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Understanding the Global South: The ‘refugees’ Lecture 2: September 27,2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Global South: The ‘refugees’ Lecture 2: September 27,2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Global South: The ‘refugees’ Lecture 2: September 27,2011

2 Forced Displacement: A Global Issue At the end of 2010, 43.7 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution. UNHCR provides protection or assistance to 25.2 million people Statelessness is estimated to have affected up to 12 million people by the end of 2010 2 million people displaced by natural disasters and under the care of the UNHCR

3 Where are most of the world’s refugees? Developing countries host four-fifths of the world’s refugees. The 49 Least Developed countries provided asylum to almost 2 million refugees. Pakistan, Iran, and Syria were the top 3 refugee hosting countries in 2010 Most refugees flee to neighboring countries

4 Forced Migration The movement of refugees and internally displaced people by conflicts, natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine or development projects. Conflict induced displacement: is caused by armed conflict, including civil war; generalized violence; and persecution based on nationality, race, religion, political opinion or social group

5 Forced Migration (continued) Disaster induced displacement: people displaced as a result of natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes), environmental change (e.g. global warming) and human-made disasters (e.g. industrial accidents). Development-induced displacement: people who are compelled to move as a result of certain development projects (e.g. dams, roads, mining initiatives, etc).

6 Who is a refugee? Refugees: are individuals and groups affected by forced migration, along with asylum seeker and internally displaced individuals. Legal definition: a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

7 Other types of forced migrants Asylum seekers: are people who have crossed an international border in search of protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined.

8 Asylum seekers from North Africa

9 Other types of forced migrants (continued) Stateless people: are individuals who are not considered a national by any state (to be without nationality or citizenship)

10 I am stateless Railya was born in Kazakhstan but lost her nationality with the break-up of the Soviet Union. html html tBcUY tBcUY

11 The origins of the Modern Refugee Regime The First World War, the disintegration of the Ottoman and Austrian-Hungarian Empires, the Balkan wars, counterrevolutionary wars in Russia, etc, led to massive human displacements. Nationalism and its drive to create ethnically and linguistically homogeneous populations led to mass expulsions of minority groups.

12 The modern refugee regime (continued) In 1921 the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (LNHCR) was created. UNHCR was created after WWII in Europe as a response to the many displaced and stateless people who required legal protection and material assistance

13 Protracted Refugee Situation UNHCR defines a protracted refugee situation as one in which 25,000 or more refugees of the same nationality have been in exile for five years or longer in any given asylum country. It is estimated that some 7.2 million refugees were in a protracted situation by the end of 2010. These 7.2 million refugees were living in 24 host countries accounting for a total of 29 protracted situations globally

14 Dadaab refugee camps The refugee camps that make up the Dadaab complex are the largest in the world More than 300, 000 people and three generations of refugees Refugees are not allowed to leave the camps unless they receive movement passes The camps are in effect a ‘home’ to many despite the fact that they continue to operate on an emergency basis. Most of the world’s refugees now live in protracted, long-term, camps

15 An aerial view of the Dadaab Refugee camp in eastern Kenya, where the influx of Somali's displaced by a ravaging famine remains high, on July 23, 2011

16 People move around near makeshift homes, or "tukuls", in the outskirts of Dagahaley settlement at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp.

17 Newly arrived Somali refugees line up to wait for the reception center to open at Ifo settlement at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp.

18 A refugee uses twigs and scraps of material to build a shelter for her family. There is no room for most new arrivals in the Dadaab camps, so the thousands of people who arrive every week must carve out a place for themselves in the surrounding desert.

19 Resettlement “involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a State in which they have sought protection to a third State which has agreed to admit them – as refugees - with permanent residence status.” No country is legally obligated to resettle refugees Resettlement is viewed as a “mark of generosity”, an “instrument of international solidarity” and a “form of burden and responsibility sharing”.

20 Voluntary Repatriation: voluntarily returning to your home country Persistent conflict, fear of persecution or a lack of basic services often prevent people from returning to their countries of origin. 197, 600 refugees repatriated voluntary in 2010—Repatriation figures have continuously decreased since 2004

21 Mainstream Approaches and questions: Focus largely on practical and operational issues (e.g. how can the UNHCR better respond to humanitarian crises) What causes complex humanitarian emergencies that produce refugee flows? What are the effects of refugee flows on the national community or state sovereignty How can we lesson refugee flows or forced displacement? How can we make the international refugee regime more effective in responding to the protection needs of displaced people?

22 Critical Approaches: When considering the effects of forced displacement critical approaches do not presuppose the carving of the world into mutually exclusive, territorially bound spaces under the modern state system Critical approaches do not assume that the modern nation-state is the only authentic political space and that the citizen is the only proper subject of political life Critical approaches do not see refugee flows merely as “problems” to be fixed. Rather they question why mainstream institutions and approaches make this assumption in the first place.

23 Critical Approaches (continued) Critical approaches question the unequal power relations between those that have the capacity to speak authoritatively about refugee issues (e.g. state actors) and those actors that are excluded from the discussion (e.g. refugees).

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