23 September 2014

65th Session of EXCOM

The 65th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (EXCOM) will run from 29 September to 3 October 2014 in Geneva. This year's meeting will include a High-level Segment on Enhancing International Cooperation,  Solidarity, Local Capacities and Humanitarian Action for Refugees in Africa. Here is the provisional agenda and the estimated schedule.

Side events taking place during this year's session include:
- 50 years of exile: concluding the chapter for Angolan refugees
- Cartegena+30: new protection and solutions responses in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Implementation of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees: glass half full?
- Registration of Syrian refugees: where the response starts
- Mobilizing private sector for refugees – UNHCR’s new PSFR Strategy
- The Nansen Initiative reports back – human mobility and disasters in Africa
- Unaccompanied children in Europe: what is in their best interests?
- The Solutions Alliance: partnering on solutions to displacement
- Refugees and markets – UNHCR's Global Livelihoods Strategy
- NGO side event: Fresh thinking on alternatives to camps

In addition, the Nansen Refugee Award ceremony will be held the evening of the first day, with the honors going to the Colombian women's group, "Butterflies with New Wings Building a Future."

Plenary session documents can be accessed here.

Tagged Publications and Events & Opportunities. 

22 September 2014

Thematic Focus: Human Trafficking


Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, NE, 9-11 October 2014 [info]
- Registration is ongoing.


Anti-Trafficking Review, no. 3 (2014) [open access]
- Special issue on "Following the Money: Spending on Anti-Trafficking."

Assessing New Zealand's Immigration Policy towards Victims of Human Trafficking: A Human Rights Approach, LLM Research Paper (Victoria University of Wellington, 2013; avail. June 2014) [text]

Guardianship for Children Deprived of Parental Care: A Handbook to Reinforce Guardianship Systems to Cater for the Specific Needs of Child Victims of Trafficking (EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, June 2014) [text]

Journal on Human Trafficking [info]
- No issues have been published yet.

The Protection Project Review of the Trafficking in Persons Report (Protection Project, July 2014) [text]
- See also related remarks.

Smuggled Futures: The Dangerous Path of a Migrant from Africa to Europe (Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, May 2014) [text]
- See map above.

Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, UN Doc. No. A/69/269 (UN General Assembly, Aug. 2014) [text via Refworld]

"World's Most Dangerous Journey? Eritreans Risk Life and Limb to Get to UK," The Guardian, 6 Sept. 2014 [text]

Related posts:
- News: 2014 Edition of Trafficking in Persons Report (20 June 2014)
- Thematic Focus: Human Trafficking & Forced Labour (12 June 2014)

Tagged Publications and Events & Opportunities. 

Regional Focus: Syria

An Afternoon on Syrian Displacement, and Protection in Europe, Oxford, 10 Sept. 2014 [info]
- Follow the link above for video of this event, or listen to podcasts of part 1 and part 2.

Are We Listening? Acting on Our Commitments to Women and Girls Affected by the Syrian Conflict (International Rescue Committee, Sept. 2014) [text]
- See also companion web site.

Bulgaria: New Evidence Syrians Forced Back to Turkey (Human Rights Watch, Sept. 2014) [text]

Comparative Analysis of Syrian Refugees Staying In and Outside Camps: Kurdistan Region of Iraq (REACH, Sept. 2014) [text via ReliefWeb]
- See also the individual assessment reports of Syrian refugees in camps and outside of them.

Ensuring Quality Education for Young Refugees from Syria: Mapping Exercise on Quality Education for Young Refugees from Syria (12-25 years) (Refugee Studies Centre, Sept. 2014) [text]

Futures under Threat: The Impact of the Education Crisis on Syria’s Children (Save the Children, Sept. 2014) [text via ReliefWeb]

Syrian Displacement: Views from the Region, Washington, DC, 16 Sept. 2014 [info]
- Follow link for audio.

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Secondary and Tertiary Health Care at a Glance (UNHCR et al., June 2014) [text via ReliefWeb]

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

20 September 2014

News: Latest Annual Disaster Statistical Review Published

Hot on the heels of IDMC's Global Estimates report for 2014 is the Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2013: The Numbers and Trends.  Published by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), this annual report provides an analysis of disasters that occurred during the year under review and the impact they had on lives and livelihoods.  This CRED Crunch Newsletter published in April 2014 provided a provisional snapshot of natural disasters in 2013.

Previous editions of the annual review can be accessed via my research guide.

Tagged Publications.

News: UNHCR/NGO Consultations

This year, UNHCR's annual discussion with NGOs was held 17-19 June 2014 in Geneva.  The two final reports of the meeting are now available:

- 2014 UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs: Rapporteur's Report [text]

- Report on the Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organizations [text]

In addition, a Tumblr site was set up to host videos and photos of, and social media feeds for, the various gatherings.

