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Refugees, Exiles, and Displacement in the Contemporary World

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Presentation on theme: "Refugees, Exiles, and Displacement in the Contemporary World"— Presentation transcript:

1 Refugees, Exiles, and Displacement in the Contemporary World

2 Key definitions Migrants: (leave voluntary (documented and nondocumented--illegal aliens) Refugees: forced to leave Internally Displaced people (IPS) within national borders

3 Forced Migrations: A History of Refugees and Displaced Persons
Triangular slave trade (c.10 million ) Settler economies: Australian convicts (165, ) the Trail of Tears (16,000 Cherokee 1830s: GA-OK) apartheid Colonial economies and famine e.g., Irish potato famine 1840s – several million leave World War I – 6 million displaced World War II – 45 million worldwide – 27 million displaced in Europe

4 Causes 1: Colonial origins of dispossession
Colonial processes: ‘tribes’ and ‘ethnic groups’ fixed identities Racialized class divisions Certain groups favored for colonial service Racism, law, and settlement Differential access to material resources Migrant labor recruitment systems

5 Causes 2. Nationalist origins of dispossession
Nationalist responses to ethnic differences Modernize, assimilate, Modernization process generates social dislocations Assimilation: E.g., Ethiopia Amaharic hegemonic drive: language, religion, music, dress Physical violence and intimidation Marginalization Access to jobs, discrimination, racialized laws Voluntary out-migration Forced expulsion

6 Causes 3: War and displacement
Classical War: World War I, World War II Cold War: Korea, Viet-Nam, wars of national liberation as proxy wars Gang War, identity-based warfare, rise of failed states, warlords, ethnic conflict, war for sex & loot, transnational criminal cartels, terrorist-criminal alliances, global crime as a profitable business model Here are three periods of conflict, each distinct, that some authors have focused on. Martin van Crevald, in particular, suggests that modern military studies are deficient because they start with Frederick the Great and massed formation, instead of with Middle Eastern gang warfare. TRANSITION: Each of these periods has different kinds of leadership. For our period, today, your primary opponent is generally going to be a Warlord.

7 Representative “Warlords”
Iraq Saddam Hussein Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic Franjo Tudjman Radovan Karadzic Cambodia Pol Pot Somalia Mohammed Aideed Sierra Leone Foday Sankoh Haiti Raoul Cedras Many Others from Angola & Congo to Afghanistan & Colombia Here are some representative warlords who have in various ways demonstrated the shortcomings of the American way of war. One could of course add Giap in Viet-Nam. TRANSITION: These warlords are taking advantage of failed states and internal conditions of conflict that in the past were interpreted in relation to the Cold War competition, not in their own right.

8 Causes 3. Neo-Liberal origins of dispossession
Colonial national borders The ‘state’ is the enemy Weak. Indebted. Corrupt. Comprador. Militarization. Structural adjustment, debt, and poverty Reactions: Defense of the ‘nation’ against the state – e.g., Zapatistas and the Militia movement Economic crises and unemployment Famine and environmental crisis

9 Where do refugees go? Displaced within a country Neighboring countries
Burden on poor nations Asylum countries and cities Economic, Social, Legal, Medical impacts of Refugees “Host” Nations and Hostility towards refugees Anti-Immigration Movements

10 International Agencies and the Evolution of Refugee Policies
UNHCR and NGOs and their policies Promote voluntary repatriation (requires dramatic changes at home) Promote integration in new society (problem: resistance of hosts) Seek resettlement in a third country Vulnerable Position: Economically, Legally, Politically, Psychologically

11 Global refugee population, 1975-1995
Year Millions Year Millions Source: UNHCR web site

12 Global Refugee Population


14 Africa’s first ‘modern’ refugee crisis occurred in the late 1950s during Algeria’s independence struggle. UNHCR provided assistance for 200,000 refugees who fled to surrounding countries. UNHCR/533/1961 S.Wright

15 As colonialism came to a close, conflicts erupted in many parts of Africa in the 1960s including, not for the last time, strife in the central African state of Rwanda. UNHCR/1149/1964/W.McCoy

16 An estimated three million persons, including these Vietnamese boat people arriving in Malaysia in 1978, fled in the wake of the various conflicts in Indochina. UNHCR/8268/1978/K.Gaugler

17 A cycle of repression and violence engulfed Central America in the 1980s and more than 300,000 people, including this Guatemalan woman in Mexico, received assistance. UNHCR/12177/1982/M.Vanappelghem

18 Drought and war resulted in a massive influx of Ethiopians into Sudan during the 1980s and tens of thousands of persons died before a relief effort became effective. UNHCR/15065/1985/M.Vanappelghem

