31 August 2007

More on the Media and Humanitarian Crises

I posted recently on the role of the media in humanitarian crises. Another aspect of these topic will be explored in an ALNAP/HPN/ODI/AlertNet-hosted panel entitled, "The blame game: Can journalists and aid workers trust each other?," scheduled for 24 September at ODI in London. Sign up to attend at ODI's events page.

Posted in Events.

27 August 2007

New Issues of Disasters, HRQ, JHA, Refugees; new migration journal

New Issues:

Disasters, vol. 31, no. 3 (Sept. 2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 3 (August 2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Journal of Humanitarian Assistance (August 2007) [full-text]
- New article posted on humanitarianism and the Muslim world.

Refugees Magazine, no. 147 (August 2007) [full-text]
- Special issue on stateless people.

New Journal:

Migrations & Identities, Liverpool University Press [access]
- Published twice a year, inaugural issue in Spring 2008.

Posted in Periodicals.

24 August 2007

Child Soldiers

A few recent reports/articles relating to child soldiers:

Child Soldiers: New Evidence, New Advocacy Approaches, USIP Briefing (August 2007) [text]

Report of the International Forum on armed groups and the involvement of children in armed conflict: Summary of themes and discussions, Château de Bossey, Switzerland, 4-7 July 2006 (August 2007) [text]
- Background documents prepared for the forum and referenced in the report are available on the web site of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.

"Violence and Human Rights: A JAMA Theme Issue," Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 298, no. 5 (1 August 2007) [abstracts]
- Several articles focus on the mental health consequences of exposure to war trauma, with one focusing on former Ugandan and Congolese child soldiers.

Posted in Publications.

23 August 2007

The Media and Humanitarian Crises

The Brookings Institution recently launched a series of meetings on "the relationship of the media, relief agencies and the US government in determining humanitarian response. The purpose of the series is to analyze trends in media coverage of world-wide humanitarian crises and the impact this coverage has on government policies, relief operations, and ultimately on the victims of the crises." The first seminar focused on reporting crises, and included discussions of the problem of forgotten emergencies. The next two seminars, to be held in the fall 2007, will focus on "Bloggers, buzz and soundbites" and "Public diplomacy, military involvement, humanitarian response and the media."

The interplay among the media, NGOs, and governments in humanitarian crises and conflict situations can be complex. A recent report from the Instituto de Estudios sobre Conflictos y Acción Humanitaria (IECAH) attempts to analyze and shed light on these relationships.

In May the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a meeting on "The Role of the Media in Conflict," which looked at the impact the media can have both on conflict prevention as well as on the escalation of conflict. A briefing note summarizing the discussions was issued in July.

Reporting in conflict situations is inherently risky. The International News Safety Institute and the International Federation of Journalists Africa Office teamed up to produce "Live News Africa: A Survival Guide for Journalists" (July 2007), to help journalists learn how to reduce risks when covering wars and other conflicts.

Posted in Publications and Events.

22 August 2007

Southern Refugee Legal Advocates Network

The Southern Refugee Legal Advocates Network (SRLAN) was established in January 2007 with the aim of being able to "advocate more effectively on behalf of refugees as a collective." The FMO blog announced that the network's Charter, Code of Ethics and report of the January meeting are now available in the forced migration digital library. The report includes a listing of legal aid clinics and resource persons based in Southern Africa.

SRLAN will hold its first annual meeting in September 2007, in conjunction with the UNHCR/NGO Consultations.

Posted in Publications and Web Sites.

16 August 2007

New Pubs.: Climate Change, DR Congo, EU Asylum, IDPs/Uganda, Peace & Conflict Report, Refugee Camps/Lebanon

DR Congo: A Regional Analysis (WriteNet, July 2007) [text]

EU needs common policy on asylum (ISN Security Watch, 31 July 2007) [text]

The New Myth about Climate Change (Foreign Policy, August 2007) [text]

Peace and Conflict 2008 (CIDCM, 27 July 2007) [access]
- Chapter extracts, supplemental materials, and executive summary provided.

Real-time evaluation of UNHCR's IDP operation in Uganda (UNHCR, August 2007) [text]

A Socio-economic Profile of the Nahr El-Bared and Beddawi Refugee Camps of Lebanon (Fafo, June 2007) [text]

Posted in Publications.

15 August 2007

Recent Newsletters

Asylum News, no. 55 (July 2007) [text]

CrisisWatch, no. 48 (August 2007) [text]

Disasters: Preparedness and Mitigation in the Americas, no. 107 (June 2007) [text]

Human Rights Professionals Newsletter, no. 6 (July 2007) [text]

Human Security Research (23 July 2007) [text]
- Focus is on the costs of conflict.

