30 September 2012

Action on Statelessness


1. UNHCR's Statelessness Unit now has a Facebook page.  Two noteworthy international developments announced on the page include:

- At the recent UN High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law, the European Union pledged that Member States who have not yet done so will "address the issue of statelessness by ratifying the 1954 Convention and by considering ratification of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness." UNHCR's Statelessness Unit noted that "Once implemented this will result in universal accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons in the European Union."

- "Ecuador became the newest State party to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness this week. Treaty actions by Portugal and Honduras are expected in the next few days. There are now 47 States parties to the Convention, up from 37 only 15 months ago. And 27 more States have pledged to accede."  To monitor progress on States fulfilling the pledges they made at last December's Ministerial Meeting, visit the State Action on Statelessness page.

2. Advocacy relating to the High-level Meeting, accessions and State pledges:

*- Campaign for Statelessness Conventions Gains Traction, at Last (Statelessness Programme Blog, Oct. 2012) [text]

- Dozens of Organizations Urge Member States to Accede to Statelessness Conventions (Refugees International, Sept. 2012) [text]

- No Country to Call Home (Women's Refugee Commission Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

- Taking Stock of State Pledges to Tackle Statelessness? (European Network on Statelessness Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

[Image credit: IDLO's infographic from its ROL meeting page]

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

28 September 2012

Focus: Europe


Attitudes to Migrants, Communication and Local Leadership Project [access]
- Follow the link for access to more information about the project as well as the text of its final report.

EU Lawmakers Reinforce Asylum Seekers' Rights (EU Observer, Sept. 2012) [text]

Minimum Conditions for the Reception of Asylum Seekers Must Be Granted by the Member State in Receipt of an Application for Asylum Even When It Calls Upon Another Member State Which It Considers to Be Responsible for the Examination of the Application (Court of Justice of the European Union, Sept. 2012) [text]

Report on Enhanced Intra-EU Solidarity in the Field of Asylum (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, July 2012) [text]
- See also related European Parliament Resolution.

Transfers of Asylum Seekers to Hungary (ECRE, Sept. 2012) [text]

Unaccompanied Migrant Children: More Effort Needed to Address Their Situation (European Commission, Sept. 2012) [access]

Web site:

European Asylum Support Office (EASO) [access]
- EASO "was established with the aim of enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters and helping Member States fulfill their European and international obligations to give protection to people in need."

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools. 

27 September 2012

Free Articles from Cambridge Journals

Do you read any journals published by Cambridge University Press?  If yes, you may be interested to know that CUP is celebrating 15 years of journals online with an offer of free access to selected articles.  Just visit the home page of a journal you follow, and click on the gold tab labeled "CJO Birthday Offer" for a list of free articles.  The offer is good until 3 October 2012.

Here are a few journal titles that I am familiar with:

International Review of the Red Cross: 1961-1997 Archive [access]

International Review of the Red Cross [access]
- Although note that the ICRC web site provides free full-text access to issues dating back to 1997.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine [access]

Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law [access]

Tagged Publications. 

Seminar Series

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, London, 10 October - 12 December 2012 [info]
- The first seminar will focus on "The Figure of the Trafficked Victim: gender, rights and representation."

Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, Oxford, 11 October - 29 November 2012 [info]
- The theme of this series is "Migration Journeys."  The first lecture will focus on "Researching migrant journeys: conceptual and methodological challenges."

CERIS Ontario Metropolis Centre & Centre for Refugee Studies, Toronto, 19 September - 28 November 2012 [info]
- The first seminar in October will focus on "“The Commonwealth Response in Times of Crisis."

Refugee Law Initiative, London
- Two series are scheduled, one on "International Refugee Law" (Oct. 2012-May 2013) and the other on "Refugee Protection and Psychology" (Nov. 2012-Feb. 2013).  Seminars are free and open to the public, but booking is required.

Refugee Law Initiative & Centre for Refugee Studies, October 2012 - March 2013 [info]
- The theme of this series is "The Challenge of Change: Confronting Asylum Law and Practice in the UK and Canada."  Seminars will be conducted via video link.  While the complete programme is not yet available, the first two will focus on "Whither Refugee Protection in the Reform of Canadian and British Asylum Systems?" (17 Oct.) and "Fast Track Asylum Processes: UK and Canadian Perspectives" (14 Nov.), respectively.

Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford, 10 October - 28 November 2012 [info]
- The theme for this series is "Forced Migration and Citizenship." The first presentation will be on "Deportation, crime and the changing character of membership in the United Kingdom."

Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA [info]
- Seminar series on "Exploring the History of Humanitarianism and Development"; currently, details on two are available: "Human Rights and Human Suffering: Armenian Genocide Refugees and the Practices of Interwar Humanitarianism" (27 Sept.) and "The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Hunger in Asia" (25 Oct.).  I will post more info. when the schedule is finalized.

If you know of any other series scheduled this fall, please let me know!

Tagged Events & Opportunities.   

26 September 2012

Focus: Syrians, esp. Children

The Great Syrian Exodus (Huffington Post, Sept. 2012) [access]

Greece: The Syrian Migration Invasion (Hein de Haas Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

Helpdesk Research Report: Humanitarian Work in Syria and Yemen (Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, Aug. 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

Syria Regional Response Plan, Second Revision (UNHCR, Sept. 2012) [text]

Syria Regional Refugee Response: Information Sharing Portal [access]


"Child Refugees Describe Life in Syria," The Guardian, 25 Sept. 2012 [access]

Syria: A War on Childhood (War Child, July 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

Untold Atrocities: The Stories of Syria’s Children (Save the Children, Sept. 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools. 

Events & Opportunities: Last Minute September, More October 2012



*9th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, Washington, DC, 1 October 2012 [info]
- Last day for advance registration is today, 26 September 2012;  however, on-site registration will be available on the day of the conference for an additional fee.

Narrowing the Resettlement Gap: Views from the 2012 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR), Online, 27 September 2012 [info]

CFP: Vulnerable Workers, Forced Labour, Migration and Ethical Trading, Leeds, UK, 14 December 2012 [info]
- Submission deadline is 28 September 2012.

ECRE's Annual General Conference, Dublin, 17-19 October 2012  [info]
- Registration deadline for members extended to 28 September 2012.

Annual Conference on EU Asylum Law 2012: Focus on the Impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on the Asylum Process, Floriana, Malta, 29-30 October 2012 [info]
- To receive a discount, register by 29 September 2012.


Family Reunification: Managing Cases Involving Children, Online, 17 October 2012 [info]

ELENA Advanced Course on "The Rights of Refugees," Madrid, 30 November-2 December 2012 [info]
- The closing date for registration is 26 October 2012.

Vulnerable Workers, Forced Labour, Migration and Ethical Trading, Leeds, UK, 14 December 2012 [info]
- Registration deadline is 31 October 2012.

Tagged Events & Opportunities.  

25 September 2012

ETDs (part 2) in Anthropology, Education, Law, Psychology, Social Science

'I had to do something. I couldn't do nothing!': Citizen Action in Support of Asylum Seekers in Australia 2001-2006, Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Univ. of New South Wales, 2012) [text]

The Issue of Climate-induced Displacement from the Perspective of International Environmental Law, Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Law (Tilburg Univ., June 2012) [text]

Legal Protection of the People at Risk of Climate-induced Cross-border Displacement: Application of the 1951 Refugee Convention, Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Law (Tilburg Univ., 2011) [text]

Living an Uncertain Future: An Ethnography of Displacement, Health, Psychosocial Well-being and the Search for Durable Solutions among Iraqi Refugees in Egypt, Dissertation submitted to the Dept. of Anthropology (Case Western Reserve University, Jan. 2012) [text]

Narrative Exposure Therapy to Treat Traumatic Stress in Middle Eastern Refugees: A Clinical Trial, Dissertation submitted to the Graduate School (Wayne State Univ., Jan. 2012) [text]

Quality of Father-child Interaction in Refugee and Asylum Seeker Families: The Relation among Posttraumatic Stress and Parental Caregiving, Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences (Utrecht Univ., July 2012) [text]

Resettlement of Bhutanese Refugees: A Misery or Solution, A Case Study of Bhutanese Refugees from Rogaland and Alta, Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Education (Univ. of Stavanger, 2011) [text]

Victims, Villains, and the Virtuous Constructing the Problems of “Human Trafficking,” Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School (Univ. of Minnesota, June 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications. 

ETDs (part 1) in Communication, European Studies, Geography, Migration & Refugee Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, Political Science

Assessing the Impact of Climate Change upon Migration in Burkina Faso: An Agent-based Modelling Approach, Dissertation submitted to the School of Global Studies (Univ. of Sussex, March 2012) [text]

At the Threshold with Simone Weil: A Political Theory of Migration and Refuge, Dissertation submitted to the Dept. of Political Science (Duke Univ., May 2012) [text]

Constructing Resiliency: The Acculturation of Refugees and Their Communication within Communities, Thesis submitted to the School of Communication (San Diego State University, Summer 2012) [text]

Cultural and National Identity in the Face of Climate Change: A Case Study of I-Kiribati Migrants in New Zealand, Thesis submitted to the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (Univ. of Otago, Feb. 2012) [text]

The European Union’s Effect on Turkish Civil Society Organizations Working in the Asylum System, Thesis submitted to the Øresund Master Programme of European Studies (Roskilde University, Aug. 2012) [text]

From Political Tool to Humanitarian Stalemate: A Critical Appraisal of International Refugee Law as a Global Protection Mechanism, Thesis submitted to the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (American University in Cairo, Spring 2012) [text]

Humanitarian Duty and Security Goals Intertwined: The Case of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programs in Bulgaria, Thesis submitted to the Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University, 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications. 