19 Nearly 1.5 million Mozambicans fled civil war to neighboring countries in the 1980s, receiving assistance and education. In 1992, UNHCR began helping them return home in the largest repatriation of refugees in African history. UNHCR/18024/1988/A.Hollmann

20 By late 1991 nearly 750,000 Somalis were sheltering in Ethiopia’s Hararghe region and the need for wood became a serious environmental burden in one of Africa’s most inhospitable spots. UNHCR/21053/1991/B.Press

21 War and displacement ripped through West Africa in the last few years
War and displacement ripped through West Africa in the last few years. More than 800,000 Liberians fled their homeland in the early 1990s, followed by tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans. The supply of clean water was essential to prevent the spread of disease. UNHCR/23112/1993/L.Taylor

22 The 1994 genocide in Rwanda triggered a massive exodus into neighboring Zaire and Tanzania where huge refugee camps such as the one established in the Ngara area of Tanzania sprung up. UNHCR/25192/1995/C.Sattlberger

23 The Gulf War in the early 1990s was followed by the exodus of 1
The Gulf War in the early 1990s was followed by the exodus of 1.5 million Iraqi Kurds. Some refugees, including these children, were able to return home within weeks. Many are still displaced. UNHCR/21008/1991/A.Roulet

24 Within days of NATO’s air strikes against Serb positions in 1999, nearly one million civilians fled or were forced into exile from Kosovo, including these civilians at a border crossing with neighboring Macedonia. UNHCR/29015/1999/R.LeMoyne

25 Conflict Specifics for 1995-2000
Internal Political & Ethnic Violence Goes Through the Roof LIC Business is Good This is what the trend lines look like. The Interdisciplinary Research Programme at Leiden University (PIOOM) considers any conflict that kills 1000 or more people a year to be “high-intensity”. The US public appears to share that definition, but for our purposes I will consider PIOOM’s high-intensity to be the upper end of our “low-intensity”, while PIOOM’s LIC is the lower end of our “low-intensity. What is really important about this illustration is that low-intensity conflicts are rising steadily, while political and ethnic violence has gone through the roof. I will hasten to note that while day-to-day reality demands that we pay greater heed to non-traditional lower-intensity conflicts, there is still a need to be ready for any of over ten higher-intensity regional wars, as well as tens of intra-state conflicts that could boil over into regional troubles. TRANSITION: We must understand the ethnic and environmental conditions associated with these conflicts. HIC Levels Off High-Intensity Conflict Low-Intensity Conflict Internal War Source: PIOOM (NL), data with permission © A. Jongman

26 Collateral Specifics for 2000
Complex Emergencies 29 Countries Peacekeeping Forces 18 UN, 20 Other Refugees/Displaced 67 Countries Landmines 62 Countries Food Security 27 Countries Torture Common 94 Countries Here are some real-world specifics on “collateral damage.” 29 complex emergencies--millions of refugees and internally-displaced persons across 67 countries; food scarcity and related disease in 27 countries; modern plagues, from AIDS to the West Nile disease, creeping across NN countries; child soldiers murdering one another in 42 countries …the list goes on. TRANSITION: It is on this basis that we must design our national security strategy. Modern ‘Plagues’ ‘#’ countries Corruption Common 78 Countries Child Soldiers 42 Countries Censorship Very High 63 Countries *State of the World Atlas, 2000, all others from PIOOM Map

27 Major Displacement and Return in 2000
Afghanistan (250,000 newly displaced; 172,000 flee to Pakistan; 183,000 repatriate from Iran; another 76,000 repatriate from Pakistan); Angola (300,000 civil war); Bosnia (59,300 return home); Burundi (150,000 flee from civil war); Colombia (315,000 political violence; 266,000 leave the country); Congo-Kinshasa (1 million flee war and atrocities); East Timor (40,000 repatriate from West Timor); Eritrea (750,000 flee border war with neighboring Ethiopia); Guinea (60,000 Guineans flee from attacks by rebels from Sierra Leone); Indonesia (800,000 displaced by religious and ethnic violence); Kosovo (9,900 newly displaced; more than 100,000 Kosovars repatriate); Liberia (50,000 Liberians flee insurgent attacks and retaliations by Liberia troops); Philippines (800,000 temporarily displaced; 650,000 return home by year's end); Sierra Leone (210,000 flee renewed civil war and rebel atrocities); Sri Lanka (230,000 temporarily displaced); Sudan (100,000 forced from homes by civil war and aeal bombing); Uganda (120,000 newly uprooted by insurgency and atrocities). These numbers reflect movement during the year, not necessarily year-end totals.

28 Which is ‘normal’? Peace or violence?

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