29 September 2006

Human Rights Council and IDPs

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reported yesterday that the UN Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of IDPs, Walter Kälin, addressed the second session of the Human Rights Council on 19 September 2006. The complete text of his statement is available here. Copies of the report on IDPs presented to the Council (E/CN.4/2006/71) are available here in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

Posted in Publications and Events.

28 September 2006

UNHCR/NGO Consultations

As previously reported in this post, the annual consultations between UNHCR and NGOs are taking place in Geneva from 27 to 29 September. Yesterday's sessions included welcome speeches from the heads of the NGO Liaison Unit and of External Relations at UNHCR and the director of ICVA. In addition, presentations were made by all of UNHCR's regional bureaux.

Today, the following thematic roundtables are being held (where available, links to a selection of related background documents are also provided):

Roundtable: "Implementation of the new cluster approach in situations of internal displacement"
- Document on UNHCR's expanded role in internal displacement situations

Roundtable: "Combating the use of detention as a deterrent: A case study from the Mediterranean"
- See country reports for Malta, Spain and Italy from the International Detention Coalition.

Roundtable: "Challenges of Return: Rights and sustainable solutions"
- Description of AUSTCARE research project "A Place to Call Home: Protection and Voluntary Repatriation of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Protracted Situations

Roundtable: "Mainstreaming education within humanitarian response"
- Save the Children campaign, "Rewrite the future: education and hope for millions of children affected by armed conflict
- INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction

Roundtable: "Prevention and reduction of statelessness and protection of stateless persons"
- UNHCR web pages on "who is stateless"

Roundtable: "Integration: The forgotten 'solution'"
- The forgotten solution: local integration for refugees in developing countries, New Issues in Refugee Research Working Paper no. 45
- Local integration as a durable solution: refugees, host populations and education in Uganda, New Issues in Refugee Research Working Paper no. 93

Roundtable: "'MSRP' - UNHCR's global implementation of the PeopleSoft software package"

Roundtable: "Collaboration in addressing gender issues"
- Notes from OXFAM
- IASC Gender Handbook (draft for consultation)

Roundtable: "What are the strategies for countries supportive of resettlement?"
- UNHCR's resettlement web pages

Roundtable: "Children's protection and humanitarian reform"
- UNHCR's web pages on children

Roundtable: "They don't talk about rape!! Improving protection for refugee women and girls"
- Women at Risk Assessment Tool and Response Mechanism, prepared by the Centre for Refugee Research and ANCORW
- UNHCR's Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Guidelines for Prevention and Response
- The Case for a UNHCR Conclusion on “Refugee Women at Risk”, prepared by the Centre for Refugee Research
- Standing Committee Discussion Paper on a Possible Executive Committee Conclusion on Displaced Women and Girls at Risk

A detailed agenda for the consultations is available, along with a schedule for side meetings.

Posted in Publications and Events.

27 September 2006

New Research Reports: Displaced/Uganda, Humanitarianism, Integration, Palestinians, Somali Refugees/Switz.

Humanitarian Agenda 2015: Principles, Power, and Perceptions (Feinstein International Center, Sept. 2006) [access to text and country studies]
- Note change in institute name from the Feinstein International Famine Center to the Feinstein International Center. For more info., read this profile.

The Integration of Migrants: Engaging Employers, Unions and the Voluntary Sector, London, 4 July 2006: Conference Report (COMPAS, Sept. 2006) [text]

Interim Return and Palestine: On Politics, Terminology and Structural Invisibility, DIIS Working Paper no. 2006/21 (DIIS, August 2006) [text]

Invisibly Displaced Persons in Adjumani District, Working Paper no. 19 (Refugee Law Project, Sept. 2006) [text]

Somali Refugees in Switzerland: Strategies of Exile and Policy Responses (SFM, July 2006) [text]

Violence and humanitarian assistance: Reflections on an intricate relationship (Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, Sept. 2006) [text]

Posted in Publications.

25 September 2006

New Periodical Issues: AWR, IJMHSC, Intl. Mig., JEMS, REMI, Security Dial.

AWR Bulletin, vol. 44, no. 2 (2006) [contents]
- Scroll down. Includes articles in Italian and German on protecting women in armed conflict, human rights and refugee protection, asylum in history, and immigrant workers in the U.S.

