Monthly Archives: March 2015

Event: Evolving understandings of racism and resistance – local and global conceptions and struggles

We are delighted to invite you to the following one-day conference at the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London in conjunction with the BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group:

‘Evolving understandings of racism and resistance – local and global conceptions and struggles’


Date: Friday 1st May 2015

Launching the ESRC-funded seminar series, ‘Racism and Political Mobilisation: learning from history and thinking internationally’, organised by Gargi Bhattacharyya (UEL), Satnam Virdee (Glasgow) and Aaron Winter (UEL).

This conference responds to the urgent need to understand how and why people have mobilised around ethnicity – to challenge racism or to fight for social justice – despite other exclusionary forms of ethnic politics, including campaigns of racism. Whereas we have learned to argue against social policy that divides the population by ethnicity (Commission for Integration and Cohesion, 2007), there is little contemporary debate about the socially beneficial potential of calls to ethnic identity in enabling political mobilisation. At a time when there is widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics and unexpected and relatively unknown political groupings can emerge to prominence with little warning, it is essential that we understand the range of forms of ethnic mobilisation and the implications of these diverse forms of political engagement.

These questions become urgent in a context of the resurgence of racist movements across Europe and the continuation and intensification of communal divisions in many regions. In many urban spaces, the impacts of economic crises and war have remade the terrain of racism and inequality, hardening some divisions and giving rise to new kinds of ethnic mobilisation that reference religious, national, regional and ethnic identity in ways that reflect the transnational connectedness of these mobile populations.

Papers and discussions will address the following questions and debates, and more:

– contemporary and historical examples of movements against racism and the role of ethnic mobilisation within such movements
– the role played by ethnic mobilisations in wider movements for social justice
– changing terrains of racism and new articulations of anti-racist resistance

Programme Forthcoming.

Please register at


Reminder: Eastside Community Heritage Lecture Series 2015 to include Talk on Refugee Council Archive


Eastside Community Heritage Lecture Series 2015

We are pleased to be able to circulate details of the forthcoming Eastside Community Heritage Lecture Series for 2015.  The lecture series will begin on Thursday 26 February with a talk giveEastsiden by Jan Pimblett from the London Metropolitan Archives and wil continue with talks from Sara Griffiths from The National Archives, on Thursday 28 April, and Arthur Torrington CBE on the 24 September.  The events are free but booking is recommended.  Full details of each of the speakers and the subject of their presention are available to download from the Eastside flyer for futher information: Eastside Community Heritage Lecture Series 2015 flyer (PDF File).

Without wisinhing to overly flag up our participation in this project, Paul Dudman the Archivist at UEL will be giving one of the talks which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 18th June and details of which are as follows:

Thursday, 18th June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Eastside Community Heritage Lecture Series 2015
Paul Dudman, Archivist, Refugee Archives at UEL

As part of the Eastside Community Heritage Annual Lecture Series for 2015, I will be giving a talk and the focus of this presentation will be to investigate the role of Archives in preserving the history of the refugee experience through a
case study of the Refugee Archives at the University of East London.

As part of our Archival holdings here at UEL, we do currently hold Eastside’s East London People’s Archive oral history collection.  This oral history collection preserves the oral history recordings of the various projects “conducted by Eastside Community Heritage document the lives of ‘ordinary’ people in East London. Topics include World War Two, women’s history, markets, boxing, ethnic groups in East London, food and parks.”

Also available are DVDs on East London local history produced by Eastside Community Heritage comprising Eastside voices: from Canning Town to Custom House, 2003; My Roots, Our Heritage, 2006 and Our Brick Lane, 2007. Published books and booklets on East London local history, chiefly published by Eastside Community Heritage including A Working Class War and Hidden Lives: stories from the East End and an index to photographs collected as part of projects by Eastside Community Heritage comprising of black and white thumbnail reproductions.
(Reference: Eastside Community Heritage).

Please contact the UEL Archives on for further information on how to access these materials.

