Tag Archives: refugee camps

Kenya’s threat to close Dadaab camp plays on international refugee fears by Neil James Wilson

Kenya’s threat to close Dadaab camp plays on international refugee fears
by Neil James Wilson

Copyright: The Conversation.

The Kenyan government says that it plans to close Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. It had also threatened to close the country’s other major refugee camp, Kakuma, but has subsequently said it won’t. Speaking at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Deputy President William Ruto declared that Dadaab will be closed by the end of the year.

This move has gained much-needed attention. Kenya continues to host one of the largest refugee populations at a time when international attention has overwhelmingly turned to Europe and the movement of people out of Syria. Despite hosting more than half a million people, the camps’ remote locations and longevity have made them easy to ignore.

In addition to the planned camp closure, Kenya’s Department of Refugee Affairs has been shut down. Though the government has threatened to restrict refugees to camps or close the camps altogether several times before, this suggests a worrying escalation. Established in 2006 alongside the country’s Refugee Act, the department worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency to register and assist refugees in Kenya. Who will fill the gap left by this closure is unclear.

While not in this case, previous threats have often followed bloody terror attacks such as at the ones at the Westgate Mall in 2013 or Garissa University College in 2015. These have led to refugees being equated with terrorism, and Dadaab being labelled a “nursery for al-Shabaab”.

The reality is that the camp highlights the violence that has led many to flee Somalia for the relative safety of Kenya.

The perceived danger posed by the movement of refugees serves as a useful tool in populist politics. It can serve as a bargaining chip in negotiating further aid or galvanise fearful citizens. As Donald Trump’s fear mongering over Syrian refugees and anti-migrant rhetoric in South Africa have shown, this is not unique to Kenya.

Grave consequences

If enacted, the government’s plans would have grave consequences for the hundreds of thousands of refugees living in Kenya. Global resettlement of refugees is already low and unlikely to meet the needs of those being told to now leave Kenya.

The closure would result in refugees returning to unsafe countries, moving to other countries in the region that already have their own extensive refugee populations, shifting from Dadaab to the already overpopulated Kakuma or making dangerous journeys to try to reach safety further afield. The move is also in breach of national, regional and international law.

The recent start of campaigning for the 2017 Kenyan elections and the announcement concerning refugees is not coincidental. Like the plans to build a border wall with Somalia, the scapegoating of refugees plays out well with parts of the electorate.

The timing of this move, and the reasons behind it, hold important lessons for understanding refugee situations around the world. In particular:

  • that longstanding humanitarian situations should not be ignored;
  • that there are very deep inequalities between different refugee populations; and
  • that, in a world increasingly fearful of the presence of refugees, there is mileage in host countries drawing attention to the burden they carry.

Read full article on The Conversation at: Kenya’s threat to close Dadaab camp plays on international refugee fears.

 

News: Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos

News from ReliefWeb:

Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos

Media Contact: Media@savechildren.org

FAIRFIELD, CT (April 3, 2016) — Save the Children expressed deep concern today over the deplorable conditions in Moria detention center on the Greek island of Lesvos, where more than 1,000 children, many traveling alone, are detained as part of the EU-Turkey deal.

In addition to concerns around the detention of asylum seekers, the agency is also shocked by the lack of safeguards in place for those likely to be returned to Turkey in less than 24 hours. It calls on European leaders to urgently rethink their proposal and suspend all transfers to Turkey until there is a guarantee that those in need of international protection will receive it.

“The situation inside Moria detention center is deteriorating rapidly,” said Simona Mortolini, Save the Children Team Leader in Greece. “We have spoken to families and children who are sleeping outside on the cold ground on thin blankets because there is nowhere else for them to sleep in the overcrowded accommodation facilities. The camp was initially designed to host a few hundred people transiting through within a day. It now hosts 3,300 people, many have been trapped there for more than a week.”

“People continue to arrive to the island and the number of families detained in the center continues to increase by the day. It is extremely dangerous for children and we are worried about their physical and mental well-being, especially those children travelling alone.”

