Abstracts for the Panel Sessions resúmenes de los paneles



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Sandy Gifford. The Good Starts for Resettled Refugee Youth Study: Steering longitudinal research through dynamic and hostile policy contexts in Australia.

Abstract: One of the strengths of longitudinal studies of refugee resettlement is the potential to produce evidence about longer-term settlement outcomes and the impact of past and current government policies and institutional practices on refugee migrants. In countries like Australia, with a dynamic and increasingly hostile policy environment in relation to forced migrants, longitudinal studies can document the impact of the wider socio-political context on resettled communities.


This paper reflects on ‘The Good Starts for Refugee Youth Study’, a longitudinal project which has followed up for eight years (2004/05 to 2012/13) a group of 120 newly arrived refugee young people resettled in Melbourne, Australia. The study was initiated specifically to produce evidence about the long-term settlement outcomes with the aim to inform policy and practice in the refugee youth settlement sector. Although the study is methodologically innovative and has used a range of strategies for translating findings in a timely and policy relevant manner, a key challenge has been navigating through a progressively hostile policy environment. Especially challenging are findings that suggest that past policies to support refugee background youth (e.g. education, employment and integration) are not working, and evidence that current policy changes (e.g. family reunion, border protection and offshore processing) appear to be having an increasingly negative impact on youth in the study, most of whom are now Australian citizens. The paper concludes by raising questions about what durable humanitarian settlement is or is becoming in an increasingly hostile policy environment such as in Australia.


  1. Ignacio Correa-Velez. Is resettlement a ‘durable’ solution? The SettleMEN longitudinal study of refugee men.

Abstract: Although Australia is one of 26 UNHCR resettlement countries and ranks third in the overall number of refugees it accepts each year, since the mid 1990’s the Australian government has increasingly hardened its attitudes and policies towards people seeking asylum and is currently implementing one of the toughest responses in the Western World. This has also led to an increasingly dominant anti-refugee/asylum seekers public discourse that is having a negative impact on the wellbeing and long-term settlement of refugee communities.


One third of refugee and humanitarian entrants to Australia are adult men. Since 2008, the SettleMEN project has followed up a cohort of 233 men from refugee backgrounds living in urban and regional areas of Southeast Queensland, using a peer interviewer model and a mixed-method approach. Importantly, the study has been able to document the impact of the 2011 Queensland floods on the health and settlement of this cohort. Three key issues are discussed in this paper. First, the methodological successes and challenges of engaging in longitudinal peer research with adult refugee men in a resettlement context. Second, the importance of ‘being there’ when a resettled refugee population is affected by an environmental disaster. Third, the challenges of translation of research findings into policy and practice in an increasingly anti-refugee political and public discourse. Finally, the paper concludes with a critically examination of the “durability” of resettlement as a durable solution.



  1. Luis Gabriel Cuervo. Research for health policy: An opportunity to bring different sectors to work towards social and economic development.

Abstract: Research can be a driver of social and economic development and a tool to focus different sectors on addressing the needs of populations. Refugee scholarship has often been criticized for its narrow focus on displacement and a general failure to draw more widely from other disciplines. The application of research evidence to public health challenges among marginalized communities is one area where there has been significant success – especially in partnering with affected communities to apply research findings to local solutions.


What can we learn from these successes in the public health sector – that might be applied to the challenges that research faces in informing local solutions to refugee resettlement? The Americas was the first WHO region with a Policy on Research for Health. This Policy is geared towards strengthening the stewardship and governance of research for health and promotes a systematic approach to integrate scientific research evidence into policies (knowledge translation) for health. This paper will show how health can drive social and economic development and that the Policy on Research for Health can be a helpful means to bring together different sectors of society and government towards common goals such as finding policy options that help improving the life of vulnerable communities. The paper will consider how the lessons learnt from the development of research agendas with broad participation from government and civil society offers an opportunity for affected communities to join in identifying and implementing sound policy options which are actioned by an engaged community and empowered local teams. PAHO’s Art for Research project and a video will showcase how research can be an important driver of social and economic development. The paper then opens up a discussion of how these insights from research to practice evidence with disadvantaged communities, might usefully inform strategies that can be applied to longitudinal research with refugee communities who are rebuilding their lives in a settlement setting.

