Daily Archives: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mali: The Brazen Bibliophiles of Timbuktu | Pulitzer Center

Published April 29, 2013

Yochi Dreazen

Stephanie Diakité, Abdel Kadel Haidara, and an elder from one of Mali’s ancient manuscript-holding families. Image by Stephanie Diakité. Mali, 2013.

Stephanie Diakité, Abdel Kadel Haidara, and an elder from one of Mali’s ancient manuscript-holding families. Image by Stephanie Diakité. Mali, 2013.

One afternoon in March, I walked through Timbuktu’s Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Studies and Islamic Research, stepping around shards of broken glass. Until last year, the modern concrete building with its Moorish-inspired screens and light-filled courtyard was a haven for scholars drawn by the city’s unparalleled collection of medieval manuscripts. Timbuktu was once the center of a vibrant trans-Saharan network, where traders swapped not only slaves, salt, gold, and silk, but also manuscripts—scientific, artistic, and religious masterworks written in striking calligraphy on crinkly linen-based paper. Passed down through generations of Timbuktu’s ancient families, they offer a tantalizing history of a moderate Islam, in which scholars argued for women’s rights and welcomed Christians and Jews. Ahmed Baba owned a number of Korans and prayer books decorated with intricate blue and gold-leaf geometric designs, but its collections also included secular works of astronomy, medicine, and poetry.

This vision of a philosophical, scientific Islam means little to the Al Qaeda–linked Islamist group Ansar Dine, which for most of last year ruled Timbuktu through terror, cutting off the hands of thieves, flogging women judged to be dressed immodestly, and destroying centuries-old tombs of local saints. In the summer, the militants commandeered Ahmed Baba, using it as a headquarters and barracks. Then, in January, French forces closed in on Timbuktu. As the Islamists fled, they trashed the library, burning as many of the manuscripts as they could find. The mayor of Timbuktu, Hallé Ousmani Cissé, told The Guardian that all of Ahmed Baba’s texts had been lost. “It’s true,” he said. “They have burned the manuscripts.”

Full article via Mali: The Brazen Bibliophiles of Timbuktu | Pulitzer Center.

Table of Contents Alert: International Journal of Refugee Law

Oxford Journals have just published their latest Table of Contents Alert for the International Journal of Refugee Law.  Further details on Vol. 25, No. 1, (March 2013), and an outline of the articles included in this journal are detailed as follows:


Legal Status, Labelling, and Protection: the Case of Iraqi ‘Refugees’ in Jordan
Dallal Stevens
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 1-38
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Non-Criminalization of Smuggled Migrants: Rights, Obligations, and Australian Practice under Article 5 of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air
Andreas Schloenhardt and Hadley Hickson
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 39-64
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Shifting Borders and the Boundaries of Rights: Examining the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States
Efrat Arbel
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 65-86
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Inclusion before Exclusion or Vice Versa: What the Qualification Directive and the Court of Justice Do (Not) Say
David Kosar
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 87-119
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]


Ensuring Protection to LGBTI Persons of Concern
Volker Türk
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 120-129
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Case Law

Al-Sirri (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)

DD (Afghanistan) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent): The Supreme Court
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 130-156
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Mostafa Abed El Karem El Kott, Chadi Amin A Radi, Hazem Kamel Ismail v Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal: European Court of Justice (Grand Chamber)
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 157-174
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]


Introductory Note to the San Remo Summary Conclusions on Temporary Protection
Volker Türk, Alice Edwards, and Matthias Braeunlich
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 175-177
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

UNHCR Roundtable on Temporary Protection International Institute of Humanitarian Law
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 178-186
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Book Reviews

Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law
Jean-François Durieux
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 187-190
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

UNHCR and International Refugee Law: From Treaties to Innovation
Niamh Kinchin
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 190-193
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Immigration Detention: Law, History, Politics
Steve Peers
Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: 193-194
[Extract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Cover / Standing Material

Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: NP
[PDF] [Request Permissions]

Int J Refugee Law 2013 25: NP
[PDF] [Request Permissions]

Final Call for Registrations: Home Office event on the Identification of trafficking victims and subsequent investigative measures

Final call for registrations:

‘Identification of trafficking victims and subsequent investigative measures’

You are warmly invited to attend a UK European Migration Network (EMN) Conference on Thursday, 6th June 2013, 10:00 to 17:00 British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB.

This conference aims to explore the latest evidence and policy perspectives on the identification and investigation of human trafficking. This one day event will bring together key policy makers, academic researchers and non governmental organisations from the fields of asylum and migration to share and exchange their knowledge and experiences.

The UK EMN NCP is currently finalising the programme and are looking to receive proposals for presentations under the following headings:

• research evidence on profiles of trafficking victims and traffickers • identification and scale of victims of trafficking • good practice in investigating trafficking offences • transnational challenges and approaches to investigating trafficking offences • improving conviction rates of traffickers • current evidence base on the links between trafficking and other organised crimes

To register your interest in attending:

If you would like to attend the conference, please visit: http://www.emnukncp.org/Events.html and complete the online form.

