Monthly Archives: November 2014

New Journal Articles (weekly)

  • “In this paper, we analyze political debates about headscarves and honour-related crimes in France and the Netherlands. We seek to explain why and how France and the Netherlands have come to unevenly politicize headscarves and honour crimes. Moreover, we try to understand how the argument of gender equality is increasingly used by different actors in these policy debates and the gendered implications thereof. We argue that the agenda and demands of (ethnic minority) women′s organizations are selectively included and bent to serve other, non-feminist agendas. Ethnic minority women′s organizations and female ethnic minority politicians have acted as agenda-setters, asking attention for their marginalized position, discrimination against them and experiences of violence, yet these issues were co-opted by (mainly) right-wing politicians to problematize the “deviant” culture of minorities and propose policies that further exclude them and paternalize them instead of improving their situation. “


  • “This article investigates occupational intercultures generated between interpreters and social workers, and is informed by research in Translation and Interpreting Studies. The Bourdieusian concepts of field, habitus and zones of uncertainty are used to illuminate the particular status of interpreter mediation within the interculture as a backdrop to theorising about the impact of interpreter mediation on the nature of social workers’ change agency and reflexive approaches to practice. The article reports on an exploratory and mixed-methods qualitative study in which interpreters and social workers in statutory and non-statutory services were interviewed about their perceptions of the ‘occupational Other’, and in which a discourse-analytical approach to the data helped take account of the researcher’s position as an insider of the interpreting community in the final analytic write-up. The findings suggest that the interculture can often be weakened due to poor understandings of the structural weaknesses in the constitution of public service interpreting and the ‘recontextualising’ practices that occur in interaction; furthermore, interpreter mediation appears to challenge communicative practices in social work in ways that practitioners do not always have the resources to address effectively. The article ends with a call for more research at the micro level of interaction. “


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

Pakistani family face deportation after their son is labelled a terrorist for carrying a cricket bat – Telegraph

Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco

In the summer, Mehdi Nemmouche, a French-born Islamist who had returned from fighting in Syria, was arrested and charged with the murders of four people after the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels.

Despite Assim contacting the police, the entire Abassi family of seven has lost its right to live in Belgium after the Pakistani embassy in Brussels sacked his father, a diplomat, for damaging Pakistan’s reputation.

“We got a call from the embassy saying give us your passports,” said Mr Abassi.

“We’ve lost the privilege of living in Belgium. I’ve lost my education. I’ve lost everything.”

via Pakistani family face deportation after their son is labelled a terrorist for carrying a cricket bat – Telegraph.

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Syrian Refugees on a Hunger Strike in Athens


300 persons in a sit-in, more than 150 on hunger strike, 45 children, at least 9 collapsed, 8 days sit-in, 3 days hunger strike

In a bid for better living conditions, temporary working permits and medical care, more than 200 Syrians – among them many families with small children – fleeing the war-torn country and seeking asylum in the EU, have begun a hunger strike in Athens’ main square. Protesters began to gather on Syntagma Square on November 19, camping out and sleeping on
cardboard boxes and in sleeping bags before staging the hunger strike on Monday. Dozens of Syrians are living homeless in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki without any support. The demonstrators, many of who sat with masking tape covering their mouths, called for the Greek government find a way to solve the refugee crisis.

Read their declaration:

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Syrian refugees stage hunger strike


Refugees from Syria camped out in front of the Greek parliament have begun a hunger strike.
More than 150 people are taking part in the sit-in which began on Wednesday, in a protest calling for the government to speed up the asylum process and provide food and shelter.
“My money is almost finished and we all here have to deal with the mafia. We don’t have legal papers, we can’t rent a house, we can’t do anything,” said one protester.
Another said: “I’m trying to go out of here, to leave Greece and go to other countries in Europe because in Greece there is no chance for me, or even for the Greek people. I came here as a refugee 10 months ago, and I tried many times to get out of Greece and I cannot.”
A woman said: “The only countries that support you so that you can be  comfortable, give you a salary and give you accommodation, are the  European countries.”

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‘What is narrative research?’ – new book!

Centrefornarrativeresearch's blog

‘What is narrative research?’ is out now! Co-writing with 6 others – Mark Davis, Cigdem Esin, Molly Andrews, Barbara Harrison, Lars-Christer Hyden, and Margareta Hyden – was wonderful…Thanks to National Centre for Research Methods for the opportunity to contribute to the ‘What is..?’ series. Here’s a link to the paperback page:

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New Journal Articles (weekly)

  • “An urgently needed resource for peacebuilding is a professional and skilled workforce, however, this is lacking in many post-conflict countries. In this article it is suggested that although fewer refugees in developing countries have access to the level of education required for such professions, countries engaged in peacebuilding can benefit from the returnees with such skills. This study therefore, examines the differences in the levels of higher education of 40 Liberian returnees from Ghana and Guinea and the deployment of their skills towards their integration which have links to the broader peacebuilding agenda of Liberia. While the number of returnees with post-secondary education was generally low, the data indicate that comparatively those from Guinea had limited higher education opportunities to those who were in Ghana. Following from these cases, the article argues that insecurity and non-conducive asylum policies and programmes are the major challenges towards the provision of and refugee access to higher education skills training. Some examples of returnees’ deployment of asylum acquired profession and skills towards peacebuilding are discussed as evidence that the provision of higher education for refugees is not simply a tool for empowering refugees, but also an investment in future peacebuilding. “


