22 December 2009

Winter Break

This blog will be quiet for the next few weeks, but will be back in the new year!

Best wishes for the holiday season.

Publications: Child Asylum Claims, COP15 Roundup, Discrimination Guidelines, Protracted Situations, Top 10 Humanitarian Crises

Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance through a Strategic Approach (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]
- See related press release.

Conclusion on protracted refugee situations, No. 109 (LX) - 2009 (EXCOM, Dec. 2009) [text]

COP15 Roundup from a Climate Change, Migration and Displacement Focus (Towards Recognition, Dec. 2009) [text]

Guidelines on International Protection No. 8: Child Asylum Claims under Articles 1(A)2 and 1(F) of the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2009 (MSF, Dec. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

18 December 2009

Publications: Detention Toolkit, Health Barriers/S. Africa, Humanitarian Space/Somalia, Mapping Climate Change, Social Group/US, Spain & EU Presidency

Creating humanitarian space: a case study of Somalia, New Issues in Refugee Research no. 184 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

From principles to action: UNHCR's Recommendations to Spain for its European Union Presidency (January - June 2010) (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Humanitarian Implications of Climate Change: Mapping emerging trends and risk hotspots (Care International and Maplecroft, Nov. 2009) [text]

No Healing Here: Violence, Discrimination and Barriers to Health for Migrants in South Africa (Human Rights Watch, Dec. 2009) [text]

Reviving the "Particular Social Group" (IntLawGrrls, Dec. 2009) [text]

Working with refugees and asylum seekers in places of detention: Tools and Resources for Legal Providers (International Detention Coalition, Dec. 2009) [text in WORD]

Tagged Publications.

17 December 2009

Publications: Asylum Stats/EU, EXCOM Conclusions, IDPs/Colombia, Migrants' Rights, Zimbabweans/S. Africa

75 thousand asylum seekers granted protection status in the EU in 2008 (EUROSTAT, Nov. 2009) [text]

Asylum decisions in the EU27: EU Member States granted protection to 76 300 asylum seekers in 2008 (EUROSTAT, Dec. 2009) [text]

Conclusions Adopted by the Executive Committee on the International Protection of Refugees (UNHCR, Dec . 2009) [text]

Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia, HiCN Working Paper 69 (Households in Conflict Network, Nov. 2009) [text]

Slow Movement: Protection of Migrants’ Rights in 2009 (Human Rights Watch, Dec. 2009) [text]

Violence, Labour and the Displacement of Zimbabweans in De Doorns, Western Cape (Forced Migration Studies Programme, Dec. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

16 December 2009

Books of the Decade

Editor's note: Here is another installment in the "books of the decade" series. Many thanks to Dr. Shahira Samy at the University of Oxford for her contribution.

Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
, by Michael Fischbach (Columbia University Press, New York, 2003). ISBN 0-231-12978-5

Michael Fischbach goes on an adventure. He flies to New York, disappears into the UN headquarters, locks himself up in the archives of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP), pours over some land deeds, leases and documents untouched for decades, and writes a book telling us the whole story. The Indiana Jones-style adventure is not entirely why I chose Records of Dispossession as my most favourite forced migration book for the first decade of the twenty-first century, although admittedly, its archival freshness is what makes it so valuable. The findings unravelled by this book will undoubtedly form the backbone of any peace agreement touching on the fate of the millions of Palestinian refugees, now well into their fourth generation of exile.

When over 700,000 Palestinians were uprooted from their lands in the late 1940s in the course of the establishment of the state of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war, most of them were farmers whose livelihood much depended on land and property; assets now lost and subsequently expropriated by the Israeli government. Unlike its meek involvement in the present days, six decades ago, the UN was heavily involved in the politics of peace-making in Palestine. Specifically created to deal with the ramifications of the conflict, including the refugee issue, the UNCCP worked hard on identifying, evaluating lost property and even devising what might constitute viable compensation schemes. This estimation and evaluation work is the most accurate and comprehensive that has ever been undertaken. The problem is that we knew nothing about its scope, details and findings until Fischbach told us the story in his book.

These records form the backbone of any compensation package that will be offered to the refugees as part of a settlement to the conflict covering the displacement and dispossession issue. The international community often thinks of refugee matters in terms of humanitarian needs or within the regime of durable solutions weighing between options of return, resettlement and local integration. But what about losses? Restitution of property? Material reparations? Here is where the property issue and ensuing compensation schemes gain significance. Since the book also incorporates the story of the expropriation of the lost Palestinian property, it goes straight into how property restitution issues are incorporated into negotiating forms of redress to displacement problems and fostering demands for lost rights between parties to a conflict.

Decades on, the UNCCP is totally dead but not officially so. By telling the story, Records of Dispossession has reminded us of the history of its involvement, its early efforts, its struggle and why it has failed to achieve peace. With the records of these early efforts now out, the question arises as to whether this early failure may pave the way for a future success in redressing the displacement and dispossession of Palestinian refugees.

Dr. Shahira Samy
Jarvis Doctorow Junior Research Fellow in International Relations
and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East
St Edmund Hall & the Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Oxford

Access details:

- Publisher info
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Related posts:


Tagged Publications.

15 December 2009

New Issues of Disasters, E&RS, Ref. Rts. News

Disasters, vol. 34, no. 1 (Jan. 2010) [free full-text]
- The editorial notes that in order to address the backlog of accepted articles, Disasters will be publishing longer issues and thematic supplements throughout 2010. This current issue includes a mix of 16 articles and a book review.

Disasters, vol. 34, supp. 1 (Jan. 2010) [contents]
- This first supplement of the year provides a "review of emerging patterns of reconstruction in post-conflict states."

Disasters, virtual ed. (Sept. 2009) [contents]
- This online-only edition focused on Ethiopia, bringing together previously-published articles from over 30 years of Disasters' history.

Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 33, no. 1 (2010) [contents]
- Special issue on "Migrant Politics and Mobilization: Exclusion, Engagements, Incorporation."

Refugee Rights News, vol. 5, no. 5 (Nov. 2009) [full-text]
- From the International Refugee Rights Initiative.

Note: Free articles are now available from Oxford University Press' three refugee journals: International Journal of Refugee Law (IJRL)*, Journal of Refugee Studies (JRS), and Refugee Survey Quarterly (RSQ).

*As of this writing, the links to the free access articles currently do not go to the full-text, but keep checking as I imagine the problem will be rectified at some point!

Tagged Periodicals.

14 December 2009

More books of the decade

Following on from Jeff Crisp's recommendations for books from the 2000s that he admires, here are a couple of my own. They fall under two very different categories, however: children's books and reference books.

1. Children's books

Earlier in the year, I undertook a survey of kids' literature that relates to refugees and forced migration. I looked at both picture books for younger readers and chapter books for older readers. The bibliography I ultimately compiled included listings of both - 24 titles to be exact. However, one in particular has stayed with me: Home of the Brave (Feiwel and Friends, 2007), by Katherine Applegate. It's about Kek, who arrives in the middle of winter in Minneapolis, Minnesota from Sudan. He must contend with adjusting to the strangeness of his new home, anxiety about the fate of his missing mother, and feelings of sadness for all that he has lost. He finds comfort in a cow that he befriends, and in the memories of his family. The author wrote the story in free verse, producing a spare, but visually-rich and very accessible text. Here's an example, when Kek first meets the cow he eventually cares for:

She moos,
a harsh and mournful sound.
It isn't the fault of the cow.
She doesn't know another way to talk.
She can't learn
the way I am learning,
by slow, slow

I stroke her cold, wet coat,
and for a moment I hold
all I've lost
and all I want
right there in my hand.

For more information, visit the publisher's web site; see also which libraries carry the book.

2. Reference books

As an information specialist, I regularly keep an eye out for new reference materials to include in my forced migration research guide. While not many have actually been published, I was most happy to learn about Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present, a three-volume encyclopedia edited by Matthew Gibney (Refugee Studies Centre) and Randall Hansen (Univ. of Oxford) and published by ABC-CLIO (2005). The editors approach immigration and asylum issues from an historical and political perspective. Entries were selected on the basis of the following themes: asylum law and procedures; immigration policy; refugee countries of origin; major migrant groups; historical movements; and the politics of migration focusing particularly on the U.S. The almost 200 essays are accompanied by "see also" references and bibliographies. The third volume reproduces major international and regional instruments, UN resolutions, and national legislation.

It's incredibly useful to have an authoritative resource that provides an introduction to or an explanation of so many of the issues that arise in the asylum context. It's also fascinating to browse through, to open a page randomly and learn something new about such a diverse and complex subject area.

For more information, visit the publisher's web site; see also which libraries carry the work.

Tagged Publications.

Multimedia: Climate Change Photos/Film, Doctors without Borders Film, FIC Photos, Harrell-Bond Lecture

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2009: Beyond Blankets: in search of political deals and durable solutions for the displaced (FMO, Nov. 2009) [access]
- Podcast of the lecture.

"Climate change brings on refugees, exiles and terror? - slide show," Examiner.com, 12 Dec. 2009 [access]
- Focus is on Bangladesh. (HT: Seeking Asylum)

Climate Refugees Documentary Film [info]
- Info. about a film that will be screened at COP15. (HT: Seeking Asylum)

The First Week of COP15 (Towards Recognition, Dec. 2009) [access]
- Photos from various events attended in Copenhagen for the climate change conference.

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders [info]
- Showing in select theatres on 14 Dec. 2009.

Traveling Photo Exhibition in the Karamoja Cluster (Feinstein International Center, Nov. 2009) [access]
- The exhibit "features the work of traditional seers in these pastoral communities" and is "part of a project titled 'Seers as War Makers, Peace Makers, and Leaders within the Karamoja Cluster'."

Tagged Events & Opportunities and Web Sites/Tools.

11 December 2009

From "climate refugees" to "climate change-induced displacees"?

See IRIN's "Good news for climate change migrants" for an update on discussions in Copenhagen. Apparently, there is agreement on "the need to consider planned relocation for people displaced by climate change, with 'interstate cooperation' to respond to their needs."

The article also notes that the "term 'climate refugees' was first mentioned in the adaptation text at talks in Bonn, Germany, in June. The term has been dropped, but the need to help people who 'either cross an international border as a result of, or find themselves abroad and are unable to return owing to, the effects of climate change' has gained prominence." The new term under consideration to refer to such people is "climate change-induced displacees."

Worldbridge, Refugees International's blog, had an interesting post on the increased use in the media of the phrase "climate refugees." Noting that under international law one cannot be termed a "refugee" when natural disaster is the cause of flight, the author ponders possible alternatives and their acronyms: "People displaced by climate change (PDCCs)? Climate displaced people (CDPs)? People affected by climatic events (PACEs)?".

In contrast, an article I referenced earlier in the year highlights the fact that in Tuvalu and Kiribati, two Pacific nations under great pressure from climate change, there is a "a wholesale rejection of the 'refugee' label, at both the political and community levels."

[Photo credit: Mirwais Bezhan/IRIN]

Tagged Events & Opportunities and Publications.

Publications: Burmese/India, Climate Change & UNHCR, EU Asylum Directives, Information Technologies & Emergencies, Refugees/Israel

Asylum directives: scrutiny of the opt-in decisions (UK House of Lords European Union Committee, Dec. 2009) [text]

"Bracing for the Flood," NYT (10 Dec. 2009) [text]
- See also UNHCR's climate change web pages.

