Abstracts for the Panel Sessions resúmenes de los paneles



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Paper 1: Anne McNevin. Too damaged to be useful? Humanitarianism, vulnerability and popular support for refugee resettlement.
This paper engages with recent critiques of “humanitarian governance” in order to analyse the shift towards humanitarian frames for migration policy and popular debate in resettlement countries. The paper poses the question as to whether this shift perpetuates a stereotype of ‘damaged people’ that undermines support for refugee resettlement. The paper focuses specifically on the Australian context. Since the 1970s, Australia has operated a special humanitarian stream of migration, including a quota for refugee resettlement. Since then, the number of categories and visa statuses applying to humanitarian migrants has proliferated, along with service provision specifically targeted to refugees as victims/survivors of trauma. Today, migrants arrive under such schemes as refugees first, and only secondarily, if at all, as workers. By contrast, prior to the 1970s, displaced persons arrived on account of selective immigration schemes explicitly designed to add value to the country’s economic development and population growth. Such people arrived as workers and boosters first, and as refugees second. Given the place of resettlement in Australia’s national narrative, is there a limit to the degree of vulnerability (victimhood, trauma etc) amongst resettled refugees that the national narrative will tolerate? When do the deficits ascribed to refugees by humanitarian frames begin to undermine the sense that refugees are of value to the national project?
Paper 2: Professor Jennifer Hyndman. Counterinsurgency Meets Extended Exile in Kenya: The Place of Humanitarianism
Humanitarian assistance and host state protection for refugees, especially as it is imbricated in international refugee law, remains a powerful constellation of norms, practices, and spaces of sanctuary. Yet humanitarianism has also been called a ‘colonialism of compassion’, and rightly criticized for his lack of accountability to the subjects it aims to assist. Geopolitical interests tend to trump humanitarian obligations where they come into conflict or competition with other state interests. The long-term situation of Somali refugees in Kenya, some of whom have lived in the Dadaab camps for two decades, is a vivid illustration of the subordination of humanitarian considerations to security concerns. Counterinsurgency measures to combat extremist Islamist elements and the tying of humanitarian aid to monitoring that ensure ‘terrorists’ are not recipients of it have recalibrated the meaning and efficacy of humanitarianism. The November 2013 announcement that Somali refugees will be returned to Somalia, seemingly regardless of security in southcentral Somalia, will be analyzed within this context.

Paper 3: Patrícia Nabuco Martuscelli. The Brazilian approach to refugee children and its humanitarian logic

In 2012, Brazil received 148 asylum claims from children, 14 of them were unaccompanied minors. The Brazilian law regarding the child’s right is one of the most advanced in the world and the country has internalized its obligations from the Geneva Convention (1951) with the law 9.474/1997. Even though the protection offered to this group by the Brazilian government is sufficient in theory, in practice the humanitarian logic of this approach makes it difficult to work. The Brazilian government treats this people, as other refugees, as if they were only victims of a forced migration situation. The possibility to express themselves, to be seen as people with a voice and a opinion could improve these children’s integration in the country. With the study of the Brazilian case, this paper concludes that an excellent juridical approach based in a traditional humanitarian logic is not enough to protect and to integrate the refugees. A change in this humanitarian logic is necessary, including when considering refugee children. This experience, as discussed in the paper, was observed in other countries where the children’s participation was extremely fruitful and it was crucial in their integration process.



Paper 4: Sandy Gifford. Unsettling Settlement: A problem of the ethical immunity of humanitarianism in refugee settlement in Australia.
The merits of Australia’s humanitarian refugee settlement programme are largely taken for granted and, in contrast to its asylum policies, rarely critiqued. While certain practices within the institution of humanitarian settlement are open to critical analysis, the institution itself remains sacrosanct. Why is this so and what are the consequences? Drawing on case studies from a decade of anthropological research on refugee settlement, I illustrate how Australia’s humanitarian programme can be complicit in crafting policies of exclusion through its policies of inclusion. Humanitarian settlement is itself a space of containment and as such, is inexorably entwined with its opposite – the asylum/detention nexus. I argue that each institution – settlement and asylum/detention – legitimate each other. I conclude with a discussion about why it is important to challenge the ethical immunity of humanitarianism in refugee settlement. As risky as this may be, no concepts are above critique and there are merits to taking a critical eye to humanitarian settlement to ensure that it remains humane.
Panel 6