Panel 17

Syrian Forced Exodus: A new protection challenge.


  1. Zeynep Kıvılcım Legal Framework for the Protection of Out of Camp Syrian Refugees in Turkey.

As the end of April 2014, the UNCHR estimates the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey as 800.000, only a third of them live in camps. Since October 2011, the government implements a “temporary protection regime” for Syrians in Turkey, presented as a legal framework in line with the EU legislation. Turkey has recently adopted its very first law on migrants and refugees; the “Law on Foreigners and International Protection” is entered in force on 11th of April 2014.

The paper aims to study the problems concerning the legal framework for out-of-camp protection of Syrian refugees in Turkey. It will investigate with a critical and a right-based perspective, the implementation of the “temporary protection regime”, the new Law on Foreigners and International Protection as well as the specific circulars enacted by the Turkish government on the issue of out-of-camp Syrian refugees.


  1. Nurcan Özgür Baklacıoğlu Syrian refugees "in limbo": Problems of protection among out-of-camp Syrian Refugees in Turkey.

For long time, Turkey has been a destination and transit country for refugee flows from Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Since the beginning of the Syrian war, Turkey has faced one of the biggest mass refugee influxes. Turkish government estimates that 700,000 Syrian citizens fled across the border to Turkey and that %64 of them live out of the camps in big cities including Istanbul. The Syrian refugee influxes coincide with the adoption of the very first and long-awaited legislation of Turkey on migrants and refugees. The new Turkish “Law on Foreigners and International Protection” is adopted in 2013 and will be in force on 11th of April 2014.

The paper aims to discuss the problems concerning the out-of-camp protection of Syrian refugees in Turkey, through critical and a rights-based elaboration of implementation of the new Law on Foreigners and International Protection and the relevant circulars on the status of Syrian refugees. The paper will present the findings of a fieldwork and results of in-depth interviews with the Syrian refugees living in Istanbul (Fatih, Bayramtepe, Küçükpazar, Bağcilar) and will focus on the problems concerning their access to basic human rights, in particular to the right to registration, residence, employment and healthcare.


  1. Abbie Taylor: An Invisible Struggle: The Displacement of Men and Boys in Syria.

Described as “the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation”, intense fighting across Syria continues to reap unimaginable destruction and devastation on the Syrian population. Few have been spared from the effects of the violence, and millions more have been displaced from their homes inside Syria and across borders into neighboring countries. Outside Syria, of the 2.5 million persons of concern to UNHCR, thirty percent are men and boys aged between 12 and 59 years. Yet the experiences of men and boys appear to be overlooked and their protection needs neglected in the scramble for short-term solutions to the crisis, with little consideration for their critical importance in issues surrounding return and future reconstruction and peace-building in Syria. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Jordan and Lebanon, this paper explores the effects of war and displacement on men and boys, many of whom have been forced to flee due to fears of military conscription or forced recruitment into armed groups, in addition to concerns for their lives and that of their families as well as their futures. For those who make it across the border into neighboring countries - often alone - they are confronted with dwindling opportunities for survival, a daunting loss of purpose, and little in the way of support for their decision to flee rather than to become a part of the fighting. The paper - enriched with the perspectives of men and boys forced to flee from Syria on displacement, the future and return - seeks to unpack the intricacies of their displacement and to unsettle constraints posed by traditional gendered conceptions of vulnerability in order to better meet the short- and long-term needs of this underserved population.




  1. Viviane Mozine Rodrigues: Responsibility to act in Syria

On its sixtieth anniversary, the UN adopted the concept of "responsibility to protect," which determines a set of principles that gives the international community the responsibility to act (these actions may have a non-coercive, a less coercive or, in fact, a coercive character) in situations of humanitarian disasters, such as those occurring in Syria.