  • “If a person enters an embassy or consulate and claims asylum, is there a legal obligation under international refugee law or human rights law to consider that claim and, if the requirements are satisfied, grant protection? Previous research on this question has concluded that no such obligation exists pursuant to the non-refoulement obligations in the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, case-law over the past decade has shifted and strengthened the reach of non-refoulement under international refugee law and human rights law. This article will demonstrate that this more recent jurisprudence provides strong grounds to argue that embassies and consulates are, in certain circumstances, obligated to consider a claim for asylum and, if the requirements are met, grant protection. “


  • “Based on qualitative interviews conducted between 2011 and 2013 with urban refugees in the first asylum ports of Hong Kong and Thailand, this study examines three inter-related dimensions in refugee migration: aspirations, practices and embodiment. It demonstrates what actually happens in the asylum seeking process, from home to host destinations, and the cultural process of “becoming a refugee”. Travelling abroad is not merely a matter of crossing “the border” at an immigration checkpoint. Rather, the participants in this research have to “fashion” themselves as potential “legitimate” travellers or smuggled persons in the making of exits and entrances. This article shows how they make use of their local and transnational social connections for making both “legal” and “illegal” exits and entrances, and how the embodied experience of cross-border movement influence their perception of being refugee. “


  • “For over 65 years, protracted Palestinian refugees have been largely excluded from participating in the Lebanese labour market and rare are the studies that examined the socio-economic implications of such exclusion. This article is concerned with how the lack of rights for the Palestinian graduate women affects their (un)employment status. It will use data from a tracer survey among 201 young graduated Palestinian women who received the Scholarship Fund for Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon, as well as secondary data from the International Labour Organization and the American University of Beirut/United Nations Relief and Works Agency surveys. Our findings reveal that, first, the better is education for Palestinian women, the more likely they are to be employed; second, while State exclusionary policies have not been successful at completely barring Palestinian women from participating in the Lebanese labour market this participation took the form of segregation into low-paid segments of the Lebanese economy and into black labour market where work conditions are very harsh. “


  • “The multiple geographies approach, which combines the spatial-analytic and sociospatial perspectives, highlights the lack of homogenous experience for internally displaced persons across places. After laying out the significance of the multiple geographies approach, we show how geographical perspectives on the economic, material, and social circumstances of internally displaced persons in Georgia cast a different light on creating visibility for their experiences, possibilities for amelioration of circumstances, and the creation of spaces of displacement. We argue that data presentation in a categorical manner is useful for highlighting the forced migrant experience but that adding the sociospatial lens provides deeper insight into human security and people’s lived experiences. We do this through a discussion of the material and social life of internally displaced persons in collective centres as compared to those in private accommodation, by gender, and in different locations in Georgia. We argue that we are ultimately able to improve human security by refining our knowledge of the internally displaced persons’ experiences by highlighting spatial processes. “


  • “This article examines the impact of UN-imposed sanctions on the stability of the Eritrean regime, with a focus on the reaction of the diaspora. It explores the transnational nature of Eritrean society and examines the history and structure of the Eritrean diaspora as well as its transformation since the political crisis of 2001. The article demonstrates that the government, as well as both its supporters and its opponents in the diaspora, have all instrumentalized sanctions for their own purposes. The government has used sanctions to rally supporters “around the flag”, calling on the diaspora to raise funds to negate their effect. By contrast, opposition activists have campaigned against the 2 percent “diaspora tax” levied by the government, arguing that it may be used for illicit military purposes in breach of the sanctions regime. In this sense, the sanctions have destabilized a core component of the regime’s resource base. However, the failure of the diasporic opposition to organize a joint campaign to persuade host governments to outlaw the collection of the tax has undermined its efforts. Funds raised through the diaspora tax thus continue to flow into government coffers, playing a stabilizing role in spite of the UN sanctions regime. “


  • “This article analyses the relationship between migration duration and occupational changes, using the case of Indian expatriates in the Gulf states. Based on the Kerala (India) Migration Survey 2008 and the Return Migration Survey 2009, this analysis investigates whether the length of stay in the Gulf depends on migrants’ occupational trajectories before, during, and after the migration experience. We find inter alia that a prospect of acquiring an occupation which entails upward social mobility (mainly in the public sector or as self-employees) seems to be associated with a shorter stay in the Gulf states, whereas the prospect of post-return labour market dropout significantly increases migration duration. “


  • “The expanded refugee definition in the 1969 African Refugee Convention has been widely praised for its broad scope, its humanitarian aspirations, and for inspiring the liberalization of refugee protection elsewhere. Paradoxically, relatively little is known or understood about its practical effect on refugee protection within Africa. While many African states have incorporated the expanded definition into their domestic refugee legislation, a lack of literature on its implementation makes it hard to assess the extent to which the definition has expanded protection in practice. In addition, a near total absence of available case law from African courts and tribunals means that even a basic understanding of its operation is difficult to establish.

    Addressing this gap, this article considers the expanded refugee definition’s implementation in two case study countries – South Africa and Kenya. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in both countries in late 2012, the article analyzes the definition’s incorporation into domestic law and the crucial step of its implementation within refugee status determination procedures. As two of the main refugee-receiving countries in Africa, the case studies provide a basis on which to assess whether the expanded protection envisaged by the definition is being realized in practice. To the extent that such protection is not being realized, this article offers some preliminary thoughts on why this is and how it might be improved. ”


