30 March 2007

Build your own search engine

I have added links to several search options in the navigation menu on the right. The first takes you to a page where you can conduct a search of this blog together with three others that have a forced migration focus (two from ICAR and one from Refugees International).

The second link takes you to Forced Migration Online's search page where you can search across a number of different forced migration web sites (e.g., UNHCR, IDMC, ECRE, USCR, ICAR, ReliefWeb, Brookings-Bern IDP Project, etc.).

The third link takes you to Paul Currion's search engine which allows you to search across 47 different humanitarian-related web sites.

All of these specialized search engines were set up using Google's Co-op Search. It's a very easy process and happily (for me at least) required no technical skills to speak of. There are several other options for building customized search engines, including Yahoo! Search Builder, Gigablast Custom Topic Search, Rollyo, and Swicki. I haven't tried any of these out yet so I can't comment on their features or ease of use (this column provides brief comments though).

If you want to search just my blog, you can already do so using the Blogger search box in the top left corner.

Posted in Web Sites/Tools.

29 March 2007

Human Trafficking: Research/Literature Review Opportunity

The U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is soliciting applications to undertake "Trafficking in Human Beings Research" and/or a "Comprehensive Literature Review." Specifically:
NIJ is seeking applications for funding two distinct research projects to address certain knowledge gaps related to trafficking in human beings in the United States. NIJ is specifically seeking applications for funding that (1) respond to a series of research questions regarding trafficking in human beings, or (2) propose to perform a comprehensive literature review of trafficking in human beings. Applicants may apply for one or both projects.

More application information is available here. The deadline is 16 April 2007; interested candidates must register with and apply through Grants.gov.

Posted in Events & Opportunities.

28 March 2007

New Publications from ECRE, ICVA, Oxfam, Refugees Intl., Sphere

Building Safer Organisations: Guidelines and Handbook (ICVA, Feb. 2007) [access]

Fostering Quality and Accountability among Humanitarian Aid Agencies through a Process of Accreditation: History, overview of current options and potential contribution from Sphere (Sphere Project, March 2007) [access]

Guidelines on the Treatment of Chechen Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Europe (ECRE, March 2007) [text]

Integration Policy Briefings (ECRE, March 2007) [access]
- Six policy briefings on different aspects of integration: training & education, language, housing, employment, civil & political participation, skills & qualifications

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund one year on (Oxfam, March 2007) [text]

The World's Fastest Growing Displacement Crisis: Displaced People Inside Iraq Receiving Inadequate Assistance (Refugees International, March 2007) [text]

Posted in Publications.

27 March 2007

Report: Human Rights in the OSCE Region

The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights published the 2007 edition of its annual human rights report today: Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America, Report 2007 (Events of 2006). Individual country reports are provided for most European countries as well as the United States. A Russian version is also available.

Posted in Publications.

Press release round-up: Human Trafficking, Iraqi Refugees, Rohingyas, Statelessness/Sri Lanka, US Immig. Reform

This sampling of recent press releases highlights a range of forced migration developments:

Immigration Reform Must Protect the Persecuted and Uphold U.S. Values (Amnesty International USA, 26 March 2007) [text]

Iraqi Volunteers; Iraqi Refugees: What Is America's Obligation?, Statement of Ellen Sauerbrey, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia (26 March 2007) [text]

Rohingya Refugees from Burma Mistreated in Bangladesh; Thailand Also Forcing Asylum Seekers Back into Burma (Human Rights Watch, 27 March 2007) [text]

UNHCR launches media campaign against statelessness in Sri Lanka (26 March 2007) [text]

UNODC launches Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN Office on Drugs and Crime, (26 March 2007) [text]

For more up-to-the-minute announcements and press releases, see ReliefWeb's "Latest Updates" service and/or monitor Forced Migration Online's RSS headline newsfeeds.

Posted in Publications and Web Sites.

23 March 2007

New Research Rpts/Resources: Asylum/London, Citizenship, Conflict Research, Disaster Grants, Human Trafficking, Inclusion/Africa

Philanthropic Grantmaking for Disaster Management: Trend Analysis and Recommended Improvements, by S. Forbes Martin, P. Weiss Fagen, A. Poole and S. Karim (ISIM, Dec. 2006) [text]

Reconsidering Inclusion in Africa's Cities of Shifting Sands, by L. Landau, Migration Studies Working Paper Series #30 (FMSP, March 2007) [text]

Researching Asylum in London Database [access]
- "An independent database of research on refugee and asylum issues relevant to London. The aim of this project is to make research more accessible to service providers and policy-makers working in the field."

State, Citizenship, and Diaspora: The Cases of Jordan and Lebanon, by L. Brand, CCIS Working Paper no. 146 (Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, Feb. 2007) [text]

Trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation: a literature review, by S. Dowling, K. Moreton, and L. Wright, Home Office Online Report 10/07 (UK Home Office, March 2007) [text]

The War Zone as Social Space: Social Research in Conflict Zones, by K. Jennings (Fafo, March 2007) [text]

Posted in Publications and Web Tools.

