Many have spent decades in exile; many second and third-generation refugees have never seen the place which they are now expected to call home. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that for many refugees a quick return isn't the right answer.
Dr Katy Long at the London School of Economics says: "There is usually political pressure to start organising refugee returns as soon as there's a possibility of peace. But in places such as Somalia or Afghanistan, poor security, poverty and a lack of infrastructure persist long after the acute crisis has eased, so it's often hard for refugees to feed and support their families after they return.
A recent survey suggests that up to 20 per cent of the refugees who have returned to Afghanistan since 2001 may have since become displaced again. The solution, Dr Long says, is to stop thinking about refugee return as a permanent, one-off move, and concentrate instead on developing new flexible approaches that encourage cross-border links, allowing refugees to become migrants. Refugees often spend decades living as part of a different community, and may have jobs or families there.
"It makes sense for refugees to retain this link," says Dr Long. "Doing so may also contribute to wider peace-building and development in the home country through providing remittance money and access to education and skills training." Fieldwork with Guatemalan refugees who had returned from Mexico showed that success is far more likely if refugees are able to participate in and help shape their own return.
Dr Long says that West Africa provides one example of how such ideas might be put into practice. The Economic Community of West African States offers citizens in the region common rights to work and reside across its 16 member states. This has allowed refugees returning from Sierra Leone and Liberia to continue working and living in their countries of refuge but now living as West African citizens under the protection of their home countries.
In East Africa, similar arrangements may be put into place for Rwandan refugees in Uganda who do not wish to return home. The UN is encouraging Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran to make similar arrangements, but continuing insecurity has made progress difficult.
Dr Long says: "The international community needs to recognise that in areas where insecurity and poverty are likely to persist for years, migration is often an essential coping strategy for families and communities. We really need to think about how we can help support refugee mobility as part of our peace-building or development efforts in these regions".For further information contact:
Danielle Moore-Chick | EurekAlert!
Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy