Abstracts for the Panel Sessions resúmenes de los paneles



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Abstracts for the Panel Sessions

resúmenes de los paneles

Panel 1

La Declaración de Cartagena 30 años después frente a la relación entre el refugio y la paz en Colombia
La Declaración de Cartagena nació en un contexto donde los conflictos internos armados y dictaduras militares era el común denominador de varios países centroamericanos y suramericanos. Salvador, Guatemala y Nicaragua sufrían por la época de conflictos internos en el marco de la Guerra Fría. Por su parte, en Colombia y Perú se vivían procesos de agudización de los conflictos internos, también influidos por la confrontación entre comunismo-capitalismo. En el cono sur las dictaduras Argentina y Chilena todavía estaban vigentes. A los anteriores, se sumó la irrupción de la narco criminalidad.
30 años después la situación política regional se ha reconfigurado, principalmente por la superación de los conflictos político-militares centroamericanos y su reemplazo por formas de violencia asociadas a la macro-criminalidad incluyendo a México. Estos países sufren hoy las consecuencias de su desborde a múltiples niveles en la migración, incluyendo nuevas víctimas que encuentran dificultades en la Declaración de Cartagena que pese a la ampliación de las causales previstas en la convención de 1951, resultan insuficientes frente a estas realidades.
En Colombia el conflicto interno persiste pero también sufre una exacerbación de la macro-criminalidad organizada heredera de los paramilitares, generando refugio y desplazamiento. Al igual que en el caso centroamericano, las víctimas de la macro-criminalidad encuentran dificultades para el reconocimiento de sus derechos en el derecho internacional de refugiados.
La ponencia trata sobre las retos que una eventual reforma a la Declaración de Cartagena derivados de los viejos retos humanitarios asociados a situación de conflictos internos con formas de conflictividad emergentes que desdibujan los estrechos límites en que la condición de refugiados ha sido tradicionalmente reconocida.



  1. Adriana Medina Carrillo.Politizando las migraciones forzadas para los derechos de los refugiados: lecciones de Centroamérica para Colombia sobre el papel de los refugiados en la paz.

Si bien todas las formas migración forzada por violencia tienden a despolitizar los sectores de la población que victimizan, la experiencia del refugio destruye en mayor medida las comunidades políticas, excluyéndolos de sus derechos políticos como ciudadanos, alejándolos de los entornos de origen y pretendiendo su más extrema despolitización. 

La persistencia de las causas que generan el refugio se encuentran profundamente asociadas a la ausencia de paz integral en los países de origen.  En este sentido, la consolidación de la paz en Colombia integralmente concebida es una condición necesaria para que los refugiados puedan gozar efectivamente de sus derechos, incluyendo el derecho que tienen a superar la situación de refugio en el marco del retorno o la reubicación. 

El derecho internacional de refugiados ha resultado funcional al no ayudar a revertir la despolitización, cuando condiciona el otorgamiento de la condición de refugio a que las víctimas no se organicen ni reconstituyan sus comunidades políticas en los países de destino, convirtiéndolo en una forma más de control de las migraciones, antes que un mecanismo para el restablecimiento de los derechos políticos, viendo en el empoderamiento de los refugiados colombianos en sus territorios una amenaza. 

La ponencia busca extraer las lecciones que deja la experiencia centroamericana de los refugiados en la construcción de la paz en sus países de origen, en especial la guatemalteca, a los refugiados colombianos, de cara al actual proceso de paz que se desarrolla en el país. En particular, busca comparar las condiciones del contexto internacional en ambas coyunturas, la naturaleza organizativa y dinámica sociopolítica de los refugiados, y el papel de los gobiernos y los actores armados no estatales en las mismas. 


  1. Jorge Arturo Salcedo.Dilemas y contradicciones de la política pública colombiana de atención y reparación a víctimas frente al retorno de refugiados y de los desplazados internos”. 

