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Refugees, Asylum & Exile

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1 Refugees, Asylum & Exile
Ruba Salih Gendering Migration & Diasporas Lecture 3

2 Overview Refugees Asylum & Exile Voluntary & Forced Migration
Migration/Asylum Nexus Refugee Studies Women in Forced Migration Gender & Forced Migration Readings Proposed Questions

3 Defining Refugees 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: a refugee is “a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution” 1967 Protocol: “include persons who have fled war or other violence in their home country” Environmental refugees (people displaced because of environmental problems such as drought) are not included in the definition of "refugee" under international law, neither are Internally displaced people (IDP)

4 Asylum Right of asylum (or political asylum) is an ancient judicial notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or Church sanctuaries (as in medieval times). Asylum seeker Increased vilification of asylum seekers: “illegal alien”, “undocumented” or “irregular” migrants

5 Exile To be away from one’s home & being unable to return
Internal exile External exile Deportation Government in Exile “State of mind” “Cultures of exile”, see, for example:

6 Some numbers (2004) Refugees (1951 Convention definition)
9.7 million (recognised by UNHCR) Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) 25 m (13 m of them in Africa) Development Induced Displacement 10 million a year (World Bank) Environmental change and disasters Numbers unknown

7 Forced vs. Voluntary Migration
Voluntary migration (choice, agency): labour, education, family unification Forced Migration (no choice, no agency): persecution, war, conflict, violence, environmental disaster Mixed migration : new forms blurring the boundaries?

8 Forced Migration Paradigm
1. Forced migrants distinctive experience & needs? 2. Focus on the great and increasing numbers of forced migrants 3. Distinction more based in our needs rather than reflecting complex empirical realities Anthony Richmond (1994) Nicholas van Hear (1998)

9 Migration/Asylum Nexus
Growing difficulty in separating between forced and economic migration Closely related causes of forced and economic migration Increasing similarities in the migratory process for both categories Common responses: lack of differentiation between asylum seekers and irregular migrants

10 Problems with Refugee Studies
Homogenization & Generalization Refugee as male Emphasis on legal & political dimension Tension between research & practice Macro-level analysis Neglect of ‘experience’ Invisibility of women “Gender” marginalized analytical categories No intersectional analyses (class, gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality etc.)

11 Women in Forced Migration
Women in Forced Migration (WIFM) Recognition of special experiences of women Disadvantages in situations of forced migration Topics include: women’s experiences of causes for forced migration (war, conflict, political repression, natural disasters); experiences of flight & refugee camps; livelihoods; entry into labour markets women seeking asylum

12 Gender and Forced Migration
Gender and Forced Migration (GAFM) “Engendering Knowledge” in the study and practice of forced migration Relations of power, privilege and prestige informed by situated notions of maleness and femaleness Topics include motivations/reasons for migration, migration flows, gender-specific violence before, during and after flight, experiences within refugee camps, receiving countries, legal dimensions, impact on identities & sense of self; gender ideologies roles & relations

13 Humanitarian Assistance & Women’s Rights
Developments in law Impact of major international conferences Women’s rights as human rights CEDAW (1979) UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Sexual abuse and rape recognized as war crime UNHCR adoption of guidelines for the protection of women

14 Excellent Resource
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