This report is the result of a survey of 305 Syrian refugees in Austria, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, as well as qualitative interviews with businesses in these countries. The survey and interviews were conducted from March to June 2017. This study aims to contribute to the conversation on the major challenges facing refugees as they seek employment. Understanding these challenges can help businesses, government, and NGOs better target the assistance they provide to refugees in Europe.
On January 26, 2017, the IKEA refugee shelter was declared the worldwide Design of the Year in a unanimous decision. When I interviewed one of the jurors about the process I was told that they’d chosen the “obvious winner”: the IKEA shelter was high profile, it had featured widely in the media, it was a positive story with a clear social purpose, and it offered a practical solution to the so-called “refugee crisis,” one of the most significant issues of the previous twelve months.
Kenya currently hosts 490,000 refugees, making it the 10th largest refugee-hosting country in the world and the 4th largest in Africa, following Uganda, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).3 Most of its refugees are from Somalia but it also hosts refugees from South Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC, and Sudan. Its refugees are concentrated in three main locations: the Dadaab camps, the Kakuma camp, and Nairobi.
In the context of protracted refugee situations, there has been a revival in concern among policymakers to transcend the so-called humanitarian-development divide and create greater opportunities for self-reliance. Yet, these discussions too often neglect an analytical focus on refugees’ own economic lives, and their own interactions with markets.Despite a growing literature on the economic lives of refugees, much of that work has lacked theory or data.
Alexander Betts, Ali Ali, and Fulya Memişoğlu
In order to explain responses to Syrian refugees, it is important to understand politics within the major host countries. This involves looking beyond the capital cities to examine variation in responses at the local level.
The issue of how to promote refugee self-reliance has become of heightened importance as the number of forcibly displaced people in the world rises and budgets for refugees in long-term situations of displacement shrink. Self-reliance for refugees is commonly discussed as the ability for refugees to live independently from humanitarian assistance. Many humanitarian organisations perceive refugee livelihoods creation, often through entrepreneurship, as the main way to foster refugee self-reliance.
Significant progress has been made by intergovernmental organisations and donors in designing and implementing macro- and micro- economic policies, strategies, programmes and tools to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of forced displacement and to promote longer term sustainable development and resilience strategies for refugees, IDPs and host populations. However there has been little evaluation of the tools and methodologies to support these initiatives. The study addresses this gap.
This article explores the nexus between mobility, livelihoods, and socioeconomic status of refugees in the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana. Currently, refugee livelihoods are increasingly characterized by multi-directional movement and multi-locality, coupled with complex social networks. Given the relative freedom of movement for refugees in Ghana and the subregion, certain groups in Buduburam were engaged in mobile livelihoods, including cross-border trading of cell phones, used clothing, and jewelery across West Africa.
This article aims at a better understanding of the changing nature of borders in warring Syria. Contrary to much media commentary, the Syrian uprising and the subsequent conflict have not been about territorial claims. In 2011, the borders of Syria were de facto pacified and, with the important exception of the border with Israel, were accepted as the legitimate boundaries of the Syrian state. This, however, does not contradict the fact that the unfolding of the Syrian uprising has had deep transformative effects on the borders of the country.
New working paper on refugee economies in Kenya
This latest RSC working paper by Dr Naohiko Omata is based on preliminary fieldwork in Kenya conducted as part of ‘Refugee Economies’ research led by the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP). The research strand of refugee economies at the RSC is driven by an imminent need to better understand and support the economic lives of refugees.
Cory Rodgers, Louise Bloom
Jeff Crisp, Katy Long
This paper explores the conflict between the pervasive representation of refugees as the pure embodiment of humanity, and the continuing efforts to dehumanise them through various ‘othering’ strategies. Just as being human is an ever-unfolding process and not a static state of being, ‘refugeeness’ is a site of contestation where discourses regarding culture, society, economy, and politics constantly interact. Drawing on feminist and queer theories, this paper argues that the body is a vital site of identity construction, particularly with regards to the idea of humanity.
Evan Easton-Calabria, Naohiko Omata
Human movement remains the primary unit of analysis in much theorising on forced migration and humanitarian practice in conflict. Whilst movement is often portrayed as an indicator of vulnerability, sometimes even as a problem per se, I suggest thinking of mobility, taking this broader term to signify the ‘freedom to choose where to be’ (de Haas 2014), as a resource through which one can mitigate the consequences of violence and conflict and access a better life.
Working Paper Series no. 113
Josiah Kaplan, Evan Easton-Calabria
These policy recommendations on the Syrian humanitarian crisis are the outcome of a workshop held at the Refugee Studies Centre on 9 December 2015. This workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to present findings from recent research into the perceptions, aspirations and behaviour of refugees from Syria, host community members, and practitioners in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.