  • “Despite the economic crisis, Spain is still a country with a large presence of foreign population, which requires the adjustment and adaptation of public services social services among them to this reality. Our objective is to understand and analyse the Intercultural Sensitivity levels of social workers in public social services in Andalusia (Spain), and relate them to elements of intercultural competence. Participants include 298 professionals from Andalusian community social services; 163 were social workers, on which this study focused. We have used the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (IS) in the context of a larger survey that measured other aspects such as the degree of intercultural contact and intercultural competence through different means. We analyse correlations between the dimensions of the IS and other variables, associations and comparisons of means (Student’s t-test and ANOVA) for the whole sample and different variables considering only social workers. The data obtained show high SI, with significant differences related to previous training on cultural diversity, age and relationships with foreign people. The level of knowledge about diversity management in the surveyed population is very relevant, as well as training and relationships with immigrants. However, we think it is necessary to strengthen both training and interaction to advance the implementation of theoretical contents on the practice and interaction that take place in professional intervention. “


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

Table of Contents Alert: Refugee Survey Quarterly (Vol. 33, No. 4 December 2014)

Oxford Journals has published their latest table of contents alert for the journal Refugee Survey Quarterly.  Further details of the articles included in Volume 33, Number 4 (December 2014) can be detailed as follows:

The Multiple Geographies of Internal Displacement: The Case of Georgia
Peter Kabachnik, Beth Mitchneck, Olga V. Mayorova, and Joanna Regulska
Refugee Survey Quarterly 2014 33: 1-30
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Employment of Palestinian Refugee Women in Lebanon: Opportunities and Hurdles
Sari Hanafi
Refugee Survey Quarterly 2014 33: 31-49
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Refugees’ Transnational Mobility: A Study of Asylum Seeking in Hong Kong and Urban Thailand
Terence C.T. Shum
Refugee Survey Quarterly 2014 33: 50-80
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Protection Closer to Home? A Legal Case for Claiming Asylum at Embassies and Consulates
Kate Ogg
Refugee Survey Quarterly 2014 33: 81-113
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]

Filling in the Gap: Refugee Returnees Deploy Higher Education Skills to Peacebuilding
Amanda Coffie
Refugee Survey Quarterly 2014 33: 114-141
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] [Request Permissions]


Refugee Council Archive Weekly Bulletin: Issue Number 3


Refugee Archives News

The Refugee Council Archives at UEL Weekly Bulletin

Issue: 3


Many apologies for the slightly belated circulation of this the third  issue of Refugee Archive News: The Refugee Council Archives at UEL (hopefully) Weekly Bulletin.

This bulletin has the aim of providing both the latest news and developments on the Refugee Council Archive at the University of East London whilst also providing additional information on issues of concern to refugee and forced migration studies more generally. This I hope will include details of news stories, calls for papers, conferences and seminars, and online resources of potential interest. This bulletin, I hope, will aim to provide useful information to both students and academics on both UEL undergraduate courses in International Development and postgraduate students on our courses in Refugee Studies; Refugee Studies and Community Development and Conflict, Displacement and Human Security, whilst also being hopefully of interest to a wider readership represented by our Twitter and Blog followers.

This bulletin will be circulated via our Refugee Archive WordPress blog and also via our Refugee-Research Jiscmail email list. We would welcome any feedback that you may have on this bulletin and we would also welcome any input that you may have in terms of current and future content for both this bulletin and also our WordPress blog more generally. Please Contact Paul Dudman via email ( or Twitter (@PaulDudman) with any feedback or thoughts that you may have.

There are also some general Archive details included at the end of this and every bulletin posting for your reference.

Archive, CMRB and Course-Related News

In the News

Amnesty International – Racism, segregation, and rejection: The reality for Romani children in the Czech Republic.

British Red Cross – Asylum seekers sent to hotels without essentials or medicine.

Electronic Immigration Network – Court of Appeal warns over asylum legacy cases, saying commonly repeated arguments are now “laid to rest”.

Electronic Immigration Network – Very private lives: “acceptable questioning” in sexual orientation asylum cases.

Electronic Immigration Network – Control and restraint techniques used on people being removed from UK are lawful, says Court of Appeal.

Electronic Immigration Network – New UN guidelines on the rights of women asylum seekers and refugees.

The Compas Blog – Schooling, mobility and belonging.

UNHCR – UNHCR warns of winter crisis ahead for almost a million displaced people in Iraq, Syria.

UNHCR – Education Above All Launches Multi-Sector Education Project in Kenyan Refugee Camp.

UNHCR – UNHCR welcomes new General Recommendation on refugee and stateless women.

BBC News – Syria crisis: Istanbul misery for desperate refugees.

BBC News – Syria war refugees’ key role in telling the story.

BBC News – Inside a supermarket for Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Daily Mail Online – Paddy Ashdown accuses government of policy ‘to drown more refugees in the Mediterranean’ by blocking rescue efforts.

Guardian Online – Scapegoating immigrants is the oldest trick in the book.

Guardian Online – More immigration – but managed much better. That’s what the UK needs.

Guardian Online – Theresa May downgrades Cameron pledge to reduce net migration.

Guardian Online – Serco shares crash after latest profits warning.

Guardian Online – Sandwich maker goes ahead with Hungary hire drive.

Guardian Online – A good mix: why ethnic minority pupils boost school achievement.

Guardian Online – Bordergame review – immersive theatre show casts audience as refugees.

UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition – Trapped Populations – Hostages of Climate Change and other stories.

DW – ‘Triton’ sets out to rescue refugees.

Telegraph OnlineWealthy foreign tourists and business people to be given fast track British visa.

Telegraph Online – Britain must now curb migrant tax credits, Iain Duncan Smith says.

Telegraph Online – Earl of Sandwich says migrant workers can make ‘good or better’ sandwiches.

Telegraph Online – Romania and Bulgaria migrants reach record high.

Telegraph Online – We can’t control our borders until we control those judges.

Telegraph Online – Immigration: the real cost to Britain.