Non-coercive measures are those performed through the use of diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means. However, up to this point, the Security Council of the UN hasn’t reached a consensus on practically any effective action yet. The coercive way has its main voice, the U.S.A., in favour of the intervention in Syria that has France and the UK as allies, taking a similar belligerent stance.

In this context, Brazil inserts itself in a vanguard attitude, granting special humanitarian visas to Syrian citizens and people from other nationalities who are affected by the conflict in Syria and whom wish to look for refuge in Brazil that, currently, has about 280 Syrian refugees in its territory. Brazil is the first country in the Americas to adopt this approach to the Syrian refugees.


Panel 18

Éxodos forzados en territorios de frontera


  1. Nicolás Rodríguez: Gang and cartel-related international protection profiles in the Northern Triangle

The urban regions of Central America’s “Northern Triangle” (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) are now among the most violent in the world. While violence, persecution and armed conflict are not new phenomena in the region, there are fundamental differences between the forms of violence that characterized the 1980s and early 1990s and the eminently institutional and crime-related violence that predominates today.


Rather than triggering a humanitarian crisis in the continent, these new forms of violence are causing a regional crisis of human rights, where powerful and sophisticated criminal actors confront and defy the State and its institutions in an unprecedented and sustained manner.
Within this context, marked by serious and systematic human rights violations and the weakening of the rule of law, the number of asylum claims submitted by nationals of these countries has increased considerably in recent years. Nevertheless, asylum rates do not seem to acknowledge that violence and persecution, as observed and practiced in the region, do give rise to protection needs of victims and potential victims, who may be entitled to refugee status or other forms of international protection.
The purpose of this paper is to study how the particular characteristics of these forms of armed violence affect the protection needs of its victims. This last aspect of the paper will be presented through a number of profiles of individuals (e.g. children exposed to forced recruitment by maras, community leaders, journalists, crime witnesses) and their particular needs and challenges in obtaining international protection.


  1. María Auxiliadora López Mendez: Analysis of Existing Information Sources About Migration and Violence in Honduras: A perspective of Forced Displacement.

En Centroamérica, el crimen organizado transnacional es un fenómeno que afecta considerablemente la seguridad nacional y regional, con un aumento dramático de los índices de violencia y crimen, particularmente en los países del Triángulo Norte Centroamericano (Honduras, El Salvador y Guatemala). A pesar del aumento marcado en las solicitudes de asilo de centroamericanos debido al crimen organizado y del evidente fenómeno de desplazamiento forzado causado por nuevas formas de violencia, el impacto humanitario de esta crisis es generalmente desconocido e invisible, al no contar con fuentes de información precisas que permitan una aproximación a la magnitud y tendencias del desplazamiento forzado en la región.


Es por ello que emerge la necesidad de profundizar este análisis por país e iniciar con la obtención de información secundaria cuantitativa y cualitativa confiable que dé cuenta de la magnitud del problema, las tendencias actuales y las necesidades de protección de las víctimas, en respuesta a ello se lleva a cabo estudios de este tipo para obtener una mayor caracterización del desplazamiento causado por el crimen organizado y otras situaciones de violencia, tanto al interior de los países, como a nivel transnacional, particularmente teniendo en cuenta la falta de registros oficiales sobre este fenómeno.
El presente estudio permitirá tener un contexto concreto sobre determinantes, magnitudes y perfiles de desplazamiento forzado interno y externo para el caso específico de Honduras, así también mostrará la ubicación espacial de los desplazados por violencia e inseguridad con el fin de brindar una línea base para la recolección primaria de este nuevo fenómeno y con ello tener información precisa para focalizar políticas de protección conjuntas entre el Gobierno y Organismos Internacionales colaboradores.


