Daily Archives: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Events: Bordering on failure: Canada–US border policy and the politics of refugee exclusion (Refugee Studies Centre and Border Criminologies special joint seminar)

Bordering on failure: Canada–US border policy and the politics of refugee exclusion 

Speakers: Professor Deborah E Anker (Harvard University), Professor Efrat A Arbel (University of British Columbia)
Date: Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm
Location: Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Hosted by the RSC and Border Criminologies

Based on a recent report published by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC), entitled Bordering on Failure: Canada–U.S. Border Policy and the Politics of Refugee Exclusion, this talk will examine the Canada–US Safe Third Country Agreement, a ‘refugee sharing’ agreement implemented by Canada and the United States to exercise more control over their shared border. Drawing on interview data collected along the Canada–US border, it will evaluate how the Agreement has altered the Canada–US border landscape, and the effects it has had on asylum seekers.

The HIRC report concludes that the Safe Third Country Agreement not only closes Canada’s borders to asylum seekers, but also diminishes the legal protections available to them under domestic and international law. It further concludes that the Agreement has failed in its goal of enhancing the integrity of the Canada–US border, and has in fact prompted a rise in human smuggling and unauthorised border crossings, making the border more dangerous and disorderly, and placing the lives and safety of asylum seekers at risk. The talk will highlight these central findings, and, situating the Agreement in its global context, also examine the broader effects of its implementation.

Please visit the RSC website to read more about the speakers and add the seminar to your calendar: http://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/events/bordering-on-failure-canada-us-border-policy-and-the-politics-of-refugee-exclusion

To download the HIRC report, please click here: http://harvardimmigrationclinic.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/bordering-on-failure-harvard-immigration-and-refugee-law-clinical-program1.pdf

Courses: MHPSS Network webinar series

The MHPSS Network (mhpss.net)  is a growing global platform for connecting people, networks and organizations, for sharing resources and for building knowledge related to mental health and psychosocial support both in emergency settings and in situations of chronic hardship. This autumn, we present a series of webinars focusing on MHPSS programmes and refugee integration.

From October to November 2014, we will bring field-based practitioners and researchers together to share their expertise and experiences on two particular topics: the state of MHPSS programming and the process of refugee integration.

Details of the Autumn 2014 Webinar Series:

Webinar 1: Thursday 2nd October 2014 1pm-2pm in the UK (UTC+1)

Title: “The politics of mental health and psychosocial programmes in humanitarian settings”

Presenter: Katherine Rehberg

Discussant: Ananda Galappatti

Webinar summary:

Over the last several decades, humanitarian programmes have increasingly sought to promote the psychological needs and social well-being of conflict-affected populations. This growing priority can be seen in the development of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes, which have been incorporated into humanitarian responses to human-induced and natural disasters around the world. However, despite this proliferation, MHPSS programmes have been widely criticised, and the field marked by intense debate. This presentation will discuss the evolution of MHPSS programming, with a focus on identifying the field’s current positioning within this historical context. Has the field successfully addressed many of the traditional critiques of MHPSS programming? What assumptions underpin current practice?

Webinar 2: Thursday 16th October 1pm-2pm in the UK (UTC+1)

Title: Holistic Integration Service in Scotland – Lessons learned

Presenters: Elodie Mignard and Joe Brandy Scottish Refugee Council

Webinar summary:

This webinar will present the initial learning from the first year of delivery of the Holistic Integration Services coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, who is the leading organization in Scotland in supporting asylum seekers and refugees. The Holistic Integration Services aims to assist new refugees to rebuild their lives in Scotland by offering them a personalised, outcome- based service that promotes independence. The webinar therefore will provide the practical insights of the integrations programme.

Webinar 3: Thursday 13th November 2014 1pm-2pm in the UK (UTC)

Title: “Isolation or Integration?”

Presenters: Neil Quinn and Dr Alison Strang

This webinar will examine the patterns of social connections amongst refugees in Glasgow, Scotland and consider the impact on their mental health, well-being and access to services. Alison Strang and Neil Quinn will report on their recent study with Afghan and Iranian refugee men using participatory methods to map social connections. There will be an opportunity to explore implications for service providers.

Further information can be found at: http://mhpss.net/event/join-us-for-the-new-forthcoming-autumn-2014-webinar-series-check-out-the-programme-and-register/

We look forward to seeing you there!

If you have any questions contact our Global Host for Refugee Integration and Settlement: emilia@mhpss.net

Calls for Papers: The role of EU Institutions in migration and asylum policies: liberal constraint?

Call for Abstracts for a Panel Proposal for the 2015 CES Conference
The role of EU Institutions in migration and asylum policies: liberal constraint?

We invite scholars who investigate the role of EU institutions in migration and asylum policies to submit an abstract to be included in a panel proposal for the 2015 CES conference which will take place 8-10 July 2015 in Paris, France (http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/conferences/2015-ces-conference).

For many years, European cooperation on asylum and migration policies raised concerns about the potentially restrictive impact of such cooperation on the rights of migrants and refugees (Guiraudon 2000; Hathaway 2003; Juss 2005; Fry 2005).  However, the communitarisation of EU asylum and migration policies since the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the introduction of Community law and policies since the early 2000s represent a major turning point in the politics of migration and asylum in Europe. The consequences of this communitarization are only gradually becoming apparent. It has been observed that the shift of power from the member states to EU institutions such as the Court and the Commission has produced new liberal constraints on member states. As a result, it is argued, the European Union is no longer a venue to which member states with restrictive policy preferences can ‘escape’ to circumvent domestic constraints (El-Enany & Thielemann 2011; Acosta Arcarazo & Geddes 2013; Kaunert & Leonard 2012; Bonjour & Vink 2013; Block & Bonjour 2013).

This argument raises questions about the role of EU institutions in asylum and migration policies. Can the policy impact of EU institutions such as the Court, the Commission, and the European Parliament in the field of migration  and asylum indeed be characterized as a ‘liberal constraint’? How can we explain the (liberal) policy preferences and positions adopted by different EU institutions? At which stages in the policy process (agenda-setting, decision-making, implementation) does this impact become apparent and through which channels does it shape national and EU policies? How about the role of EU agencies such as Frontex or the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)?

Please send your abstract (250-500 words) to s.a.bonjour@uva.nl no later than Friday, 26 September 2014.

We will let you know whether your abstract has been included in our panel proposal no later than 10 October 2014. The conference organizers will let us know whether our panel proposal has been accepted no later than 18 December 2014.

Best regards,
Eiko Thielemann (E.Thielemann@lse.ac.uk)
Saskia Bonjour (s.a.bonjour@uva.nl)