India: Close the Gap for Burmese Refugees (Refugees International, Dec. 2009) [text]

New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts: The Role of Information and Social Networks (UN Foundation, Dec. 2009) [text via ReliefWeb]

A promised land for refugees? Asylum and migration in Israel, New Issues in Refugee Research no. 183 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

10 December 2009

December 10: Human Rights Day

Today is Human Rights Day. The focus this year is on "non-discrimination," with the tag line "Embrace diversity, end discrimination." For more information on the day and its theme, visit the relevant pages and messages on the following web sites:
For more information on discrimination in the refugee context, browse Refworld's references.

Tagged Events & Opportunities and Web Sites/Tools.

09 December 2009

Pubs: Child Refugees, Housing Rts./Burma, IDP Prot./Colombia, Justice & Displ., Refugee Guide/SA, Top 10 Migr. Issues, Voting Rts./Georgia

Election-Related Rights and Political Participation of Internally Displaced Persons: Protection During and After Displacement in Georgia (Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Nov. 2009) [text]

Housing, Land and Property Rights in Burma: The Current Legal Framework (Displacement Solutions, Nov. 2009) [text]

Judicial Protection of Internally Displaced Persons: The Colombian Experience (Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Nov. 2009) [text]

Justice, Accountability, and the Protection of Displaced Persons (Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Dec. 2009) [text]

Refugee Survival Guide 2009 (Lawyers for Human Rights, 2009) [access]

Seeking Support: A Guide to the Rights and Entitlements of Separated Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children (Children's Legal Centre, Nov. 2009) [text]

Top 10 Issues of 2009 (Migration Information Source, Dec. 2009) [access]
- Issue 7 focuses on climate change and migration and Issue 10 examines the harder line governments are taking towards asylum-seekers.

[Photo credit: Julia Komissaroff/IDP Voices]

Tagged Publications.

HC Dialogue: Urban Refugees

The third High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges began today in Geneva and will continue tomorrow. The theme of the meeting is "Challenges for Persons of Concern to UNHCR in Urban Settings." The agenda notes that participants will divide into four groups to explore the following:
  • Identifying populations of concern in urban settings and responding to vulnerabilities and risks;
  • Securing “protection space” in urban settings;
  • Livelihoods and self-reliance;
  • Challenges for municipalities and authorities.
For more background information on the theme, see:
  • Challenges for Persons of Concern to UNHCR in Urban Settings, UNHCR/DPC/2009/Doc. 02/Rev.1 (HC Dialogue, Dec. 2009) [text]
  • Concept Paper (UNHCR, May 2009) [text]
  • UNHCR policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas (UNHCR, Sept. 2009) [text]
The web page for the current HC Dialogue provides links to information on related themes, a literature review and bibliography, and documents from previous HC Dialogue discussions.

For more general news/media advisories and photos, visit the UNHCR page on "urban refugees."

[photo credit: UNHCR/Zalmaï]

Tagged Events & Opportunities and Publications.

08 December 2009

Research Rpts. & Working Papers: Climate Change & Displ./Africa, Humanit. Action/Georgia, Iraqi Refugees, Sexual Orientation & Asylum, UNGA & UNHCR

Anatomy of a Resolution: the General Assembly in UNHCR history, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 182 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Climate change, disaster, displacement and migration: initial evidence from Africa, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 180 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Fleeing for love: asylum seekers and sexual orientation in Scandinavia, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 181 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [text]

Iraq's Refugees - Beyond 'Tolerance', RSC Policy Briefing no. 4 (RSC, Dec. 2009) [text]

Politics and Humanitarian Action in the Georgia Conflicts: Humanitarian Agenda 2015 (Feinstein International Center, Nov. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen


Dan DaSilva of Towards Recognition is in Copenhagen for the climate change conference. He has listed some of the events scheduled to take place that focus on migration and/or displacement, and hopefully, will be updating readers on some of the relevant discussions. This would be helpful since the official web site for the conference is somewhat daunting to navigate! However, a more user-friendly "Daily Programme" is available and worth checking. In addition, numerous multimedia options are provided, including webcasts, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, and more.

In the interim, here are some random climate-related resources I've come across recently:

Climate Change Displaced Persons and Housing, Land and Property Rights: Preliminary Strategies for Rights-Based Planning and Programming to Resolve Climate-induced
Displacement (Displacement Solutions, Nov. 2009) [text]
- New report.

Climate Changed: People Displaced (Norwegian Refugee Council, Dec. 2009) [text]

Forced Displacement Must Be Included in Copenhagen Climate Agreement (Refugees International, Dec. 2009) [text]

Géopolitique du changement climatique, by François Gemenne (Armand Colin, Nov. 2009) [info]
- New book, which includes a chapter on displacement.

Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence (IOM, Dec. 2009) [text via ReliefWeb]

Native Land, Stop Eject [access]
- Multimedia exhibition.

Norwegian Refugee Council's Climate Negotiations page [access]
- Nothing currently from Copenhagen, but see also presentations at the Barcelona negotiation session side event on "Climate Adaptation, Human Migration and Displacement," 4 November 2009.

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

07 December 2009

Books of the decade

Editor's note: Ten years ago, Forced Migration Review (FMR) published a feature entitled “issues of the new millennium” in which eight individuals gave their recommendations for the most significant books of the 1990s. I was interested in soliciting similar recommendations, but for books that have been written since the start of the new millennium instead. Here is the first submission, from Jeff Crisp, Head of UNHCR's Policy Development and Evaluation Service. Information on how to access the books can be found below.

While my two principal books of the decade both provide illuminating and highly readable overviews of the global refugee situation, their style and intended audience are very different.