Seminar: Gender, Sexuality, Fundamentalism and the Law

The University of East London’s CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) and SOAS’ Centre for Gender Studies are pleased to announce the following seminar:


This seminar will take place in B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Campus map here

Saturday 25th April 2015, 2–5pm

Gita Saghal
(Centre for Secular Space)

 Pragna Patel
(Southall Black Sisters)

Peter Tatchell
(Peter Tatchell Foundation)

 Karon Monaghan QC
(Matrix Chambers)

Chair: Nira Yuval-Davis

The event is free but space is limited so please reserve a place at

For more info on CMRB: and

For more info on Centre for Gender Studies:

Speaker’s bios:

Gita Saghal is a founder of the Centre for Secular Space, which opposes fundamentalism, amplifies secular voices and promotes universality in human rights. She was formerly Head of the Gender Unit at Amnesty International. She is a filmmaker and writer. For many years she served on the board of Southall Black Sisters and she was a founder of Women Against Fundamentalism and Awaaz: South Asia Watch.

Pragna Patel is a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism. She worked as a co-ordinator and senior case-worker for SBS from 1982 to 1993 when she left to train and practice as a solicitor. In 2009 she returned to SBS as its Director. She has been centrally involved in some of SBS’ most important cases and campaigns around domestic violence, immigration and religious fundamentalism. She has also written extensively on race, gender and religion.

Karon Monaghan QC is a barrister specialising in equality and discrimination law. Much of her work concerns the rights of women and gender based violence. Her publications include ‘Monaghan on Equality Law’ (2013, OUP) and ed. Hunter, McGlynn and Rackley, ‘Feminist Judgments: From theory to Practice’ (2010, Hart) (contributor).

Peter Tatchell has been campaigning since 1967 on issues of human rights, democracy, civil liberties, LGBT equality and global justice. He coordinated the Equal Love campaign from 2010, in a bid to challenge the UK’s twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. The following year, he organised four gay couples and four heterosexual couples to file a case in the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that sexual orientation discrimination in civil marriage and civil partnership law is unlawful under Articles 8, 12 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He has proposed an internationally-binding UN Human Rights Convention enforceable through both national courts and the International Criminal Court; a permanent rapid-reaction UN peace-keeping force with the authority to intervene to stop genocide and war crimes; and a global agreement to cut military spending by 10 percent to fund the eradication of hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and homelessness in the developing world.

Courses: Summer School in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration, 20 Jul.-14 Aug. 2015, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



20 July – 14 August 2015

Humboldt Summer University (HUWISU), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Applications are invited for this year’s Summer School in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration to be held at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

This course examines the protection regime pertaining to refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and stateless persons. It gives special attention to the evolving set of legal norms, institutions, and procedures that have emerged from the international community’s resolve to protect refugees and other forced migrants.

Course Content

The course begins with an introduction to the international human rights and refugee protection regimes. It then continues with a historical perspective of the pre-United Nations initiatives to protect refugees and introduces the normative ethics and politics of refugee protection. That is followed by an analysis of both the legal and institutional pillars of the refugee regime, i.e. of the refugee definitions captured in various international instruments and of the protected granted by the UNHCR. The regional refugee regimes are then examined, specifically those developed in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Last but not least, the course will review the protection of IDPs and of stateless persons. Throughout the course, case studies will be used so that students can translate into practice the legal instruments, theoretical concepts, and doctrine that they have learned.

The course program is available at:

Class size, credits, and certificate

The class size will amount up to 18 participants. Participants will receive a final grade certificate and 4 ECTS credit points only in the event of regular attendance (must be present 80% of the time), as well as active participation. Upon request a transcript of records can be issued.

Student profile

Participants must be at least 18 years old and possess a very good command of the English language as teaching is conducted in English (English: B2 – proof will be required). This course is destined to undergraduate law students and/or students with a strong interest in the topic.


Dr José H. Fischel de Andrade is a Senior Legal Officer with the UNHCR and UNHCR-designated judge at the French National Court of Asylum (CNDA). He also teaches at the University of Milano, the University of Paris 2 (Panthéon-Assas), the Paris Institut d’études politiques (Science-Po), and the Strasbourg-based International Institute of Human Rights. For further information please visit:

Course structure

The course is composed of academic lessons and cultural and social activities. Lessons comprise lectures, group work, and discussion sessions. Participants will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes). The lessons are held three times a week :
Tuesday 1.30pm – 3pm and 3.30pm – 5pm
Wednesday 1.30pm – 3pm and 3.30pm – 5pm
Friday 9am – 10.30am and 11am – 11.45am

Regarding the cultural and social activities, a guided tour and visit of the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), theatre and/or museum visits and a sightseeing tour Berlin/Potsdam are planned.


