New Journal Research Articles for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (weekly) (weekly)

  • “Why did the United Nations General Assembly confer upon the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a broad global mandate to address statelessness only in 1995 (four decades after the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons was adopted) and not before? To address this question, this article examines the evolving relationship between UNHCR and the international community in regard to statelessness before 1995, drawing upon UNHCR archival records and official documents, Executive Committee conclusions, and General Assembly resolutions. Contrary to popular perception, UNHCR attempted to engage states on statelessness during the Cold War, exceeding its formal powers in doing so. However, states remained indifferent to UNHCR’s efforts. After the Cold War, the international community grew increasingly concerned with mass influxes of refugees possibly resulting from large-scale situations of statelessness in Eastern Europe, and pressured UNHCR to assume greater responsibility for averting such crises – and UNHCR was willing to do so. By 1995, the timing was opportune for the international community to empower UNHCR to lead the global effort against statelessness. As this article demonstrates, the refugee problem remained central to actions involving – and attitudes towards – statelessness by UNHCR and the international community, both during and after the Cold War. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Central America’s ‘Northern Triangle’ (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) is now among the most violent areas in the world due to the confluence of drug trafficking, gang culture, and lack of state control in some areas. As a result, thousands have fled to seek protection abroad. Nevertheless, asylum rates do not seem properly to acknowledge that a large proportion of these individuals may be entitled to refugee status or other forms of international protection. The purpose of this paper is to study how the particular characteristics of these forms of violence create international protection needs and how law and practice have responded to them. This issue is further explored through an analysis of eleven protection profiles from the region and their particular challenges in obtaining international protection. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The Almaty Process, a regional consultative process on migration, brings together international organizations, four Central Asian states and several neighbouring states, and civil society organizations to find solutions to regional migration challenges through intergovernmental dialogue, cooperation, and capacity building. The Almaty Process began in 2011 with the Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in Central Asia. It is the fifth in a series of regional consultative processes organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration in regions where refugee protection is in jeopardy. It offers participating states an opportunity to discuss and resolve important migration issues in an environment that respects state sovereignty and security as well as human rights. International organizations play an essential role in the Almaty Process in terms of funding, organizational and technical support, and educating and socializing participating state actors. Among other objectives, through the Almaty Process, UNHCR seeks to assist participating states in improving compliance with international refugee law, while also ensuring the protection of national security. Although the participating Central Asian countries are ‘awkward states’, and the Almaty Process faces various challenges, it has the potential to facilitate increased compliance with international refugee law in Central Asia. Ultimately, the Almaty Process could also contribute to addressing some of the root causes of migration in the region, particularly the underlying lack of respect for human rights. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Recently, in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, tribunals determining refugee status appear to have adopted the position that North Korean refugee claimants are indeed South Korean nationals (and thus dual nationals). Accordingly, unless North Korean claimants can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), they should be denied international protection under the Refugee Convention. A well-founded fear of persecution has long been recognized as the core element of refugee status in international refugee law. However, a growing number of scholars have begun to challenge the dominance of this view of refugee status. The emerging perspective points to lack of state protection as the essential aspect of refugee status. According to this ‘protection perspective’, refugee status is premised on the assumption that there should be a meaningful protection relationship between a state and its citizens that reflects the normative values formalized in the legal concept of ‘nationality’ or ‘citizenship’. According to this emerging view, one should look beyond merely theoretical nationality and determine whether each nationality of a refugee is effective. This understanding of nationality in the context of the refugee determination process gives rise to a new juridical approach in which the claims of North Korean refugees should be assessed according to different criteria. This article argues that, at least in cases of dual nationality, the protection perspective should be adopted. Where the facts permit, international protection should be provided to North Korean refugees, even outside South Korea. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Land dispossession and conflicts over land compound resettlement efforts in post-conflict contexts. This is particularly true in rural sub-Saharan African countries, where the vast majority of livelihoods depend on maintaining access and rights to cultivable land. This article engages in the active debate on this topic using ethnographic research conducted in the Teso region in eastern Uganda during 2012 and 2013. The Teso region experienced three violent conflicts from the late 1960s to the mid-2000s, which at times were overlapping: large-scale cattle rustling, a civil war, and an insurgency. The research focuses on Amuria District, Katakwi District, and Tisai Island in Kumi District in order to consider three interrelated phenomena: the cyclical nature of the displacement-resettlement process, the intra-regional differences in how this process has unfolded, and the particular ways in which struggles over land are deeply embedded within the post-conflict context. The article argues that post-conflict rearrangements in property relations create complex challenges for resettling populations, and if left unaddressed will merely result in increasingly unstable land tenure regimes. It also argues that struggles over land in Teso should not be understood solely through a post-conflict lens, as there are a variety of drivers – some not tied directly to the violent conflicts – that interact with post-conflict dynamics to create a perfect storm for land tenure instability. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Several initiatives to create a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for Bosnia and Herzegovina were launched between 1997 and 2006, but none came to fruition. This article explains the rationale behind the pursuit of a truth-telling mechanism alongside the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as the resistance to such initiatives both internationally and domestically. It argues that, despite the considerable efforts of external actors to create a TRC for Bosnia, the project foundered for three principal reasons: political resistance, institutional rivalry between the ICTY and the TRC project, and the TRC project’s lack of legitimacy, notably among Bosnia’s victim associations. The history of the failed TRC project in Bosnia holds important lessons for ongoing truth-seeking attempts in the region and beyond, and highlights problems that arise in postconflict societies with a high level of international involvement. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In 1967, philosopher Bertrand Russell set up an unofficial war crimes tribunal to investigate the actions of the US in Vietnam. This article explores the link between the Russell Tribunal and transitional justice. In recent years, critical voices have called for a transitional justice that is less legalistic and state-centric and more concerned with socioeconomic issues. The Russell Tribunal was an early instance of a transitional justice practice whose traits resonated with these critiques. It challenged legalism, breached the judicial monopoly of the state and criticized the economic global order. Given this affinity, the Russell Tribunal can provide critical approaches to transitional justice with a historic antecedent and a mechanism to push their agenda forward. Unofficial tribunals, inspired by the Russell initiative, can be useful tools for a transitional justice that is broader and more amenable to alternative perspectives. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

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

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