Next year's consultations will take place 1-3 July 2015, immediately following the UNHCR Standing Committee meeting from 29-30 June 2015.

Tagged Events & Opportunities, Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

Tip of the Week! Searching on URLs

I search on URLs all the time.  In other words, I will enter a URL into Google's search box at http://www.google.com and click on the "search" button.  Google will treat the URL as a "search term" and look for instances of it rather than take you to the site.

Is this something you do too?  If you don't, here are a few reasons for giving it a go.

1. Safety:

- I've mentioned before that I tend to quite safety-conscious when searching online. When you search on a URL, you can often learn whether or not it is part of a site that has been compromised in some way, as described in this earlier tip.
- You can also learn whether or not a site has changed hands without actually visiting the site.  This happened recently with http://frlan.tumblr.com, which used to be the URL for the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter.  Now it directs you to the site for International Thornes Bank!
- Another example: I was trying to determine if the Forced Migration Research Hub still has a presence online.  Its Twitter feed hasn't been updated since Nov. 2012, so rather than go directly to its site at http://formhub.net/, I searched on it.  The snippets in the search results indicate the site at that URL now focuses on mobile data collection.

2.  Identification:

This previous tip discussed "link expanders" that will identify the actual URL that a tiny URL directs you to. However, these services don't work for the perpetual URLs and permalinks that are often used in universities' institutional repositories.  For example, I recently referenced this dissertation on my blog: Asylum Seekers and Australian Politics, 1996-2007. The URL for it is http://hdl.handle.net/2440/84730, which isn't very informative. But what if you want to know precisely where that URL will lead you?  Search on it and you'll learn the dissertation resides in the University of Adelaide's digital library.

3. Google's cache:

The cache is a record of what a site or document looked like at the time it was indexed by Google. You can access the cached version of something by clicking on the upside-down green triangle that is displayed to the right of a URL in Google's search results. Why is this useful?  First, viewing the cached versions of PDF, Word, Excel or Powerpoint files is a quick way to determine whether or not a document is worth opening up, because you don't have to actually a) launch an application to view the text, or b) download the document onto your computer before you can view it.  Also, the cache will allow you to retrieve information from a site or a document that is temporarily inaccessible or has recently disappeared. (Note the emphasis on recently!  The cache is only a short-term backup solution.)

- You are looking for the most recent edition of IDMC's Global Estimates report. Type in >>global estimates 2014<<.  Notice in the search results that ReliefWeb has a PDF copy. Click on the green upside-down triangle, and select "cached." The text will be displayed very quickly because the graphics and special fonts, etc. are removed. (For this reason, sometimes you have to scroll down a bit to see the text.)
- On some sites, when you click on a link to view a PDF, the "save as" box opens up, meaning that you have to download a document in order to view it.  Here's an example: This page includes a link to ECRE's Information Note on Syrians Seeking Protection in Europe. If you want to view the document before downloading it, simply copy the URL (http://www.ecre.org/component/downloads/downloads/824.html), search on it in Google, and then view the cached version.
- I recently came across a presentation I wanted to look at.  However, it is in Powerpoint, and I don't have that application on my computer.  So I searched on the URL and viewed the cache of the .ppt file instead.
- I don't have a specific example of a recently disappeared document to share.  But the next time you click on a link that leads nowhere, try searching on the URL to see if a cached version is still available.

[Image credit: Wikipedia]

Tagged Tips.

19 September 2014

Regional Focus: Asia Pacific

5th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights, Bangkok, 2-4 Sept. 2014 [info]
- Some of the presentations from this meeting are now available.

"Can Islam and "Islamization" be a Force for Refugee Rights in Malaysia?," UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, vol. 31, no. 1 (2013) [full-text]

Forced Migration and Human Rights Protection in the Asia Pacific Region: Mobilising Opportunities, Melbourne, 8 Aug. 2014 [info]
- Follow link to access some of the presentations; scroll to bottom of page.

Timor-Leste: Links between Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Durable Solutions to Displacement (Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, Sept. 2014) [text]

UNHCR's Comments on the Draft Presidential Decree and Regulations to the Refugee Act of the Republic of Korea (UNHCR, March 2013) [text]

"Welfare Reforms and the Refugee Resettlement Strategy: An Opportunity to Achieve Meaningful Employment Outcomes for New Zealanders from Refugee Backgrounds'," Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, Latest Articles, 28 Aug. 2014 [open access]

Related posts:
- Regional Focus: Asia Pacific (2 Sept. 2014)
- Regional Focus: Australia & New Zealand (26 Aug. 2014)

Tagged Publications.

Regional Focus: Australia

The Demonisation of Immigrants and Asylum Seekers in Popular Politics (Asylum Insight, Sept. 2014) [text]

Launch of Refugees: Why Seeking Asylum is Legal and Australia’s Policies are Not, Sydney, 4 Sept. 2014 [info]
- Follow link for press release and text of speech.