Telegraph OnlineImmigration report too ‘narrow’, says minister James Brokenshire.

UNHCR – Sharp increase in number of Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Guardian – Riot police deployed after violence against refugees in Rome.

The Guardian – David Cameron backs John Major’s warning on future of UK in Europe.

Free Movement – Legacy cases “laid to rest” by Court of Appeal.

New Additions to the Archive

Lives in transition : experiences of migrants living in Morocco and Algeria / research by Andrew Galea Debono based on interviews with migrants in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangiers in Morocco, and in Algiers, Oran and Tamanrasset in Algeria.

After the Arab Spring : new paths for human rights and the internet in European foreign policy / by the European Parliament Directorate General for External Policies Policy Department.

Desperate choices : conditions, risks and protection failures affecting Ethiopian migrants in Yemen / a joint report by the Danish Refugee Council (Regional Office for the Horn of Africa and Yemen) with the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, (RMMS).

Statelessness and the benefits of citizenship : a comparative study / [edited] by Brad K. Blitz and Maureen Lynch.

Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising Xenophobia : an overview of the situation of people excluded from healthcare systems / by Dr. Pierre Chauvin, Nathalie Simonnot and Frank Vanbiervliet.

Refugees in Europe / Danièle Joly with Clive Nettleton.

Romania’s ethnic Hungarians / George Schöpflin and Hugh Poulton.

Minorities in southeast Europe : inclusion and exclusion / $$c by Hugh Poulton.

Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe / edited by Minority Rights Group and TWEEC.

At fortress Europe’s moat : the “Safe Third Country” concept / [written by Steven Edminster.].

The uprooted : agony and triumph among the debris of war / [by] Kanty Cooper

Refugees; the work of the League / by C. A. Macartney.

Aftermath : France, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, 1945 and 1946 / Francesca M. Wilson.

“Safe third country” policies in European countries / edited by Nina Lassen and Jane Hughes.

Quest for quality educational guidance for refugees in Europe / by Ayten Sinkil.

Refugees included : a survey of refugee involvement in refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations in the European Union / by Hildegard Dumper.

The common foreign and security policy and conflict prevention : priorities for the intergovernmental conference / [by Reinhardt Rummel]

Developing transnational partnerships : a guide for voluntary organisations working on EC funded projects / Ute Kowarzik and Maggie MacDonald.

Proceedings of the 2nd Colloquy on the European Convention on Human Rights and the Protection of Refugees, Asylum-seekers and Displaced Persons : consolidation and development of the asylum-related jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights / organised jointly by the Council of Europe and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Strasbourg, 19-20 May 2000.

UNHCR’s dialogues with refugee women / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Survivors, protectors, providers : refugee women speak out / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

A global review : UNHCR’s engagement with displaced youth / By Rosalind Evans and Claudia Lo Forte with Erika McAsian Fraser.

An introduction to cash-based interventions in UNHCR operations / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR’s mental health and psychosocial support for persons of concern : global review – 2013 / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The implementation of UNHCR’s policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas : global survey – 2012 / MaryBeth Morand, Katherine Mahoney, with Shaula Bellour and Janice Rabkin.

Passages and junior passages : an awareness game confronting the plight of refugees / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Carly / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Not just numbers : [educational pack] / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Through the eyes of refugees : looking to the future / Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Ageways: Practical Issues to Ageing and Development. Issue 82, March 2014.

Australian Journal of Emergency Management. Volume 29 Number 2, (April 2014).

ARC Magazine. Number 297, (May 2014).


New Off Air Recordings

The following TV programmes have been requested for the Refugee Council Archive:

Saturday 15th November

0430-0500: BBC News 24: Our World –  Rojava: Syria’s Secret Revolution. Series Recording.

Monday 17th November

2235-2320: BBC1: Panorama – Ebola Frontline.

Friday 21st November

1935-2000: Channel 4: (8/8) Unreported World – 15 and Learning to Speak. Series Recording.


Archive Opening Hours

The current Opening Hours for our Archival collections are detailed as follows. The Refugee Council Archive and the British Olympic Association Archive are currently located on our Docklands Campus Library whilst the Hackney Empire Archive is currently located in our Stratford Campus Library.

The opening hours for both Docklands and Stratford Archives are as follows:

Docklands Archive

Mondays:  1pm – 6pm*

Tuesdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Wednesdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Thursdays:  1pm – 6pm*

Fridays: 1pm – 6pm*

Sat/Sun:  Both Archives Closed

Access to the Stratford Archive for the Hackney Empire Archive is by prior appointment only.

* Morning appointments between 10am and 12pm are available by prior appointment.  The Archive will be closed between 12pm and 1pm for lunch.

We would recommend that, especially for external users, that you contact us in advance of your trip in order to make an appointment to use the Archives.  This enables us to ensure that a member of staff will be on hand to assist you.

To make an appointment, please click on the link to our Make an Appointment page.


Archive Web Resources and Email List

Please find details below of our various online and social media resources which are currently available online and please do take a look. We would also welcome any feedback that you may have on how these can be improved:


We have created several blogs to help support the archival work that we undertake and these are highlighted as follows:


Please join and Like Us on Facebook, links are as follows:


Please follow us on Twitter by selecting one of the options below:

Refugee-Research Email Mailing List

Please also consider joining our Refugee Research Jiscmail e-mail list which is managed in conjunction with this blog.  To subscribe to the mail group, type REFUGEE‐RESEARCH into the ‘find lists’ box, or use the alphabetical index to scroll down to R. and then follow the instructions on our REFUGEERESEARCH homepage to ‘join or leave the list’. Most users need only enter their email address and name. Alternatively, email the Archivist, Paul Dudman on, requesting to join the mail group.

Please let us know of any further links that you would like to see added.


Contact Details

Paul Dudman is currently the Archivist responsible for all of the physical Archives located here at the University of East London Library and Learning Services: Archives. Paul is happy to receive and respond to any questions or queries that you may have in response to both our Archival collections and also our social media presence.

If you wish to contact the Archive, please contact Paul Dudman via one of the contact methods detailed below:

By email at:

By telephone at: +44 (0) 20 8223 7676

Online at:

On Twitter at: @refugee_archive

By post to:

Paul V. Dudman
Library and Learning Services
University of East London
Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way
London, E16 2RD
United Kingdom.

Up to 5m undocumented migrants to be protected from deportation, says Obama

Postcards from ...

President Obama announced a much anticipated executive order that will protect up to 5m undocumented migrants from deportation. It isn’t perfect and it is not a long term regularisation as it doesn’t offer a pathway to citizenship. But it is nonetheless a very good news.

ObamaThe opposition of the Republican Party has repeatedly obstructed over the last decade any proposals for a comprehensive immigration reform.

Fascinating to listen to the range of historical, pragmatic, and moral arguments that Obama lists in the speech to justify his decision to protect those undocumented migrants who have been in the US for a minimum of 5 years, fit a number of criteria and ‘come out of the shadow’ from deportation (temporarily): America is a land of immigrants and always will be, America is a meritocratic society, America is a country where everyone is equal and has the right to have a chance and the…

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Hunger strike in Amygdaleza detention centre


“Hunger strike until freedom”*

On November 17th, 2014 hundreds of refugees detained administratively in
the pre-removal centre of Amygdaleza started to protest massively
against the prolonged detention of more than 18 months, against the
detention of dozens of minors and the detention conditions that amongst
others recently led to the death of two detainees.

“They coop us up here like sheep and then don’t care anymore about us. (…)”
“There are persons detained 26 months. (…)”
“When we say ‘my stomach hurts’, they’d answer ‘my balls hurt’.”

Only on November 6th the 26-year-old Mohammed Asfak died of the
consequences of beating by law enforcement officers in Corinth detention
centre during one of the uprisings of migrants there 5-6 months ago. His
injuries had not been taken care of adequately. He was only transferred
to hospital after a break down. For 15 days he had been begging the
police to bring…

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World’s largest collection of documents on torture still a well-kept secret

World Without Torture

Only 15 minutes from Copenhagen’s city centre lies a library that, despite a collection that makes others pale in comparison, remains a well-kept secret.

The Documentation Centre and Library holds the world's most extensive collection of published documents on torture and related subjects. The Documentation Centre and Library holds the world’s most extensive collection of published documents on torture and related subjects.

The DIGNITY Documentation Centre and Library holds the world’s most extensive collection of published documents on torture and related subjects. In fact, the library boasts more than 40,000 items, ranging from books and articles to journals and images.

“We probably receive around one hundred new items each month,” says the library’s documentalist, Ion Iacos. “On top of that, we also monitor around 300 bibliographical sources on a regular basis so there is plenty of material for our visitors.”

The Documentation Centre and Library is open to the public and visitors are very welcome to use its modern facilities.

“We have study areas, media rooms and user terminals…

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New issue of Migration Studies with symposium on the impacts of irregular status

Postcards from ...

Migration Studies, OUP Migration Studies, OUP

The new issue 2(3) of Migration Studies is out. It contains a short symposium on the impacts of irregular status with contributions by Elzbieta Gozdziak, Janina Sohn, Daniela Borodak and Ariene Tichit. Using ethnographic methods, Gozdziak examines how irregular immigration status affects the educational opportunities of children in the US, concluding that ‘the kind of assistance and support Latino students need will not come solely from immigration reform and policy changes, but rather paradigm shifts in our attitudes toward and programs for Latino children and their families as well as policies aimed at alleviating poverty of immigrant families’ (Gozdziak, 2014, pp. 392–414). The nexus immigration status and educational attainments is the focus also of Söhn’s article (2014). Borodak and Tichit explore the impact of status on migration projects and conclude that, while ‘the total duration of migration to a foreign country is the…

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Terrorism, Deprivation of Citizenship and Statelessness: SSHD (Respondent) v B2 (Vietnam)(Appellant) in Supreme Court

United Kingdom Immigration Law Blog

This is yet another case related to terrorism. It readily demonstrates that people from diverse backgrounds are attracted to Islamic extremism and that the UK is fertile ground for breeding fanatics. The dilemma for the UK, of course, is that an increasing number of young men and women holding British citizenship are so disillusioned with life that they are willing to embrace martyrdom in the name of “radical” Islam. Born in Mongai, Vietnam in 1983, the appellant, known only as “B2”, lived in Hong Kong with his parents prior to the family’s arrival in the UK in 1989. After claiming asylum they were granted indefinite leave to remain and later in 1995, when B2 was 12, they also acquired British citizenship. B2 and his parents never held Vietnamese passports and they never took any steps to renounce their Vietnamese nationality. In fact, the only document linking B2 to Vietnam…

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Justice in Syria: If not the ICC, then What?  

Justice in Conflict

Proponents of international criminal justice seem to be searching in vain for perfect justice in Syria. Iva Vukusic joins JiC for this timely post exploring the options for justice in Syria. Iva is an analyst and researcher based in The Hague. She previously worked for the Research and Documentation Centre and Special War Crimes Department of the Prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo.

