Europe: fortress or refuge?

FMR 23
May 2005

The theme articles in this FMR challenge Europe’s leaders to ensure that development of a common European asylum policy focuses on tackling the root causes of forced migration and on providing protection and integration and not simply keeping asylum seekers out of Europe. As well as a range of general articles on Syria, Georgia, camp design, Nigeria and urban refugees, it also includes three feature articles on slow progress in providing protection and assistance in Darfur, the process of selecting the new head of UNHCR and an interview with Walter Kälin, the UN Secretary-General’s IDP representative.

Contents

Roberta Cohen

Darfur is regularly debated by the UN Security Council, African Union forces have been deployed and some 9,000 humanitarian workers are trying to help over two million displaced people. Clearly, Darfur cannot be described as a ‘forgotten emergency’. Why, then, does fighting persist and the needs of many of the uprooted go unmet?

Manisha Thomas and Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop

Dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, Ruud Lubbers resigned as head of UNHCR in February 2005. The UN Secretariat is to be commended for a new approach to recruitment but concerns remain about the level of transparency and the future relevance of the agency.

Nick Cater

From refugee flows to earthquake relief, it is invariably local groups which are at the humanitarian frontline. Should international agencies reinvent themselves as solidarity and advocacy networks and start letting Southern NGOs take the lead?

Heaven Crawley

The theme articles in this FMR challenge Europe’s leaders to ensure that development of a common European asylum policy  focuses on tackling the root causes of forced migration and on providing protection and integration and not simply keeping asylum seekers out of Europe.

Tim Morris

An examination of the common EU asylum standards so far adopted suggests that there is still a long way to go before asylum policy and practice are harmonised and that this process may undermine the principles enshrined in the Refugee Convention.

European Council on Refugees and Exiles

The guiding principle for national integration policies in Europe should be a mainstream approach to refugee integration where possible and the provision of specialised services where necessary.

Heaven Crawley

The drive to reduce the number of asylum seekers in Europe and to secure durable solutions for the ‘asylum problem’ has provoked controversy about ‘extra-territorial processing’. The most effective and durable solution, however, is to address the root causes of the initial flight.

David Griffiths, Nando Sigona and Roger Zetter

It is often suggested that Refugee Community-based Organisations (RCOs) play a key role in assisting refugee adaptation and integration in the UK. But what happens when the reception policy for asylum seekers and refugees is fundamentally changed?

Berend Jonker

Many refugees experience great difficulty finding employment. When they do find work, it is often well below their capacity. Doctors, lawyer and teachers work as cleaners, taxi drivers or sales assistants. How can refugees find suitable jobs and how can employers benefit more from refugees’ skills?

Ridvan Peshkopia

Post-communist Albania has become a transit point for refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. Asylum policies and procedures put in place under UNHCR and EU tutelage are fragile and serve the interests of Europe, not Albania.

Kithure Kindiki

As Somalia stumbles towards peace, should Europe assist in refugee repatriation and reconstruction?

Martin Rozumek

A decade of conflict has forced an estimated 350,000 people to flee Chechnya. For Chechen asylum seekers Central Europe has become the transit point for those seeking entry to the EU. Expansion of the EU has failed to offer protection and imposed further burdens on asylum systems in new member states.

General articles

Ann Maymann

Forced displacement is now a defining characteristic of Iraqi society and will remain so for years to come. Many have chosen to leave for neighbouring countries, particularly Syria and Jordan, but remain in a limbo of temporary protection.

Freya von Groote

Secession of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia in the early 1990s displaced over a quarter of a million Georgians, many of whom remain in collective shelters. As Georgia embraces democracy, what can be done to resolve the country’s protracted IDP crisis?

Jim Kennedy

Current guidelines for camps for displaced people need to be adapted to cater realistically for camp lifespan and population growth.

Michael M Cernea

Recent changes in the World Bank’s policy on resettlement have dramatic implications for those displaced by conservation projects, for governments, NGOs and researchers.

Claudia McGoldrick

In the past five years an estimated 800,000 people have been displaced in Africa’s most populous state. Addressing Nigeria’s neglected IDP crisis must be a key priority in the run-up to the country’s 2007 presidential elections.

Erin Mooney and Balkees Jarrah
Ingvild Solvang

In the West Timorese village of Sukabitetek, a wedding ceremony with a difference has taken place. Local residents and refugees from East Timor have pledged their troth as one community in a ceremony sealed with gifts – and land rights.

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