585.00 Euro
– Alumni discounts: 50.00 Euro


Deadline: 1 June 2015, or when participant quota is reached.

For further information please visit our website or contact the coordinator Pierre Steuer:

Courses: International Summer School in Forced Migration – application deadline 1 May 2015 (reminder)


International Summer School in Forced Migration – application deadline 1 May 2015 (reminder)

Please note: We are currently experiencing some technical problems with our online application form for the Summer School. We are working to fix these issues and hope to have them resolved soon. In the meantime, if you have difficulties submitting the form, there is now a Word form available at which you can download, fill in and send back to us by email. If you have applied within the last three weeks and you have any concerns, please contact us at and we will be happy to assist you.


Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
International Summer School in Forced Migration 06-24 July 2015

Applications are invited to the 2015 International Summer School in Forced Migration, to be held at Wadham College, Oxford. The Summer School, now in its 26th year, offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It aims to enable people working with refugees and other forced migrants to examine critically the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. Beginning with reflection on the diverse ways of conceptualising forced migration, the course considers political, legal and wellbeing issues associated with contemporary displacement. Individual course modules also tackle a range of other topics, including globalisation and forced migration, and negotiating strategies in humanitarian situations.


Online: For any enquiries please contact:

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have:
1. experience of working with, or on issues related to, refugees or other forced migrants
2. a first degree as a minimum
3. proficiency in the English language. As a guide, foreign-language English speakers should be able to obtain a score of 7.00 in ELTS/IELTS or 570 in TOEFL.

The participants:

Typically comprising more than 40 nationalities, participants include host government officials, intergovernmental and non-governmental agency practitioners involved with assistance and policymaking for forced migrants, and researchers specialising in the study of forced migration. The course, which is residential, is held in Oxford. Teaching is conducted in English.

The teaching:

Lecturers and tutors include research staff, academics and professionals from the Refugee Studies Centre and other world-class institutions, drawn from a number of disciplines and practices including law, anthropology, politics, and international relations.


For self-funded candidates: £3,300


The closing date for applications is 1 May 2015. The closing date for receipt of course fees is 15 May 2015.

For more information:

Event: Glasgow 16 April: Scotland’s future and the UK migration debate

Scotland’s future and the UK migration debate: How can communities and academics work together to advance social justice?
A public forum co-hosted by GRAMNet* and the Activism in Sociology Forum**.

Thursday 16 April, 8pm

The Piper Bar (upstairs), George Square, Glasgow G1 1HL (a 10 minute walk from the BSA conference venue)

Discussion followed by spoken word and music. All welcome (conference registration is not necessary for this meeting).

Migration is a key issue in the 2015 General Election. Recent years have seen a barrage of UK policies aimed at creating a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants, including new restrictions on entry, settlement, work and access to services and benefits. This has been accompanied by Home Office propaganda campaigns, from Tweets showing immigration raids breaking up supposedly ‘sham’ marriage ceremonies on Valentine’s Day 2012, to the ‘Go Home’ vans that were driven round London boroughs in 2013. In England, we have seen the growth of racist and anti-migrant parties and social movements, most notably Ukip and the English Defence League. In Scotland there have been movements of a different kind, with the independence campaign promoting a much more welcoming attitude to migrants. More profoundly, the independence debate has raised questions about how borders and nations are defined and about Scotland’s place in the world.

Universities are a source of knowledge, research and education that have the potential to make a positive contribution to social justice, but they have sometimes been criticised for being inaccessible and distant from ordinary people’s lives. Initiatives such as GRAMNet show the possibilities when academics and non-academics come together, but we need much more of this. At this public forum community members, activists, researchers and university academics will be coming together from across the UK and beyond to discuss Scotland’s future and the UK migration debate, and how we can work together to advance social justice, across the borders that divide us, whether they be borders of nations, institutions or disciplines.

* Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (
** Part of the British Sociological Association (

Event notice: Immigration – an evidence-based debate

Immigration – an evidence-based debate

Tuesday 21 April 2015, 06:00pm – 07:30pm at the Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

Many newspaper headlines would have you believe that immigration is out of control; that it’s costing the country billions and tearing at the fabric of UK society. Others say it enhances the UK’s cultural wealth and provides a welcome boost to our economy. Whatever the truth, one thing is clear: immigration is set to be a key issue for the General Election. But how do perceptions of immigration square with the facts of the matter?

Join the Royal Statistical Society and The Conversation for a special pre-election debate. Megan Clement, deputy editor of The Conversation, will challenge our panellists to pick apart public and media misconceptions, and to fact-check the narrative surrounding immigration. There will also be discussion of The Conversation’s manifesto-checking project (conducted in partnership with the Alliance for Useful Evidence), which has analysed party positions and policies on immigration.

Attendance is free, but spaces are limited. To reserve your place, email<>
Please use #immigrationfacts when tweeting about the event.

Confirmed speakers:

Megan Clement, The Conversation
Naomi Jones, NatCen
Patrick Worrall, Channel 4 FactCheck

Further speakers to be announced.


CMRB Event: I’m Not Racist But Some Of My Best Friends Are: Paradoxes of xenophobia and structures of disavowal Dr. Ben Gidley, COMPAS (Oxford)

The University of East London’s CMRB (Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging) is pleased to announce the following seminar:

I’m Not Racist But Some Of My Best Friends Are: Paradoxes of xenophobia and structures of disavowal

Dr. Ben Gidley, COMPAS (Oxford)

This seminar will take place in EB G.06, Docklands Campus,
UEL, E16 2RD

Monday 13th April 2015, 4–6pm

The event is free but space is limited so please reserve a place at


Abstract: This paper explores how xenophobia has risen even as the norm against prejudice has been mainstreamed, showing how this creates a series of paradoxes around the figure of the migrant in popular discourse, opening up a space for disavowal of the racism implicit in xenophobia. The paper argues that the paradoxes of contemporary xenophobia and structures of disavowal built on them require a reorientation of our epistemologies of xenophobia from understanding prejudice to understanding practice.

Dr Ben Gidley is a Senior Researcher at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He works on urban migration, multiculture and racism.

For more info on CMRB:


Calls for papers: Forced Migration Review issue 51: major feature on ‘Thinking ahead: displacement, transition and solutions’

Forced Migration Review issue 51 – to be published in November 2015 – will include a major feature called ‘Thinking ahead: displacement, transition and solutions’.

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 7th September 2015

Source: Forced Migration List – List Archives:

The average number of years in which people are living in displacement has increased to nearly 20 years. The challenges that arise when people are forced to flee their homes for any length of time, but particularly when their displacement becomes protracted, are neither exclusively humanitarian nor exclusively developmental. These challenges are faced not only by the refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons themselves but also by the broader displacement-affected communities, including host societies and host countries, communities of origin and potential areas of return, and by those working with them. In addition the need has long been recognised to link humanitarian and development work in the early stages of an emergency in order to influence and implement both immediate and longer-term outcomes.

Addressing this combination of challenges has underpinned many initiatives within the humanitarian community over recent decades. Although over the years we may have found partial solutions, deeper understandings and revised formulations, the issues remain largely intractable. Lately these issues have found a new prominence with the Transitional Solutions Initiative, reframed in 2014 as the Solutions Alliance, for addressing protracted displacement.