Fruit vendors in Aleppo, Syria, in July 2014 (Photo: Jalal Al-Mamo / Reuters) Fruit vendors in Aleppo, Syria, in February 2014 (Photo: Jalal Al-Mamo / Reuters)

Since March 2011, estimates suggest that 200,000 people have died in Syria but the crisis shows no signs of winding down and the future is uncertain. In these circumstances, planning a response to mass human rights violations and war crimes is difficult. But many believe Syria will need justice in order to move towards some sort of recovery. A referral of Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is off the table for the time being…

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News Stories (weekly)

  • “Like Monty Python before us, we have reached a moment in the national discourse when the time has come to ask: “What have migrants ever done for us?” The answer, according to some, is precisely nothing, and that they represent a net drain on the economy, claiming benefits, abusing public services, thieving and generally loafing around in parks.

    This does not accord with common sense or experience, the fact that immigrants were coming to Britain long before the welfare state was invented, or that everyone who has ever used a minicab, visited a hospital or called a plumber will most likely have found themselves in the company of a hard-working individual who has travelled halfway around the world simply to make a better life for themselves and their family. That is not an ignoble thing.”


  • “Not long after the Moroccan government decided to mount a campaign of regularisation, over 8,000 migrants have already been regularised (3,000 based on applications and another 5,000 women and children as priority cases) and are trying to make a new life in Morocco. Counter-intuitively, there has also been an increase in the number of instances of migrants trying to scale the fence en masse to make it into Melilla, a Spanish city bordering Morocco, in crowds of hundreds at a time. Indeed, only a few months ago, 400 irregular sub-Saharan migrants made it into Melilla by storming the 7 metre high border fence. It is one of several attempts that have taken place this year. This raises two main questions. First, is the new Moroccan regularisation policy unappealing, compared with the lure of a better life in Europe? Or, second, are these migrants who are attempting to cross the border unable to satisfy the criteria for regularisation (eg two years of Moroccan residence) and therefore have no option but to try their luck or face deportation?”


  • “France will pump three million euros per year to convert a children’s holiday camp into a day centre for migrants in Calais that hope to reach Britain in the New Year, the country’s interior minister has confirmed.

    The plan sparked strong criticism from migrant help groups, who claim it will create a “ghetto” and resemble Sangatte – the notorious Red Cross welcome centre closed in 2002. ”


  • “Polish people living in Britain are almost 20 per cent more likely to have a job than those born in the UK, a study of official figures shows.

    New Analysis of findings from the 2011 Census by the Office for National Statistics shows that Polish-born residents of England and Wales have the highest employment rate of any other group when analysed by birth.

    It also shows that migrants from EU countries have dramatically higher levels of employment than those from non-European countries. ”


  • “Immigrants who came to live in Britain from outside Europe cost the public purse nearly £120 billion over 17 years, a new report has shown.

    The major academic study also found, however, that recent immigration from Europe – driven by the surge in arrivals from eastern European – gave the economy a £4.4 billion boost over the same period. ”


  • “British police should patrol the port at Calais to solve the “tremendous problem” of migrants trying to cross the Channel, a senior French minister has said.

    Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s interior minister, told the BBC he has had “lots of rendezvous” with his counterpart at Westminster, Home Secretary Theresa May and stressed the need for British officers’ help. ”


  • “So when another hefty economic study says that the arrival of those Europeans has been a net positive to the public finances, it would be easy for me to write another piece lauding the study as another triumph of reason over prejudice, proof positive that a free market for labour is a good thing just as it is for goods and services. In other words, to say I told you so. “


  • “On Tuesday, parliament will scrutinise the modern slavery bill for its third reading in the House of Commons. Although the bill – which the government trumpets as “the first of its kind in Europe” – is broadly welcomed for forcing the issue on to the political agenda, there is dismay from charities working with the victims of trafficking. Campaigners say the bill is tilted too heavily towards prosecuting traffickers, without providing enough support for their victims.”


  • “European migrants to the UK are not a drain on Britain’s finances and pay out far more in taxes than they receive in state benefits, a new study has revealed.

    The research by two leading migration economists at University College also reveals that Britain is uniquely successful, even more than Germany, in attracting the most highly skilled and highly educated migrants in Europe.

    The study, the Fiscal Impact of Immigration to the UK, published in the Economic Journal, reveals that more than 60% of new migrants from western and southern Europe are now university graduates. The educational levels of east Europeans who come to Britain are also improving with 25% of recent arrivals having completed a degree compared with 24% of the UK-born workforce.”


  • “The positive impact of recent European migration to Britain is highlighted by the fact that the UK now attracts the highest number of university-educated migrants of any country in the European Union, according to new research from University College London.

    The study, published in the Economic Journal on Wednesday shows that 62% of migrants from western Europe – the A15 countries such as France, Italy and Spain – who come to Britain each year have a university degree compared with 24% of the British labour force.

    The authors put a figure of £6.8bn on the value of the overseas education received before their arrival by migrants who have come to Britain since 2000.”


  • “esterday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) launched its campaign to end statelessness by 2024 – a revival of the dream first conceived by US lawyer and judge Manley Ottmer Hudson in 1952. This is an ambitious task, almost bold, yet feasible considering UNHCR’s achievements in the last three years and its awareness of the need to build an international social movement to “champion” the cause of statelessness, on a par with the work being done on landmines, child soldiers and rape in armed conflict.”


  • “A dust cloud from the US air strike drifts across the border from Kobani and blurs our view from the overlooking Turkish hilltop. Most if not all of those watching – all Kurds, it seems, from both Syria and Turkey – agree that the damage caused to the city by air strikes is a price worth paying. Many believe the city’s defence, led by Syrian Kurdish fighters, would have collapsed without them.