24 September 2012

Focus: Humanitarian Assistance

Upcoming events & opportunities:

Call for presentations: 28th ALNAP Meeting on Evidence and Knowledge in Humanitarian Action, Washington, DC, March 2013 [info]
- Submit an abstract by 16 November 2012.

Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Seattle, 21-24 October 2012 [info]
- "Technology for the benefit of humanity"; registration is ongoing.


Can Evidence Save Lives? Perspectives from Humanitarian Actors, New York, 19 July 2012 [info]
- See the concept note and background paper for this event.

IASC Real Time Evaluation (IASC RTE) of the Humanitarian Response to the Horn of Africa Drought Crisis 2011: Regional Mechanisms and Support during the Response (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, June 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]
- See also synthesis report.

Mainstreaming GBV - Drought, Famine, and Displacement in Somalia: Considerations for Emergency Humanitarian Response (Protection Cluster, Aug. 2011) [text via ReliefWeb]

"Staff Care and Humanitarian Aid Organizations: A Moral Obligation," The Applied Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 2 (2011) [full-text]
- Scroll to p. 49.

Towards More Coordination of Aid in the Gulf (IRIN, Sept. 2012) [text]

Web resource:

AidSource [access]
- A humanitarian social network; read "AidSourcery 101: Getting the most out of your AidSource experience" to help you get started.

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

Refugee Health Bibliography

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, here is a list of some essential reading recommended by Jeff Crisp, Head of UNHCR's Policy Development and Evaluation Service (PDES), specifically relating to refugee health.  Most articles are free or open access.

"Child Acute Malnutrition and Mortality in Populations Affected by Displacement in the Horn of Africa, 1997–2009," International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 9, no. 3 (March 2012) [text]

"If You Could Only Choose Five Psychotropic Medicines: Updating the Interagency Emergency Health Kit," PLoS Medicine, vol. 8, no. 5:  e1001030 (May 2011) [text]

"Measles — Horn of Africa, 2010–2011," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 61, no. 34 (Aug. 2012) [text]

"Neonatal Survival Interventions in Humanitarian Emergencies: A Survey of Current Practices and  Programs," Conflict and Health 6:2 (July 2012) [text]

"Reportable Neurologic Diseases in Refugee Camps in 19 Countries," Neurology, vol. 79, no. 9 (Aug. 2012) [abstract]
- Even though the complete text of this article is not available online, you can listen to a free podcast interview with one of the author's (scroll down to 28 Aug. 2012) and take a related Continuing Medical Education (CME) exam online.

"Refugee Site Health Service Utilization: More Needs to be Done," American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 6, no. 4 (July/Aug. 2011) [abstract]

"Six Rapid Assessments of Alcohol and Other Substance Use in Populations Displaced by Conflict," Conflict and Health 5:1 (Feb. 2011) [text]

"The State of the World's Refugees: Adapting Health Responses to Urban Environments," JAMA, vol. 308, no. 7 (Aug. 2012) [text]

"United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Feeding Program Performance in Kenya and Tanzania: A Retrospective Analysis of Routine Health Information System Data," Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 33, no. 2 (June 2012) [abstract]
- See also related article published earlier by same authors.

"Utilization of Outpatient Services in Refugee Settlement Health Facilities: A Comparison by Age, Gender, and Refugee Versus Host National Status," Conflict and Health 5:19 (Sept. 2011) [text]

Tagged Publications. 

23 September 2012

Focus: Health

Health Care in Danger: The Responsibilities of Health-care Personnel Working in Armed Conflicts and Other Emergencies (ICRC, Aug. 2012) [text]

Household Based Survey of Retrospective Mortality Rates, Prevalence of Malnutrition, Vaccination Coverage and Basic Needs: Yida Refugee Camp Unity State, South Sudan (MSF, Aug. 2012) [text]

"Inequalities in Mortality among Refugees and Immigrants Compared to Naative Danes: A Historical Prospective Cohort Study," BMC Public Health 12:757 (Sept. 2012) [open access text]

"Mental Health of Asylum Seekers: A Cross-sectional Study of Psychiatric Disorders," BMC Psychiatry 12:114 (Aug. 2012) [open access text]

Narrowing Our Moral Community of Concern: A Critique of Canada’s New Refugee Policies (Access Denied, July 2012) [text]

"The Psychological Problems of North Korean Adolescent Refugees Living in South Korea," Psychiatry Investigation, vol. 9, no. 3 (Sept. 2012) [open access text]

"Risky Alcohol Use among Reproductive-age Men, not Women, in Mae La Refugee Camp, Thailand, 2009," Conflict and Health 6:7 (Sept. 2012) [open access text]

"Seroprevalence of Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Prior Immunity in Immigrants and Refugees: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," PLoS ONE 7(9): e44611 (Sept. 2012) [open access text]

Tagged Publications. 