For more background please see full call for articles online at

The FMR editors are planning to produce an issue comprising analytical, experiential and policy-oriented articles reflecting a diverse range of opinions and perspectives focusing on situations of forced displacement and addressing questions such as the following:

• What are the potential links between humanitarian and development programmes in finding solutions to displacement? Are there practical examples where such links have been explored and implemented in protracted displacements?
• What are the potential development impacts – positive as well as negative – of displacement?
• Where does displacement fit in the development agenda? What are potential development responses to displacement?
• Would greater involvement of development actors in seeking solutions to displacement help challenge resistance to hosting displaced people?
• How best can those most directly affected by displacement (refugees, IDPs, returnees) be active participants in these debates and initiatives?
• What have we learned from previous initiatives, and how can this inform the latest initiative (the Solutions Alliance)?
• What would be suitable legal or regulatory arrangements for supporting a transition from humanitarian needs to viable and sustainable solutions for displaced people? And what would be suitable institutional (social, cultural, economic, political, managerial) arrangements?
• How can we find ways to address the political conditionalities that hinder solutions to displacement in the countries of refuge or the countries of origin?
• To what extent are displacement issues being addressed effectively through national development plans?  What is the role of national governments?
• What are the roles of bilateral donors and development banks in supporting or complicating initiatives for humanitarian-development transitions in situations of displacement?
• Does the private sector have a role to play? Are there additional (less traditional) actors to consider?
• In this context, how can the needs and rights especially of the most vulnerable be protected?
• Are there alternatives to, or variations on, the traditional three ‘durable solutions’ that are more conducive to equitable solutions for protracted displacement? What are the risks and advantages of such alternatives?
• How can displacement solutions best be monitored, measured or analysed? How will we know that a displacement solution has been achieved?
• Do examples exist of effective transitional and durable solutions from which lessons can be drawn? What are the key conditions and drivers for successful solutions for displacement?
• In seeking new modalities are there risks to current, albeit unsatisfactory, arrangements?

Deadline for submission of articles: 7th September 2015

Maximum length: 2,500 words.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please email the Editors ( with a proposed outline. Please also consult our guide for authors at

We also welcome articles on other subjects relating to forced migration for consideration for publication in the ‘general articles’ section of the issue.

Best wishes

Marion Couldrey & Maurice Herson
FMR Editors

Follow FMR on Facebook and Twitter

Calls for justice mount in UN human rights discussions

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. © Reuters/Denis Balibouse The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. © Reuters/Denis Balibouse

The fight against impunity is getting ever more attention in UN discussions on governments improving their human rights frameworks. Learn how we’re keeping the pressure on.

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The Home Office, Kafka and immigration policy

Postcards from ...

Dr Miwa Hirono, University of Nottingham (photo: Dr Miwa Hirono, University of Nottingham (photo:

David Barrett on The Telegraph reports on the Japanese academic and UK Government’s foreign policy adviser who is forced to leave Britain because in 2009-2010 she had spent too much time overseas. Dr Miwa Hirono, originally from Japan, has been living in Nottingham for seven years since taking up a position at the University of Nottingham as RCUK research fellow. She has a one-year old boy and an Australian husband who quit his job to join her in the UK.

In whose interest is the Home Office acting forcing Dr Hirono to leave the UK? Certainly not the national one, many would argue, including the University of Nottingham that issued the following statement:

“The University of Nottingham is extremely disappointed that one of its most promising and talented academics, Dr Miwa Hirono, will be leaving the UK to take up a post overseas…

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Irregular Maritime Movements in South-East Asia – 2014 | UNHCR Regional Office for South-East Asia | StoryBuilder

Eviction is a process

Calais Migrant Solidarity

The evictions have already started. Eviction is not just the moment when the police come to the jungles and squats and kick people out through a physical confrontation, but it begins way before. The women’s house Victor Hugo is a good example of this. The eviction on the 25th of March happened in a subtle way. The women and children living within Victor Hugo did not want to leave, but instead have been forced to move to the Jules Ferry Day Centre. They were evicted under the threat of violence. This imposed and non consensual arrangement has happened without considering the wishes, opinions, needs or safety of the women living in the Victor Hugo house. The media have supported this by talking about the eviction in terms of “moving out”, therefore this violence has been ignored and made invisible. This forced relocation is an example of how the state controls…

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Is a special tribunal Syria’s best chance for justice?

A man walks amid a destroyed building in Aleppo, Syria. © DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images A man walks amid a destroyed building in Aleppo, Syria. © DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

With an effort to refer Syria to the ICC prosecutor scuttled by vetoes last year, a UN commission of inquiry is calling for a special tribunal to investigate and prosecute alleged atrocities in the now four-year-old conflict.

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