    “My home may get destroyed but if it forces out Da’esh”, as the armed group which calls itself the Islamic State (IS) is usually referred to locally, “then I am happy,” says one.”


  • “Today’s conviction of three men following a brutal racist attack on a Roma woman and her nephew is a “first step towards justice”, said Amnesty International and Greek Helsinki Monitor – the NGO that provided free legal representation to the victims.

    A court in the town of Messolonghi today handed eight-month jail sentences – suspended for three years – to the three men over the attack on Paraskevi Kokoni and her nephew Kostas Theodoropoulos in October 2012. ”


  • The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion is a newly established, independent non-profit organisation dedicated to leading an integrated, inter-disciplinary response to the injustice of statelessness and exclusion. Two of our co-founders – Laura van Waas and Amal de Chickera were founding steering committee members of ENS, currently sitting on the ENS Advisory Committee. We believe that the issue of statelessness has an impact on many fields, and that it is only through a concerted effort across all such fields, that we will be able to ultimately end statelessness. Thus, we hope reach out to colleagues working on related issues and draw them into the discourse, campaign and movement to end statelessness. Below is the note we prepared to demonstrate why a campaign to end statelessness should matter to those working on related issues. Your cooperation in disseminating it widely would be most appreciated. This can also be viewed on the website of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion.

    04 November 2014

    Why a campaign to end statelessness matters

    Dear friends and colleagues,

    It is not easy to imagine what life would be like if you did not hold any nationality. In fact, it is not easy to even imagine this even being possible. Everyone has a birthplace, a family, a home, a community: surely everyone has a nationality? Sadly, no. Millions of people around the world are stateless. They are perpetual foreigners, disenfranchised, not recognised as or able to exercise the rights of citizens in any country. This is a serious problem – for those affected, but also for those of us who do enjoy a nationality and can make a difference, as people who care about and want our children to grow up in a free, fair, safe and democratic world.

    We welcome, admire and support the ambitious campaign launched today by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to end statelessness by 2024. Statelessness fundamentally and unequivocally deserves more attention than it has received to date and the time has come for it to take its rightful place amongst other pressing and worrying issues that are already vying for international attention. We are not powerless in the face of statelessness. Citizenship is our own modern-day creation and we set the rules. Bad laws can be amended. Discriminatory policies can be repealed. We believe that with greater awareness of the issue, stronger collaboration and a firm commitment to act, statelessness can be solved. Indeed, we not only believe that statelessness can be tackled, we believe that it must. Statelessness matters, to all of us, for many reasons. Here are just some of them…

    If people matter…

    Stateless persons are among the world’s most vulnerable. They are seen and treated as foreigners by every country in the world, including the country in which they were born, the country of their ancestors, the country of their residence, the country they happen to find themselves in today and any country they may find themselves expelled to tomorrow. Stateless persons face an extreme form of exclusion that impacts their sense of dignity and identity, as well as their ability to do all sorts of everyday things that most of us take for granted, like go to school, get a job, be treated by a doctor, get married or travel.

    So, if people matter, statelessness matters.

    If children matter…

    Many of the world’s stateless persons are children. In fact, in every region of the world, children continue to be born into statelessness and grow up never knowing the protection and recognition that comes with a nationality. Some children inherit their statelessness from stateless parents, creating an intergenerational problem. Others aren’t able to acquire their parents’ or any other nationality due to discriminatory laws and policies or the failure of governments to implement simple legal safeguards that prevent childhood statelessness. Without a nationality, children can have difficulty exercising their rights, become outcasts in their own country, struggle to feel like they belong and grow up to be disenfranchised and excluded adults.

    So, if children matter, statelessness matters.

    If human rights matter…

    The contemporary human rights framework is premised on notions of equality, liberty, dignity and universality: we all hold basic rights because we are human beings. But the human rights system also recognises that states may reserve some rights for their citizens, such as the right to vote or be elected, placing these out of reach for stateless people. And in practice, statelessness is a proven barrier to the exercise a wide range of other rights. So the very universality of human rights rests on the premise that everyone enjoys a nationality – laid down, for that reason, as a right in most major human rights instruments. Until statelessness is eradicated, the fundamental aspiration of universal human rights remains just that, an aspiration.

    So, if human rights matter, statelessness matters.

    If development matters…

    Difficulties accessing education and employment; restricted property rights; lack of opportunities to own or register a business; limited access to a bank account or a loan; and, in some cases, the threat of extortion, detention or expulsion; these factors can trap stateless persons in poverty and make it extremely challenging for them to improve their circumstances. Where statelessness affects whole communities over several successive generations – as it often sadly does – such communities can be neglected by development actors and processes. Statelessness means a waste, of individual potential, of human capital and of development opportunities.

    So, if development matters, statelessness matters.

    If democracy matters…

    Nationality is the gateway to political participation. Stateless persons have no right to vote, stand for election or effect change through regular political channels. Their statelessness suppresses their voices and renders their opinions obsolete. In countries with large stateless populations, whole sectors of the constituency are disenfranchised. Elsewhere, statelessness is a tool in the arsenal of those who would seek to manipulate the democratic process, with deprivation of nationality a means of silencing the opposition. To ensure a level and inclusive democratic playing field, stateless persons must also be heard.

    So, if democracy matters, statelessness matters.

    If addressing displacement matters…

    Statelessness is a recognised root cause of forced displacement, with stateless persons fleeing their homes and often countries in order to find protection elsewhere. Preventing cases of statelessness is vital for the prevention of refugee flows – a link that has been a key motivation for UNHCR to further operationalise its statelessness mandate and now call to end statelessness. Addressing nationality disputes and tackling statelessness where it arises can also be a key tool in resolving existing refugee situations because it can pave the way for successful voluntary repatriation and reintegration.

