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  • Author: Elizabeth Ferris, Sanjula Weerasinghe
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In light of the science and evidence on hazards and climate risk, and the scale and breadth of large-scale disasters witnessed around the world, it is time for states and other actors to begin developing national and local frameworks on planned relocation. While planned relocations have had a poor record in terms of their socioeconomic effects, it is precisely for these reasons that proactive action is necessary. Planned relocation has the potential to save lives and assets, and consequently to safeguard or augment the human security of populations living in areas at high risk for disasters and the effects of climate change. Among the challenges hampering better outcomes for people, however, are the lack of national and local frameworks, community-driven decision making, and sufficient lead times to plan and implement appropriate interventions that promote human security. Relocation of populations is referenced in global frameworks on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) because it is a tool that will become increasingly important as a preventive and responsive measure to reduce the risks of disasters and displacement. This article recommends that national and local DRR and CCA strategies and development plans begin to incorporate planned relocation among the options under consideration to protect people and their human security. It argues that planning for relocations is an expression of a government’s responsibility to protect the human security of its people.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Leah Zamore
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: There is a consensus among global policymakers that the challenges facing refugees today arise, in no small part, from the treatment of forced displacement as predominately a short-term humanitarian problem and the consequent exclusion of refugees from long-term development assistance. This paper agrees that refugees — a majority of whom spend years, a large number decades, some lifetimes in exile — constitute a development challenge, not only a humanitarian one. But it departs from the prevailing consensus which has tended to underemphasize the historical role of certain development policies in contributing to the status quo of refugee poverty in the first place. The paper places particular emphasis in that regard on policies of austerity and of laissez-faire. In their stead, it argues in favor of approaches to development that are proactively egalitarian and redistributive.
  • Topic: Poverty, Refugees, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Flynn
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Global migration challenges are reinforcing long-standing trends that involve shifting immigration control measures beyond national borders and incorporating new actors into detention systems. Proposals to shape migration management policies — including discussions on developing a Global Compact for Migration — recognize the need to involve a range of actors to implement humane and effective strategies. However, when observed through the lens of immigration detention, some policy trends raise challenging questions, particularly those that lead to increasing roles for non-state actors in migration control. This article critically assesses a range of new actors who have become involved in the deprivation of liberty of migrants and asylum seekers, describes the various forces that appear to be driving their engagement, and makes a series of recommendations concerning the role of non-state actors and detention in global efforts to manage international migration. These recommendations include: ending the use the detention in international migration management schemes; limiting the involvement of private companies in immigration control measures; insisting that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) actively endorse the centrality of human rights in the Global Compact for Migration and amend its constitution so that it makes a clear commitment to international human rights standards; and encouraging nongovernmental organizations to carefully assess the services they provide when operating in detention situations to ensure that their work contributes to harm reduction.
  • Topic: Migration, Non State Actors, Border Control, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Kanstroom
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This article considers the relationship between two human rights discourses (and two specific legal regimes): refugee and asylum protection and the evolving body of international law that regulates expulsions and deportations. Legal protections for refugees and asylum seekers are, of course, venerable, well-known, and in many respects still cherished, if challenged and perhaps a bit frail. Anti-deportation discourse is much newer, multifaceted, and evolving. It is in many respects a young work in progress. It has arisen in response to a rising tide of deportations, and the worrisome development of massive, harsh deportation machinery in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Australia, and South Africa, among others. This article’s main goal is to consider how these two discourses do and might relate to each other. More specifically, it suggests that the development of procedural and substantive rights against removal — as well as rights during and after removal — aids our understanding of the current state and possible future of the refugee protection regime. The article’s basic thesis is this: The global refugee regime, though challenged both theoretically and in practice, must be maintained and strengthened. Its historical focus on developing criteria for admission into safe states, on protections against expulsion (i.e., non-refoulement), and on regimes of temporary protection all remain critically important. However, a focus on other protections for all noncitizens facing deportation is equally important. Deportation has become a major international system that transcends the power of any single nation-state. Its methods have migrated from one regime to another; its size and scope are substantial and expanding; its costs are enormous; and its effects frequently constitute major human rights violations against millions who do not qualify as refugees. In recent years there has been increasing reliance by states on generally applicable deportation systems, led in large measure by the