Si bien el Estado colombiano ha registrado avances en el reconocimiento de sus responsabilidades internas e internacionales frente a los desplazados forzados por la violencia, los desarrollos de la política pública han sido mayores en el plano interno que en el internacional. Por su parte, el retorno ha sido la opción que los diferentes gobiernos han priorizado en el plano interno, por lo menos en el nivel discursivo e institucional, no obstante se presume que la mayoría de los desplazados no han tenido más opción que reubicarse en las ciudades, debatiéndose entre perder la vida al regreso, o morir de hambre en ciudades que no logran integrarlos en sus mínimos vitales. 


De forma reciente el Gobierno en desarrollo de la Ley de Victimas y Restitución de Tierras de 2011, en el nivel discursivo e institucional reconoce sus responsabilidades frente a los derechos a la reparación integral de los refugiados. Lo anterior ha generado a su vez diversos dilemas para éstos, como la posibilidad de perder la condición de refugiados y la protección en los países de recibo, la deportación y devolución involuntarias, y con ellos posibilidades de nuevas re-victimizaciones ante la persistencia de las causas que dieron origen a su errancia por otros países. 
La ponencia compara las tensiones que enfrentan los gobiernos nacionales de origen y destino, organismos internacionales, víctimas y organizaciones acompañantes, frente al retorno tanto en el plano interno como en el internacional, en el contexto de justicia transicional vigente en Colombia como del proceso de paz que se encuentra en curso.

