Daily Archives: Monday, October 21, 2013

On the Europeanization of Lampedusa and similar tragedies

Postcards from ...

The death of migrants in the Mediterranean is a truly ‘European’ tragedy

[Article for LSE EUROPP Blog, 14 Oct 2013]

Over 300 migrants travelling from Libya to Italy died on 3 October when the boat they were travelling in caught fire and sank in the Mediterranean. I argue that efforts to prevent further disasters taking place must focus on the reasons why migrants choose to risk their lives by travelling to Europe. The EU has not taken on its fair share of asylum seekers in comparison to developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, and opening up safe and legal pathways to apply for asylum should be a key priority. Finally, I argue that the Europeanization of Lampedusa is a strategic asset for the EU Commission at a time when the EU legitimacy is under unprecedented attack in many EU member states. It is up to the EU…

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Event: Special lecture: Madeline V Garlick (UNHCR): Displacement from Syria: putting the Common European Asylum System to the test?

Displacement from Syria: putting the Common European Asylum System to the test?

Madeline V Garlick, Head of Policy and Legal Support Unit – Bureau for Europe, UNHCR

Time: 5pm, Thursday 24 October

Location: Seminar Room 3, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK

Website: http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/displacement-from-syria-putting-the-common-european-asylum-system-to-the-test

NB. If you are unable to attend, a podcast will be made available shortly after the event. Visit: https://soundcloud.com/refugeestudiescentre

As of late August 2013, close to 2 million Syrians have been forced to flee as refugees to neighbouring countries, with hundreds of thousands more forced to leave their homes within the country. With no end in sight to the devastating conflict, the vast human suffering it has unleashed is expected to continue to drive people from Syria to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, as well to European countries where they have sought protection.

Until now, European Union Member States and institutions have contributed generously to the UN’s calls for financial assistance to the humanitarian aid effort. But responses to Syrian asylum-seekers at or within the territory of the Member States have varied widely. While some Member States have granted protection to many of the relatively limited numbers of asylum-seekers arriving to date, forms of status granted, as well as the duration, levels of associated rights and other entitlements diverge significantly. Denials of access to territory and to asylum procedures have been reported, and some European states continue to detain Syrians excessively, or fail to provide appropriate conditions while claimants await decisions, often for months or longer.

Political commitments to solidarity with the countries in Syria’s neighbouring region are continually expressed at EU level and by Member States. However, the number of resettlement and humanitarian admission places offered to date remain modest. Syrians requesting family reunification with relatives displaced in the region continue to face a slow and challenging process in most Member States.

This lecture will analyse the trends in arrivals, recognition rates and other responses to date to Syrians claiming protection in and at the borders of the EU. It will question whether the Common European Asylum System has proven its ability to deliver swift and consistent protection to those in need, as foreseen in the Treaties and successive political declarations, in the face of widespread and well-documented persecution, extreme violence and horrifying violations of human rights.

In addition, it will examine current or proposed European and national measures aimed at responsibility-sharing, extending beyond emergency humanitarian assistance, for refugees hosted in the Middle East, Turkey, Egypt and other significantly affected countries. It will also look at possible scenarios for the immediate future, and what more the EU and Member States can, or should, be doing to respond more effectively to the protection needs of individuals, and the needs of host countries outside Europe, struggling under the weight of their refugee populations.

About the speaker

Madeline V Garlick is the Head of the Policy and Legal Support Unit in the Bureau for Europe of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Prior to this, she led the EU Policy Unit at UNHCR’s Liaison Office to the EU from 2004 to 2009.

Ms Garlick holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in international law from Cambridge, UK, as well as BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) degrees from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. She is qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in Victoria, Australia. From 1996–99, she worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees (CRPC), and later the Legal and Human Rights Unit of the Office of the High Representative (OHR), specialising in legal work on the property rights of displaced persons. She subsequently served in Cyprus, with the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices mission, as part of the team that facilitated negotiations between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots between 1999–2004. She has also served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Refugee Law Reader since 2006.

Event: The Middle East: News and Narratives – City University’s Olive Tree Forum at the Inside Out Festival


The Middle East: News and Narratives – City University’s Olive Tree Forum at the Inside Out Festival

Thursday 24 October 2013, 7pm to 8.30pm. Doors open 6.30pm.

FREE but booking is essential.

College Chapel, King’s College London, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS


How do we disentangle ‘news’ from media reports which are framed in terms of one or other of the competing ‘narratives’ about what’s happening in the Middle East? How do we decide whether the Syrian regime, the rebels or the Americans can be believed? Whose ‘narrative’ is the more compelling – the Israeli one or the Palestinian one, if we are to understand what drives their conflict?

Time was, we did not even talk in terms of ‘narratives’ at all. But since the 1990s it has become common parlance. Academics use the term to describe the mental maps that we all absorb as we grow up (from history lessons, literature, politics and family stories) that frame our understanding of who we are and our place in the world. Politicians talk about competing with each other and the media to ‘frame the national narrative’ so that it reinforces their view of the world and serves their interests.

We invite you to come and discuss what’s at stake in understanding the contemporary Middle East.


Rosemary Hollis – Professor of Middle East Policy Studies and Director of the Olive Tree Programme, City University London. Her book on Britain and the Middle East in the 9/11 Era was published in 2010, RIIA and Wiley Blackwell.