To submit a presentation proposal:

All those wishing to submit a proposal to present should email an abstract to emn@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk no later than 30th April, 2013. The abstract should be no longer than 200 words, identify which of the topics above the presentation falls under and high-light the presenter’s areas of expertise in human trafficking.

This is a UK European Migration Network event and is co-hosted by Home Office Science. As such, there is no charge for this event.

For more information please contact Magnus Gittins via email: magnus.gittins@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or telephone: 0207 035 5119.

Link:   UK EMN NN Conference 2013 Flyer Final 13-05-13.


Courses: Refugee related Master Programmes at University of East London (UEL)

Refugee related Master Programmes at University of East London (UEL)

MA in Refugee Studies at UEL

About the programme:

UEL LogoThe MA in Refugee Studies Programme has developed in the context of increasing concern about forced migration. It recognises the importance of

(forced) migration at the global level and of the multiple factors associated with refugee crises – the interplay of economic, political, social, cultural, and environment pressures which stimulate the search for asylum. The MA in Refugee Studies enables students to examine forced migration as a global phenomenon. It familiarises students with the relevant theories in the fields of (forced) migration studies, law, sociology, anthropology, psycho-social and cultural studies. The course equips students with advanced skills in interdisciplinary analysis and research, and enhances their career prospects and development.

The programme acknowledges that forced migrants confront major obstacles in their attempt to find sanctuary. Although the majority of refugees are in countries of the developing world, structures of exclusion are most fully developed in the post-industrial societies, notably within Europe. The programme highlights problems associated with limitations of asylum rights in the European states and the climate of hostility towards refugees from countries outside Western Europe. The programme considers alternative, positive, approaches to asylum rights.

MA Refugee Studies and Community Development at UEL About the programme

UEL’s innovative new MA in Refugee Studies and Community Development focuses on the increasingly important and highly relevant area of social care and refugees, and the communities to which they belong. Drawing on elements of our successful programmes in Refugee Studies and International Social Work, the MA offers a unique programme that builds on UEL’s expertise in this important field. The programme examines key issues in the field of refugee studies and the communities in which refugees live.

Our unique programme in Refugee Studies and Community Development uses a multi-disciplinary approach, with insights from politics, international relations, development studies, sociology, anthropology, social policy, psychology, and cultural and legal theory. It examines key issues concerning forced migration, as well as social, cultural, political, legal and psycho-social aspects of settlement and community development, with special reference to refugee communities in East London, as an important historic place of settlement.

Special features of the programmes

Refugee-Centred approach

A distinguishing feature of the programmes is their emphasis upon the lived experience of refugees and of refugee communities. It aims to develop a fuller appreciation of refugee experiences, achievements and needs, by approaching refugees as gender social actors. As such, the programmes will interest those who wish to undertake further research in the fields of

(forced) migration and diasporic studies; ethnicity; social, psycho-social and cultural theory; legal studies; and social policy. The programmes will also interest those professionally concerned with human rights; legal representation of refugees; counselling; education; social and community issues; and refugee welfare. They will assist those who wish to enter employment in these fields.

The Refugee Council Archive at UEL

The Refugee Council Archive at the UEL is one of the largest collections of materials on refugees and forced migration. It is a source of information and analysis on displacement, flight and exile; on legal, political and social issues; and on refugee community life. The Archive contains materials on refugees in all parts of the world, with special emphasis on Britain. For over 30 years it was housed at the Refugee Council, the lead organisation in Britain on refugee issues. In 2002 the Archive was moved to the UEL’s Docklands Campus, where it is maintained and developed by the two MA Programmes. It serves students, academics, researchers, policy makers, agencies and community groups, and in particular refugees, for whom access to dedicated materials on forced migration is often difficult.

Internship Opportunities

In addition to having well established links with universities and research centres in Britain and abroad, the two MA Programmes have close relations with numerous national and local agencies and refugee organisations, based on which they operates an internship programme with a range of organisations.

These provide an excellent opportunity for students to acquire hands-on work experience in their field of studies, and enhance their employment prospects.


The two MA Programmes attracts students of diverse origins and experiences, including refugees, from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South-East Asia, the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe. They bring together academics and those who work professionally in the refugee field, including teachers, counsellors, welfare workers, legal advisers and community workers. Such diversity encourages productive exchange of ideas and enhances the learning environment.

Among sponsors of students on the programme are leading human rights organisations, refugee support bodies, overseas development organisations, academic study centres, law firms, local authorities, colleges and schools, race equality and equal opportunities committees, charities and aid groups, as well as refugee community organisations.

