Monthly Archives: March 2013

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “We analyse the difference in average wages (the so called ‘wage gap’) of selected ethno-religious groups in Great Britain at the mean and over the wage distribution with the aim of explaining why such wage gaps differ across minority groups. We distinguish minorities not only by their ethno-religious background, but also by country (UK or abroad) in which people grew up and acquired their qualifications. We find that within all minority ethno-religious groups the second generation achieves higher wages than the first generation, but the amount that is explained by characteristics does not necessarily increase with generation. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article examines the changing uses of political rhetoric around the burial of Julius Nyerere in 1999. It argues that the ruling party uses rhetoric as a means of ‘soft power’, but also documents how this rhetoric, though geared towards legitimizing Nyerere’s successors, employed tropes that were rejected by some people and were used by others to critique leaders who were perceived to lack the selfless integrity attributed to Nyerere. The article compares funerary songs by a government-sponsored band, popular at the time of Nyerere’s death, with memories of Nyerere in rural areas in the early to mid-2000s. While the image of Nyerere in the funeral songs as a benign family patriarch writ large still persists, it coexists with strongly divergent constructions of Nyerere as an authoritarian ruler or a self-seeking profiteer. Moreover, the ‘official’, benign Nyerere has been employed not only by government and party faithful, but also by striking workers, opposition politicians, and critical newspapers as a measure of the shortcomings of his successors. The invocation of Nyerere as a paragon of an endangered ideal of virtue in public office indicates widespread anxieties towards a state that often disappoints but occasionally delivers, in unpredictable turns, and the limits of the government’s ability to shut down dissent. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The African Union’s new offices in Addis Ababa stand upon the site of the city’s former central prison, known as Alem Bekagn, where thousands of people suffered and died. This article traces the history of the prison and examines efforts to create a memorial at the site. These initiatives illustrate the African Union (AU) in transition. They echo AU commitments to act against atrocities and in support of rights and justice and suggest a distinct vision of pan-African community and a corresponding institutional culture. But, much like the AU itself, the meaning of the planned memorial is ambivalent and contested. The fact that the AU bulldozed Ethiopia’s most notorious prison in order to establish its new offices and a conference hall is richly symbolic of ‘buried memory’ – the tendency of post-colonial elites to suppress the memory of victims of state violence while celebrating chosen heroes. The AU still venerates leaders and is quiet about current violations, but the organization’s promise and process to remember the ordinary victims of state violence indicate a political opening and may contribute a novel space for the recounting of human rights abuses. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Article 5 of the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air, to which Australia is a state party, requires states not to criminalize migrants for being the object of migrant smuggling. This international obligation raises questions about Australia’s response to migrant smuggling and its treatment of asylum seekers. This article examines the principle that smuggled migrants should not be punished for seeking refuge through illegal entry to a receiving state. It explores the extent of the obligations created by article 5, and, on that basis, assesses the compatibility of Australia’s legislative and practical responses to the smuggling of migrants. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In recent conversations about ethics in oral history, most of the topics tend to fall into two main categories—legislated or voluntary. Interactions with Institutional Review Boards and the nature and content of consent and release forms tend to fall into the former, being controlled by legal constraints. Some of the more complex ethical issues often belong to the “voluntary” group, however, as they are driven largely by individual and institutional consciences rather than by hard-and-fast written guidelines. These dilemmas tend to be more situational in nature, and they include privacy concerns, responsibility to narrators, and accountability to communities in the new digital era. This article discusses some of the ways in which these ethical quandaries are being addressed, as well as some new considerations that are currently emerging. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Front line social work in non-government organisations (NGOs) providing services for refugees and asylum seekers is demanding and challenging. Increasing numbers of social workers work with newly arrived communities; however, there are few studies that examine the demands and issues they face. Asylum seekers and refugees face restricted access and limited entitlement to health and social care. This article draws on evidence from a qualitative study conducted in 2006–11 that analysed the narratives of thirty front line workers to identify the challenges faced in delivering effective services and support. It was found that immigration policy in Australia and the UK placed pressure on social workers working with those who are subject to tight state controls and who experience poverty and destitution. In most NGOs in the UK, there is no supervision or structural support for front line social workers, whereas Australian NGOs are informed by a culture of supervision. This article highlights the demands social workers face in their work and recommends improved conditions in NGOs, and targeted social work education, training and research. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

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

News: Death and torture in a Libyan prison – human rights violations continue

Death and torture in a Libyan prison – human rights violations continue

By Mary Sutton  Wednesday, 13 March 2013.

