3 Defining Refugees1951 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 areInternally displaced people (IDP)
4 AsylumRight 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 seekerIncreased vilification of asylum seekers: “illegal alien”, “undocumented” or “irregular” migrants
5 Exile To be away from one’s home & being unable to return Internal exileExternal exileDeportationGovernment 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 Displacement10 million a year (World Bank)Environmental change and disasters Numbers unknown
7 Forced vs. Voluntary Migration Voluntary migration (choice, agency): labour, education, family unificationForced Migration (no choice, no agency): persecution, war, conflict, violence, environmental disasterMixed 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 migrants3. Distinction more based in our needs rather than reflecting complex empirical realitiesAnthony Richmond (1994)Nicholas van Hear (1998)
9 Migration/Asylum Nexus Growing difficulty in separating between forced and economic migrationClosely related causes of forced and economic migrationIncreasing similarities in the migratory process for both categoriesCommon responses: lack of differentiation between asylum seekers and irregular migrants
10 Problems with Refugee Studies Homogenization & GeneralizationRefugee as maleEmphasis on legal & political dimensionTension between research & practiceMacro-level analysisNeglect of ‘experience’Invisibility of women“Gender” marginalized analytical categoriesNo intersectional analyses (class, gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality etc.)
11 Women in Forced Migration Women in Forced Migration (WIFM)Recognition of special experiences of womenDisadvantages in situations of forced migrationTopics include: women’s experiences of causes for forced migration (war, conflict, political repression, natural disasters); experiences of flight & refugee camps; livelihoods; entry into labour marketswomen seeking asylum
12 Gender and Forced Migration Gender and Forced Migration (GAFM)“Engendering Knowledge” in the study and practice of forced migrationRelations of power, privilege and prestige informed by situated notions of maleness and femalenessTopics 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 lawImpact of major international conferencesWomen’s rights as human rightsCEDAW (1979)UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against WomenSexual abuse and rape recognized as war crimeUNHCR adoption of guidelines for the protection of women
14 Excellent Resource http://www.forcedmigration.org/ For short videos, see
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