Panel 2

The New Frontier: Organized Crime and Forced Migration in Mexico
The current situation in Mexico is exemplary of a new wave of organised crime-related forced migration afflicting Latin America. Oriented toward the third theme in the IASFM Call for Papers – ‘Forced Migration in the Context of Peace’ - this panel brings together a set of researchers on Mexican displacement in order to analyse the causes, patterns, perpetrators and victims of this increasingly significant phenomenon in depth and to debate the complex questions that it raises for humanitarian theory and practice.
The papers presented on this panel approach the topic from three distinct angles. Rubio analyses the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of the internal forced displacement in Mexico and showing the extraordinary scale and complexity of the crisis and the humanitarian challenges that it poses. Cantor develops an analysis exploring how the changing strategies of organised crime groups are generating distinctive new patterns of forced migration in Mexico. Durieux concludes by examining the potential for a humanitarian response to this new forced migration crisis from both the national and regional standpoints. The panel thus maintains a strong internal coherence around the central theme of new forced migration challenges in Latin America.
This three-person academic panel is convened by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The RLI is an academic centre that leads and promotes cutting edge research on the international protection of refugees and displaced persons.
The presenters are as follows:
Speaker 1: Laura Rubio Díaz Leal, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico
Title: Profiling Violence-induced Internal Displacement in Mexico: Bridging Methodological and Practical Issues
The study of forced internal displacement in Mexico due to criminal violence in the last five years has been plagued with political, methodological, and practical obstacles. However, through quantitative and qualitative research carried out by the author in collaboration with the IDMC and other scholars, an irrefutable link between violence and displacement has been established. For instance, in 2010 violent municipalities around the country lost 4.5 times more population than other municipalities with the same characteristics; 1.32% of Mexican families had at least one member flee their habitual place of residence because of violence; and during 2011-2012 at least 67 episodes of massive displacement (more than eight families) took place in seven states of the country.
This paper will then proceed to address the evidence found, the limitations of available sources: surveys (employment; victimisation, and perceptions of public security, among others), national statistics (i.e. population census, violence; marginalisation, and migration rates); and media reports. Finally, it will discuss the political undertones of Mexican authorities’ resistance to acknowledging the phenomenon; how the issue is framed, discussed, and treated in political circles; and its impact on profiling, protecting and assisting internally displaced communities.
Speaker 2: David James Cantor, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London
Title: Organised Criminal Groups and New Patterns of Forced Migration in Mexico
The epidemic of forced migration in present-day Mexico is not an isolated case but rather one configuration of the new wave of forced displacement at the hands of organised criminal groups that affects the whole region of Mesoamerica. This paper therefore places Mexico within the wider context of the emergence and consolidation of these ‘new forms of violence’ within the region. By so doing, it draws attention to the lessons that may be learned through such comparative analysis within the region.
The paper then proceeds to argue that this new phenomenon of forced migration in Mesoamerica cannot adequately be understood without acknowledging the agency of these criminal groups and examining the distinctive forms and patterns of displacement that they produce. It illustrates this point by elucidating how the strategies and modus operandi adopted by the dominant drug-trafficking structures responsible for the extreme current violence in Mexico impacts on the nature of the resulting displacement in a number of important ways. This analysis is developed in part through a comparison with other organised criminal groups – such as the mara gangs - operating elsewhere in the region. The paper concludes by marrying this analysis to a consideration of some of the challenges inherent in attempts to design humanitarian policy to address these new and complex patterns of forced migration in the region.
Speaker 3: Nicolás Rodríguez (Independent researcher) and Jean-François Durieux, Global Migration Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Title: The Political, the Criminal, and the Humanitarian: a Mexican Case Study
The ‘new forms of violence’ shaking Mesoamerica and forcing tens of thousands to displace are thriving on political, economic and social ailments that the peace plans of the 1990s did not manage to durably redress. However, the regional response to the 1980s Central American refugee crisis is rightly hailed as a hallmark of ‘constructive humanitarianism’, whereby the refugee problem could be addressed not only as a regional concern but also as a contribution to regional peace. Although Mexico played a mediating role in constructing this ‘humanitarian space’, this role cannot be replicated credibly within the current displacement crisis, given the predominance of Mexican criminal organisations in its causation.
Furthermore, the ‘criminal’ label that attaches to the displacement-generating violence affects both perceptions of the victims and their rights and the posture of States vis-à-vis violent non-State actors: whereas the rhetoric of armed conflict allowed refugee issues to influence the search for peace in the 1980/90s, no positive synergies can be found in a so-called ‘war’ on drugs that does not have peace as either a counterpoint or objective. Nonetheless, the ingredients of a constructive humanitarian approach to contemporary forced migration across Mesoamerica do exist, and many of the tools necessary to implement such an approach are in the hands of Mexican actors. Among these ingredients and tools, the paper will examine the concept and delivery of justice; the strengths, weaknesses and drivers of regional solidarity; the visibility and agency of the displaced; and the mediating and facilitating roles of international organisations.
Speaker 4: Leticia Calderón. Researcher of Instituto Mora (Mexico)

Title: El nuevo éxodo mexicano por violencia:
Uno de los efectos inmediatos de la violencia incrementada en México a partir de 2008 cuando el gobierno mexicano anuncia una iniciativa para combatir de manera directa al crimen organizado, es el aumento de la migración que huye de la violencia. Se trata de personas directamente afectadas tanto como quienes señalan tener miedo a la situación imperante, sobre todo en algunas zonas del país, especialmente el norte y la región fronteriza con Estados Unidos, Inicia entonces un proceso de migración por violencia inédito en la historia mexicana. La diversidad de experiencias que esta nueva migración expresa se vinculan directamente con las demandas de justicia por la situación vivida pero ante lo cual el estado mexicano se muestra incapaz de resolver (dado que la violencia se traslada a otras regiones) Así, uno de los puntos es ver que el marco de atención a víctimas en México no contempla a este grupo que migro de manera inmediata para salvar sus vidas, simplemente se movieron de geografía nacional cuando en realidad simplemente se trasladaron a donde encontraron mayor seguridad y efectivamente cruzaron una frontera. Discutir la migración forzada desde esta experiencia es la propuesta de esta ponencia busca presentar. También pretende exponer la experiencia mexicana que por su inmediatez es poco conocida aun cuando ya se han producido algunos materiales y hay algunas respuestas políticas que se han dado en un corto periodo. El reconocimiento de este proceso migratorio y sus características es fundamental para entender el tipo de necesidades que esta población requiere y los vacíos desde el marco legal mexicano para atenderlos.