Hopes for justice and human rights in Libya were dealt another blow as news has emerged of the death on 10th March of an Egyptian, Ezzat Hakim, whilst in custody.  Although the Libyan authorities claim that Ezzat’s death was related to a medical condition, this has been contested by Egyptian human rights lawyers who say that Ezzat died as a result of torture whilst in detention.

Ezzat’s arrest on 13 February 2013 came days after four people – a South African, a South Korean, a Swedish American, and an Egyptian – were arrested in Benghazi on suspicion of proselytisation.  Ezzat, along with three other Egyptians living in Libya, had the misfortune of being on the list of contacts on the phone of the arrested Egyptian, Sherif Ramsis, and, as a result, they were arrested.  It appears their only crime was an assumption of guilt by association and reports suggest they have been severely tortured in an attempt to make them confess.  Over the last two weeks, activists in Egypt received information, purportedly originating from lawyers at the Criminal Investigation Unit in Libya, that the four Egyptians were to be released because of lack of evidence of any involvement with Sherif Ramsis’s activities involving distribution of Christian literature.  Tragically, the delays have cost Ezzat his life.

Concern is now focused on the remaining three Egyptians.  Despite no clear charge they remain in prison.  The latest news is that imminently they will have to stand before the public prosecutor who will decide on their case.  As migrants in one country and part of a minority in their home country, the support and advocacy of human rights activists in the wider international community may prove to be crucial.

Press articles:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/17/libya-arrests-suspected-foreign-missionaries

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130313/ml-libya-christians/?utm_hp_ref=homepage&ir=homepage

 

New Journal of Middle East Migration Studies

We are delighted to announce that we have just launched a new online peer-reviewed journal that is dedicated to the field of Middle East migration studies.

Shukry Baddour with sons Joseph and Steven North Carolina, USA circa 1932. Copyright: the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies and the Department of History at North Carolina State University.

*Mashriq & Mahjar* is a bi-annual electronic publication devoted to disseminating original research on migration from, to, and within the region now commonly known as the ‘Middle East.’ Its primary focus is on the Eastern Mediterranean. However, its scope also extends to Iran, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula, and to all parts of the world affected by Middle Eastern migration, from the Americas and Africa to Australia and South-East Asia. The journal welcomes submissions on all aspects of human movement and the circulation of ideas, cultural artifacts, and commodities, from the disciplinary perspectives of history, anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, art history, literary studies, and comparative religion. Each issue contains double-blind peer-reviewed articles and detailed reviews of relevant publications.

We hope that you will take time to peruse the first issue, that you will let others know about the journal, and most importantly that you will consider submitting your work for consideration for publication in future issues of the journal.

Please find below the link to the journal’s homepage:

http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/akhater/Mashriq/index.html

Mashriq & Mahjar is published by the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies and the Department of History at North Carolina State University.

 

Event: Feminist Research Group – Gender Violence: Policies and Interventions

FEMINIST RESEARCH GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON

Gender Violence: Policies and Interventions Symposium for the Launch of the Feminist Research Group

8th April 2013, 2-5-pm,

University of East London, SD 1.12, Sports Dock Building, First Floor

Professor Frances Heidensohn: What is the most important contribution feminism can make to debates on gender violence?