20 March 2007

Focus on Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) will focus on Iraq in the upcoming months. First, a one-day roundtable is scheduled for 23 March 2007 which will examine "1) the current status of the forced displacement crisis, 2) the protection challenges faced by humanitarian agencies in the region, and 3) recommendations for action" for both refugees and IDPs. The objective is to produce a briefing document to inform UNHCR's April 17-18 international conference on Iraqi refugees and IDPs, preparations for which are currently underway. Second, a special supplement of Forced Migration Review (FMR) will be published in May/June 2007 and will examine the "future of humanitarian operations in Iraq." In addition, Forced Migration Online (FMO) will most likely prepare a companion resource summary page to supplement the FMR issue.

In the interim, here is a listing of various refugee/IDP organizations with resources/reports relating to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq:

- Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement page
- European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI.net) page
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) page
- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) page
- Refugees International page
- ReliefWeb page
- UNHCR page

Posted in Events, Publications and Web Sites.

19 March 2007

Development-induced Displacement

In the past Michael Cernea has written about bridging the research divide between those who study refugees versus those who study development "oustees" (or people displaced involuntarily by development projects). Today, he points to the research divide between development-induced and conflict-induced IDPs--highlighting how far the concept of "internally displaced persons" has garnered international attention, but also emphasizing how those displaced by development projects continue to receive limited support and attention.

Here is a selection of information resources that shed light on the phenomenon of development-induced displacement and/or involuntary resettlement.


FMO Research Guide: Development-induced Displacement and Resettlement (FMO, 2004) [text]

Forced Migration Review, no 12, "Dilemmas of Development-Induced Displacement" (2002) [text]

Improving Outcomes in Development-induced Displacement and Resettlement Projects (RSC, 2002) [text]

Risks and Rights: The Causes, Consequences, and Challenges of Development-Induced Displacement (Brookings, 2003) [text]

Institutional Policies/Guidelines:

African Development Bank, "Involuntary Resettlement Policy" [text]

Asian Development Bank, "Involuntary Resettlement: Policies and Strategies" [text]
- See also the ADB's "Handbook on Resettlement: A Guide to Good Practice" and accompanying summary.

Expert Seminar on the Practice of Forced Evictions, "The Practice of Forced Evictions: Comprehensive Human Rights Guidelines on Development-Based Displacement" [text]

Inter-American Development Bank, "Operational Policy on Involuntary Resettlement" [text]
- See also "Involuntary Resettlement in IDB Projects: Principles and Guidelines."

OECD, "Guidelines for Aid Agencies on Involuntary Displacement and Resettlement" [text]

World Bank, "Policy" [access]

Literature Reviews/Bibliographies:

Bibliography on Housing Rights and Forced Evictions (Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, 2001) [access - scroll down for title]

Displacement, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reparation, and Development (World Commission on Dams, 2000) [text]

Selected Bibliography on Displacement Caused by Development Projects (Brookings, 2003) [text - scroll down to Appendix]

Whose Needs are Right? Refugees, Oustees and the Challenges of Rights-Based Approaches in Forced Migration (Institute of Development Studies, 2003) [text]

Posted in Publications.

16 March 2007


As the authors write in this Forced Migration Review article, "Stateless persons do not register on the international community’s radar screen." Here are several recent publications that provide more information about the millions of people around the world who lack a nationality and who suffer discrimination and human rights violations as a result.


"Betwixt and Between: Refugees and Stateless Persons in Limbo," Refuge, vol. 22, no. 2 (Sept. 2005) [text]

"Holes in the Rights Framework: Racial Discrimination, Citizenship, and the Rights of Noncitizens," Ethics & International Affairs, vol. 20, no. 3 (2006) [text]

Lives on Hold: The Human Cost of Statelessness (Refugees International, 2005) [text]

"Nationality and Reduction of Statelessness: International, Regional and National Perspectives," Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 3 (2006) [contents]

"Statelessness: A Forgotten Human Rights Crisis," Forced Migration Review, no. 24 (Nov. 2005) [text]

Web pages:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Documents on Nationality and Statelessness" [access]
- Note: The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Non-citizens, David Weissbrodt, was not renewed when it expired April 2004.

Refugees International, "Stateless People" [access]

UNHCR, "Who Is Stateless?" [access]

Posted in Publications and Web Sites.

13 March 2007

New Periodical Issues: APMJ, Disasters, Geo. Immig. LJ, HR Tribune, Mig. Lett., RSQ,

Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, vol. 15, no. 4 (2006) [contents]
- Special issue focusing on "Sex Trafficking in Asia and Australia."

Disasters, vol. 31, no. 1 (March 2007) [FREE full-text]
- Special issue reproducing papers from June 2006 forum "on the use of food aid and the potential roles and activities of WFP in Sudan."

Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, vol. 21, no. 1 (Fall 2006) [contents]
- Mix of articles including one on detaining asylum-seekers in Australia and another on U.S. asylum and foreign policy considerations.

Human Rights Tribune, vol. 12, no. 2 (Feb. 2007) [text]
- Special issue on good governance.

Migration Letters, vol. 4, no. 1 (2007) [text]
- Mix of articles including several on women migrants.

Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1 (2007) [contents]
- EXCOM 2006 issue that reproduces statements and documents from UNHCR's Executive Committee meeting in Oct. 2006.

Posted in Periodicals.

12 March 2007

New Publications: Asylum in the Media, Detention, IDPs, Mental Health, North Korea, Peacekeeping, Women

IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC, Feb. 2007) [text]

Locking Up Family Values: The Detention of Immigrant Families (LIRS and Women's Commission, Feb. 2007) [text]

North Korea: Harsher Policies against Border-Crossers (Human Rights Watch, March 2007) [text]

The Protection of Internally Displaced Persons and the Role of UNHCR, Informal Consultative Meeting (UNHCR, Feb. 2007) [text]

Reporting asylum: The UK Press and the Effectiveness of PCC Guidelines (ICAR, Jan. 2007) [text]

United Nations Peace Operations Year in Review 2006 (UN, 2007) [text]

Women and Conflict: An Introductory Guide to Programming (USAID, Dec. 2006) [text]

Posted in Publications.

08 March 2007

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is commemorated on March 8th. This year's theme is "Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls." Below is a selection of links to web pages of forced migration organizations who are marking this day.

- Amnesty International, "Flight and Violence" [access]
- Forced Migration Review, no. 27, "Sexual violence: weapon of war, impediment to peace" [access]; companion FMO resource summary [access]
- ICRC, "Women Displaced by War" [access]
- InterAction, "International Women's Day: March 8" [access]
- Refugees International, "International Women's Day 2007" [access]
- UNHCR, "Refugee Women" [access]
- Women's Commission for Refugee Women & Children, "Stop Sexual Violence against Women and Girls" [access]

Posted in Events and Web Sites.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The first of the year's annual reports was Human Rights Watch's World Report. In the introduction, Ken Roth laments the "challenged credibility" of the U.S. as a promoter of human rights: "Quite apart from the fallout of its ill-fated Iraq invasion, its credibility as a proponent of human rights has been tarnished by the abuses it practices in the name of fighting terrorism. Few US ambassadors dare to protest another government’s harsh interrogations, detention without trial, or even 'disappearances,' knowing how easily an interlocutor could turn the tables and cite US misconduct as an excuse for his government’s own abuses."

On March 6th, the U.S. State Department announced the release of its own human rights survey, the 2006 edition of the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. See reactions from Amnesty International USA, Human Rights First and the U.S. Human Rights Network to both past and present editions of these reports.

The Country Reports are regularly consulted for country of origin information during the refugee status determination process, and they have long been considered to be reliable and credible. The recent criticism highlights the importance of evaluating information sources in any research exercise, and particularly when undertaking country of origin research. See this manual and this report for questions to ask and criteria to consider when selecting reliable COI sources. A general rule of thumb is to consult multiple sources, rather than rely on just one, and corroborate information across those sources. And as UNHCR advises, "information sources should be regularly re-evaluated as changing circumstances can affect the accuracy and reliability of information."

Posted in Publications.

05 March 2007

Research News: Displacement/Burma, Environment, Human Trafficking/UK, Iraqi Ref./Jordan, Protracted Ref. Situations, Resettlement/US, Security

New research publications:

Burma: The Changing Nature of Displacement Crises, RSC Working Paper No. 39, by A. South (Feb. 2007) [text]

Contemporary slavery in the UK, by G. Craig et al, Joseph Roundtree Foundation (Feb. 2007) [site]

Human Security Research (22 Feb. 2007) [access]
- Current issue focuses on the security realities confronting humanitarian aid workers.

"Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America," by A. Singer and J.H. Wilson, in Migration Information Source (March 2007) [text]

New research projects:

Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios [web site]
- Two-year project that will look into environmental changes/degradation that cause forced migration. Unlike other research, this study will consider "multiple environmental problems and socio-political and demographical aspects of a large number of regions and countries."

Globalization of Protracted Refugee Situations [web site]
- This project will attempt to "detect patterns across camps that have existed for a decade or more to determine why such chronic conditions persist." The focus will be on Somali refugees in Kenya and Afghans in Iran.

Iraqi Refugees in Jordan [web site]
- Fafo is expecting to finalize an arrangement with the Jordanian government to survey Iraqi refugees in Jordan in order to calculate a more accurate total number. Currently, 400,000 Iraqi refugees are registered, but an estimated 700,000 are believed to be in the country. See Fafo's Middle East project page for descriptions and reports of other surveys conducted in the region.

Posted in Publications and Web Sites.