Dr James Rodgers – Academic (City University London) and journalist. During his BBC career (1995-2010), his postings included Moscow, Brussels, and Gaza where, from 2002-04, he was the only international journalist based in the territory. He is the author of No Road Home: Fighting for Land and Faith in Gaza (Abramis, 2013), and Reporting Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Yoav Galai – Olive Tree scholar at City University London (2008-11) and prior to that Jerusalem-based photojournalist.

Bahaa Milhem – Palestinian journalist and TV presenter, Olive Tree scholar at City University London (2010-13)

Event – TurkMiS Workshop: The ermerging Turkish-Russian Migration system

Upcoming event

Turkish Migration Studies group (TurkMiS) 9th workshop: Towards New Migration Systems, Patterns and Policies in Eurasia:
The Case of Turkey and the Russian Federation

Convenors: Aysem Biriz Karacay (MiReKoc) & Franck Duvell (COMPAS)

25 November 2013

Ertegun House, 37a St Giles, Oxford

09:00-09:30 Registration

09:30-11:00 Opening Session

•         Welcome: Franck Duvell, COMPAS/TurkMiS; Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador (tbc); Orcun Basaran, Counsellor, Turkish Embassy

•         Keynote: Andrei Korobkov (Middle Tennessee State University), Assessing the Eurasian Migration System within the Global Context

11:00-11:15 Coffee Break

11:15-12:45 Panel I: Migration in Eurasia: Past Trends, (Dis)continuities, Transition and Change Panel Chair: Kerem Oktem (SEESOX)

•         Harun Yilmaz (University of Oxford), Historical Approach to the International Migration Flows to the Soviet Union

•         Olga Chudinovskikh (Lomonosov Moscow State University) & Svetlana Biryukova (Higher School of Economics), Migration, Demography and Integration in the Russian Federation

Discussant: Nick van Hear (COMPAS)

12:45-14:15 Lunch break

14:15-16:15 Panel II: Migration in Eurasia: Turkish-Russian Migration System Panel Chair: Franck Duvell (COMPAS/TurkMiS)

•         Irina Ivakhnyuk (Moscow State Lomonosov University), The Case of Suitcase Trade

•         Aysem Biriz Karacay (COMPAS-MiReKoc), The Case of Construction Sector

•         Sergei Riazantsev (Russian Academy of Sciences), The Case of Tourism

Discussant: Andrei Korobkov (Middle Tennessee University) 16:15-16:30 Closing Session 16:30-17:30 Drinks & Reception

Papers are aimed to be published as special issue of an academic journal.

If you are interested to participate please register with franck.duvell@compas.ox.ac.uk


CfP Conditions, scope and forms of violence amongst conflict-related refugee communities.

Please find below and attached a call for papers for an edited volume about “Conditions, scope and forms of violence amongst conflict-related refugee communities”. The deadline is 31/11/2013.

Please forward the call to interested persons.

Call for Papers:

Conditions, scope and forms of violence amongst conflict-related refugee communities.

(for an edited volume)

Susanne Buckley-Zistel & Ulrike Krause
Centre for Conflict Studies, University of Marburg, Germany

For most persons, the end of conflicts does not represent the end of violence. Current studies argue that escaping from war and repression to refugee and IDP camps only offers a certain degree of protection against violent assaults. In recent years, the body of literature about sexual violence against women and men in camps has grown, shedding some light on the scope of the abuses. While refugee and aid agencies recognise the continuum of violence and vulnerability of forcibly displaced persons – especially women and girls – as targets of violence and implement measures to protect them, the international record of assaults reveals that violence against and amongst refugee and IDP communities is a global phenomenon and not limited to camps. Particularly sexual and gender-based violence but also other forms of direct, structural and cultural violence are therefore known to constitute great challenges for refugees and IDPs. In spite of the growing attention to issues, the majority of studies focus on female victims in camps and therefore (re-)produced binary categories of masculine forcefulness and feminine vulnerability and factored out the complexity, omnipresence and multi-dimensionality of violence against and amongst refugees and IDPs.

Against this backdrop, the objective of our volume is to explore conditions, scope and forms of violence against and amongst refugees and IDPs in countries of the global south with a focus on (but no strict limitation to) sexual and gender-based violence. By bringing together researchers and policymakers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, the volume aims to include theoretical approaches, regional case studies and policy analyses. Contributions might address the following questions: Is there a continuum of conflict-related violence in post-conflict refugee/IDP settings? What forms of violence exists in which settings? Who conducts violent acts against whom; are there patterns? Are there differences in scales and scope of violence in refugee camps and self-settled contexts? What role does refugee/IDP protection and assistance play to prevent, overcome or perhaps manifest violence? Is the process of renegotiating gender relations in refugee contexts related to the occurrence of violence? If so, how? Why is sexual violence a taboo in many regional contexts and how can unreported cases be pursued and victims supported? What is/can be done to (better) prevent and respond to violence? What instruments and policies exist to deal with violence, trauma and victims’ support? How effective are they?

We welcome proposals dealing with the above questions and the following broad themes, inter alia:

1. Victims, perpetrators and gender relations in the refugee and IDP contexts
2. Violence and specific instruments of refugee and IDP protection and assistance
3. Violence in refugee camps, urban settings and self-settled communities

The intention behind this call for papers is to put together an edited volume on the topic. The volume is related to the research project “Gender relations in confined spaces. Conditions, scope and forms of violence against women in conflict-related refugee camps” at the Centre for Conflict Studies, University of Marburg, funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research.

Submission of abstracts
Please send your abstract of 500 words to Ulrike Krause (ulrike.krause@staff.uni-marburg.de).

Deadline: 31/11/2013.  [Download the Call for Papers]