Mojisola Adebayo: Reflections on ‘I Stand Corrected’

Aylwyn Walsh: Survivor/victim/hero?: Theatre making with women in prison Gurcharan Virdee: Policy interventions around gender based violence in conflict situations and humanitarian contexts

Abstracts and Biographical Notes:

Professor Frances Heidensohn: What is the most important contribution feminism can make to debates on gender violence?

In assessing the contribution of feminism on debates on gender violence Frances considers two important questions: how research informs policies and how cultural and conceptual shifts reshape the dialogue.  Models for campaigns which challenge the status quo are also discussed in this talk.

Frances Heidensohn is Visiting Professor in the Sociology Department at LSE and Emeritus/a Professor of Social Policy, University of London. She is the General Editor of the British Journal of Sociology. Frances is a pioneer of feminist perspectives in criminology, best known for herwork on gender and crime. She has also worked on gender and law enforcement on international and comparative perspectives. In 2000 she received the Book Award of the International Division of the American Society of Criminology and in 2004 she was awarded the Sellin Glueck Award for her contributions to international criminology.

Mojisola Adebayo: Reflections on ‘I Stand Corrected’

Mojisola talks about her most recent collaboration on a performance developed with a South African artist. The work engages with the systemic ongoing problem of ‘corrective rape’, sexual violence perpetrated against lesbians with the objective to ‘cure’ or ‘correct’ them.

Born in South London, Mojisola Adebayo is an actor, director, playwright and producer. She has been making theatre for over two decades. In 2005 Adebayo’s Moj of the Antarctic wasperformed at Lyric Hammersmith, Oval House Theatre, Queer Up North and had a British Council African tour. Adebayo followed this with productions of Muhammad Ali and Me (Oval House), Matt Henson, North Star (Lyric Hammersmith) and her first commission, Desert Boy (Nitro, Albany and national tour).

Aylwyn Walsh: Survivor/victim/hero?: Theatre making with women in prison

Awlwyn presents an overview of a theatre-making process with women in prison focusing on how women participants fluctuate between positions, as ‘survivors’, ‘victims’ and ‘heroes’. The talk, accompanied by images from photographer Cristina Nunez.

Aylwyn Walsh is a performance maker and scholar (University of Lincoln), working on the arts and social change, currently developing practice-led research in women’s prisons. She is also the artistic director of Ministry of Untold Stories. Recent publications include work on arts in healthcare for the Journal for Applied Arts and Health; on street art in Journal of Arts and Communities, and in Total Theatre Magazine, Women in Prison Magazine, Prison Service Journal, Theatre Topics. She is currently co-editing ‘Remapping Crisis: A Guide to Athens’ published by Zero Books.

Gurcharan Virdee: Policy interventions around gender based violence in conflict situations and humanitarian contexts

Gurcharan will consider the challenges in providing adequate support to sexual violence survivors in conflict/humanitarian contexts, focusing on the problems involved in extrapolating models developed in the Western context to situations ‘elsewhere’. She will refer to recent cases in Somalia and Afghanistan.

Gurcharan Virdee is Senior Consultant on Violence Against Women/Girls and Gender and Conflict, with Social Development Direct.

 

Event: CCSR Culture & Polity Series IV: Public Policy

CCSR Culture & Polity Series

IV: Public Policy

March 27, 2013, 18:30-20:30, £7/5

PS2, Iniva, Rivington Street, London

Presented in association with Iniva, the fourth and final event in the Centre for Cultural Studies Research seminar series Culture & Polity explores the question of public policy. As the government’s austerity drive continues to whittle away arts funding while ministers question the very value of the arts, how should artists and arts bodies respond? What might a progressive arts policy look like? Is Britain’s cultural and creative sector under threat. Or will hard times inspire aesthetic and political radicalism?

Tessa Jackson: Chief Executive Officer, Iniva. Tessa has over 25 years experience within the visual arts as a gallery director, curator, and consultant on cultural policy and strategic planning in Britain and internationally. Tessa was the founding Artistic Director of Artes Mundi and has curated recent exhibitions by NS Harsha, Chen Chieh-jen and Zineb Sedira.