United States’ radical 25 year-plus experiment with large-scale deportation. Europe has also witnessed a rising tide of deportation, some of which has developed in reaction to European asylum practices. Deportation has been facilitated globally (e.g., in Australia) by well-funded, efficient (but relatively little known) intergovernmental idea sharing, training, and cooperation. This global expansion, standardization, and increasing intergovernmental cooperation on deportation has been met by powerful — if in some respects still nascent — human rights responses by activists, courts, some political actors, and scholars. It might seem counterintuitive to think that emerging ideas about deportation protections could help refugees and asylum seekers, as those people by definition often have greater rights protections both in admission and expulsion. However, the emerging anti-deportation discourses should be systematically studied by those interested in the global refugee regime for three basic reasons. First, what Matthew Gibney has described as “the deportation turn” has historically been deeply connected to anxiety about asylum seekers. Although we lack exact figures of the number of asylum seekers who have been subsequently expelled worldwide, there seems little doubt that it has been a significant phenomenon and will be an increasingly important challenge in the future. The two phenomena of refugee/asylum protections and deportation, in short, are now and have long been linked. What has sometimes been gained through the front door, so to speak, may be lost through the back door. Second, current deportation human rights discourses embody creative framing models that might aid constructive critique and reform of the existing refugee protection regime. They tend to be more functionally oriented, less definitional in terms of who warrants protection, and more fluid and transnational. Third, these discourses offer important specific rights protections that could strengthen the refugee and asylum regime, even as we continue to see weakening state support for the basic 1951/1967 protection regime. This is especially true in regard to the extraterritorial scope of the (deporting) state’s obligations post-deportation. This article particularly examines two initiatives in this emerging field: The International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on the Expulsion of Aliens and the draft Declaration on the Rights of Expelled and Deported Persons developed through the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (of which the author is a co-director). It compares their provisions to the existing corpus of substantive and procedural protections for refugees relating to expulsion and removal. It concludes with consideration of how these discourses may strengthen protections for refugees while also helping to develop more capacious and protective systems in the future.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Border Control, Refugees, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, France, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Global Focus
  • Author: Victor Genina
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: On September 19th, 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted Resolution 71/1, the text of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants(the “New York Declaration”). Resolution 71/1 is the outcome document of the high-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, held at the UN headquarters. The New York Declaration reflects how UN member states have decided to address the challenge of large movements of people in two main legal categories: asylum seekers/refugees and migrants. Resolution 71/1 includes an annex titled “Towards a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (the “global compact for migration” or “global compact”). This document is comprised of several thematic issues related to international migration that will be the basis of a globally negotiated agreement on how member states should respond to international migration at the national, regional, and international levels, as well as to issues related to international migration and development. The global compact for migration is intended to be adopted at a conference on international migration and development before the inauguration of the 73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018. This paper addresses how UN member states should plan to address international migration in the future. It does not refer to refugees and asylum seekers: a global compact on refugees will be drafted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2018, and to be presented to the UN General Assembly for states’ consideration during its 73rd annual session, which starts in September 2018.[1] For those who have been involved in migration issues within the United Nations, the fact that member states have finally agreed to convene an international conference on international migration represents a major achievement. It is the result of an extended process that started decades ago and was made possible by a long chain of efforts by many state delegations and other stakeholders. The global compact for migration will not be the first outcome document dealing exclusively with international migration. A declaration[2] adopted at a high-level meeting at the United Nations in October 2013, for example, paved the way for the 2018 conference. Nonetheless, the global compact represents a unique opportunity to address international migration comprehensively and humanely. This paper contributes to the discussion on the elements that should be included in the global compact for migration. The paper is divided into two sections. The first section analyzes the main elements of Annex II, “Towards a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” and the criteria that needs to be adopted in order to achieve a substantive outcome. In particular, participants in the negotiation process should aim to balance the concerns of states and the members of host societies, on one hand, with the needs and rights of migrants, on the other. The second section includes proposals to enrich the final global compact for migration and takes into account two documents written by two different actors within the UN system, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration, and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. In particular, the paper proposes that the global compact for migration: sets forth principles that can inform the actions of governments