    So, if addressing displacement matters, statelessness matters.

    If peace and security matter…

    The vulnerability, exclusion, despair, frustration and sometimes persecution experienced by stateless persons can spark other problems. Casting a group as “others” or “outsiders” by denying them access to nationality – in spite of clear and lasting ties to the country – can contribute to attitudes of suspicion and discrimination. This can cause a dangerous build-up of tension within and between communities that may lead to conflict. Disputes surrounding nationality, membership, belonging and entitlement can also hamper peace-building efforts.

    So, if peace and security matter, statelessness matters.

    If size matters…

    Many millions of people are affected by statelessness around the world today. UNHCR estimates that there are at least 10 million stateless persons under its mandate and if stateless refugees and stateless Palestinians under UN Relief and Works Agency mandate are added to this tally, the figure is higher still. This means that there are enough stateless persons to create a medium-sized country (although this is not suggested as a solution). Moreover, these numbers do not include the many more who feel the impact of statelessness, for instance because a close family member lacks any nationality.

    So, if size matters, statelessness matters.

    What can you do?

    The launch of the campaign led by the UNHCR to end statelessness by 2024 is a great opportunity to reach out to all individuals, communities and organisations, who have it within their capacity to help address statelessness. Please take a moment to reflect on statelessness and its many impacts. Is it relevant to your field of work? Does it affect people in your country? Do people near you experience the vulnerability and exclusion of statelessness?

    Sign up to UNHCR’s #ibelong campaign to end statelessness: Start a conversation, discuss the issue, raise awareness and try to use your position and expertise to help. Share this note on ‘Why Statelessness Matters’ with people in your network; watch and share this short video too. If you would like to learn more about statelessness, if you want to do something but are not sure what, or if you are looking for partners to collaborate with, get in touch with us and we will try to help. If you think your organisation can better integrate statelessness into its work but would like to brainstorm ideas to make this happen, we will support you. If you want to further study the link between your field of expertise and statelessness, we welcome your plans. Together, we can end statelessness. We can also, in the interim, protect and include the stateless. This issue matters.

    Amal de Chickera, Laura van Waas and Zahra Albarazi – Founders of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion

    The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion is a newly established, independent non-profit organisation dedicated to leading an integrated, inter-disciplinary response to the injustice of statelessness and exclusion. In December 2014, the Institute will release its first publication, “The World’s Stateless”, assessing the challenge of ending statelessness by 2024 by taking a closer look at what we know (and what we don’t know) about who is stateless and where. To find out more or support the Institute’s work, please visit or contact us at
    campaign to end statelessness
    Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion
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  • “It is not easy to imagine what life would be like if you did not hold any nationality. In fact, it is not easy to even imagine this even being possible. Everyone has a birthplace, a family, a home, a community: surely everyone has a nationality? Sadly, no. Millions of people around the world are stateless. They are perpetual foreigners, disenfranchised, not recognised as or able to exercise the rights of citizens in any country. This is a serious problem – for those affected, but also for those of us who do enjoy a nationality and can make a difference, as people who care about and want our children to grow up in a free, fair, safe and democratic world. “


  • “Back in 1993, a survey showed that Somali refugees were popular among natives, in comparison with Iranians and Palestinians. However, only a few years later, the perception of Somalis had dramatically changed. According to a 1999 study, Somalis experienced more discrimination than any other ethnic minority group in Denmark. This shift followed aggressive media campaigns and political rhetoric at the time, which systematically portrayed Somali refugees as “unwanted immigrants” who caused “problems.” Today many Somalis feel that they are still associated with negative images and stereotypes.”


  • “People who continue to vote for Ukip will end up with a Labour government and “no immigration control at all”, David Cameron has said, as he insisted he can reform EU migration rules despite German opposition.

    The Prime Minister acknowledged he faces opposition from European leaders over his plan to further restrict benefits and freedom of movement to European migrants, saying it would be a “tough negotiation”. ”


  • “Chuka Umunna is starting to break the rules. Up until recently Labour’s shadow business secretary had become a byword for political caution and calculation. “He’s good, but it’s not clear what he stands for”, a shadow cabinet colleague told me a few month’s ago.

    Well, Umunna is taking a stand now. Last week he wrote an article in the South London Press on Ukip. And it was definitely not a pat repetition of the current Labour line to take. ”


  • “British people are concerned that growing numbers of foreigners are reducing their access to roads, the Government’s immigration minister has said.

    James Brokenshire said a report suggesting that EU migrants contribute more to the UK economy than they receive in benefits had a very “narrow focus”, and had failed to take into account the impact that migration has on public services.

    His comments amount to a rejection of a report that found that immigration from Europe has contributed £20 billion to the public purse between 2000 and 2011, with migrants contributing more in tax than they withdraw in services. ”


  • “The new European commission starts work this week at a time when relations with Britain are more fraught than for some months.

    For much of this year YouGov has found a narrow but persistent preference for the UK remaining in the EU. However, two surveys in the past week find that the public has turned against Brussels again. Our latest poll for the Sunday Times shows that if a referendum were held now, 43% would vote to leave and just 37% to stay in.

    Three particular issues have been causing concern at Westminster. First, the European arrest warrant. A few months ago, Britain exercised its right to opt out of a set of EU justice arrangements. Ministers said that they would then decide which particular EU rules they would opt back into. One of these is the arrest warrant: in effect a standard system for extraditing people facing criminal charges that carry a significant prison sentence.”


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