  1. Gabriel Rojas: Continuidades de la desprotección: desplazados y refugiados en la frontera colombo-ecuatoriana

El proceso de negociación entre la guerrilla de las FARC y el gobierno de Colombia plantea nuevos retos para la protección de personas vulnerables en las poblaciones fronterizas del país. La tendencia de los grupos armados ilegales a consolidar su control territorial y social alrededor de las rentas ilegales que facilitan las relaciones económicas en la frontera, ha encontrado un nuevo impulso a partir de la conformación de bandas que hacen presencia en los mismos lugares y usan las mismas prácticas de las estructuras paramilitares que se desmovilizaron parcialmente en 2005, pero que además amplían su campo de acción no solo en Colombia, sino también en las ciudades aledañas de los países vecinos.
Las llamadas BACRIM o “bandas criminales” por el gobierno nacional, se erigen como el actor que más señala, intimida y amenaza a los habitantes de ciudades de frontera, particularmente en los espacios que tradicionalmente han tenido graves carencias en vivienda, servicios públicos, infraestructura y generación de ingresos, y que constituyen corredores de movilidad para el contrabando de bienes y combustibles y el tráfico y microtráfico de estupefacientes.
La supervivencia de estos grupos armados ilegales posdesmovilización se fundamenta en la coacción sobre la población civil y su principal fuente de financiamiento y reclutamiento está en los niños, niñas y jóvenes y en la extorsión y vacunas al comercio local. Frente a la posibilidad de una desmovilización masiva de combatientes de la guerrilla de las FARC, si el proceso de negociación es exitoso, la pregunta acerca de la posibilidad de una reintegración digna de estas personas a la vida civil -que evite que empleen su mano de obra calificada para la violencia en las zonas rurales y urbanas de las fronteras--‐ se hace apremiante.
Mientras que la violencia se intensifica en espacios urbanos de frontera, las condiciones en ambos lados de los límites políticos comparten las carencias que obstaculizan una satisfacción efectiva de los derechos de las personas que se ven obligadas a desplazarse o a buscar refugio. Es aquí donde se hace necesario pensar los nuevos retos de protección desde una perspectiva multidimensional de la movilidad humana que incluya consideraciones tanto sobre los actores que operan de manera similar en los contextos de expulsión y recepción, como sobre las causas complementarias de violencia generalizada y necesidad de generación de ingresos que llevan a las personas a desplazarse. De la misma manera, se deben plantear definiciones flexibles y complejas de víctima y perpetrador en un contexto en el que niños, niñas y jóvenes entran y salen de actividades asociadas a la violencia y la criminalidad ante la ausencia de posibilidades de aprovechamiento del tiempo libre y empleo digno.
Pensar la política pública y la legislación sobre desplazamiento y refugio en la frontera exige entonces una aproximación multidimensional y binacional. Las continuidades de la desprotección de los derechos de las personas en situación de movilidad se explica por la recurrencia de condiciones locales de ausencia de oportunidades y problemas persistentes de vivienda y por la violencia generalizada impuesta por grupos armados posdesmovilización, tanto en los contextos de expulsión como en los de recepción. Ello indica que nos es completo un plan de atención, asistencia y reparación en el lado colombiano de la frontera que no tenga un correlato sobre asistencia humanitaria, soluciones sostenibles y posibilidades de retorno en los países vecinos. Agendas bilaterales que reconozcan acuerdos internacionales sobre definiciones ampliadas del refugio y condiciones nuevas y cambiantes de desplazamiento forzado en contextos de criminalidad transnacional, se vuelven los mecanismos más oportunos para una protección real de las personas en situación de movilidad. Esta propuesta se plantea en contraste con las medidas legislativas regresivas que recientemente están imponiendo condiciones limitantes para lograr la condición de refugiado en el Ecuador.
Con base en las preocupaciones generales mencionadas, las propuestas a discutir en espacios de frontera deben incluir elementos de diagnóstico y respuesta institucional conscientes de los nuevos retos de protección y las nuevas dinámicas de violencia. Nuestra ponencia tratará tres puntos de partida a este respecto:


  • Situar la atención sobre las causas de la movilidad humana tanto en el contexto de la desmovilización de grupos armados ilegales cuyos combatientes retornan a prácticas ilegales en estructuras nacionales y transnacionales con alta capacidad de coacción, control social y territorial y vinculación de niños, niñas y jóvenes, como en las condiciones persistentes de falta de oportunidades y acceso a vivienda, servicios públicos y generación de ingresos en ambos lados de la frontera.




