Foreword: Syria in 2018 – in search of solutions
Noor Al Hussein
This important issue of Forced Migration Review draws our attention to the current challenges facing displaced Syrians and the continuing search for solutions. The statistics of Syrian displacement are staggering – and the numbers continue to rise. Half of Syria’s population has been displaced: five and a half million are registered refugees and over six million are internally displaced.
The region of Latin America and the Caribbean has long demonstrated hospitality towards those fleeing conflict and persecution within the region and from further afield. Faced with newer causes of displacement, such as the violence of organised criminal gangs and the adverse effects of climate change, Latin American and Caribbean countries are continuing to expand and adapt their protection laws and mechanisms in order to address these and other situations of displacement and to meet the differing needs of affected populations.
All displaced people need some form of shelter, and circumstances dictate that in reality not much of it conforms to the typical picture of a tent or tarpaulin nor meets official standards. The types of shelter and settlement responses found, employed and created by, and created for, displaced people profoundly affect their experience of displacement. It should provide some protection from the elements and physical security for those who dwell in it, and the articles in this issue of FMR give a glimpse of just some of the many ways this is possible.
Resettlement is receiving greater prominence not only in light of US President Donald Trump's recent actions but in the context of the recent surge in numbers of refugees. In the 33 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR, authors from around the world look at some of the modalities and challenges of resettlement in order to shed light on debates such as how - and how well - resettlement is managed, whether it is a good use of the funds and energy it uses, and whether it is a good solution for refugees.
It is often people’s immediate community that provides the first, last and perhaps best tactical response for many people affected by or under threat of displacement. In the 23 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR, authors from around the world – including authors who are themselves displaced – explore the capacity of communities to organise themselves before, during and after displacement in ways that help protect the community.
FMR 53 also includes eight ‘general’ articles on other aspects of forced migration.