The Price of Indifference: Refugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century (Oxford University Press, 2002) was written by the late Arthur Helton, just a year before his tragic death in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad. Helton’s objective is an ambitious one – to make some sense of the complex interplay between international politics and humanitarian action in the years that followed the end of the Cold War, a period when millions of people throughout the world were uprooted by communal conflicts, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Targeted primarily at the policymaking and academic communities, the book draws on Helton’s first-hand experience of humanitarian crises and mass population displacements throughout the world and calls on the international community (and more specifically the USA) to ‘imagine better refugee policy’.

Arguing that ‘the current system for international humanitarian action is fundamentally flawed’, Helton goes on to suggest that ‘refugee policy should surely be more than the administration of misery’, and sets out his vision for an alternative approach, based on the notion of ‘proactive and preventive action’. In this context, it is not difficult to imagine how Helton would have viewed the failure of states to anticipate the violence and mass displacements that took place in Iraq in the years that followed his untimely demise in that country.

Written for a much broader audience, Caroline Moorehead’s
Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees (Chatto and Windus, 2005) is journalism of the very highest quality. Based on visits to war zones, refugee camps, prisons and detention centres throughout the world, Moorehead’s highly readable book combines the stories of individual refugees and asylum seekers with a historical account of the way that states, international organizations and NGOs have responded to the plight of the displaced.

Whether describing the life of Liberian refugees in Cairo, an Iranian detained in Australia, Mexicans who are hoping to cross the border into the USA or a Palestinian who has lived in exile for more than 50 years, Moorehead’s book provides an extremely effective riposte to those politicians who are unable to utter the word ‘refugee’ or ‘asylum seeker’ without adding the adjective ‘bogus’. Human Cargo should be compulsory reading for all border guards, immigration officials, asylum adjudicators – and UNHCR staff members.

I particularly enjoyed reading four other books, all of which succeed in enhancing our understanding of refugee and asylum issues, while simultaneously conveying the harsh and human reality of displacement.

Cindy Horst’s,
Transnational Nomads: How Somalis Cope with Refugee Life in the Dadaab Camps of Kenya (Berghahn Books, 2006) provides an excellent example of contemporary anthropology, mercifully free of the impenetrable post-modernism that now plagues this academic discipline. It is by far the best account of what has become known as a ‘protracted refugee situation’ and is especially incisive in analyzing the extensive social networks that link the apparently isolated residents of Dadaab to Somali communities in Nairobi and the wider world.

Peter Showler draws upon his extensive experience as Chair of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board to uncover the truth about refugee status determination procedures in
Refugee Sandwich: Stories of Exile and Asylum (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006). Based on 13 fictional (but fact-based) vignettes, the book lives up to the publisher’s claim that it ‘tells us more about Canada’s refugee system than any academic treatise’. A book that stands out for its humanity, originality and sense of irony.

I read Behzad Yaghmaian’s fascinating
Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West (Random House, 2006) from cover to cover in a single sitting. Focusing on the movement of asylum seekers and migrants from countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sudan, the book provides a gripping and often heart-wrenching account of their efforts to find safety in Europe, focusing particularly on their tough treatment in transit countries such as Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

David Corlett’s moving volume
Following Them Home: The Fate of the Returned Asylum Seekers (Black Inc. Books, 2005), has been curiously neglected by both the refugee studies and advocacy communities. Travelling to countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Thailand, Corlett examines the plight of unsuccessful asylum seekers who have been returned from Australia, often after a prolonged period of detention. The book provides an extremely persuasive indictment of Australia’s asylum policy under the Howard administration and remains highly relevant to the uncertain fate of ‘rejected cases’ in the industrialized states.

Jeff Crisp
Head, Policy Development and Evaluation Service

Access details:

The Price of Indifference: Refugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century
(OUP, 2002)
- Publisher info
- Google Books preview
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees
(Chatto and Windus, 2005)
- Publisher info
- Google Books preview
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Transnational Nomads: How Somalis Cope with Refugee Life in the Dadaab Camps of Kenya
(Berghahn Books, 2006)
- Publisher info
- Google Books preview
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Refugee Sandwich: Stories of Exile and Asylum
(McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006)
- Publisher info
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West
(Random House, 2006)
- Publisher info
- Amazon
- Find the book in a library

Following Them Home: The Fate of the Returned Asylum Seekers
(Black Inc. Books, 2005)
- Publisher info
- Find the book in a library

Tagged Publications.

04 December 2009

New Issues of Human Rts. Law Rev., IMR, Intercult. Human Rts. Law Rev., JIRS, NQHR

Human Rights Law Review, vol. 9, no. 4 (2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Intercultural Human Rights Law Review, vol. 4 (2009) [contents]
- Includes papers from a symposium on human trafficking.

International Migration Review, vol. 43, no. 4 (Winter 2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles including "What Determines the Embeddedness of Forced-Return Migrants? Rethinking the Role of Pre- and Post-Return Assistance."

Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, vol. 7, no. 4 (2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, vol. 27, no. 3 (Dec. 2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Tagged Periodicals.

03 December 2009

Publications: Children & Detention, Irregular Migration/Italy, Protection & Armed Conflict, Resettled Refugees & Coping/NZ, Resettlement/Australia

The coping processes of adult refugees resettled in New Zealand, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 179 (UNHCR, Nov. 2009) [text]

Detention and Best Interests of the Child (Canadian Council for Refugees, Nov. 2009) [text]

Professional Standards for Protection Work: Carried Out by Humanitarian and Human Rights Actors in Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence (ICRC, Oct. 2009) [text via ReliefWeb]

Refugee resettlement, family separation and Australia's humanitarian programme, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 178 (UNHCR, Nov. 2009) [text]

States of exception: securitisation and irregular migration in the Mediterranean, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 177 (UNHCR, Nov. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

02 December 2009

Human Trafficking

December 2nd marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. This was the date of the adoption of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, in 1949.