Áine O’Brien: Áine is Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, London, and leads on creative direction at Pivotal Arts, Dublin. She created the Forum on Migration and Communications and co-founded the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice. Her productions to date (film, print and curation) explore global storylines linking migration, creative documentary and social change.

Gavin Poynter: Professor and Chair, London East Research Institute, University of East London. Gavin has widely published on London 2012, the economics of the service industries and urban regeneration. He has completed several studies on the East London region, including for the OECD/DCLG, GLA, and local boroughs. He is the co-editor of London After Recession: A Fictitious Capital?

Cecilia Wee: London Regional Council of Arts Council England. Cecilia is a curator, writer and broadcaster who produces projects in the fields of experimental sound, performance and visual art practices. A Visiting Lecturer in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, she is also Chair of the Live Art Development Agency, a Council Member of Resonance FM and a member of the Artquest Advisory Board.

Further Information:  the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London.

 

 

Call for Contributions: Routes and Rites to the City: Temporal and Spatial Diversity in Johannesburg’s Migrant Religions and Rituals Johannesburg

Routes and Rites to the City: Temporal and Spatial Diversity in Johannesburg’s  Migrant Religions and Rituals Johannesburg, South Africa| 2013

***Closing date 8 March 2013***

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

[A study by the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), Wits University, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity]

The proposed anthropological project — to be completed between March 2013 and June 2014 — aims to explore both the temporal and spatial diversity of migrant religious and divination and death rituals in inner-city and Southern Johannesburg. It will seek to explore how this diversity develops as a response to both the spiritual and material insecurities of experiences of migration. The interest in migration conceived broadly — not a bureaucratic category — but aims to explore experiences of mobility, dislocation and distance from familial and ancestral ‘homes’. Hence, it encompasses both South African nationals and non-nationals.

We aim here to outline the temporal and spatial diversity of these rituals of different urban spaces which churches occupy (the veld, factories, reclaimed churches and synagogues …) and both the economic and symbolic reasons for this diversity. In this analysis we will also conduct historical research into the uses of these urban spaces and the overlay of different temporal and spatial patterns of migration. We wish to delve into processes of sacralization and desacralization of the urban landscape as it results from disputed access to the urban space and is associated with mobility and migration historically and in its present formations.

The book will cover, among other religions and rituals: African Initiated Churches, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Catholic and Methodist churches – but aims to extend beyond a focus on Christianity In particular we are looking for contributions on ‘traditional’ healing’ African religions, Chinese religions, and Islam. It will focus around Zone F and Rosettinville, though other areas will be considered.

The outputs of the project will be a book to be edited by Dr Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon (Matthew@migration.org.za) and Dr Lorena Nunez (Lorena.Nunezcarrasco@wits.ac.za), a multi-media platform, a public symposium/workshop and an exhibition.

Participants would be expected to attend a bi-monthly discussion and reading group (for those based in Johannesburg), to produce materials for online use and to produce a draft chapter by November 2013 and final chapter for presentation in a workshop/exhibition in February 2014, after which the final manuscript will be edited. Technological support and limited research funding is available which will be allocated on a needs assessment.

Please submit proposals with abstract, a CV and a sample of writing (preferably an existing publication) and proposed research costs by March 8.  Please send proposals via email to Peter Kankonde: Kankondepeter@gmail.com, copied to Drs. Wilhelm-Solomon and Nunez.

 

Launch of the Refugee Archives and History Group

As part of my work with the Refugee Council Archive here at UEL, I have been working with the organizers of this years Refugee Week to investigate possibilities around the theme of refugee history and heritage.  As a consequence of this, I am pleased to announce the launch of:

The Refugee Archives and History Group

RAHGThe Refugee Archives and History Group is an informal group of archivists, historians, NGOs and refugee communities. The main focus is the administration and care of both refugee history archives in the UK.

