Disasters - Virtual Issue on Refugees and the Displaced
To mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, this special issue of Disasters features a selection of the most relevant and original articles about refugee and displacement issues published by the journal over the past 35 years.
These articles provide a rich source of informed thinking on humanitarian responses to the needs of populations fleeing persecution, war and disaster, with much to contribute to our understanding of refugee and displacement crises past, present and future.
Common to all these contributions are the complexities which arise when people are forced to flee en masse, and the challenges faced by humanitarian workers in providing assistance and protection following a crisis.
Many of the articles address the immediate needs of security and shelter in situations where chaos and conflict generate such insecurity that people ‘will try to grab today what they may not find tomorrow’ (see Holt, 1981, ‘Camps as Communities’).
Other authors address the sometimes ruthless decisions which have to be made about who will and will not receive shelter and protection in the immediate aftermath of disaster (see Cuny, 1977, ‘Refugee Camps and Camp Planning: the State of the Art’).
Trends in population displacements are also explored, including the rise in the numbers of people displaced within their own country and their particular vulnerabilities compared with the decreasing numbers of refugees who flee across international borders.
Other topics with contemporary resonance include the critical factors of refugee-host country relationships; overcoming the stigma and stereotyping of the destitute; the efficacy of feeding programmes; the exploitation of camp populations for military objectives and the perennial imperative to maintain order in environments where people are forced into close proximity and unified by fear and flight.
The prevalence of displacement and refugee populations in Africa is reflected in a range of contributions including ‘Rural Refugees in Africa: What the Eye Does Not See’ (Chambers, 1979), which examines the different experience of rural and urban refugees and calls for more consideration of the particular problems facing rural refugees during a period, the late 1970s, when too much attention was being paid to refugees in urban areas. This contribution is particularly interesting considering the current focus on internally displaced people and refugees in rural areas, particularly in camp settings, and the challenges faced by agencies aiming to assist these communities in urban areas. It is one of the many contributions in this special issue which I hope will inspire and inform future planning and programming efforts to assist refugees and the displaced.
To view the virtual issue for free please visit the Wiley Blackwell website (expires December 31st 2011).
Refugee Camps and Camp Planning: The State of the Art Frederick C. Cuny
Settlement of Rural Refugees in Africa Brian W. Neldner
Women and Men as Refugees: Differential Assimilation of Angolan Refugees in Zambia Anita Spring
Rural Refugees in Africa: What the Eye Does Not See Robert Chambers
Who is a Refugee? Definitions and Assistance F. D’Souza
Camps as Communities Julius Holt
Rural Refugees in Africa: Past Experience, Future Pointers Robert Chambers
The Impact of Refugees on the Health Status and Health Services of Host Communities: Compounding Bad with Worse? Bruce Dick
A Review of Feeding Programmes in Refugee Reception Centres in Eastern Sudan Catherine Gibb
Refugee Repatriation During Conflict: Grounds for Scepticism Enoch O. Opondo
Repatriation of 150,000 Sudanese Refugees from Ethiopia: The Manipulation of Civilians in a Situation of Civil Conflict Alastair Scott-Villiers, Patta Scott-Villiers & Cole P. Dodge
Representing Refugees: The Role of Elites in Burundi Refugee Society Marc Sommers
From Relief to Development: The Long-term Effects of “Temporary” Accommodation on Refugees and Displaced Persons in the Republic of Croatia Sue Ellis, Sultan Barakat
Refugee Density and Dependence: Practical Implications of Camp Size John Cosgrave
Internal Displacement in Burma Steven Lanjouw, Graham Mortimer, Vicky Bamforth
Refugee Perceptions of the Quality of Healthcare: Findings from a Participatory Assessment in Ngara, Tanzania Edmund Rutta, Holly Williams, Andwele Mwansasu, Fredrick Mung'ong'o, Heather Burke, Ramadhani Gongo, Rwegasira Veneranda, Mohamed Qassim
Tsumai Mortality and Displacement in Aceh Province, Indonesia Abdur Rofi, Shannon Doocy, Courtland Robinson
Returning Home: Resettlement of Formerly Abducted Children in Northern Uganda Joanne N. Corbin
Financing of Internal Displacement: Excerpts from the Sri Lankan Experience Kopalapillai Amirthalingam, Rajith W.D. Lakshman
Forced Displacement and Women’s Security in Colombia Donny Meertens