My web statistics show that "human trafficking" is one of the most common issues that brings users to both this blog and its companion wiki, "Researching Forced Migration." On the former, visitors can track references to "human trafficking" by browsing the posts that have been assigned the subject label "human trafficking" and by subscribing to the RSS feed for the same subject label. On the latter resource, visitors can browse references highlighted on the human trafficking subject category page.

In addition, those interested in monitoring this issue should keep an eye on the sidebar of this blog. This is where new journal articles and new law articles and papers are listed. These two listings are generated through my delicious bookmarks, and in both, "human trafficking" is a regularly discussed topic.

Tagged Publications.

Publications: Complex Emergencies/Africa, Detention of Children/UK, Displaced Iraqis, EU Resettlement Prog., HIV & Crises, Refugees/Kazak. & Kyrgyz.

Comments on the European Commission Communication on the establishment of a Joint EU Resettlement Programme and the European Commission Proposal for the amendment of Decision No 573/2007/EC establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 (UNHCR, Oct. 2009) [text]

Confronting complex emergencies in Africa: Imperatives of a search for a new doctrine of humanitarian ‘security’ interventions (Institute for Security Studies, Nov. 2009) [text via Human Security Gateway]

The Detention of Children in the Immigration System (UK House of Commons, Nov. 2009) [text]

Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan: Exploitation of Migrant Workers, Protection Denied to Asylum Seekers and Refugees (International Federation for Human Rights, Oct. 2009) [text via Refworld]

The loss of the middle ground: the impact of crises and HIV and AIDS on ‘skipped-generation’ households (ODI, Nov. 2009) [text]

What Does the Future Hold for the Millions of Iraqi Refugees and Displaced Persons? (Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Nov. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

More Resources on Women

Following on from this earlier post, here are several additional resources that focus on women:

15 Years of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences (1994-2009): A Critical Review (UN, 2009) [text]
- See related press release.

Iraqi Refugees: Women on the Margins (World Bridge Blog, Nov. 2009) [text]
- Part of the blog's "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence" series.

Seeking Refuge? A Handbook for Asylum-Seeking Women (Rights of Women, Nov. 2009) [text]

Women's Asylum News, no. 88 (Nov./Dec. 2009) [text via Refworld]

Tagged Publications and Periodicals.

01 December 2009

Publications on Africa: African Australians, Cote d'Ivoire, Darfur, East Africa, Zimbabweans

Addressing Armed Violence in East Africa: A Report on World Vision Peacebuilding, Development and Humanitarian Assistance Programmes (Project Ploughshares, Nov. 2009) [text]

Between Belonging and Discrimination: The Experiences of African Australians from Refugee Backgrounds (La Trobe Refugee Research Centre, Aug. 2009) [text]

“Resilience in Darfur,” HAP Newsletter, no. 13 (Nov. 2009) [text]
- Scroll to p. 2.

Whose land is this? Land disputes and forced displacement in the western forest area of Côte d’Ivoire (IDMC, Nov. 2009) [access]
- English and French versions of the report are available, along with summaries and press releases.

Zimbabwean Migration into Southern Africa: New Trends and Responses (FMSP, Nov. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

New Issues of Asia Pacific J Anthro., Austr. Rev. African Studies, Intl. Migration, J. Conflict & Security Law, J. Human Rts. & Civil Soc.

Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 10, no. 4 (2009) [contents]
- Special issue on "Displacement and Resettlement."

Australasian Review of African Studies, vol. 20, no. 2 (Dec. 2009) [contents]
- Includes several articles on refugee resettlement.

International Migration, vol. 47, no. 5 (Dec. 2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

Journal of Conflict & Security Law, vol. 14, no. 2 (Summer 2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles, including one on the "Applicability of IHL in Mixed Situations of Disaster and Conflict."

Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, no. 2 (Fall 2009) [full-text]
- Focus is on "the subject of trafficking in persons from a multidisciplinary perspective... ." Includes an annotated legal bibliography on human trafficking.

Tagged Periodicals.

30 November 2009

Resources relating to Gender-based Violence

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 25th, marked the beginning of the "16 Days of Activism" campaign to end gender-based violence. The 16th day falls on December 10, or Human Rights Day. Read this related UNHCR news story and Refugees International blog entry.

Applicants sought for teaching fellowship in the Refugee and Human Rights Law Clinic at U.C. Hastings, with joint placement at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). Apply by 15 January 2010.

Past Events:

The First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, held 29-31 October 2009, will be posting papers and conference proceedings on the Univ. of Nebraska's Digital Commons space. A summary of the plenary speech by Kevin Bales is provided here.

A Workshop on International Legal Cooperation in Trafficking in Persons Cases was held in Bangkok, 23-25 November. More information is available, including a brief report of the gathering.


Every Single Woman: A comparison of standards for women in the asylum system with standards for women in the criminal justice, prison and maternity systems in the UK (Women's Asylum Charter, Dec. 2009) [text]

Peril or Protection: The Link Between Livelihoods and Gender-based Violence in Displacement Settings (Women's Refugee Commission, Nov. 2009) [text]

Other Resources:
  • Human Security Gateway's resources relating to "gender and armed conflict" [access]
  • IDMC's Internally Displaced Women page [access]
  • Refworld's Gender Equality and Women page [access]
  • ReliefWeb's Policy & Issues section on "gender" [access]
  • Women's Asylum News issues [access]
See also:

On this blog, items relating to gender-based persecution, human trafficking, and women.

In the Researching Forced Migration guide, items relating to human trafficking and women.