Mesa Redonda:

Gentrificación y migracion urbana. Caso San Martin de Porres

Panel 7

Casos de estudio sobre la afectación y restablecimiento de los derechos de la población migrante. Retos de las políticas públicas
Refugiados y desplazados internos son migrantes forzosos que, entre otras cuestiones, se diferencian por los efectos jurídicos de su condición; no obstante, ambos comparten el trauma del desarraigo y una vulnerabilidad derivada de la violación de sus derechos. Esto exige por parte de los Estados medidas que, armonizadas con los instrumentos internacionales aplicables, se traduzcan en normas y políticas públicas que conduzcan al ejercicio de derechos y al acceso a los servicios básicos. Los programas de atención integral a estas poblaciones abarcan, generalmente, tres etapas: prevención, asistencia humanitaria y restablecimiento. La operatividad de éstas supone un sistema burocrático cuyo funcionamiento exige diversos recursos; por ello, es importante diagnosticar y debatir de qué manera, las política públicas se traducen en prácticas tendientes a lograr fines como la reintegración social y la paz. Este panel presenta tres casos de estudio enmarcados en investigaciones cualitativas y cuantitativas. Las experiencias de Colombia se sitúan, una en la fase de atención humanitaria y registro de población desplazada, y la otra, en una medida de restablecimiento, esto es, la indemnización por vía administrativa. El caso de los refugiados de Karen, da cuenta de las dificultades para el acceso al servicio de salud pública en un país como Estados Unidos que a pesar de no presentar un conflicto armado, ha debido desplegar una política pública para la prestación de servicios a esta población, lo que ejemplifica el carácter global del problema de las migraciones forzadas y la necesidad de que las soluciones también lo sean.



  1. United States Health Policy and Refugee Resettlement. Sarah J. Hoffman and Cheryl L. Robertson

Introduction. Despite the evolving peace process in Burma, the most effectual solution to address the vulnerabilities of Karen refugees situated in camps along the Burma-Thai border remains third country resettlement. Since 2001, the United States (US) has resettled more than 100,000 Karen refugees. The stories of these refugees do not end with their arrival. In fact, the migration history of this refugee population is prolonged and complex, defined first by war and forced displacement, and subsequently in the development of post-resettlement response strategies to navigate integration. The difficulties experienced in accessing the US health system are well documented in the literature describing Karen resettlement challenges. The distribution of healthcare resources is inconsistent and successful navigation of the system is multi-factorial. There is a lack of alignment in service provision, which contributes to a reduced prioritization of mental and physical health of new arrivals. Methods. Through a critical review of the literature and relevant policy, the authors will consider US health-related policies that serve or undermine refugee resettlement, drawing on the documented Karen refugee experience as an exemplar. Anticipated Findings. Gaps will be identified both in the overarching policy structure as well as the infrastructure developed to support the implementation of policy. Discussion. Findings will demonstrate translational impact as the experiences of a particular refugee group guide an evaluation of strategy in the broader policy context. Additionally, this work will contribute to the body of emerging knowledge surrounding the refugee health experience post-resettlement in the United States.