Serbian Refugee Council Newsletter, no. 4 (August 2007) [text]

UN Chronicle, no. 2 (2007) [text]
- Focus is on climate change; includes article on humanitarian impact.

The Wire: AI's Monthly Magazine (August 2007) [text]

Women's Asylum News, no. 68 (August 2007) [text]

Posted in Periodicals.

14 August 2007

New Issues of AWR, IMR, JHA, JIRS

AWR Bulletin: Quarterly on Refugee Problems, vol. 45, no. 2 (2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles including one on terrorisim and asylum in Europe.

International Migration Review, vol. 41, no. 3 (Sept. 2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Journal of Humanitarian Assistance (Aug. 2007) [text]
- Two new articles on the anthropology of humanitarianism and on systematic rape in Eastern Congo.

Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, vol. 5, no. 3 (2007) [prepublication contents]
- Mix of articles including one on befriending programs for refugees, and another on resettling refugee children in the U.S.

Posted in Periodicals.

13 August 2007

Interview Sources

Forced Migration Online (FMO) has launched a new podcast series. Initially, it will consist of "discussions between experts on forced migration issues from academia, practitioner organizations and international agencies. In the near future, the team plan to add interviews and life histories of refugees and other displaced people." (Similar to the forced migrant stories reported on earlier.)

The first podcast is a conversation between Roger Zetter, current director of the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), and Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founder and first director of the RSC. (Read her brief bio here. The complete text of her seminal study, Imposing Aid: Emergency Assistance to Refugees is available through Sussex and FMO's Digital Library.)

Other fora have been established to elicit the views of people who work with forced migrants or who make policy decisions that impact their lives. Examples include:

- AidBlogs aggregates the blogs kept by humanitarian workers around the world.

- Eurasylum offers Monthly Policy Interviews of "leading player[s] in international migration and asylum affairs."

- UNHCR's Q&A is a series designed to give "policymakers, the uprooted, UNHCR staff, academics, aid workers and celebrities [a chance to] speak their mind."

Posted in Web Sites/Tools.

12 August 2007

Recent Policy/Research Papers from Compas, DIIS, FIC, ICTJ, RLP, RSC, and Sussex

Anderson, B., "Motherhood, Apple Pie and Slavery: Reflections on Trafficking Debates," Compas Working Paper No. 48 (2007) [text]

Bradley, M., "Return in Dignity: A Neglected Protection Challenge," RSC Working Paper No. 40 (June 2007) [text]

Capjon, A., "Coordinating the Humanitarian Response to Refugee Situations: The Role of Power and Trust in Humanitarian Networks," Sussex Migration Working Paper No. 42 (2007) [text]

Eastmond, M., "Transnational Returns and Reconstruction in Post-War Bosnia-Herzegovina," DIIS Brief (June 2007) [text]

Lindley, A., "The early morning phonecall: remittances from a refugee diaspora perspective," Compas Working Paper No. 47 (2007) [text]

Refugee Law Project, "Rapid Assessment of Population Movement in Gulu and Pader," Briefing Paper (June 2007) [text]

Vigneswaran, D., "Free Movement and the Movement’s Forgotten Freedoms: South African Representation of Undocumented Migrants," RSC Working Paper No. 41 (July 2007) [text]

Walker, P. & K. Pepper, "Follow the Money: A Review and Analysis of the State of Humanitarian Funding," Briefing Paper (July 2007) [text]

Williams, R.C., "The Contemporary Right to Property Restitution in the Context of Transnational Justice," ICTJ Occasional Paper Series (May 2007) [text]

Posted in Publications.

10 August 2007

Environmental Refugees

Discussions about climate change have invariably renewed the debate about "environmental refugees." I have collected a number of random references to various resources on this topic. Some are recent publications, some provide background information. The list is definitely not comprehensive.