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

28 November 2009

New Issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies

The December issue of vol. 22 of the Journal of Refugee Studies (JRS) is now available. Contents include the following articles:
  • The (Relative) Decline of Palestinian Exceptionalism and its Consequences for Refugee Studies in the Middle East [abstract] [working paper]
  • Residential Sampling and Johannesburg's Forced Migrants [abstract] [workshop paper]
  • Facilitating Youth Participation in a Context of Forced Migration: A Photovoice Project in Northern Uganda [abstract] [draft]
  • Liberian Refugee Families in Ghana: The Implications of Family Demands and Capabilities for Return to Liberia [abstract]
  • Displaced Livelihoods in Sri Lanka: An Economic Analysis [abstract]
Also included is a conference report for "Writing Refugees into History" and nine book reviews. Interestingly, the reference for each book review displayed in the JRS RSS feed in my Google Reader links to a one-page PDF extract of the review (here's a sample). I'm not sure why, since these don't appear to be available via the online contents list, but if you subscribe to the feed, you can try it out for yourself!

Tagged Periodicals.

27 November 2009

Self-Archiving Guide: Postscript

Just to follow-up on my SSRN deposit experience, I have now received confirmation that my document - "'Is that Forced Migration Text Online?' Testing an Information Access Rule of Thumb" - is available. One caveat: When I first uploaded my document, I neglected to "save" the action so the PDF was not actually included in my initial submission, even though everything else was. However, once I realized this, I simply returned to my profile, re-uploaded the document, waited once again for the review to be completed, and voila!

In sum, what options are available for forced migration researchers who wish to archive their works? The first consideration should be one's home institution. Check openDOAR to see if your university is listed as having a repository. If it is not, then authors around the world without an institutional repository now have the chance to deposit their research output with EDINA's Depot.

Alternatively, as I demonstrated in my two previous posts on self-archiving journal eprints and unpublished papers, you can elect to go with a disciplinary or subject-based repository, like SSRN. Check the Open Access Directory (OAD) for other options.

Finally, while Forced Migration Online (FMO) has not widely advertised its digital library as an open access repository, it has migrated its collection to the open source Fedora platform and it is now interoperable with other open access repository systems. So, effectively, FMO can be viewed as a repository for the forced migration field and researchers can submit their documents accordingly.

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

Publications: Copenhagen Guide, Global Appeal, IDP Protection, Refugee Protection/Americas, WDR/Climate Change

Global Appeal 2010-2011 (UNHCR, Dec. 2009) [site access]
- Alternatively, browse individual sections of the report in PDF, such as an updated list of states parties to the 1951 Convention/1967 Protocol, strategies for addressing statelessness and working with the internally displaced, among others.

A Humanitarian's Guide to Copenhagen (IRIN, Nov. 2009) [text via Towards Recognition]

Protection and assistance to IDPs, A/C.3/64/L.34/Rev.1 (UN General Assembly, Nov. 2009) [text - choose language]

Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in the Americas, San José, Costa Rica, 19-20 November 2009 (UNHCR, Nov. 2009) [access]
- Various notes and background documents available in Spanish and English.

World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change (World Bank, Nov. 2009) [access]

Tagged Publications.

24 November 2009

New Issues of Global R2P, INSCAN, Intl. J. Water Resources Dev., ICRC Review, JIMI, Researching Ref. Health, Rutgers Law, Soc. Hist. Med.

Global Responsibility to Protect, vol. 1, no. 4 (Oct. 2009) [contents]
- Mix of articles.

INSCAN, vol. 23, no. 2 (Fall 2009) [contents]
- Focus is on schools.

International Journal of Water Resources Development, vol. 25, no. 3 (Sept. 2009) [contents]
- Focus is on the involuntary resettlement caused by large dam projects in Asia.

International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 91, no. 874 (June 2009) [contents]
- Focus is on "war victims."

Journal of International Migration and Integration, vol. 10, no. 4 (Nov. 2009) [contents]
- Special issue on "Migration, Crime and Justice." Includes "Diamonds in the Rough: Bridging Gaps in Supports for At-Risk Immigrant and Refugee Youth."

Researching Refugee Health, no. 11 (Oct. 2009) [full-text]
- Lead article is "Researching refugee mens’ health and wellbeing."

Rutgers Law Record, vol. 34 (Spring 2009) [full-text]
- Focus is on Iraq, with three articles considering Iraqi refugee and IDP legal dilemmas.

Social History of Medicine, vol. 22, no. 3 (Dec. 2009) [contents]
- Special issue on "Medical Refugees in Britain and the Wider World, 1930-1960."

Tagged Periodicals.

23 November 2009

Information-related Items: Jobs, Opportunities, Publications


Apply for an Indexer/Cataloguer job with Pambazuka by 1 December 2009.

Apply for the Web Content Coordinator position with Forced Migration Online by 6 January 2010.


Attend ICAR's seminar on "Gathering Evidence Effectively," London, 8 December 2009.

Participate in the Center for Research Libraries' "Human Rights Electronic Evidence Study," "a study of how NGOs think about and engage with digital documentation as a form of evidence for human rights activities (whether activism, scholarship, or legal action)." For more information, read the overview.


Documenting Truth (International Center for Transitional Justice, Jan. 2009) [text]
- "Documentary materials -- whether governmental records and papers, court transcripts, newspaper articles and pamphlets, personal diaries and letters, or audio, video and oral testimony -- enhance our understanding of the past in our effort to build a more just future."

Human Rights Council and International Criminal Court: The New Challenges for Human Rights Communications (HURIDOCS, Feb. 2009) [text]
- Report of a conference that reflected "upon how information about human rights can be communicated more effectively by NGOs to institutions such as the Human Rights Council (HRC) and its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and to the International Criminal Court (ICC)."

Tagged Events & Opportunities and Publications.

Publications: Conference Reflections, Humanitarian Action/Africa, IDPs & Camps, Land & Conflict, Somalis/India

Beyond IDP Camps (IntLawGrrls, Nov. 2009) [text]
- Comment on the recent ICRC report on internal displacement in the context of armed conflict.