22 September 2012

Focus: Children

France Terre d'Asile and its partners have published a new study on the "Right to Asylum for Unaccompanied Minors in the European Union." Here's part of the Introduction:
"At the time the European Union States committed to establishing a Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the adaptation of procedures and practices for unaccompanied children seeking asylum remains an important issue. In fact, this particularly vulnerable population needs standards adapted to its specific situation. Issues such as legal guardianship, support during the procedure or conditions of interview are crucial for an effective protection of these children. In this context, this study aims to analyze legislation and practices in all the 27 EU countries, in order to identify good practices, gaps and ways to improve the implementation of the right to asylum for unaccompanied children within the European Union."

Currently, the report is only available in English, but will also be made available in French.  There are also summaries in French and in English; six other language versions will soon follow and will be posted at the link above.

Other resources:

Animated Stories of Child Refugees (Refugee Council UK, Sept. 2012) [access]

Child Safeguarding in Cash Transfer Programming: A Practical Tool (Save the Children, Sept. 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

Educational Integration of Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children: The Situation in Bulgaria and the Experience of Other European Countries (Center for the Study of Democracy, June 2012) [text]

"Medical, Statistical, Ethical and Human Rights Considerations in the Assessment of Age in Children and Young People Subject to Immigration Control," British Medical Bulletin, vol. 102, no. 1 (June 2012) [text via NCADC]

Protection Interviews with Refugee Children (Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Sept. 2012) [text]

State Sanctioned Child Poverty and Exclusion: The Case of Children in State Accommodation for Asylum Seekers (Irish Refugee Council, Sept. 2012) [text]
- See also related press release.

Upcoming events:

CRC Day of General Discussion: The Rights of all Children in the Context of International Migration, Geneva, 28 September 2012 [info]
- Follow link for programme, background paper, and external submissions.

Separated Children & Young People in the Asylum System, London, 10 October 2012 [info]
- Registration continues for this event hosted by the Refugee Council UK.

Tagged Publications and Events & Opportunities.   

21 September 2012

Legal Items

"Are Refugee Rights Human Rights? An Unorthodox Questioning of the Relations between Refugee Law and Human Rights Law," Chapter in Migrations and Human Rights (Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law) (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2013) [preprint via SSRN]

"Complicity, Exclusion, and the 'Unworthy' in Refugee Law," Refugee Survey Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 3 (Sept. 2012) [full-text via Refugee Research Network]

Ensuring Protection to LGBTI Persons of Concern, Keynote address at the HIAS LGBTI Symposium, "Invisible in the City: Urban Protection Gaps Facing Sexual Minorities Fleeing Persecution," Geneva, 20-21 September 2012 [text]
- See also related news story.

Female Genital Mutilation as a Reason to Obtain Asylum in the European Union (Univ. of Twente, 2012) [text]

Islamic Law and Refugees: Concept and Application (SSRN, posted Sept. 2012) [text]

Right to Asylum for Unaccompanied Minors in the European Union: Comparative Study in the 27 EU Countries (France Terre d'Asile et al, Sept. 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications.  

New Issue of IJRL

The latest issue of the International Journal of Refugee Law (vol. 24, no.3, Oct. 2012) is now available.  The following articles are included:

  • India and Internally Displaced Persons: Current Legal Avenues and New Legal Strategies [abstract]
  • Transfer of International Protection and European Union Law  [abstract]
  • Refugee Status Determination and the Rights of Recognized Refugees under Uganda’s Refugees Act 2006  [abstract] [SSRN]
  • Hospitality and Sovereignty: What Can We Learn From the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?  [abstract]

Six book reviews and two case law texts are also provided.

Tagged Periodicals.  