Climate Change and Forced Displacements: Towards a Global Environmental Responsibility? (CEDEM, 2006) [text]

Control, Adapt or Flee: How to Face Environmental Migration? (UNU-EHS, May 2007) [text]

Environmental change and forced migration: making sense of the debate, New Issues in Refugee Research no. 70 (UNHCR, 2002) [text]

Environmental Refugees: An Emergent Security Issue, Presentation at 13th Economic Forum (OSCE, 2005) [text]

Environmental Refugees: The Case for Recognition (New Economics Foundation, 2003) [text]

“Environmental Refugees: The forgotten migrants,” Report of UNU Conference, May 16th 2007, UN Headquarters [text]

Environmental refugees: myth or reality?, New Issues in Refugee Research no. 34 (UNHCR, 2001) [text]

Feeling the Heat: Why governments must act to tackle the impact of climate change on global water supplies and avert mass movements of climate change refugees (Tearfund, 2006) [text]

Human tide: The real migration crisis (Christian Aid, May 2007) [text]

Re-thinking Policies to Cope with Desertification (UNU International Network on Water, Environment and Health, June 2007) [text]

Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment (UNEP, June 2007) [text]

Understanding Migration Choices: The UNCCD as a Mechanism for Developing Coping Strategies, Presentation at International Symposium on Desertification and Migration, 2006 [text]

Research Projects:
Environmental Change and Forced Migration Scenarios (Each-For) [access]

Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) [access]

Les réfugiés environnementaux. L'émergence d'un nouveau phénomène migratoire, CEDEM [access]

Blog Posts:
Climate change refugees?, on ICAR's Policyblog (15 May 2007) [text]

Environmental Refugees & the Growing Desert, on Britannica Blog (1 May 2007) [text]

Intersections Summer Call for Papers: Migration and Environmental Change, on Intersections (10 July 2007) [text]

A word of caution on climate change and 'refugees', on Grist (24 July 2007) [text]

Other Resources:
LISER: World Information Centre on Environmental Refugees [access]

Posted in Publications.

09 August 2007

Revised Handbook for Emergencies

ReliefWeb's library now provides access to the third edition of UNHCR's Handbook for Emergencies (Feb. 2007). Among other changes, the revised version includes updates relating to the following issues: security; UNHCR and the military; addressing HIV/AIDS; responding to sexual-/gender-based violence; and conducting participatory assessments to promote protection and assistance across a population. The text can also be accessed via Refworld.

Companion resources for the handbook include:
- Catalogue of Emergency Response Resources (Sept. 2006)
- Checklist for the Emergency Administrator (latest update, Nov. 2006; included in the handbook as Annex 1 to Chapter 23, "Administration, Staffing and Finance"; pp. 480-89)

[As an aside, I learned about this revised version of the handbook from ReliefWeb's email update about new additions to its "Policy & Issues" collection. I went to UNHCR's site to look for their copy but curiously, could only retrieve the second edition from 2000. When I searched more widely on the web, I discovered that UNHCR has posted the 2007 edition but on Refworld rather than the main web site. So when in doubt, search both places - and ReliefWeb - for UNHCR publications!]

Posted in Publications.

07 August 2007

Anthropological Approaches to Forced Migration

The Journal of Humanitarian Assistance just published an article entitled "Toward an Anthropology of Humanitarianism." In his essay, the author reviews research that stems from:

1) the work of historians writing on the origins of contemporary humanitarianism; 2) works explicitly addressing humanitarianism from the perspectives of policy and journalism; 3) relevant works from the anthropology of development; 4) writings on the issue of refugees. These divisions are based on topic rather than position, as each contains divergent and sometimes conflicting perspectives and approaches. In conclusion, I present emerging works on humanitarianism and biopolitics by anthropologists and other social scientists [emphasis added].

Anthropologists have long studied and written about forced migraton issues. Richard Black, in his analysis of articles published in the Journal of Refugee Studies, found that anthropologists as a group were the second largest contributor to the journal, after political scientists. They are particularly active in the study of development-induced displacement.

For an introduction to the anthropological perspective on forced migration, here are a few sample references:

- Colson, Elizabeth, "Forced Migration and the Anthropological Response," Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 16, no. 1 (2003) [abstract]

- Eastmond, Marita, "Refugees in Anthropology," International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Elsevier, 2001) [abstract]

- Lubkemann, Stephen C., "Refugees: Worldwide Displacement and International Response," AnthroNotes, vol. 23, no. 2 (Fall 2002), pp. 1-10 [text]

Further references can be found via the Refugee Studies Centre library catalogue. Search on "anthropology" or "anthropological" for relevant references.

Posted in Publications.

04 August 2007

New Periodical Issues: Dev. in Practice, HR Brief, Hum. Exchange, Intervention, JEMS, J. Peace Res., JRS, Researcher, REMI

Development in Practice, vol. 17, nos. 4&5 (2007) [contents]
- Focus is on "Buzzwords and Fuzzwords: Deconstructing Development Discourse." Special development "lotto board" available here.

Human Rights Brief, vol. 14, no.3 (Spring 2007) [full-text]
- Includes focus on migration issues.

Humanitarian Exchange Magazine, no. 38 (June 2007) [full-text]
- Features articles on disaster risk reduction.