in relation to international migration at all levels; enunciates a clearer definition of state protection responsibilities in relation to migrants in crisis situations and so-called “mixed flows” [3]; affords a substantive role to civil society organizations, the private sector, and academic institutions in the global compact’s follow-up and review process; defines the institutional framework for the implementation and follow-up of the global compact within the United Nations, including through the work of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF); establishes a mechanism to fund migration policies for states that lack enough resources to invest sufficiently in this task; and builds a cooperation-oriented, peer-review mechanism to review migration policies. The paper has been conceived as an input for those who will take part in the negotiation of the global compact for migration, as well as those who will closely follow those negotiations. Thus, the paper assumes a level of knowledge on how international migration has been addressed within the United Nations during the last several years and of the complexities of these negotiation processes. The author took part in different UN negotiation processes on international migration from 2004 to 2013. The paper is primarily based on this experience.[4]
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Migration, United Nations, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kevin Appleby
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: On September 19, 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. This document launched a two-year process to develop a Global Compact on Responsibility Sharing on Refugees (“Global Compact on Refugees”) and a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. With a record 65 million displaced persons in the world, the global community must come together to fashion a stronger protection regime for persons on the move. This paper outlines broad themes and specific recommendations that the Global Compact on Refugees should adopt on how to strengthen the global refugee protection system. The recommendations fall into several categories: (1) responsibility sharing for the protection of refugees; (2) filling in protection gaps; (3) balancing and replacing deterrence strategies with protection solutions; (4) refugee resettlement; and (5) building refugee self-sufficiency. Some of the key recommendations include: the development of a responsibility-sharing formula to respond to large movements of refugees; the development of an early warning system to identify and respond to nations in crisis; the adoption of principles included in the Nansen and Migrants in Countries of Crisis initiatives; the use of temporary protection measures to protect populations that flee natural disaster; the adoption of model processes that ensure safe and voluntary return; cooperation between destination and transit countries to expand refugee protections; the provision of asylum and due process protections at borders; the use of development assistance to ensure the self-sufficiency of refugees; the adoption of a goal to resettle 10 percent of the global refugee population each year; the establishment of a refugee matching system between refugees and resettlement countries; and the adoption of coherent strategies, involving all sectors, to address large movements of refugees. This paper draws heavily, albeit not exclusively, from a series of papers published as a special collection in the Journal on Migration and Human Security[1] on strengthening the global system of refugee protection.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Crisis, Resettlement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Daniela Alulema, Siqi Tu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes a dataset of every person in the custody of the US Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE or ICE) on September 22, 2012, and compares this data with an earlier analysis of a similar dataset on detainees in DHS-ICE custody on January 25, 2009. DHS-ICE provided the 2012 and 2009 datasets in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the Boston Globe and Associated Press. The paper sets forth findings related to: (1) the removal adjudication processes to which the detainees were subject; (2) the facilities in which they were held; (3) their length of detention; and (4) their criminal histories, if any.
  • Topic: History, Immigration, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform, Homeland Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In 2013, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) initiated a project to bring concentrated academic and policy attention to the US refugee protection system, broadly understood to encompass refugees, asylum seekers and refugeelike populations in need of protection. The initiative gave rise to a series of papers published in 2014 and 2015, which CMS is releasing as a special collection in its Journal on Migration and Human Security on the 35th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. This introductory essay situates the papers in the collection within a broader discussion of state compliance with international law, impediments to protection, US protection programs, vulnerable populations, and due process concerns. The essay sets forth extensive policy recommendations to strengthen the system drawn from the papers, legislative proposals, and other sources.
  • Topic: International Law, Refugee Issues, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Kamasaki, Susan Timmons, Courtney Tudi, Amelia Collins, Jack Holmgren, Donald Kerwin, Kerry O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Successful implementation of any broad-scale immigrant legalization program requires an adequately funded infrastructure of immigrant serving organizations. In 2014, President Obama announced an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as the Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which would make it possible for approximately five million people to attain lawful, albeit temporary, status and employment authorization. As the initial DACA program instituted in 2012 has already stretched the capacity of immigrant-serving organizations to their limits or even beyond them, the possibility of full implementation of DAPA and the expanded DACA programs presents a formidable challenge for these organizations.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Immigration, Sociology, Reform
  • Political Geography: Global Focus