Focus: Aspects of "Return"

Advanced Academic Update Overview: Return, Reintegration and Development, Migration Policy Brief, no. 11 (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, 2012) [text]

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Annual Report of Activities 2011 (IOM, Aug. 2012) [text]

Humanitarian Duty and Security Goals Intertwined: The Case of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programs in Bulgaria, Thesis submitted to the Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University, 2012) [text]

Initiatives and Obstacles to Reintegration in Divided Communities: UNHCR’s Imagine Coexistence Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Working Paper, no. 24 (Conflict in Cities and the Contested State, 2012) [text]

Movers or Stayers? Understanding the Drivers of IDP Camp Decongestion during Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda, Discussion Papers, no. 1197 (DIW Berlin, 2012) [text]

The Right of Return: A Typology of Claims, Paper prepared for the 2012 Conference of the American Political Science Association (SSRN, Sept. 2012) [text]

Sri Lanka Refugees in India Reluctant to Return (IRIN, Sept. 2012) [text]

When Asylees Return Home (The Asylumist, Sept. 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications.   

Focus: MENA

Analysis: Donors Not Walking the Talk on Humanitarian Aid to Syria (IRIN, Sept. 2012) [text]

"Conflating Spaces: Syrian Rebels and Refugees in South Turkey," Security Watch, 18 September 2012 [access]
- Scroll down to locate text.  See also related PRIO Policy Brief referenced in earlier post.

Flouting International Law: Violating the Human Rights of Asylum Seekers, including Victims of Torture and Human Trafficking, in and en route to Israel (Access Denied Blog, Aug. 2012) [text]

Migrants in Libya: 'They don’t treat us like humans' (Amnesty International, Aug. 2012) [text]

Migration after the Arab Spring, MPC Research Report 2012/09 (Migration Policy Centre, 2012) [text]

Relief and Recovery Support for Displaced Palestine Refugees from Nahr el-Bared Camp, North Lebanon: Final Report, January to December 2011 (UNRWA, Aug. 2012) [text]

Syria: Indiscriminate Attacks Terrorize and Displace Citizens (Amnesty International, Sept. 2012) [text]

Syria Crisis: The Humanitarian Response, London, 31 August 2012 [text]
- Summary of roundtable.

[Photo credit: "Syrian refugee boys in a camp in Jordan" in Conflating Spaces, ISN]

Tagged Publications.  

20 September 2012

New Book: UNHCR and International Refugee Law

(This Note was contributed by Corinne Lewis, a former legal officer with UNHCR, who now works in the area of business and human rights law. She is currently drafting a book for Advocates for International Development that provides guidance to law firms on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.)

I am delighted to have an opportunity to provide information about my book UNHCR and International Refugee Law: From Treaties to Innovation, which was just released by Routledge this summer.

Following nearly ten years of work as a legal officer with UNHCR, with posts in Headquarters in Geneva and in the field, I decided to couple my practical experience with research done in connection with my PhD thesis in order to have a more global understanding of UNHCR’s role related to international refugee law. This book builds upon a number of preliminary ideas I had, which were published in an article in the International Journal of Refugee Law in 2005, titled "UNHCR’s Contribution to the Development of International Refugee Law: Its Foundations and Evolution."

In the book, I focus on the ways in which UNHCR contributes to the creation of refugee law and works to ensure that States actually implement such law in their policies as well as their practices. In general, the book attests to the organisation’s dynamic contribution to the evolution of international refugee law and thus, the law’s continued viability in protecting refugees.

Specifically, the book addresses four questions:
1. What are the foundations for UNHCR's role related to the development and effectiveness of international refugee law?
2. What are the formal and informal means that have facilitated the adaptation of UNHCR's role?
3. How has UNHCR influenced the development of international refugee law?
4. How has UNHCR enhanced the effectiveness of international refugee law?

The initial two chapters consider the basis for UNHCR’s role related to international refugee law. The responsibilities that UNHCR was assigned concerning refugee law in its statute were greatly influenced by the mandates and work of the refugee organisations that preceded UNHCR. These refugee law responsibilities relate to two key areas: the development of international refugee law and ensuring the effectiveness of such law.

However, these responsibilities are not static, but have evolved during the more than 60 years of UNHCR’s existence as UNHCR has dealt with new movements of refugees, changes in States’ willingness to accept refugees and their treatment of asylum-seekers. Therefore, Chapter 3 considers the formal statutory means and UNHCR’s implied powers, which facilitate the changes in UNHCR’s role.

Chapter 4 examines how the crisis in international refugee law and refugee protection, which began in the 1980’s, brought to the fore the weaknesses in refugee law and the problems with States’ respect of such laws. The measures that UNHCR then undertook to address such weaknesses and to attempt to ensure that States respect international refugee law are considered in Chapters 5 and 6 respectively.

The final chapter, Chapter 7, weaves the observations from the first six chapters into an overview of UNHCR’s interaction with international refugee law and then suggests how UNHCR should extend and strengthen its role related to international refugee law.