Hunger, Disaster, Hope: Rethinking Humanitarian Action in Africa (IFRC, Nov. 2009) [text]

Internally displaced people: facing up to the challenges (ICRC, Nov. 2009) [text]

The Policy Will Kill Us: Somali nationals seeking asylum in India (Pambazuka News, Nov. 2009) [text]

Reflections on an International Conference - "Protecting People in Conflict and Crisis: Responding to the Challenges of a Changing World" (Refugee Studies Centre, Nov. 2009) [text]
- Other participants can share their thoughts and reflections on the FMO blog.

Uncharted Territory: Land, Conflict and Humanitarian Action, HPG Policy Brief, no. 39 (ODI, Nov. 2009) [text]

Tagged Publications.

20 November 2009

Self-Archiving Guide: Unpublished Papers

Following on from my earlier post: My next experiment with self-archiving was with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). This service was established to promote the rapid dissemination of research findings via abstracts and full-text papers. It was recently ranked number one by the "Ranking Web of World Repositories." I post a number of links to SSRN papers on this blog, particularly those with a legal focus.

I have an unpublished paper that I eventually may submit to a journal. However, in the interim, I thought I would submit it to SSRN to experience yet another repository's submission process. Once again, the time it took to actually upload the document was minimal: 15 minutes. As I did before, I spent a little time prior to the submission process reading through guidelines and converting my document to PDF. The fact that my paper is unpublished certainly simplified matters, since I did not have to investigate copyright policies or article archiving permissions. SSRN's form was very user-friendly, and included sufficient instruction to help me along the way. Upon uploading the document, I once again was notified that the paper would not become available until after review by an SSRN editor.

All in all, very straightforward. You can submit abstracts, pre- and post-prints to SSRN as well as unpublished papers, and while there is no embargo option, you can designate papers that you've uploaded as private, and then change their status once a certain period of time has passed.

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

Things to do in December

European Migration and Asylum Policies: Coherence or Contradiction? – An Interdisciplinary Evaluation of the EU Summits of Tampere (1999), The Hague (2004) and Stockholm (2009), Scribani International Conference 2010, Madrid, 8-10 September 2010 [info]
- Applications and paper proposals due 1 December 2009.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center Webinar Trainings [info]
- On offer are "Asylum and 'Material Support' Bar Webinar," 3 December 2009 and "LGBT and HIV+ Asylum Claims Webinar," 10 December 2009

RSC Vacancy: Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration (part-time) [info]
- Apply by 9 December 2009.

International Conference: Deportation and the Development of Citizenship, Oxford, 11-12 December 2009 [info]
- Registration for attending this conference is now open.

Children and War: Past and Present, University of Salzburg, Austria, 30 September-2 October 2010 [info]
- Submit abstract by 31 December 2009.

Tagged Events & Opportunities.

19 November 2009

Legal Items: Asylum/EU, ECHR & Human Trafficking Victims, Gender & Refugee Convention, IDPs & Intl. Law

Advancing a Gendered Interpretation of the Refugee Convention: Refugee Appeal No. 76044 (New Zealand Refugee Law, Sept. 2009) [text]

The Common European Asylum System with particular reference to the Qualification Directive (2004/83/EC) (QD) and the Procedures Directive (2005/85/EC) (PD) (IARLJ, Oct. 2009) [text]

Permanent Residency for Human Trafficking Victims in Europe: The Potential Use of Article 3 of the European Convention as a Means of Protection (SSRN, Nov. 2009) [text]

A Tale of Two Decades: War Refugees and Asylum Policy in the European Union (SSRN, Nov. 2009) [text]

"Treatment of Internally Displaced Persons in International Law," Video Lecture by Walter Kälin (UN Audiovisual Library of International Law, 2009) [access]

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

Publications: Civilian Protection/DRC, Humanitarian IT, Preparing for Future Humanitarian Impacts, Tibetan Diaspora, Women/Colombia

Applying Technology to Crisis Mapping and Early Warning in Humanitarian Settings (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Sept. 2009) [text]

Colombia: Displaced Women Demand Their Rights (Refugees International, Nov. 2009) [text]

DR Congo: Protect Civilians and End Military Operations (Refugees International, Nov. 2009) [text]

Humanitarian Horizons Working Papers (Humanitarian Futures Programme, Nov. 2009) [access]
- Four titles, including "Climate Change and its Humanitarian Impacts," "The Future of Globalization and its Humanitarian Impacts," "Demographic Trends and their Humanitarian Impacts," and "Future of the Humanitarian System: Impacts of Internal Changes."

"Interpreting the Tibetan Diaspora: Cultural Preservation and the Pragmatics of Identity," CEU Political Science Journal, vol. 4, no. 3 (Sept. 2009) [text]
- An earlier version of this article entitled "Ethnography of the Displaced: Interpreting the Tibetan Refugee Experience in Darjeeling Town, India" won an award for best paper from the April 2009 CRS Graduate Student Conference.

Tagged Publications.

18 November 2009

New Issues of IJRL, J. Afr. Law, JEMS, Migration, Prehosp. & Dis. Med.

International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 21, no. 4 (Dec. 2009) [contents]
- Includes articles on recognizing socio-economic refugees in South Africa; credibility, proof and refugee law; misidentifying human trafficking victims; and protecting stateless persons. Also included is a book review of "Stormy Weather: The Challenge of Climate Change and Displacement" (see related extract).

Journal of African Law, vol. 53, no. 1 (2009) [free full-text]
- Mix of articles.

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 36, no. 2 (2010) [contents]
- Theme is "Linking Integration and Residential Segregation."