Acknowledgements


Support for the panel comes from the second speaker’s project entitled ‘Pushing the Boundaries: New Dynamics of Forced Displacement and Transnational Responses in Latin America’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of the United Kingdom.
Panel 3

Round Table

Forecasting shifting patterns of displacement
This roundtable will focus on the use of ‘big data’ to help improve the early warning of displacement in the context of humanitarian crises. Progress has been made in recent decades in establishing early warning systems to provide alerts of impending humanitarian crises. Lagging behind these systems are effective early warnings of movements of people in response to these crises. Patterns of forced migration in anticipation of, during, and following humanitarian crises are notoriously difficult to predict. In many cases, there is protracted and repeated displacement, with return occurring only after decades of exile, if at all. As such, early warning is needed at all stages of crises, from pre-movement through return or resettlement and (re)integration of refugees.
During this roundtable, the organizers will present preliminary findings from a planning project testing use of big data in identifying factors that may help forecast displacement. The big data under review is a vast unstructured archive of over 600 million publicly available open-source media articles that Georgetown University has been actively compiling since 2006. The project brings together Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from multiple social science disciplines, computer science and information technology from multiple countries who are exploring existing and novel methods for automated forecasting of forced migration patterns. The roundtable will enable the project team to present preliminary findings to researchers, policy makers and practitioners and discuss with participants the utility of early warning systems to help prepare for large-scale population displacement at each stage of humanitarian crises.
Panel 4

Sanctuary Without Refugee Camps: (1) Understanding Protection Needs & (2) Alternative Solutions
Refugee camps have become one of the primary means of administering sanctuary, yet camps rarely provide effective protection for refugees nor do they serve hosts well. While there is now consensus that a refugee camp, especially protracted encampment, fails to protect refugees in exile, less clear are the implications of UNHCR’s recent push to urban policies and new strategies for the protection of vulnerable populations. This two part panel brings together people who are working on alternatives to refugee camps to consider the meaning of protection and the possibilities and risks for creating sanctuary without refugee camps. 

 


  1. Understanding Protection Needs



Title: Engendering Protection In and Out of Camps

Abstract: The need for sanctuary and the pursuit of protection often become conflated in the work of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. This paper draws upon research of Congolese refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Africa to suggest that in terms of women refugees, concerns for sanctuary has been mainly equated with bodily security, and that this concern to protect women’s bodies from harm has tended to override concerns for the protection of women’s rights. Thus, in this paper I will examine how we can “engender protection” in the search for alternatives to refugee camps. “Engendering protection” requires that we first examine empirically what protection programs have in fact done with respect to gender issues concerning different forms of settlement and to then address the question of what they ought to do if they aspire to offer refugee women full respect for their rights. When we consider alternatives to refugee camps, we will need to ask questions such as what are the implications of these alternatives for women refugees? And what are the gender dimensions that we need to take into consideration as we think about the protective status of women, youth, LGBTI and, indeed, men? By “engendering protection,” we can better think about the ways in which a sanctuary (a camp, settlement, urban shelter, etc.) provides for legal status, rights and, therefore, forms of protection, and the ways in which a particular form of sanctuary validates (or not) rights and political engagement as citizenship.