I am greatly indebted to so many former colleagues in UNHCR who work tirelessly on behalf of refugees throughout the world and from whom I continue to learn. I hope that this book assists them and others working with refugees to have a greater understanding of how UNHCR influences the content of refugee law and works to ensure States’ respect for such laws so that this role can be further enhanced in the future.

Tagged Publications.

New Detention Guidelines

UNHCR's Division of International Protection has just released the following:

Detention Guidelines: Guidelines on the Applicable Criteria and Standards relating to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers and Alternatives to Detention (UNHCR, 2012) [access]

With the aim of guiding governments and decision-makers, here is the stated scope of the guidelines (p. 8):
These Guidelines reflect the state of international law relating to detention – on immigration-related grounds – of asylum-seekers and other persons seeking international protection. They equally apply to refugees and other persons found to be in need of international protection should they exceptionally be detained for immigration-related reasons. They also apply to stateless persons who are seeking asylum, although they do not specifically cover the situation of non-asylum-seeking stateless persons, persons found not to be in need of international protection or other migrants, although many of the standards detailed herein may apply to them mutatis mutandis. This is particularly true with regard to non-refugee stateless persons in the migratory context who face a heightened risk of arbitrary detention. The Guidelines do not cover asylum-seekers or refugees imprisoned on the basis of criminal offences.

The volume then proceeds to set out 10 guidelines and includes an Annex which outlines alternatives to detention.

Tagged Publications.  

Focus: Africa

'Because I am a stranger': Urban Refugees in Yaoundé, Cameroon, New Issues in Refugee Research, no. 244 (UNHCR, Sept. 2012) [text]

Shifting the Burden: The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and the Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan (Enough Project, Sept. 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

No Way In: Barriers to Access, Service and Administrative Justice at South Africa’s Refugee Reception Offices (African Centre for Migration & Society, Sept. 2012) [text]

UNHCR, Mali, and an "Arc of Instability" (Africa in Transition Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

Young and Restless: Harnessing the Economic Resilience of Displaced Youth in Nairobi (Women's Refugee Commission, Aug. 2012) [text via ReliefWeb]

"Why Mali Matters," New York Times, 4 Sept. 2012 [text]

Tagged Publications.  

19 September 2012

New Issues of Disasters, EASO News, ICRC Rev., IMR, Intl. J. Migr. Health Social Care, IOM News

Disasters, vol. 36, no. 4 (Oct. 2012) [contents]
- Mix of articles including "Dignity and the right of internally displaced adolescents in Colombia to sexual and reproductive health" and "Connectedness, social support and internalising emotional and behavioural problems in adolescents displaced by the Chechen conflict."

EASO Newsletter (Sept. 2012) [full-text via Aditus]
- News from the European Asylum Support Office.

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 8, no. 3 (2012) [contents]
- Mix of articles including "Quality of life and health promotion intervention – a follow up study among newly-arrived Arabic-speaking refugees in Malmö, Sweden," "Social disability: Roma and refugees in Swedish welfare," and "The profile of health problems in African refugees admitted to Sicilian hospitals from Lampedusa, since the beginning of the 2011 humanitarian exodus (1 January to 22 September)."

International Migration Review, vol. 46, no. 3 (Autumn 2012) [contents]
- Mix of articles including "Managing International Migration in Australia: Human Rights and the 'Last Major Redoubt of Unfettered National Sovereignty'," "Symbolic Politics and Policy Feedback: The United Nations Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and American Refugee Policy in the Cold War."

International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 93, no. 884 (Dec. 2011) [contents]
- The theme is "The Future of Humanitarian Action."

IOM Research Newsletter (Sept. 2012) [full-text]
- Lead article is "Focus on: The Arab Spring: Reflections on the international response one year later."

Tagged Periodicals.  

Focus: Climate/Disaster/Environmental Displacement


Australia: Struggling to Survive on an Atoll (JRS Asia Pacific, Aug. 2012) [text]

Communicating Climate Change and Migration (UK Climate Change & Migration Coalition, Sept. 2012) [text]

Crossing Borders to Escape Natural Calamities Is No Easy Option: International Law Has Long Been a Barrier to Legal Immigration by People Fleeing Natural Disasters, but There Are Ways Round It (Poverty Matters Blog, Aug. 2012) [text]

Environmentally-Induced Displacement: Theoretical Frameworks and Current Challenges (CEDEM, Sept. 2012) [text]
- Includes extensive bibliography.

A Human Rights-Based Approach and District Disaster Management Plans (Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, July 2012) [text]

"The Portuguese Press Portrait of 'Environmental Refugees'," Proceedings of the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, vol. 64 (April 2012) [text]

The Rising Tide: Environmental Refugees (New America Media, Aug. 2012) [text]

"Statelessness and Environmental-Induced Displacement: Future Scenarios of Deterritorialisation, Rescue and Recovery Examined," Mobilities, vol. 6, no. 3 (2011) [free full-text]
- I referenced this article previously, but just discovered its text is now freely available!