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 2, no. 2 (Sept. 2006) [contents, selected full-text]
- Focus is on different issues affecting migrating children (as asylum-seekers, in difficult circumstances, street children...).

International Migration, vol. 44, no. 4 (Oct. 2006) [contents]
- Includes three articles commenting on the GCIM report and six articles focusing on human smuggling.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 32, no. 8 (Nov. 2006) [contents]
- Theme of this issue is "Older Migrants in Europe: Experiences, Exclusion and Constructive Accommodation."

Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, vol. 22, no. 1 (2006) [contents, selected full-text]
- Focus is on diasporas.

Security Dialogue, vol. 37, no. 3 (Sept. 2006) [contents]
- Includes articles on human trafficking in Central Asia and sexual violence in Sierra Leone, among others.

Posted in Periodicals.

23 September 2006

New ICAR Policy Blog

ICAR has launched a second blog called PolicyBlog that will track developments in asylum and refugee policy in both the UK and around the world. The ultimate aim is to "improve understanding of the policy making process... ." ICAR's first blog, Mediablog, comments on refugee/asylum matters reported in the news media.

Posted in Web Sites/Tools.

Swiss Asylum Law

Human Rights Watch reported that a referendum will be held tomorrow (24 September) in Switzerland to vote on the implementation of proposed changes to the country's asylum law. ICAR blogged earlier about the pending vote here. The Office fédéral des migrations has compiled an FAQ and other documents explaining the changes.

A number of organizations are opposed to the proposed changes. For example, HRW has prepared an analysis detailing what it views as the "proposed law’s shortcomings as measured against international legal standards for the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers." The Swiss Refugee Council (OSAR) also advocates a "no" vote, and provides a list of other opponents and their statements. More information is provided on their asylum web page, including the text of the proposed law.

A contrary viewpoint has been expressed by Prof. Kay Hailbronner of the Center for International and European Law on Immigration and Asylum, as reported by Le Temps news. He believes the revisions, if implemented, would conform to international refugee law.

Posted in Publications.

22 September 2006

Guidelines: Protecting Persons Affected by Natural Disasters

While these guidelines were adopted by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in June 2006, the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement is publishing a final version of them that includes a foreword. In doing so, "the Project hopes to assist the UN in providing the people on the front lines of disaster response with the guidance they need on how to ensure that the rights of people affected by natural disasters are better protected."

The accompanying manual referenced in the foreword is in the process of being finalized and will be made available online accordingly.

Posted in Publications.

21 September 2006

Literature Reviews: Refugees/IDPs in Africa

I am compiling of list of literature reviews and came across the series "Studies on Emergencies and Disater Relief," which was produced by the Nordic Africa Institute with assistance from Sida. Several of the studies in the series are extensive literature surveys or state of the art reviews, so I have listed the relevant titles here. Most are available for download, unless otherwise indicated.

Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees from and in Mozambique (K. Wilson, 1994) [summary]

Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees from and in the Sudan: A Review (D. Nilsson, 2000) [summary and link to full-text]

Liberia - The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees (D. Nilsson, 2003) [summary and link to full-text]

Refugee and Labour Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review (J. Baker, 1995) [summary and link to full-text]

Shelter Provision and Settlement Policies for Refugees: A State of the Art Review (R. Zetter, 1995) [summary and link to full-text] [also available here, with 2003 intro.]

Somali Refugees in the Horn of Africa: State of the Art Literature Review (S. Waldron & N. Hasci, 1995) [summary]

Posted in Publications.

19 September 2006

RSS Round-Up: Asylum Trends, Human Rights, Migration

RSS feeds can regularly alert you to new information resources. Here are a few examples:

From Amnesty International USA (they offer region- and campaign-specific newsfeeds as well as one for recent reports, which is the source for this guide):
- Living in the Shadows: A primer on the human rights of migrants (Sept. 2006) [html text]

From beSpacific (this law and technology news blog offers one newsfeed):
- 2006 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom (U.S. Dept. of State, Sept. 2006) [abstract with link to text]

From Docuticker (this current awareness service offers one newsfeed, but the blog itself includes a number of categories; also each document profile includes linked keywords to assist users in locating related titles):
- Identifying the Determinants of Attitudes towards Immigrants: A Structural Cross-Country Analysis (Institute for the Study of Labor, Sept. 2006) [abstract and link to full paper]

From Pambazuka News (they offer category-specific newsfeeds including "refugees and forced migration" and "conflict and emergencies"):
- International Migration and Development: Implications for Africa (Economic Commission for Africa, Sept. 2006) [pdf text]

From UNHCR News (by way of FMO, which displays newsfeeds from various sources; currently, UNHCR only offers one feed; hopefully, in the future it will offer more, including one for its "What's New" page):
- Latest asylum statistics for 36 industrialized nations (UNHCR, Sept. 2006) [briefing note with link to full report]

Don't forget to copy my Site Feed into your newsreader!