Intervention: International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict, vol. 5, no. 2 (July 2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles; overview provided in the introduction.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 33, no. 7 (2007) [contents]
- Special issue on the "second generation in Europe."

Journal of Peace Research, vol. 44. no. 4 (July 2007) [contents]
- Special issue on protecting human rights.

Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 20, no. 2 (June 2007) [contents]
- Special issue commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). Focus is on "refugee research methodologies."

The Researcher, vol. 2, no. 2 (July 2007) [full-text]
- Produced by the Refugee Documentation Centre, Ireland. Focus is on issues relating to refugee status determination, international human rights law, and country of origin information.

Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, vol. 23, no. 1 (2007) [contents]
- Mix of articles including one that discusses the prospects for the legal protection of ecological refugees.

Posted in Periodicals.

03 August 2007

Surveying Forced Migration Research

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) is undertaking an "International Forced Migration Research Mapping Survey," with support from UNHCR and UK DFID. The aim is to promote greater collaboration among institutions and individuals working on forced migration issues who are involved in such activities as field research, evidence-based policy making, developing academic programmes, and international conferences.

As a first step towards achieving this goal, the RSC is inviting people to participate in a survey. The data from the survey will form the basis of a "global forced migration network, which will provide a member-driven forum for the development of creative approaches to capacity building, collaboration, and resource sharing." An online database will be built accordingly.

For more information about the mapping exercise and to complete the survey (either online or in Word format), visit the RSC web page for the project.

Other research networks/surveys of research:
- The Odysseus Network was set up to undertake studies of EU/European migration and asylum legislation. It is in the process of developing a European Forum of Research on Immigration and Asylum Law, and inviting interested parties to complete questionnaires about their interests and activities.

- The Scottish Refugee Research Network aims to "promote links between people researching refugee and asylum issues in Scotland and to promote research into refugee and asylum issues." A bibliography and a directory of members will be among the outputs.

- Integrating Ireland commissioned a "map of the research that has been carried out in Ireland on or with immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and related issues." The resulting Guide was published in 2004. The aim is to update the guide on an ongoing basis to reflect new research.

Unfortunately, several similar initatives to promote research collaboration that were developed in the past have since been discontinued because of funding and resource constraints. Examples include:

- The European Migration Information Network produced a directory to facilitate linkages among researchers.

- The ICAR/UNHCR postgraduate network sought to promote linkages among postgraduates. The project included a members' database but this has been taken offline. The hope is that the network will be hosted by another academic institution.

- The IDP Research Network database was created several years ago as one means to "encourage researchers to address the research gaps in current understandings of displacement."

Posted in Web Sites/Tools and Publications.

02 August 2007

More Information Resources from UNHCR

My previous post described the "Protracted Refugee Situations" resource now available through UNHCR's Policy Development and Evaluation Service (PDES). Apparently, this is the first of several subject-based document sets in the works. Future collections will be grouped around the following themes:

- Refugee protection, asylum and international migration
- The protection of refugee women and children
- Humanitarian challenges and humanitarian action
- Internally displaced persons
- Return, reintegration and peacebuilding

These will be made available between now and the end of the year.

Posted in Publications.

01 August 2007

Protracted Refugee Situations

A new set of documents focusing on protracted refugee situations can now be accessed via UNHCR's Policy Development and Evaluation Service (PDES) web pages. The collection includes UNHCR and other evaluation reports, research papers, and official documents dating from 1999 to 2004.

A protracted refugee situation is defined as "one in which refugees find themselves in a long-lasting and intractable state of limbo. Their lives may not be at risk, but their basic rights and essential economic, social and psychological needs remain unfulfilled after years in exile. A refugee in this situation is often unable to break free from enforced reliance on external assistance" (EXCOM Standing Comm. Doc. EC/54/SC/CRP.14, 10 June 2004). In statistical terms, such situations are measured as refugee populations of 25,000 or more people in exile for five-plus years.

The most recent edition of The State of the World's Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium (2006) devotes its fifth chapter to a useful overview of the problem of "protracted refugee situations," with profiles of populations caught up in these situations, statistics on the numbers involved, and a discussion of possible solutions.

Elsewhere, the June-August 2007 UNU Update highlighted a recent Policy Brief on "Protracted Refugee Situations and Peacebuilding." This along with a workshop and an anticipated edited volume represent the culmination of a UNU project on the subject entitled "The Politics, Human Rights and Security Implications of Protracted Refugee Situations."

In addition, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants' campaign to end "refugee warehousing" provides more background about this issue, along with news and publications updates.

Posted in Web Sites and Publications.