Climate Vulnerability Monitor (DARA, Sept. 2012) [info]

People on the Move in a Changing Climate: Comparing the Impact of Environmental Change on Migration in Different Regions of the World (IOM) [info, p. 4]
- Future title in the Global Migration Issues series from Springer.

Web site:

Asia-Pacific Migration and Environment Network (APMEN) [access]
- "New network to promote knowledge exchange... ."

Tagged Publications and Web Sites/Tools.   

Focus: Europe


Asylum Applicants and First Instance Decisions on Asylum Applications: First Quarter 2012 (Eurostat, Aug. 2012) [text]

Austria Should Improve the Protection of Asylum-seekers, Women and Persons with Disabilities (Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Sept. 2012) [access]
- Follow link for Commissioner's report and comments from the Austrian government.

Can You Be Internally Displaced for Twenty Years? Housing Issues and Protracted Displacement in Azerbaijan (TerraNullius, Sept. 2012) [text]

Internally Displaced Persons in Europe: Another Lost Generation? (Human Rights Comment, Sept. 2012) [text]

Italy Needs to Speed up Court Proceedings and Improve the Treatment of Roma and Migrants (Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Sept. 2012) [access]
- Follow link for Commissioner's report and comments from the Italian government.  See also related Guardian article.

"The Last Frontier of Globalization: Asylum and Citizenship in the Netherlands," Macalester International, vol. 30 (2012) [full-text]

Recommendations by UNHCR Concerning the Execution of the Grand Chamber Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the Case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy (Judgment of 23 February 2012, Application No. 27765/09) (Council of Europe, Sept. 2012) [text]

A Welcome Vote (Cecilia Malmström's Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]
- Refer to the tag cloud on the right for other posts on asylum and refugees.

Tagged Publications.

UNHCR Vacancies re. Statelessness

The PDES Facebook page posted a note today indicating that there are 50+ professional jobs currently being advertised by UNHCR.

A few that deal specifically with statelessness issues caught my eye:

Senior Legal Coordinator (Statelessness), Geneva
"This is the most senior legal post relating specifically to statelessness within UNHCR, addressing issues for non-refugee stateless populations under a separate and independent mandate. As such, the post is responsible for the overall policy direction of UNHCR, for development and implementation of doctrine relating to statelessness, and is the principal officer making representations to external actors on the issue, including to senior government officials and the media. In exercising these responsibilities, the post oversees development of strategies to address statelessness as well as provision of technical advice and support (on civil status, nationality laws, legal status, solutions, etc.) to all protection staff and as needed to those representing protection issues on behalf of UNHCR, including senior management. The post supervises the Statelessness Unit in DIP and has direct or functional supervision of regional statelessness posts."

Senior Regional Protection Officer (Statelessness), Dakar, Senegal
"This post covers all 18 countries in West Africa. Only five are parties to each of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Seven States, however, pledged to take steps to accede to the treaties at the 2011 Ministerial Meeting. There is one major protracted statelessness situation in the region, as well as potentially several smaller situations which have yet to be properly mapped. Many States have gaps in their nationality laws and/or policies which may cause statelessness. Of these, four pledged at the Ministerial meeting to undertake law reform to address such gaps. Limited awareness among policy makers and civil society of statelessness means that reliable data on numbers of stateless persons and their situation is lacking in all countries."

Regional Protection Officer (Statelessness), San Jose, Costa Rica
"This post covers all 35 countries under the responsibility of the Regional Bureau for the Americas. Of these States, only 14 are parties to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and seven to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Seven States pledged at the 2011 ministerial meeting to accede to one or both Conventions. Few States have statelessness determination procedures in place under the 1954 Convention, though five pledged in 2011 to establish such procedures. A number of States have gaps in their nationality laws and/or policies which might cause statelessness. Moreover, UNHCR is implementing operational responses to address the risk of statelessness in several States in the Caribbean. Lack of accurate baseline population data remains a challenge throughout the region."

Tagged Events & Opportunities. 

18 September 2012

Focus: Statelessness

Turkmenistan acceded to the 1961 Statelessness Convention on 29 August 2012.  Visit the Refworld page on statelessness for an updated list of state parties.

Upcoming events:

Short Course on Refugees and Statelessness, Bangkok & Mae Sot, 11-15 December 2012 [info]
- Application deadline is 26 October 2012.

Short Course on Statelessness and International Law, Oxford, 27-28 October 2012 [info]
- A few places are still left... .


NGOs Urge Governments to Protect Stateless People (JRS Asia Pacific, Sept. 2012) [text]

"Statelessness and Environmental-Induced Displacement: Future Scenarios of Deterritorialisation, Rescue and Recovery Examined," Mobilities, vol. 6, no. 3 (2011) [free full-text]
- I referenced this article previously, but just discovered its text is now freely available!

Statelessness in Sweden: Changes Ahead? (ENS Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

"Statelessness in the EU Framework for International Protection," European Journal of Migration and Law, vol. 14, no. 3 (2012) [full-text via ENS Blog]

A Study and Comparison of National Legislation in Slovenia and International Standards Related to Statelessness (UNHCR Central Europe, Jan. 2012) [text]

Web resources:

The European Network on Statelessness now offers an RSS feed for its blog postings (subscribe by copying and pasting "http://www.statelessness.eu/rss" into your favorite newsreader) and a newsletter (sign-up at this page).

[Photo credit: ©UNHCR/B. Baloch in "Statelessness: More than 3,000 stateless people given Turkmen nationality," UNHCR News Story, 7 Dec. 2011]

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

17 September 2012

Legal/Policy Items

Declaration on Territorial Asylum, New York, 14 December 1967: Introduction, Procedural History, Preparatory Documents (UN Audiovisual Library of International Law, 2012) [access]
- New introductory note from Guy Goodwin-Gill.

Diplomatic Asylum for Julian Assange? (EJIL: Talk!, Sept. 2012) [text]

The Geopolitics of Refugee Crises (World Policy Blog, Sept. 2012) [text]

Global Refugee Policy: Varying Perspectives, Unanswered Questions - Background Paper for RSC 30th Anniversary Conference: Understanding Global Refugee Policy, Oxford, 6-7 December 2012 [text]

"Re-Envisioning the Reach of Persecution: Recognizing Refugee Status for the Family Bystander Witness," Whittier Law Review, vol. 34 (forthcoming, 2013) [text via SSRN]

State Parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and/or its 1967 Protocol (as of September 2012) (UNHCR, Sept. 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications. 

14 September 2012

New Issues of Coping w/Crisis, FRLAN, INSCAN, Intl. Peacekeeping, Migr. Policy Pract., Rev. Humanit., Servir

Coping with Crisis, no. 1 (2012) [full-text]
- Focus is on volunteers in emergencies.

Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter, no. 29 (Sept. 2012) [full-text]
- News and discussion on refugee legal aid

International Settlement Canada, vol. 24 (Spring 2012) [full-text]
- Special issue on "Settlement Language Training."

International Peacekeeping, vol. 19, no. 2 (2012) [contents]
- Mix of articles including "Humanitarian Action under Fire: Reflections on the Role of NGOs in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations."

Migration Policy Practice, vol. II, no. 3 (June-July 2012) [full-text]
- Focus is on border management and irregular migration.

Migration Policy Practice, vol. II, no. 4 (Aug.-Sept. 2012) [full-text]
- Focus is on migrant integration policies.

Revue Humanitaire, no. 32 (2012) [full-text]
- Theme is "Cartographie humanitaire: nos représentations en question."

Servir, no. 53 (March 2012) [full-text]
- Special feature on IDPs in the DRC.

Tagged Periodicals.   

Focus: Asia/Oceania

Upcoming event:

Short Course on Refugees and Statelessness, Bangkok & Mae Sot, 11-15 December 2012 [info]
- Application deadline is 26 October 2012.


Ad Hoc and Inadequate: Thailand’s Treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (Human Rights Watch, Sept. 2012) [text]
- See also related IRIN article.

"Asylum-seekers: Let's Have a Mature Discussion," The Dominion Post, 13 Sept. 2012 [text]
- Comment on asylum-seeker debate in New Zealand.

The Bhutanese Refugee Resettlement Journey (NZ Dept. of Labour, 2011) [text]

"The Implications of the Failed 'Malaysia Solution': The Australian High Court and Refugee Responsibility Sharing at International Law," Melbourne Journal of International Law, vol. 13, no. 1 (June 2012) [access]
- Scroll down to relevant title.

New Land, New Life: Long-term Settlement of Refugees in New Zealand (NZ Dept. of Labour, 2011) [text]

"Perceived Needs, Self-reported Health and Disability among Displaced Persons during an Armed Conflict in Nepal," Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 47, no. 4 (April 2012) [open access text]

The Search: Protection Space in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and The Philippines (JRS Asia Pacific, June 2012) [text]
- See also related article in Diakonia (April 2012), pp. 12-15.

Sri Lanka Refugees in India Reluctant to Return (IRIN, Sept. 2012) [text]

Tagged Publications and Events & Opportunities.