"Refugee Settlement in Australia: Policy, Scholarship and the Production of Knowledge, 1952 -2013," Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 35, no. 1 (2014) [free full-text]

Regionalism, Responsibility and Refugees, South Brisbane, 17 July 2014 [info]
- Follow link for transcript and video of this public lecture.

"Towed Back or Locked Up: Australia’s Refugee Policy," Government Gazette (July 2014) [full-text]
- Scroll to p. 83.

UNHCR Submissions in the High Court of Australia in the Case of CPCF v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and the Commonwealth of Australia (UNHCR, Sept. 2014) [text]
- More info about this case is available on the Opinions on High Court Blog.

What Happens now that Australia has "Stopped the Boats"?, Perth, 20 Aug. 2014 [info]
- Follow link for audio. The transcript of this lecture is available on the RCOA web site.

Related post:
- Regional Focus: Australia & New Zealand (26 Aug. 2014)

Tagged Publications.

17 September 2014

News: New Disaster IDPs Report Published

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) has just released its annual report, Global Estimates 2014: People Internally Displaced by Disasters.  Here is the description:
"IDMC’s latest Global Estimates report shows that 22 million people were displaced in 2013 by disasters brought on by natural hazard events. As in previous years, the worst affected region is Asia, where 19 million people, or 87.1 per cent of the global total, were displaced during the year. Although both wealthy and poorer countries are affected, developing countries bear the brunt, accounting for more than 85 per cent of displacement. In the Philippines, typhoon Haiyan alone displaced 4.1 million people, a million more than in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. Viewed relative to population size, seasonal floods also caused significant displacement in sub-Saharan Africa, most notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan – countries with highly vulnerable populations who are also affected by conflict and drought."

This is technically the fifth report that has been published on global estimates of disaster displacement.  The first, a study produced by IDMC and OCHA, developed a methodology for monitoring disaster-displaced populations over time.  All previous editions can be accessed via my research guide.

Tagged Publications.

Regional Focus: Americas

Reports/commentary on recent BIA decision:
  • Board of Immigration Appeals Recognizes Domestic Violence as a Basis for Asylum (CGRS, Aug. 2014) [text]
  • HIRC Plays Key Role in Landmark Decision Recognizing Domestic Violence as Grounds for Asylum (Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, Aug. 2014) [text]
  • "In First for Court, Woman Is Ruled Eligible for Asylum in U.S. on Basis of Domestic Abuse," New York Times, 29 Aug. 2014 [text]
  • One Giant Leap for a Woman; One Small Step for Womankind (The Asylumist, Aug. 2014) [text]
  • Q&A with Karen Musalo, Director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS, Aug. 2014) [text]


15th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, Bogotá, 15-18 July 2014 [conf. report]
 - The theme was "Forced Migration and Peace: 30 Years of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees."

Buenaventura, Colombia: Brutal Realities - Forced Displacement and Gender-based Sexual Violence (Norwegian Refugee Council, Sept. 2014) [text via ReliefWeb]
- Note: This report was released to mark the work of the winners of the 2014 Nansen Refugee Award, or "Butterflies with New Wings Building a Future, a group of courageous women that work tirelessly to help displaced survivors of sexual abuse reclaim their lives in Buenaventura, one of the most violent cities in Colombia."

Building Peace in the Midst of Violence: Improving Security and Finding Durable Solutions to Displacement in Colombia (Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, Sept. 2014) [text]

Ecuador Advances the Protection of Refugees (Asylum Access, Sept. 2014) [text]

"Immigration," Student Discovery Set (U.S. Library of Congress, Sept. 2014) [access]
- New ebook on the "immigrant experience in America in the 19th and 20th centuries."

Quick Look: Asylum Law (LegalED, Aug. 2014) [access]
- Follow link for video.

Sixteen Years and 20 Minutes to "Other Serious Harm" Asylum (The Asylumist, Sept. 2014) [text]
- Blog post that discusses "humanitarian asylum" in the U.S.

Related post:
- Regional Focus: Americas (8 Sept. 2014)

Tagged Publications.

16 September 2014

New FMR Supplement Issue

A Forced Migration Review supplement issue has just been published.  The focus is on "Innovation and Refugees."  Here is the description:
Innovation around displacement is not new. Yet the imperfections of current approaches are obvious in the challenges that we continue to face. By looking at old problems in new ways and by seeking and fostering innovation itself, new products can be developed, new ways of working can be devised and new modalities and paradigms can emerge to make the lives of displaced people better, more sustainable and less risky. These 11 articles reflect some of the thinking behind humanitarian innovation for displaced people, and some of its current manifestations.

Some of the articles include contributions from the recent Humanitarian Innovation Conference, held in Oxford from 19-20 July 2014.

Tagged Periodicals.