  1. Título de la ponencia: Del papel a la práctica. Diagnóstico de la ruta de atención a la población desplazada en Santiago de Cali. Gabriela Recalde Castañeda

La Corte Constitucional Colombiana ordenó en la sentencia T-025/2004 que la atención a la población desplaza debía estructurarse en una política pública nacional planteada en términos de goce efectivo de derechos humanos. Para la Corte, esto exige un proceso de atención integral basado en los principios constitucionales de dignidad humana, igualdad, libertad y solidaridad. Teniendo como marco de análisis la teoría de valor público de Bozeman y el constitucionalismo democrático de David Rosenbloom, en esta ponencia se presenta un caso de estudio sobre el funcionamiento de la ruta de atención a población desplazada en la ciudad de Santiago de Cali (Valle del Cauca). A partir de datos recogidos por el método etnográfico, se establece de qué manera las dificultades en el diseño de la política pública, los problemas que presentan los funcionarios públicos en su implementación, al igual que sus percepciones sobre los usuarios del sistema, se convierten en un obstáculo para ofrecer una atención oportuna y material a la población desplazada en la etapa de registro y acceso a programas de salud y educación. Diagnosticar las prácticas (formales e informales) al interior de las agencias estatales creadas para poner en marcha la política pública a escala local, resulta útil para detectar si la atención contribuye o no, a un verdadero proceso de tránsito de la asistencia humanitaria hacia la estabilización socioeconómica de la población desplazada y el restablecimiento de sus derechos. Esto para formular alternativas sostenibles y coherentes con los principios y derechos constitucionales en juego.




  1. Una Visión sobre la realidad de los Desplazados en Colombia. Trabajo de Campo en la Unidad Administrativa Especial para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas Regional Antioquia. Zeller Álvarez Urrego

Una de las funciones principales de la reparación integral de las víctimas del desplazamiento forzado en Colombia es lograr el resarcimiento de los daños sufridos como consecuencia de los hechos asociados al desplazamiento. La Ley 1048 de 2011 establece que la indemnización por vía administrativa es uno de los mecanismos fundamentales de protección a los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales de esta población. La ponencia evaluará las disposiciones reglamentarias de la ley en las que se establece el procedimiento de indemnización por vía administrativa a las personas desplazadas. Esto a fin de determinar si existen vacíos y/o incoherencias que impidan el resarcimiento. En este nivel se determinará si la política diseñada en la citada ley y en el Decreto 4800 de 2011, tiene en cuenta las situaciones reales de vulnerabilidad de la población usuaria de la Unidad Administrativa Especial para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas Regional Antioquia. Para esto se presentarán los resultados del trabajo de campo el cual implicó un ejercicio de observación participante en la Unidad y la sistematización de los archivos contentivos de las solicitudes de indemnización y su trámite, durante el último año. A partir de esto, se identifican los obstáculos y las dificultades en la implementación de la política de indemnización. Finalmente, se ofrecen recomendaciones para corregir los problemas detectados.



Panel 8

Justice for Gender-Based Violence in the Context of Migration?: Illustrations from in Mexico and Canada


  1. Justice for women fleeing gender-related persecution in a “Safe” country?: The limits of refugee determination for Mexican women seeking refuge in Canada. Rupaleem Bhuyan, Adriana Vargas and Bethany Osborne, University of Toronto, Canada

While Canada is lauded as the first country to issue guidelines for considering gender related persecution in refugee determination, Mexican women seeking refuge in Canada based on gender-related persecution regularly have their claims dismissed because they cannot verify that their home country has failed to protect them (MacIntosh, 2009). A high proportion of “failed refugee claimants” from Mexico are part of a growing number of Latina women living in Canada with precarious migratory status; they face a framework of “ontological insecurity” (Giddens, 1984, Giddens, 1991, Laing, 1969) due to the combined lack of protection in their home countries and their unrecognized humanitarian claims in Canada. In this paper, we explore transnational implications of justice for women who migrate to escape gender-based violence to better understand how gender and gender-based violence is made visible, or obscured, in international human rights law regarding forced migration. Empirically, we use feminist and critical discourse analysis methods to analyse the construction of gender and gender-based violence in the following sources: 1) Canadian refugee decisions for Mexican refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecution, 2) Canadian official reports on country conditions in Mexico, and 3) community-based reports on the status of violence against women in Mexico. Our analysis illustrates: a) how violence is related to Mexican women’s migration to Canada, b) in what ways is gender is visible in women’s refugee decisions, c) and in what ways perceptions of Mexico as a “safe country” influence refugee determination for Mexican women fleeing gender-based violence.