  1. Christina Clark-Kazak, DPhil. Social age and protection needs in and out of refugee camps

This paper presents the results of a social age analysis of protection in both urban and camp refugee contexts. Social age refers to the socially constructed definitions and roles attributed to different stages of the life course, as well as inter-generational power relations. This conceptual framework informs the author’s textual analysis of UNHCR policies, and empirical research with refugee children, young people, adults and elders in Uganda and Canada. The latter data collection involved semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and observation. The paper uses findings from these diverse data sources to interrogate the differential protection needs, perceptions and policies for different age groups in both urban and camp refugee settings. It concludes with some recommendations for moving away from essentialist protection categories, such as “unaccompanied minors” and “refugee elders” towards a more relational, social age-sensitive analysis of vulnerabilities and sanctuary. Age sensitivity is necessary to counteract pervasive discrimination on the basis of chronological and social age in migration policy and programming.




  1. Amy A. Smith. Protection and Humanitarian Challenges and Opportunities for Myanmar Urban Refugees in Malaysia

Malaysia hosts one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world, with UNHCR reporting more than 120,000 refugees and stateless persons in Malaysia at the end of 2012. Ninety-five percent of Malaysia’s refugee population is from Myanmar. In contrast to the highly-profiled Myanmar refugee population that have lived in protracted displacement confined to nine closed camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border, this group of less studied and now more populous Myanmar refugee population live amidst the general population in the highly urbanized  capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

 

The open, urban environment for Myanmar refugees in Malaysia affords certain opportunities unavailable to camp-based refugees, particularly in terms of accessing income-generation and livelihood activities. However, the range of serious unmet needs and considerable abuses experienced by Myanmar refugees in Malaysia raises questions about the availability of protection within the urban environment. Myanmar refugees in Malaysia are in constant risk of arrest, extortion, and detention by Malaysian authorities. They are excluded from the formal economy and subject to exploitative, abusive work environments. With few humanitarian agencies assisting refugees in Malaysia, Myanmar refugees rely largely on refugee-run community-based organizations (CBOs) for assistance and access to services. Implementation of UNHCR’s strategies also largely depends on support from the CBOs.



 

Based on field experience in research and program implementation with refugee communities in both contexts, this paper explores the opportunities and risks for Myanmar urban refugees in Malaysia as compared to Myanmar camp-based refugees in Thailand. It also evaluates the effectiveness of the strategies employed by UNHCR in Malaysia to create appropriate protection and humanitarian space for refugees in an urban environment, finding UNHCR is best positioned to ensure protection through documentation and facilitation of durable solution for refugees. UNHCR should recognize and directly support CBO protection mechanisms, while avoiding the harmful replication of programming.




  1. Nasreen Chowdhory. Young refugees: Narratives of Sri Lankan Tamis in India.

The paper seeks to explore narratives of young Tamil refugees in camps in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, who are grappling with the politics of displacement in present Indo-Sri Lanka relations. The paper draws from extensive field work in 20 districts in Tamil Nadu argues that the present young energetic Tamils from Sri Lankan have created various layers of ‘governability’ to manoeuvre the Indian state to adopt suitable socio-economic measure such as access to education, health and in some instance employment etc. Some of these policies can be seen as populist gimmick of political parties’ vis-à-vis young refugees. Furthermore this stance also suggests that the Indian state might possible alternative to actual encampment of refugees.  


Panel 5

Critical engagements with the role of Humanitarianism in durable solutions for forced migrants
This panel explores the promises and pitfalls of a critical engagement with humanitarianism, borders and forced migration. Humanitarianism has proven to be a powerful sentiment in support of the rights of forced migrants. As a tradition of thought and a logic of practice, humanitarianism sits at the heart of the international refugee regime and the work of global civil society actors pursuing a progressive political agenda with respect to refugees and asylum seekers. Yet there is a growing critique of “humanitarian governance” directed at forced migrants on account of both its paternalism and its implication in the pursuit of geopolitical interests. This panel draws on these critiques to engage difficult questions about the sacrosanct place that humanitarianism has come to hold in the politic forced migration. What do we risk by problematizing humanitarianism as a framework for action? What do we risk by failing to submit humanitarianism to sufficiently rigorous critique? How can we reshape humanitarian principles to better respond to the complex and dynamic challenges of forced migration now and in the future?

Papers:

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