The idea for creating a Refugee Archives and History Group (RAHG) has been born out of preparations undertaken for the 2013 Refugee Week Conference, which was held on Friday 22 February, 2013 at Amnesty International. As part of our planning, we are interested in trying to establish a network of archivists, librarians, historians, refugee-community organisations and members of refugee Refugee Weekcommunities themselves to facilitate discussions around the importance of preserving refugee history and to provide an open space for discussing best practice in terms of preserving the history of the refugee experience through archival records.

We have created a website and blog at: refugeearchiveshistory.wordpress.com/

Please take a look at this site and we would very much appreciate any comments and feedback that you may have and we would be able to consider any guest postings or ideas for possible content.  For any feedback or ideas, please contact us on: refugeearchivesandhistorygroup@gmail.com

We have also established an accompanying email group listserv which will attract a membership from both the academic sector (historians, librarians, archivists), and also interested members from the voluntary sector and also we hope from the refugee communities themselves.  We hope this will be beneficial to all groups by providing an opportunity to discuss these issues across professional boundaries.  Further instructions on how to join can be found Here and please do join if you can.

If you wish, you may also follow us on twitter at:  @RAHG_UK

Further information can be found as follows:

Refugee Week:  www.refugeeweek.org.uk/

London Metropolitan Archives:  www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/default.aspx

Refugee Council Archive:  www.uel.ac.uk/rca/

Re-Blog: Relief on Film

Re-blogged from the Voluntary Action History Society:

The symbiotic relationship between the humanitarian sector and those who document its work is by no means an easy one. This point seems likely to be made again with Fatal Assistance, a documentary by Raoul Peck due to screen in London on Saturday as part of the Human Rights Watch film festival. It offers a critique of relief efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake of 2010.

For UK viewers, Peck’s film comes off the back of a feature-length piece – tellingly entitled The Trouble with Aid – screened by the BBC late last year. Made with the cooperation of key figures from the humanitarian sector, it portrayed fifty years of humanitarian aid as a story of manipulation and compromise. This clip discussing the camps for Rwandan refugees following the 1994 genocide gives a sense of the filmmakers’ approach:

Link to The trouble with Aid: Rwanda to Goma – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p012614

The documentary’s take on humanitarian history provoked a lively debate amongst sector experts but its tenets were hardly new. For instance, a 1996 documentary by former Médecins sans Frontières head Rony Brauman (La pitié dangereuse, Arte) made many similar points. Brauman’s documentary came in the wake of the experiences in Rwanda and discoveries about the cooptation of refugee camps by the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s.

Regardless of the whether you share their views, we should be glad that these critical documentaries now get an airing. Recently a friend brought my attention to Ken Loach’s 1969 documentary about Save the Children (SCF). It is notoriously hard to get your hands on. This is because for a long time, Save the Children (which had commissioned the film and part-financed it) insisted that it not be broadcast in any way. As Leo Entnicknap explained on the VAHS blog, rather than making a supportive piece about SCF’s combat against poverty in the UK and abroad, Loach lambasted the ‘sticking-plaster solutions’ that he saw in their programmes and the class prejudice and colonialism of their work in England and Kenya. The single copy only narrowly escaped being trashed entirely.

After more than forty years under lock and key, the unfinished film screened in 2011. A panel discussion brought Loach and the film’s producer Tony Garnett together with the present chief executive of SCF-UK, Justin Forsythe, to discuss the film’s fate and its relevance to current affairs. This Q&A is well worth watching for a glimpse into some of the workings of censorship and changing attitudes towards the recipients of aid, as well as the insight that the repudiation of the past is often better served by acknowledging errors than avoiding them.

Such documentaries are contentious because they have the potential to reach a far greater audience than the grey literature and academic analyses that often share their critiques. Countless studies have made in print the same points about manipulation, paternalism, or misuse of funds, and will no doubt continue to do so; though they may be more nuanced than documentaries, this is by no means automatic. But in a fast-moving field where public opinion counts, the medium can have a huge impact on the power of the message.

 

News: Why the voluntary sector is under threat

From the Institute of Race Relations:

Why the voluntary sector is under threat

Written by Jenny Bourne

A report into the independence of the voluntary sector holds important lessons for groups struggling for funding and their very existence.

The voluntary sector is under threat. So, who cares, you might reply, everything is up for grabs these days. It is not enough to throw up ones hands and see the demise of the Third Sector as inevitable or unimportant or nothing to do with politics. To have a strong, independent voluntary sector is the lifeblood of struggles for justice. It is the sector which can campaign for change, can articulate the voices of the unheard and powerless, take on the ‘unpopular’ issues and challenge orthodoxies. But to do those things it has to be independent and truly distanced from both centres of power and private profit. And in both these areas the sector is being undermined.

For the full article and access to the report, [click here].

 

RSC Workshop – The deportation of unaccompanied minors: family-tracing and government accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) project

Workshop – The deportation of unaccompanied minors: family-tracing and government accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) project

Date: 10:30am, Friday, May 03, 2013

Presenter/Convenor: Professor Dawn Chatty and Dr Martin Lemberg-Pedersen

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

Series: Conferences and workshops


About the workshop | Programme | Registration | Livestream


About the workshop

Credit: UNHCR / Helene Caux

The European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) is an EU project to find new methods for the return of unaccompanied minors, mainly from Afghanistan, who have received a final rejection of their asylum application.

By European law, unaccompanied children cannot be removed before they reach 18 years of age. However, deportations of children from partner countries of the ERPUM project – including the UK – are taking place now, and the lack of consultation or public access to information about the project raises serious questions of government accountability.

This one-day workshop will convene academics and policymakers to discuss this urgent and critical issue.


Programme

10:30-11:00 Registration and coffee/tea

11:00-11.15 Introduction – Dawn Chatty, RSC

11:15-11.45 ‘The evolution of the ERPUM project’ – Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, University of Copenhagen

11:45-12:30 ‘Afghan perspectives on ERPUM’ – Liza Schuster, City University London.

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:15 ‘ERPUM and the Convention on the Rights of the Child’ – Rebecca Stern, University of Uppsala

14:15-15:00 ‘The legal and political viability of ERPUM under international law’ – Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Danish Institute for International Studies

15:00-16:00 Coffee/tea

16:00-16:45 ‘Ethical reflections on ERPUM’ – Matthew J Gibney, RSC

16:45-17:30  Panel discussion

17:30-18:00  Summary and closing session


Registration

A limited number of places are available to attend this workshop. To register your interest, please complete the online registration form.

If you are unable to attend in person but would like to follow the event live and contribute to the discussion online, please see the following section.


Livestream

This event will be streamed online and we greatly encourage the participation of academics, policymakers, students and activists involved in asylum welfare. Online participants will be able to follow the event live and join the conversation through Twitter. More information to follow.

null @refugeestudies  #RSC_ERPUM

Reminder CMRB Event: Book Launch for ‘Refugee Women: Beyond gender versus culture’ by Leah Bassel

CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) is delighted to invite you to the book launch for

Refugee Women: Beyond gender versus culture

by

Leah Bassel

which will take place in

EB.G.05 Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, nearest tube: Cyprus DLR

(www.uel.ac.uk/campuses/docklands/)

Monday 18th March, 4-6pm

Discussant: Prof. Maleiha Malik

Leah Bassel is New Blood Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester.  Her research focuses on the political sociology of gender, migration, race and citizenship.  Her work has also been published in journals including Politics & Gender, Ethnicities, Government and Opposition and French Politics. She is an Assistant Editor of the journal Citizenship Studies.

Maleiha Malik is Professor in Law at King’s College London. She is a barrister and a member and fellow of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. Her research focuses on the theory and practice of discrimination law. She is the co-author of Discrimination Law: Theory and Practice which was published in 2008.

