalists, students in international relations or other conflict-related topics, academics and others working for governmental or NGO’s in countries and territories that are the scene of violent conflict and civil strife.

Intensive Tailored Supervision

The course is tailor-made: participants receive personal feedback. They can choose the conflict(s) they would like to study. In addition they can suggest and initiate online debate topics. These are often linked to current affairs and student’s special interests. The course website is permanently accessible in some way to the students after the course is finished.

Collaborative learning

The participant will participate in a collaborative learning experience in an online ‘learning community’ of professionals. Every week the participant is required to undertake different assignments. These assignments are NOT the so-called ‘conventional assignments’: ‘read some articles, write a paper and send it in before Friday’; but aim to stimulate discussion and cooperation between the participants. In addition to individual and group assignments there will be online discussions and exercises.


How much time, ‘A-synchrone’-teaching.

The course will take place from the 1st to the 26th of April 2013. The course is designed for people who want to study and work at the same time. The amount of time needed to complete the assignments and participate will depend on your experience with conflict, level of participation (in discussion groups) and familiarity with the subject. As most of our participants are working, we strive to make it possible for every participant to complete every week’s assignments with 10 hours of reading, debating and studying. The course is taught ‘asynchronous’: participants do not have to be present at certain hours; work can be spread over the week and in weekends. We will be present at the ‘call centre’ approximately 8 hours a day, but submissions of assignments and contributions to discussions can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes we allow participants (by exception) to spread their course participation over the period of two separate courses. In this way, they can still participate, even if they have to leave for work, to a place where they do not have Internet access, or when unexpected emergencies occur.


Participants will be provided with a certificate of completion/attendance from both the European Network University and Modus Operandi after the course is finished.


For the further development of the program we are co-operating with the following institutions: Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation [www.fph.ch], The Global Coalition in Conflict Transformation [http://www.transconflict.com], Action for Conflict Transformation, [http://action-global.tumblr.com/], The Centre for Conflict Resolution Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK [www.brad.ac.uk/acad/confres] and The European Platform on Conflict Prevention [www.conflict-prevention.net], the Netherlands.

Registration and Information

Requests for information can be sent by email to Claske Dijkema at claske@modop.org. Please feel free to forward any of this information to people who might be interested. Registration is possible through www.netuni.nl/courses/ or the homepage of the Network University www.netuni.nl. Registration implies an intent to participate and transfer the fee. If you are not sure about participation please contact us first.

Course fees

The regular fee for the course is € 300,- *. If you participate in more than one course, a discount is available. A limited amount of reduced fees is available for shoestring-budget NGO’s, groups and individuals in special circumstances. In that case a CV and/or short letter of intent should be sent to claske@modop.org. The fees are due no later than two weeks before the start of the courses. Later transfer of fees implies automatic transfer to the next available course.


As soon as we have received your payment, you will receive an ‘Info Package’ by email, to help you prepare for the course. It contains the idea and didactics of the TNU courses and a description of the layout of the course(s) you have registered for to help you find your way around.



Cross-posted from CrowdFlower blog

A devastating earthquake struck Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. Two weeks later, on January 27th, a CrowdFlower was used to translate text messages from Haitian Creole to English. Tens of thousands of messages were sent by affected Haitians over the course of several months. All of these were heroically translated by hundreds of dedicated Creole-speaking volunteers based in dozens of countries across the globe. While Ushahidi took the lead by developing the initial translation platform used just days after the earthquake, the translation efforts were eventually rerouted to CrowdFlower. Why? Three simple reasons:

  1. CrowdFlower is one of the leading and most highly robust micro-tasking platforms there is;
  2. CrowdFlower’s leadership is highly committed to supporting digital humanitarian response efforts;
  3. Haitians in Haiti could now be paid for their translation work.

While the CrowdFlower project was launched 15 days after the earthquake, i.e., following the completion of search and rescue…

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New Publication with a Regional Focus on: Europe

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/


Best Interests of Child and Dublin II (Free Movement, Feb. 2013) [text]
– Reference to MA & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Between Fear and Compassion: How Refugee Concerns Shape Responses to Humanitarian Emergencies – – The Case of Germany and Kosovo, Working Paper, no. 13-140 (LSE Department of International Development, Jan. 2013) [text]

Between Solidarity and the Priority to Protect – Where Refugee Relocation Meets Refugee Resettlement (Debate Migration, Feb. 2013) [text]

Dublin II Regulation: Lives on Hold (Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, Hungarian Helsinki Committee & ECRE, Feb. 2013) [text]

ECRI Report on Ireland (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Feb. 2013) [text]
– Includes a section on the situation of refugees and asylum-seekers; see also related press release.

Second Joint Submission of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in the Case of M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece (Application no. 30696/09) and Related Cases (ICJ & ECRE, Feb. 2013) [text]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Observations on the Proposed Amendments to the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens (UNHCR, Feb. 2013) [text]