“There are reports of protests and people have told us they will commit suicide if they are sent back to Turkey. Some said they will jump off the boats. People are absolutely desperate. They have sold all their worldly possessions to pay for the journey from Turkey to Greece, they already risked their lives at sea to make the crossing. There is nothing left for them to return to – in Turkey or in their countries of origin that are marred by wars and widespread violence and insecurity.”

As part of the new EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect on 20 March, newly-arrived vulnerable children and their families, regardless of their status, have been detained in closed facilities on the Greek islands until their individual interview and assessment take place – which could take weeks or months.

Read Full Article – Conditions Rapidly Deteriorating for Children Detained in Moria Camp on Lesvos

 

New Publications on Detention; Refugees in Camps and Cities; and Legal Items

Details of these new publications were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

Publications on Detention

Back in the Spotlight: The Detention of Mentally Ill Asylum Seekers (UK Human Rights Blog, Oct. 2012) [text]

Immigration Detention: Penal Regime or Step towards Deportation? About Respecting Human Rights in Immigration Detention (National Ombudsman of the Netherlands, Aug. 2012) [text via Euromed MigrAsyl Blog]

In the Name of the Italian People (Za Lab, 2012) [access via Fortress Europe Blog]
– Documentary focusing on immigration detention.

One Size Fits All: Immigration Detention Fails to Deliver Expected Outcomes (JRS Europe, Oct. 2012) [text]

Population, Space and Place, vol. 18, no. 6 (Nov./Dec. 2012) [contents]
– Special issue on immigration detention.

Publications on Refugees in Camps and Cities

From Camp to City: Refugee Camps of the Western Sahara (Lars Müller Publishers, Sept. 2012) [publisher info] [author info]

Hidden Lives: The Untold Story of Urban Refugees (IRC, ECHO & Panos Pictures, Nov. 2012) [access]
– Trailer describing photo project of Andrew McConnell; see also related interview.

“Implementing a Revised Refugee Policy for Urban Refugees in Tanzania,” Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, vol. 2, no. 2 (Nov. 2012) [full-text]

Space, Time, Dignity, Rights: Improving Palestine Refugee Camps [access]
– Exhibition that aims to re-conceptualize refugee camps.  See also info. from UNRWA.

“There’s No Place Like a Refugee Camp? Urban Planning and Participation in the Camp Context,” Refuge, vol. 28, no. 1 (2012) [open access text]

Three-part Report Series on “Urban Refugees in Amman & Cairo” (Institute for the Study of International Migration, Nov. 2012)
– Urban Refugees in Amman: Mainstreaming of Healthcare [text]
– Urban Refugees in Amman, Jordan [text]
– Urban Refugees in Cairo [text]

“The ‘Urban Redesign’ of Jenin Refugee Camp: Humanitarian Intervention and Rational Violence,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 41, no. 2 (Winter 2012) [preview]

*Urban Refugees: Hidden in Plain Sight (Huffington Post, Nov. 2012) [text]

Publications on Legal Items

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2012: The Architecture of Refugee Protection, Oxford, 7 Nov. 2012 [access]
– Podcast of lecture (see photo from event).

“Introductory Note to the European Court of Justice’s Decision on Preconditions for Exclusion from Refugee Status (Federal Republic of Germany v. B and D),” International Legal Materials, vol. 50, no. 1 (2011; posted Nov. 2012) [preprint via SSRN]

“Is Switzerland an EU Member State? Asylum Law Harmonization through the Backdoor,” Chapter in The Global Reach of European Refugee Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2013) [preprint via SSRN]

“A Pirate and a Refugee: Reservations and Responses in the Fight Against Piracy,” ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, vol. 17, no. 2 (2011; posted Nov. 2012) [free full-text via SSRN]

“Sources of International Migration Law,” Chapter in Foundations of International Migration Law (Cambridge University Press, 2012) [text via SSRN]

New Publications on Economic Issues; Legal Issues; Refugee Camp Programmes; STHF Electric House & Lunar House; and Afghan Asylum Seekers

Details of these new publications, unless otherwise stated,  were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

Publications on Economic Issues

Connecting with Emigrants: A Global Profile of Diasporas (OECD, Oct. 2012) [text]

Economic Assistance in Conflict Zones: Lessons from Afghanistan (Center for Global Development, Oct. 2012) [text via Human Security Gateway]