Refugee Women: Beyond Gender Versus Culture

Debates over the headscarf and niqab, so-called ‘sharia-tribunals’, Female Genital Operations and forced marriages have raged in Europe and North America in recent years, raising the question – does accommodating Islam violate women’s rights? The book takes issue with the terms of this debate.  It contrasts debates in France over the headscarf and in Canada over religious arbitration with the lived experience of a specific group of Muslim women: Somali refugee women. The challenges these women eloquently describe first-hand demonstrate that the fray over accommodating culture and religion neglects other needs and engenders a democratic deficit.

In Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture, new theoretical perspectives recast both the story told and who tells the tale. By focusing on the politics underlying how these debates are framed and the experiences of women at the heart of these controversies, women are considered first and foremost as democratic agents rather than actors in the ‘culture versus gender’ script. Crucially, the institutions and processes created to address women’s needs are critically assessed from this perspective.

Breaking from scholarship that focuses on whether the accommodation of culture and religion harms women, Bassel argues that this debate ignores the realities of the women at its heart. In these debates, Muslim women are constructed as silent victims. Bassel pleads compellingly for a consideration of women in all their complexity, as active participants in democratic life.

For more information on this book:  www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415603607/

 

Human Rights Watch Film Festival – Nowhere Home

 “Is the reason we have a system that doesn’t recognise other people’s suffering because we can keep it at a distance?”
—Margreth Olin

In this compelling documentary, filmmaker Margreth Olin follows a number of boys from Salhus, a Norwegian centre offering temporary residence to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. We get to know Goli who now lives back in Kurdistan after being deported from Norway the day after he turned 18. We follow him as he embarks on his journey back to country where he was given safe haven. We meet brothers Hassan and Hussein from Afghanistan. Traumatised by what they have witnessed in Afghanistan, Hussein is completely dependent on his brother as well as the support they receive from the Norwegian state. While all the boys at Salhus hope for an extension of their asylum status, the threat of deportation when they turn 18—and uncertain futures in Afghanistan, Iraq, or other war-torn countries—hangs over all their heads. A visceral and provocative film, Nowhere Home scrutinises one of Europe’s major moral dilemmas. Official Selection Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2012

Press releases including high res images and further information: http://ff.hrw.org/press

 

Launch of new report looking at Roma in Europe: The Limits of Inclusion? Exploring the views of Roma and non Roma in six European Union Member States

New from the Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) at the University of Salford:

Launch of new report looking at Roma in Europe: The Limits of Inclusion? Exploring the views of Roma and non Roma in six European Union Member States

A new research report The Limits of Inclusion? Exploring the views of Roma and non Roma in six European Union Member States produced by Dr Philip Brown, Professor Peter Dwyer and Dr Lisa Scullion from the University of Salford, UK was launched this week in Brussels. The report forms part of the Roma SOURCE (Sharing of Understanding Rights and Citizenship in Europe) project, a two year project co-funded by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.

The report draws together extensive empirical research with 180 respondents undertaken in six EU Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) with Roma populations and ‘non’ Roma populations. It details findings in areas such as: paid work, unemployment, community relations, social welfare and social exclusion. A series of recommendations are made for both policy makers and community based practitioners.

The final report and summary document can be accessed here www.romasource.eu/resources/research#reports

Please get in touch with either the Roma SOURCE project team or the authors if you wish to discuss any issues further.

 

World Without Torture

The infamous case of Khaled Said would have ended with the official autopsy claiming death by asphyxiation due to the swallowing of a plastic bag with narcotics. But the truth is that the 28-year old Egyptian was brutally tortured and killed at the hands of two Alexandria policemen in early 2010, and ended up influencing the history of modern Egypt. Between one scenario and the other was an alternative report by two international forensic experts exposing the weaknesses of the official medical reports. The two policemen were convicted and Khaled’s case spurred the demonstrations and uprising that ultimately led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak.

As torture often takes place in secret and with methods designed to be as painful as possible without leaving physical marks, proving torture is becoming increasingly hard.

One of the major challenges in proving torture, and thus fighting impunity, is to obtain sufficient evidence. If…

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