Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ending refugees' exile

18.06.2012
We all tend to assume that refugees want to go home. But often refugees cannot just return to their home country when conflict ends.

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:
Dr Katy Long
Email: c.long2@lse.ac.uk
Telephone 07828400192
ESRC Press Office:
Danielle Moore-Chick
Email: danielle.moore-chick@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone 01793 413122
Jeanine Woolley
Email: jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone 01793 413119
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1.This release is based on early findings from 'The Politics of Refugee Repatriation' carried out by Dr Katy Long based at the London School of Economics. For more information on the refugee council go to www.refugeecouncil.org.uk

2.This release is based on postdoctoral research carried out at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. This inter-disciplinary doctoral research combined qualitative fieldwork with archival research and normative political theory. Fieldwork involved in-depth semi-structured interviews of ex-refugees and returnees and was carried out in Guatemala/Mexico (50 interviews) and Rwanda (30). A number of interviews were also carried out in Geneva with UNHCR personnel.

3.For more information on the survey 'Rapid Assessment Refugee Returnee Population & Reintegration Dynamics' see http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004CE90B/(httpDocuments)/20808817B79A803CC12579DF002CA3B8/$file/UNHCR-Snapshot-Survey_Jan2012.pdf

4.The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk

Danielle Moore-Chick | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Trash talk hurts, even when it comes from a robot
19.11.2019 | Carnegie Mellon University

nachricht New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

Im Focus: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

13.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>