Programmes structure

Core modules: Introduction to Forced Migration, Introduction to International Social Work and Community Development and Research Methods

Option modules include specialist options on social, cultural, political, legal and psychosocial aspects of refugee studies and community development.

Students begin the Dissertation during summer semester and submit in September

Career opportunities

The two MA Programmes develop general conceptual and analytical abilities, as well as research skills. They enhance generic skills which are appropriate to both further academic research and professional employment.

The MA in Refugee Studies Programme provides a theoretical and practical grounding for those who wish to advance academic work and progress to doctoral research in the fields of migration; diasporic and ethnic studies; legal studies; as well as in social and cultural theory. It also prepares students for employment in areas related to refugee and migration issues, notably in the fields of immigration and asylum law, advocacy, education, health and employment, as well as local government..

The MA in Refugee Studies and Community Development will appeal to professionals and practitioners interested in refugees and community development, both locally and internationally. Graduates could expect to work in non-governmental organisations, social service departments, and local and international charities.

For further information please check



or contact Diane Ball, Programmes’ Administrator, D.M.Ball@uel.ac.uk or +44(0)20 8223 2770.

About University of East London (UEL)

UEL rated in the top five of the modern universities for research by the Guardian, is a dynamic and vibrant university offering a wide range of courses and programme to over 19, 000 students. Our diverse and innovative learning environment has seen UEL become one of the most multicultural and forward thinking universities in London.

UEL’s School of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) offers a wide range of interdisciplinary programmes covering a wide range of research interests, including Refugee Studies and related fields. Drawing upon the law and social sciences it creates a vibrant academic and intellectual environment. The School is based at the University of East London’s new Stratford and Docklands Campuses – one of the greatest metropolitan areas of Europe.


Calls for papers: Disability, Asylum and Migration

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Disability and the Global South

An International Journal


Disability, Asylum and Migration

Guest Editors: Maria Pisani (University of Malta) and Shaun Grech (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Much has been written and documented on migration and the movements of people within and across national borders. In the light of environmental disasters, wars and conflict, food shortages, and environmental degradation, issues concerning the migration – development nexus have received considerable attention with the development literature infused within broader subjects of poverty reduction and humanitarian intervention. However, within the research and literature on forced migration one is immediately struck by the stark absence of disabled people. This absence is evident also across all of the disciplinary fields  in forced migration including international development, anthropology, global health and humanitarian action. Moreover, many countries of resettlement, such as Canada and Australia, actively exclude disabled people from their refugee and asylum programs. Critically, disability studies has yet to extensively engage with the predicament of disabled refugees and asylum seekers and their journeys across a range of geopolitical spaces. This is despite the fact that wars, conflict and environmental disasters that cause people to migrate are also a major cause of impairment and impoverishment, whilst the forced migratory passage impacts disabled people as they flee or attempt to reconstruct their lives in other places. This negligence is sustained by the virtual exclusion of disabled migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers from major policy documents such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the most recent offering, the WHO/World Bank (2011) World Report on Disability.

This special issue aims to transcend disciplinary, epistemological, and other boundaries, inviting researchers, activists and practitioners to engage in critical debate around all aspects of the migration experience and disability, following journeys for asylum from global South to global North or within the global South. We are keen to hear from those in the global South, in particular empirical work that prioritises and renders visible these lives and voices, and that pushes for disability and migration as a key area of study and practice.

We encourage contributions exploring a range of themes including (not exclusively):

. Causes of forced migration among disabled people in the global South . Experiences of disabled people during exodus and post-conflict/humanitarian contexts . Intersections of disability, race, culture,  poverty, gender and legal status in the migration process . Asylum, disabled bodies, and (re)construction of disabled lives across borders . Globalisation, neoliberalism and the role of the disabled migrant in contemporary imperialism . Racism, xenophobia and the position of the disabled migrant . Medicalisation and treatment in the West . Disabled migrants in policy and practice: critical analyses . Disabled migrants in resettlement . Disability and migration in disciplines: reviews and approaches for inclusion (e.g. disability studies and migration studies) . Disabled migrants, voice, and claims for social justice

Those wishing to submit an article, please email your full manuscript to both Shaun Grech (S.Grech@mmu.ac.uk) and Maria Pisani (maria.pisani@um.edu.mt). Please insert ‘Submission for Disability and Migration Special Issue’ in the subject line. Manuscripts will be sent anonymously for double peer review, and comments and recommendations relayed to authors through the editors. Deadline for submission: 1st September 2013


Calls for papers: 10th Annual IMISCOE Conference: Crisis and Migration- Perceptions, Challenges and Consequences

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

10th Annual IMISCOE Conference

Crisis and Migration- Perceptions, Challenges and Consequences Malmö, Sweden, 25-27 August 2013

Call for Papers

Irregular migration and southern Europe

Workshop: Irregular migration and southern Europe Workshop convenors: Daniela DeBono, Russell King and Ioanna Tsoni

The aim of this workshop is to explore irregular migration in southern European countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus and others. There will be an attempt to identify issues, patterns and processes common to countries in this region, as well as differences. Researchers working in this field are aware of the dearth of spaces available for such discussions. This is reflected in the lack of edited collections or special issues focusing specifically on this phenomenon in this region. If there is enough material, the papers presented in this workshop could be presented to a publisher.

Southern European countries, in particular current EU Member States, share similar migration histories, being traditionally countries of emigration but now having to deal with large numbers of immigrants. Being geopolitically located on the southern EU borders, these countries are likely to continue receiving large irregular migrant flows in spite of the current economic crisis and high unemployment. In addition, the Dublin System has created a situation whereby these countries remain ‘responsible’ for asylum seekers, including those which ‘move on’ to northern European countries. Many of these countries, with a dark track record of violations of human rights of irregular migrants, are now dealing with increasing challenges to maintain fair asylum determination systems while irregular migrants are facing increasing hostility from host communities.

Although the rationale for this workshop is built on similarities within the region, the general tendency to project ‘southern European countries’ as a homogenous area will be consciously avoided and contributions of a comparative nature highlighting differences will be welcome.

Researchers are invited to submit abstracts which broadly serve to feed into the discussion of irregular migration in southern European countries such as (but not only!) the experiences of irregular migrants in southern European countries, reactions of the host communities to irregular migrants, the development of immigration policies, state reactions to the Dublin System and Frontex, the conditions and use of migrant detention centres, access to asylum and protection benefits, participation of irregular migrants in the labour market and so on. The organisers encourage contributions from different areas of study such as migration studies, geography, anthropology, sociology, history, law, politics, human rights, economics and so on.

Abstracts should be sent to Daniela DeBono at daniela.debono@mah.se by Friday 31st May 2013. Questions or clarifications prior to abstract submission should be directed to the same email address.

The Call for Papers can be found online at the conference website:

http://www.imiscoeconferences.org/ , or at the direct link: http://tinyurl.com/ctgt83u

Context and host

The workshop will take place at the 10th IMISCOE Annual Conference, 26 – 27 August 2013 in Malmö, Sweden, which brings together researchers from the IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) Research Network and other academic and research institutions in Europe.

Important dates

. 31 May 2013: Deadline for submission of abstracts . 12 June 2013: Notification of acceptance decisions . 1 August 2013: Deadline for submission of full papers . 1 August 2013: Deadline for IMISCOE Conference Registration


All conference presenters must register for the conference. For more information on how to register please visit the conference website: www.imiscoeconferences.org

Travel expenses and fees

No support will be available towards the cost of accommodation and/or travel and the conference fee.

Events: RSC Public Seminar Series – Evidence about torture in the UK asylum system – tomorrow, 5pm, SR1, QEH

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

Evidence about torture in the UK asylum system Dr Toby Kelly (University of Edinburgh)

Time: 5pm, 15 May 2013

Location: Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development – QEH, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

This presentation will examine some of the difficulties involved in the production and assessment of evidence about torture in the British asylum system.



Recent podcasts

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture 2013

Tracks Across Sand: the dispossession of the ‡Khomani San of the southern Kalahari Hugh Brody (University of the Fraser Valley



The deportation of unaccompanied minors from the EU: family-tracing and government accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) project http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/erpum-workshop

Special seminar

MapAction: Geospatial support for humanitarian disasters Roy Wood (MapAction) http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/mapaction-emergency-responses-to-humanitarian-crises


Calls for papers: Political Geography of Refugee Camps

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

Panel Proposal – International Studies Association Annual Convention (March 26-29, 2014, Toronto, Canada)

We are looking for papers to include in our panel proposal for the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, which will take place March 26-29, 2014, in Toronto, Canada.  The conference theme emphasizes spatial dynamics, and we intend to propose a panel on “The Political Geography of Refugee Camps.”

Transnational refugee flows have obvious spatial dimensions, intertwining as they do issues of borders, territory, and sovereignty.  While most international studies research on the topic has focused on security externalities or the global refugee regime, there has been limited scholarly attention to the intersection of physical space and cross-border refugee flows.  Accordingly, this panel aims to better understand the political causes and effects of spatial patterns in refugee settlement.  For several decades, millions of refugees have resided in camps, segregated settlements, and collective centers around the world.  Not only are space, place, and distance central to the refugee experience, but appreciating the role of these factors leads us to reassess and refine previous research on the politics of refugee flows.

All paper proposals broadly related to the panel theme are welcome.  Please submit a title and abstract (<200 words) to Lamis Abdelaaty (labdel@princeton.edu) or Luara Ferracioli (luaraf@princeton.edu) by May 24, 2013.