  1. Continuum of gender based violence in the context of migration: case study of Central American refugees in the southern border region of Mexico. Margarita Pintin-Perez and Martha Luz Rojas Wiesner.

The following presentation analyses the narratives of Central American refugee women residing in the states of Campeche, Chiapas & Quintana Roo in Mexico. Manifestations of gender-based violence are prevalent throughout the migratory process, and are not viewed in isolation, but discussed as a continuum of gender based violence in the context of migration. The narratives included in this presentation make reference to symbolic, structural and interpersonal violence, occurring in various contexts including civil war, post-civil war, post-peace accords and others. The way in which women describe and name the violence throughout the migratory process is examined as way to reflect on how violence translates and manifests in the lives of refugee women. Based on the case studies included, refugee women minimize experiences of violence in the destination country. The minimization of violence expressed in these narratives reveals how the continuum of gender-based violence applies in the context of migration, and how the context of ‘peace’ in the destination country may contribute to a tolerance and acceptance of certain gender based violent practices. In the cases where violence is no longer situated in the context of civil war, gender based violence is perceived as 'natural' or normal. An analysis that considers the various contexts in which gender based violence arises and examines the continuum of GBV allows us to examine and discuss how gender based violence is present and particular to refugee women in these regions.



  1. La violencia hacia las mujeres centroamericanas en los procesos de migración en tránsito por México. Martha Luz Rojas-Wiesner, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, México Tanya Basok, U de Windsor, Canadá and Danièle Belanger, U Laval, Canadá

Description of the topic and connection to one of the themes identified (250 words): desde 1998 se ha hablado en México de un nuevo proceso migratorio desde Centroamérica hacia los Estados Unidos motivado, en primer lugar, por la poca viabilidad económica para recuperarse de los desastres ocasionados por el huracán Mitch, y más tarde por los desastres ocasionados por el terremoto en El Salvador en 2001, y el huracán Stan en Guatemala (2006), para mencionar los eventos ambientales más importantes, cuyos efectos se fueron conjugando con las condiciones históricas de pobreza y marginación y los problemas de inseguridad y violencia gestados por pandillas y delincuencia común en Centroamérica. Este complejo de factores fue forzando y sosteniendo un proceso migratorio internacional de tránsito, a pesar de las dificultades crecientes que han estado aparejadas a esta movilidad. Las redes sociales y de apoyo han incidido en el mantenimiento de este flujo, en el que hay una presencia significativa de mujeres que buscan mejorar sus condiciones de vida y las de su familia enfrentando todo tipo de violencia; violencia que va adquiriendo diversas formas y que, en varios casos, constituye un continuo en sus vidas. Varias mujeres no sólo enfrentan violencia en sus lugares de origen, sino de manera dramática en el camino y, también, en los lugares en donde deciden quedarse ya sea temporal o más permanentemente. Desde 2003, en particular, en México las mujeres se han visto expuestas a una violencia estructural de la que difícilmente pueden escapar y que las hace especialmente vulnerables debido a los sesgos de género que intervienen y que las constituye en víctimas de la violencia institucional, fundamentalmente masculina. Mediante entrevistas llevadas a cabo en el marco del proyecto “Zonas de precariedad en la migración en tránsito por México”, coordinado por Tanya Basok, con esta ponencia se presentan reflexiones sobre las causas de la violencia de género y cómo las condiciones en que se producen la migración han contribuido a “institucionalizar” este tipo de violencia para el caso de la migración por México.