Posted in Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

18 September 2006

New Pubs.: EU Asylum, Forced Eviction/Zimb., Mig. Lit. Reviews, Migrants/Libya, Persecution

From a Zero-Sum to a Win-Win Scenario? Literature Review on Circular Migration (Migration Policy Institute, Sept. 2006) [text]
- Prepared in light of UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.

Next Steps in the Development of the Common European Asylum System, Informal JHA Ministerial Meeting, Tampere, 20-22 September 2006 [text]
- Background document prepared by Finland's EU Presidency.

"Persecution Complex: Justifying Asylum Law’s Preference for Persecuted People," Harvard International Law Journal, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer 2006 [text]

Remittances and Development: Trends, Impacts and Policy Options - A Review of the Literature (Migration Policy Institute, Sept. 2006) [text]
- Prepared in light of UN High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.

Stemming the Flow: Abuses Against Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees (Human Rights Watch, Sept. 2006) [text]
- Focus on Libya.

Zimbabwe: No Justice for Victims of Forced Eviction (Amnesty International, Sept. 2006) [text]

Posted in Publications.

15 September 2006

Forced Migration Data Sets

I referenced the human trafficking statistics project in my previous post. There are several other data sets accessible online that may also be of interest:

The CIRI Human Rights Dataset "contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 13 internationally recognized human rights for 195 countries, annually from 1981-2004." The FAQ notes that the focus is on "government" human rights practices particularly, and not on those of non-state actors. Free registration is required.

The EM-DAT Disaster Database "contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 12,800 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to present." A separate but related database houses data on the human impact of complex emergencies.

The Minorities at Risk Project "maintains data on 284 politically active ethnic groups." The project provides qualitative risk assessments for each group, as well as access to data from 1945 to the present.

If you have conducted a survey yourself and wish to preserve the resulting data and/or make it available to other researchers, you may be able to deposit the data with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Science Research (ICPSR). For example, this file from a refugee-related study was deposited in ICPSR's "publications-related archive," which allows other "researcher(s) to replicate a corresponding published article, book, or dissertation [and]...contribute to the building of synthetic cohorts, time series, or meta-analysis datasets."

Posted in Web Sites/Tools.

13 September 2006

Human Trafficking Research

The High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development begins tomorrow. Calls have been made for improving the evidence base for international migration in the interest of enhancing policy formulation. To that end, here are a few references to reviews of research that focus on one particular migration issue, human trafficking:

Data and research on human trafficking: A global survey (special issue of International Migration, vol. 43, no. 1/2, 2005) [text]
- Includes three articles on research methods and nine reviews of research with a regional focus. A bibliography organized by region is also included.

Taking Stock: A Review of the Existing Research onTrafficking for Sexual Exploitation (FAFO, 2005) [text]

Both resources note that the available data on human trafficking are not sufficiently reliable. Other comments on the problem of poor data are provided in this Migration Information source report. One endeavor to enhance the quality of data is the UNESCO Trafficking Statistics Project.

Posted in Publications.

12 September 2006

Focus on Children: Child Labour, Education, Unaccompanied Minors

Several recent publications I've come across examine forced migration issues that impact children.

Child labour:

After the storm: economic activities among children and youth in return areas in post war Liberia: the case of Voinjama (FAFO, 2006) [text]


Guidebook for Planning Education in Emergencies and Reconstruction (UNESCO, 2006) [text]

Rewrite the Future: Education for children in conflict-affected countries (Sept. 2006) [text]
- New campaign initiated by Save the Children.

Unaccompanied minors:

Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in the U.S. and Australia (Jacqueline Bhabha and Mary Crock, June 2006) [U.S. text] [Australia text]

Posted in Publications.