Migration (Autumn 2009) [full-text via ReliefWeb]
- Theme is "Adapting to Climate Change." Includes "Climate Change and Displacement in Bangladesh: A Silent Crisis?" as well as articles on Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal, displacement in Sri Lanka, and Timorese returns.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Supplement (August/September 2009) [full-text]
- Provides reports from the 2009 Humanitarian Action Summit. See also companion conference report on the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative site.

Tagged Periodicals.

Self-Archiving Guide: Journal article eprints

During Open Access Week, I posted on open access repositories and on options for authors who wish to archive eprints of their scholarly journal articles. Both posts were intended to encourage forced migration researchers to more regularly deposit their research output in either institutional or disciplinary repositories. However, since I have never actually archived anything myself, I thought I should try it out and report back in order to be able to say "I know whereof I speak."

For my first experience, I decided to deposit a journal article eprint. The article in question is entitled "Using a wiki to publish a research guide," and it was published in Emerald's Library Hi Tech News.

Step one: Confirm publisher's self-archiving policy.
When depositing article eprints, the first thing to check is the publisher's policy re. self-archiving. Generally, this information is available on the publisher's web site. For example, Emerald has a page called the Authors' Charter, which spells out copyright principles and author rights. Alternatively, you can search in the RoMEO database for a synopsis of publisher self-archiving policies. Here is the entry for the specific journal title: It allows author pre-prints (i.e., pre-refereeing) and author post-prints (i.e., final draft post-refereeing), as long as the published source is acknowledged and a link is provided to the publisher version.

I only had a pre-print version of my article, or the copy that I originally submitted to the editor for review. I did not have an official post-print since any editorial changes required were made in-house and were only circulated to me for review.

Step two: Select a repository.
The next thing to do is choose an appropriate repository. Academic authors affiliated with an institution should first check to see if their institution has its own repository. They can do that by searching in the openDOAR Directory of Open Access Repositories. However, since I work independently, this was not an option for me. I decided instead to go with a disciplinary repository. I am an information specialist, and the OAD's listing of disciplinary repositories includes a section for "library and information science." By default, I chose E-LIS since the other alternative was not accessible at the time of this writing! E-LIS also happens to be "a free-access international archive, in line with the Free Online Scholarship (FOS) movement and the Eprints movement, based on the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) standards and protocols."

Step three: Prepare for the submission process.
I reviewed the submission guidelines prior to registering in order to be properly prepared. E-LIS requires that submitted documents be provided in HTML or PDF format. Since my article was prepared in Microsoft Word, I took a few minutes to convert it to an acceptable format. I did this by copying the text of the article to Google Docs, since I knew I could then download the document as a PDF file. Since images cannot be copied and pasted, I also took some time re-inserting two screenshots into the Google Doc version. All in all, this process probably took about 15 minutes.

Step four: Register with the repository.
Next, I proceeded with the registration process. This simply involves signing up with an email address, a user name and a password. An automated confirmation message was sent to the address I provided, and once I activated the account, I was ready to continue.

Step five: Deposit your document.
Once I logged into E-LIS, I was presented with the option of uploading a new item or editing an existing one. I selected the former, and proceeded to a page with straightforward instructions about the kind of information I needed to provide (type of document, title, location elsewhere online, abstract, keywords, subject terms, etc.). Once I completed the necessary fields, I moved on to actually uploading the document. E-LIS offers the option to embargo a document, i.e., to make it available at a later date to accommodate publishers who place restrictions on when a post-print can be deposited (e.g., 12 months after it has been published). It also includes a utility that will convert a document to PDF for you, if you were not able to do so yourself. Once the uploading process was complete, I could revisit all the details I provided. I was also notified that the document will become available subsequent to a review by an editor. All-in-all, the process took about 15 minutes.

So now I can attest to the fact that depositing a journal article eprint to a disciplinary repository is a relatively painless endeavor! And a day later, here is the document.

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.

17 November 2009

Asia Focus: Round-up of Resources

Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)

Asian civil society mobilizes in support of refugee rights (UNHCR, Oct. 2009) [text]

Climate Change

Climate change and migration in Asia and the Pacific (Asian Development Bank, 2009) [exec. summary via PreventionWeb]
- "This draft study discusses how climate change is likely to influence population displacement, migration and settlement patterns and examines how this will impact development in five sub-regions of Asia and the Pacific. It argues that if migration due to climate change is managed effectively, humanitarian crises will be minimized, conflicts avoided, and countries can benefit."

Burmese Displacement

Audio-slideshow marks 25th anniversary of the Burmese refugee crisis along the Thailand Burma border (Christian Aid, Nov. 2009) [access via AlertNet]

Burmese border refugee sites with population figures (Thailand Burma Border Consortium, Oct. 2009) [text]

The People Nobody Wants (ISN Security Watch, Nov. 2009) [text]

Protracted displacement and militarisation in Eastern Burma (Thailand Burma Border Consortium, Nov. 2009) [text]

"Screening Practices for Infectious Diseases among Burmese Refugees in Australia," Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 15, no. 11 (Nov. 2009) [full-text]


Asylum Seekers in Indonesia: Project, Findings & Recommendations (Behind Australian Doors, Nov. 2009) [text]
- See related blog.

Human Rights

"Asean Human Rights Body Launched Amid Controversy," The Irrawadday (23 Oct. 2009) [text]

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, Oct. 2009) [text]
- Provides an overview of the member state representatives to the new ASEAN human rights body.

"Asia: Human rights body’s shaky beginnings," IRINNews (26 Oct. 2009) [text]

Human Rights Defender, vol. 5, no. 2 (Sept. 2009) [full-text]
- Focus is "We Want an ASEAN Human Rights Commission with Teeth."

Human Trafficking

Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP) [access]

Please Don't Say My Name (Karen Zusman, 2009) [access]
- Documentary on human trafficking of Burmese refugees in Malaysia.

[Map credit: "East Asia and Pacific," UNHCR]

Tagged Publications.