Impact and Costs of Forced Displacement, Research Project, 2010-present (RSC, 2012) [info] [overview]
– Outputs from this project for the World Bank include the following:  Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement, vol. I – A Mixed Methods Approach (May 2012); Study on Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement, vol. II – State of the Art Literature Review (June 2011); Guidelines for Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement (July 2012);

The Labour Market Integration of Refugee and Family Reunion Immigrants: A Comparison of Outcomes in Canada and Sweden, IZA Discussion Paper, no. 6924 (Institute for the Study of Labor, Oct. 2012) [text via SSRN]

Labour Mobility for Refugees: Workshop in Geneva, 11-12 September 2012 – Summary Conclusions (UNHCR, Oct. 2012) [text]

Remittances to Transit Countries: The Impact on Sudanese Refugee Livelihoods in Cairo, Cairo Studies on Migration and Refugees, no. 3 (CMRS, Sept. 2012) [text]

Publications on Legal Issues

“Displacement Disparity: Filling the Gap of Protection for the Environmentally Displaced Person,” Valparaiso University Law Review, vol. 46, no. 3 (2012) [open access text]

Do Human Rights Laws Help Asylum-Seekers? An Empirical Study of Canadian Refugee Jurisprudence Since 1990, Paper prepared for the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Honolulu, 7 June 2012 [text]

Guidelines on International Protection No. 9: Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (UNHCR, Oct. 2012) [text]

Reparations for the Uyghur Refugees Illegally Detained at Guantánamo Bay (ExpressO, 2012) [text]

“Seeking Asylum for Former Child Soldiers and Victims of Human Trafficking,” Pepperdine Law Review, vol. 39, no. 2 (2012) [open access text]

Publications on Refugee Camp Programmes

Important but Neglected: A Proposal for Human Rights Education in Refugee and Displacement Camps (SSRN, Oct. 2012) [text]

Iridimi Refugee Camp Library, Eastern Chad (Bookwish, 2012) [access]

R2E: Human Rights Mobile Library (i-Act, 2012) [access]

Top Kenyan University Opens Campus next to World’s Largest Refugee Camp (UNHCR, Oct. 2012) [text]

What Happens after the War? How Refugee Camp Peace Programmes Contribute to Post-conflict Peacebuilding Strategies, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 245 (UNHCR, Oct. 2012) [text]

Publications on the United Kingdom

Short Term Holding Facilities (UK)

Report on an unannounced follow-up inspection of the non-residential short term holding facility at: Lunar House, Croydon 7 June 2012
by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.
[Download Full Report]
(Source: HM Inspectorate of Prisons).

Report on an unannounced follow-up inspection of the non-residential short term holding facility at: Electric House, Croydon 7 June 2012
by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
[Download Full Report]
(Source: HM Inspectorate of Prisons).

Afghan Asylum Seekers

Broken futures: young Afghan asylum seekers in the UK and on return to their country of origin.
By Catherine Gladwell and Hannah Elwyn.
UNHCR New Issues in Refugee Research – Research Paper No. 246.
[Download Working Paper]
(Source: UNHCR).

 

 

New Publications on Causes of Displacement; Human Rights Education; Human Security; Migration Control; Refugee Camps; and Trafficking in Scotland

Details of these new publications were originally circulated by Elisa Mason on the incredibly useful: Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.  Further details can be found on the website at:  http://fm-cab.blogspot.co.uk/

A Critical Introduction to Immigration and Asylum (International State Crime Initiative, Sept. 2012) [text]

Human Security Report 2012: Sexual Violence, Education, and War – Beyond the Mainstream Narrative (Human Security Report Project, Oct. 2012) [access]
– See also related IRIN news article and IntLawGrrls blog post.

Important but Neglected: A Proposal for Human Rights Education in Refugee and Displacement Camps (SSRN, Oct. 2012) [text]

“Refugee Camps not Designed for Refugees,” DW, 9 Oct. 2012 [text]

Warfare, Political Identities, and Displacement in Spain and Colombia, HiCN Working Paper 124 (Households in Conflict Network, Oct. 2012) [text]

Care And Support for Adult Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings: A Review.
A new report by the Scottish Government.
[Download Full Report]