Regional Focus: Europe

Recent reporting on migrants attempting to reach Europe: 
  • "As Many as 700 Migrants Feared Drowned in Mediterranean," Reuters, 15 Sept. 2014 [text]
  • Eritrean Exodus: The Drivers and Trends of Current Migration Spike (RMMS, Sept. 2014) [text]
  • "Europe's Deadly Borders: An Inside Look at EU's Shameful Immigration Policy," Spiegel Online, 11 Sept. 2014 [text]
  • IOM Investigates Reports of Deliberate Drowning of 500 Migrants in Mediterranean (IOM, Sept. 2014) [text]
  • "Mapping Mediterranean Migration," BBC News, 15 Sept. 2014 [text]
  • Mediterranean Migrant Boat Shipwrecks Highlight Need for EU Action (Amnesty International, Sept. 2014) [text]

Events & opportunities:

CFP: "The Role of EU Institutions in Migration and Asylum Policies: Liberal Constraint?", Panel at 22nd International Conference of Europeanists, Paris, 8-10 July 2015 [info]
 - Abstracts are due by 26 September 2014.

Annual Conference on EU Asylum Law 2014, Trier, Germany, 29-30 October 2014 [info]
- Register before 29 September 2014 for early bird rates.

ECRE Annual General Conference and UNHCR NGO Consultations, Brussels, 15-17 October [info]
- Registration deadline is 3 October 2014.

'Secure the Borders!' The Cost and Consequences of Europe's 'Fight Against Irregular Migration', London, 14 October 2014 [info]
- A podcast of this event will be available after the fact.


AIDA Report on Cyprus (AIDA, Aug. 2014) [text]

Asylum Seekers’Access to Territory and Asylum Procedure in the Republic of Hungary 2013 (Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 2014?) [text]

Current Issues of Refugee Protection (UNHCR Greece, June 2014) [text via Oppenheimer Chair]

Humanitarian Visas: Option or Obligation? (European Parliament, Sept. 2014) [text]
- See also related ECRE Weekly Bulletin article.

Related post:
- Regional Focus: Europe (11 Sept. 2014)

Tagged Publications and Events & Opportunities. 

15 September 2014

Thematic Focus: Health

"Mental Health of Refugees: Report of a Successful Case in Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, vol. 36 no. 3 (July/Sept. 2014) [full-text]

"Ocular Morbidity among Refugees in Southwest Ethiopia," Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, vol. 24, no. 3 (2014) [open access]

"Prevalence of Dyslipidaemia and Micronutrient Deficiencies among Newly Arrived Refugees in Rural Australia: A Cross-sectional Study," BMC Public Health, 14:896 (Sept. 2014) [open access]

"Refugees Connecting with a New Country through Community Food Gardening," International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 11, no. 9 (Sept. 2014) [open access]

"Strengthening the Evidence Base for Health Programming in Humanitarian Crises," Science Magazine, vol. 345, no. 6202 (Sept. 2014) [full-text]

"A Systematic Review of Resilience and Mental Health Outcomes of Conflict-driven Adult Forced Migrants," Conflict and Health, 8:13 (Aug. 2014) [open access]

"Traumatized Refugees: Morbidity, Treatment and Predictors of Outcome," Danish Medical Journal, vol. 61, no. 8 (Aug. 2014) [full-text]

"Violence and Reproductive Health Preceding Flight from War: Accounts from Somali Born Women in Sweden," BMC Public Health, 14:892 (Aug. 2014) [open access]

Related post:
- Thematic Focus: Health (5 Aug. 2014)

Tagged Publications.

Thematic Focus: Statelessness

Bahrain: Citizenship Rights Stripped Away (Human Rights Watch, Aug. 2014) [text]

Community Paralegals and the Legal Empowerment Approach to Statelessness (Statelessness Programme Blog, Sept. 2014) [text]

*Ending Statelessness: An Imperative for the 21st Century, Keynote Address at the Global Forum on Statelessness, The Hague, 15-17 September 2014 [text]

Stateless: The World's Most Invisible People? (Thomson Reuters Foundation, Sept. 2014) [access]
- This "Spotlight" feature has recently been updated.

Statelessness Determination Procedures: Identifying and Protecting Stateless Persons (UNHCR, Aug. 2014) [text]

Statelessness Protection in Belgium (ENS Blog, Sept. 2014) [text]

Still Stateless, Still Suffering: It’s Time for European Leaders to Take Action (openDemocracy, Aug. 2014) [text]

Strategic Litigation: An Obligation for Statelessness Determination under the European Convention on Human Rights? (European Network on Statelessness, Sept. 2014) [text]
- See also related blog post.

A Website for Statelessness: www.whatisstatelessness.org (Statelessness Programme Blog, Aug. 2014) [text]


Related post:
- Thematic Focus: Nationality & Statelessness (18 Aug. 2014)

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.