11 September 2006

New Periodical Issues: CCR, Migration, RSQ, The Wire

CCR Chronicle, vol. 1, no. 5 (Sept. 2006) [text]
- From the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Migration Magazine (Sept. 2006) [text]
- Examples of article topics include the High-Level Dialogue, remittances, human trafficking, reintegration, and migrant workers in Lebanon.

Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 3 (2006) [contents]
- Focus is on nationality and the reduction of statelessness.

The Wire (Sept. 2006) [text]
- From Amnesty International.

Posted in Periodicals.

07 September 2006

Reports/Articles: Forced Eviction/Indonesia, IDPs, Intl. Mig., Iran, Middle East, Returnees/Croatia

Condemned Communities: Forced Evictions in Jakarta (Human Rights Watch, Sept. 2006) [text]

A Decade of Disappointment: Continuing Obstacles to the Reintegration of Serb Returnees (Human Rights Watch, Sept. 2006) [text]

"Iran: A Vast Diaspora Abroad and Millions of Refugees at Home," Migration Information Source (Shirin Hakimzadeh, Sept. 2006) [text]

"The Lebanese Crisis and Its Impact on Immigrants and Refugees," Migration Information Source (Kara Murphy, Sept. 2006) [text]

Moving Young (UNFPA, 2006) [text]
- Companion volume to State of World Population report listed below.

A Passage to Hope: Women and International Migration - State of World Population 2006 (UNFPA, 2006) [site]

Seminar on Displacement, Protection of Civilians and the Law of Armed Conflict in the Current Middle East Crisis (Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, 15 August 2006) [text]

UNHCR’s Expanded Role in Support of the Inter-Agency Response to Internal Displacement Situations (12 Sept. 2006) [text]

Posted in Publications.

06 September 2006

Registration Deadline for Annual UNHCR/NGO Consultations

The deadline for registering for the annual pre-EXCOM consultation between UNHCR and NGOs is September 8. The discussions will take place 27-29 September 2006, in Geneva. A draft agenda is available here. Currently, four roundtable and two plenary sessions are scheduled, covering a range of issues such as IDP protection, detention, durable solutions, education, women and girls at risk, and statelessness.

Reports from past consultations are available here. ICVA also provides access to reports and documents from previous sessions.

Posted in Events and Publications.

OUP 'seminal papers' collection to include Zetter article

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) reported that an article by Roger Zetter, the centre's newly appointed director, has been selected for inclusion in a collection of "seminal papers" to be published by Oxford University Press journals. The RSC announcement provides a link to the full-text of "Labelling Refugees: Forming and Transforming a Bureaucratic Identity," Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 4, no. 1 (1991).

The text of this article, along with other back issues of JRS, is included in Forced Migration Online's searchable journals collection. More information about how to access free content in scholarly journals is provided in this earlier posting.

Posted in Periodicals.

05 September 2006

International Migration & Development Meeting, 14-15 Sept. 2006

As reported in an earlier posting, a High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development will take place 14-15 September 2006 in New York. Visit the web site for more information about the organization of the meeting and its objectives. You can also access a number of background documents such as the report of the Secretary-General on migration and development and the report of the Global Commission on International Migration.

Several international organizations that are participating in the meeting have prepared their own web pages with links to conference reports and other documents produced in anticipation of the September meeting. See, for example, pages for UNHCR, OHCHR, and IOM.

Finally, NGOs and civil society groups had an opportunity last month to share their views. December 18 has compiled a number of these, as has the NGLS. "Informal interactive hearings of the General Assembly with representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector" are summarized in this UN document.

Posted in Events and Publications.

04 September 2006

Comments on refugee law & policy

A random selection of recent comments from refugee and asylum NGOs on various legal and policy issues:

- The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) provides recommendations to the Finnish Presidency of the EU on asylum issues.

- The Refugee Council (UK) responds to a Home Office consultation on the "Implementation of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted" (August 2006).

- RSDWatch comments on a recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that concerned UNHCR's rejection of an Iranian couple's application for refugee status (August 2006).

- The Serbian Refugee Council focuses on Serbia's draft amendment to the law on refugees in its first newsletter (June-August 2006).

Posted in Publications.

Latest FMR Focuses on Palestinian Displacement

Articles in the latest issue of Forced Migration Review (no. 26, August 2006) examine the root causes of conflict and displacement in the Middle East, and the far-reaching consequences of this displacement. Users can access the entire issue or individual articles from the FMR web site.

Posted in Periodicals.