Panel 9

Forced Migration State Policies (I)



  1. Julia Bertino Moreira: The Brazilian refugee policy and the Latin American regime.

Along the 1990s and 2000s, Brazil approved a national refugee law and implemented solidarity and regional resettlement programmes for refugees. The civil society, the UNHCR and governmental agencies participated in this process of formulation and approval of a national legislation and policy relating to refugees. The 1997 Brazilian Refugee Act encompasses both 1951 UN Convention and 1984 Cartagena Declaration rules, embodying the classic definition and the Latin American broad definition of refugee. One of the most relevant contribution was to include severe and generalized human rights violations as a reason for a person to be recognized as a refugee. A few years later, in 2004, a regional resettlement program was designed especially for Colombian refugees, in line with the Cartagena Declaration prospects. Nowadays, the country is considered an emergent resettlement country in the developing world. This policy has been supported by UNHCR and counts on the work of religious institutions (basically Caritas), which help assisting refugees in order to foster the local integration process. The Brazilian refugee policy was developed taking into account both domestic and foreign policies factors, including regional considerations, and non State actors pressures on the government. Considering this brief notes, this paper aims to discuss the current Brazilian refugee policy focusing on the regional resettlement programme. This policy was analysed on the basis of: domestic and foreign policies factors; the relations among (state and non-state) actors; the rules of entry and the living conditions provided to the refugees inside the country. The main point sustained by this paper is that this policy requires further improvement, since it has focused more on regulating an admission policy, but still lacks a properly structured integration policy for refugees.




  1. Grace Benton Applying the Kafala System to Forced Migrants in Jordan: Obstacle or Opportunity

The word kafala has accrued a range of negative connotations, especially in the Arab Gulf States, where abuse and exploitation of migrant workers has been increasingly linked to this system of migration management. Under the kafala system, migrants are legally and economically bound to a kafil, or sponsor. While popular discourse on the kafala centers on labor migration to the Gulf region, Jordan also manages the entry and employment of non-nationals through this system. Of particular interest is the recent use of the kafala system in regulating the movement of Syrian refugees in Jordan, a policy that, to my knowledge, marks the first time that such a system has been applied to forced migrants.

When Syrian refugees enter Jordan, they often go to Zaatari Refugee Camp—one of the largest camps in the world, and now Jordan’s fourth largest city. In order to leave the camp, Syrians must first obtain a Jordanian kafil, who agrees to assume legal and financial responsibility for the refugee and may pay up to $7000USD in sponsorship fees. While this is not the same kafala employed by the Gulf States to manage imported migrant labor, the structural framework—a national who pays a fee to be responsible for a non-national—is essentially the same. In this paper, I will explore the implications of applying such a framework to forced migrants as a means to promote refugee protection and eventual economic integration in a resource-scarce country that plays host to a burgeoning refugee population.


Panel 10

Políticas nacionales de migración forzadas


  1. Rinara Granato Santos: Los obstáculos y desafíos de las peticiones de refugio en Brasil

El Brasil a pesar de ser una de las mayores economías del mundo, de pretender desempeñar un papel relevante en la escena internacional, de ser signatario de los documentos internacionales de Derechos Humanos más importantes, entre ellos la Convención de la ONU de 1951 y el Protocolo de 1967, acoge un número reducido de refugiados (4.600 reconocidos).


El desempeño poco significativo del Estado Brasileño en esta política comparado a otros países de la región como Ecuador (55.000) y la actual demanda mundial, 14 millones de refugiados, no demuestra la aparente receptividad en relación a las peticiones de refugio. De este modo, un estudio en relación a esta contradicción se revela importante en la medida que coloca luz en los obstáculos y desafíos que la política de acogida de refugiados afronta en la búsqueda de efectividad.
El presente trabajo privilegia mirar hacia los procesos y rutinas del sistema burocrático de tramitación interna de permanencia, cuyos procedimientos se encuentran en la ley 9.474/97 y la actuación del Comité Nacional para Refugiados (CONARE), responsable por la ejecución de la política de protección de refugiados en Brasil.
Los datos del CONARE demuestran que en 2013 el país recibió 5,1 mil peticiones de refugio, el triple que el año anterior, aunque, el país acepto sólo 649, contra 199 aceptados en 2012. Así, debe el Brasil repensar sus acciones para garantizar la realización de la “Declaración de Principios del Mercosul sobre Protección Internacional de Refugiados”.

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