  • Proponer iniciativas binacionales de respuesta institucional con base en atención, asistencia, reparación, soluciones duraderas y retorno en espacios de frontera, atendiendo a acuerdos internacionales incluyentes sobre el refugio, la migración forzada y el desplazamiento.




  • Comprender que las continuidades de la desprotección son las que obligan a las personas a moverse por causas simultaneas de violencia generalizada y ausencia de oportunidades y estas circunstancias los acompañan tanto en su país de origen como en el país de recepción. En este sentido, víctimas y perpetradores que atraviesan las fronteras siguen desplazándose en los países vecinos y encuentran o generan nuevas condiciones de vulnerabilidad. Esto quiere decir que el conflicto armado se agota como dispositivo de explicación de las altas solicitudes de refugio en las fronteras colombianas, y el conflicto social de la desprotección transfronteriza que persiste tras la desmovilización de grupos ilegales, se debe convertir en el foco de atención de la política pública binacional.




  1. Annette Idler: The Invisibility of Forced (Non-) Migration: A Study of the Colombian-Ecuadorian and Colombian-Venezuelan Borderlands

This paper enhances understanding of how the geography of borderlands renders forced migration and forced “non-migration” invisible. Colombia’s borderlands are critical security zones but poorly understood. They feature weak state governance systems, a low-risk/high-opportunity environment and a mismatch of two neighbouring jurisdictions, fuelling impunity. Mass displacements within and across the borderlands provoked by the activities of multiple violent non-state actors (VNSAs) including rebels, post-demobilised groups and criminal organisations in these regions have received considerable attention by policymakers and scholars alike. However, less visible drop-by-drop displacements and cases of confinement remain poorly understood. Employing a transnational borderland perspective, I argue that the “border effect”, which arises from the characteristic features of borderlands, contributes to the invisibility of drop-by-drop displacements and cases of confinement in these areas. In particular, the transnationality of borderlands facilitates social control which helps foster illicit cross-border authority and “shadow citizenship” that alienates these displaced or confined borderlanders from the Colombian state. Therefore, when analysing drop-by-drop displacements across the border, intra-urban displacements, and cases of confinement, the latter case of forced (non-) migration is, as I contend, the least visible, yet most systemic threat to the states that share these borderlands. The study is grounded in empirical data from semi-structured interviews that I carried out during over a year of fieldwork in and on the Colombian-Ecuadorian and Colombian-Venezuelan borderlands.



Panel 19

Forced Migration State Policies (II)


  1. Myoungjun Hwang: Korean Perspective on Forced Migration Issues for the Far Eastern Peacebuilding

When seen from the outside, the Republic of Korea has been bound to be considered irrelevant to the forced migration issue. However, looking into the contemporary Korean history, apart from the frame of the post-war partition, forced migration issue still casts long-term aftermath for Koreans. The partition of the Korean Peninsula by USSR and USA in 1945 and subsequent warmongering by North Korean authority in 1950 caused forced migration across the 38th Parallel on a large scale. Since the ceasefire in 1953, the forced migration issue in the Korean Peninsula has not been fully magnified legally by powers-that-be because of the Cold War.

Whether these migrants were categorized as refugees or IDPs may be related to the interpretation of the territorial clause in the Korean Constitution, which has been essential to the legal analysis of inter-Korean status. Accordingly, the categorization may be interlinked to the application of international legal instruments for the relief of migrants and their offspring. Meanwhile, the forced migration issue in the Korean Peninsula appears to be complicated enough to defy the dichotomous categorization of the migrants. The dual character may contribute to the inquiry into applicable common denominators between refugees and IDPs.

With the cognizance of the Korean Perspective above, the peacebuilding for the right to return, reparation and ultimate reconciliation may be elaborated in depth. Here, the Colombian Perspective on forced migrants expressed in the Cartagena Declaration can share meaningful empirical tools.



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