Adapting to urban displacement
Globally, urbanisation – the movement of people into cities and towns – continues to increase, and growing numbers of displaced people, whether refugees or IDPs, now reside in urban areas rather than camps. Relatively little is known about their precise numbers, demographics, basic needs or protection problems.
In their introductory articles in this issue of FMR, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka emphasise the complexity of the challenges faced by those displaced into urban areas and by those seeking to protect and assist them, and argue for the need for a radical rethinking of approaches by the international community. This issue of Forced Migration Review includes 26 articles by a wide range of authors – practitioners, policymakers and researchers – on the subject of urban displacement, plus 13 articles on other aspects of forced migration, including a ‘spotlight’ on Haiti after the earthquake.
FMR 34 is published in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.
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We would like to thank the following donors for providing funding specifically for this issue: the Commonwealth Foundation, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR’s Policy Development and Evaluation Service, UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Africa, and the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).
More about the cover image…
This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from NASA’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Originally designed to view clouds by moonlight, the OLS is also used to map the locations of permanent lights on the Earth’s surface.
The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanised but not necessarily the most populated. (Compare western Europe with China and India.) Some urban areas – such as in Africa – might be experiencing population growth but not necessarily infrastructure growth (e.g. electricity service) and so will not show up as much as other similarly sized cities.
Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. Even without the underlying map, the outlines of many continents would still be visible. The US interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centres. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching from Moscow through the centre of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region.
Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, some regions remain thinly populated and unlit. Antarctica is entirely dark. Deserts in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Mongolia and the US are poorly lit as well (except along the coast), along with the boreal forests of Canada and Russia, and the Himalaya mountain range in Asia.
The Earth Observatory article Bright Lights, Big City describes how NASA scientists use city light data to map urbanisation.
Adapting to urban displacement
From the editors
Feature: Urban displacement
Adapting to urban displacement
Meeting humanitarian challenges in urban areas
Roger Zetter and George Deikun
Protection challenges for persons of concern in urban settings
Urban displacement and migration in Colombia
Sebastián Albuja and Marcela Ceballos
Invisibility of urban IDPs in Europe
Marzia Montemurro and Nadine Walicki
Profiling urban IDPs
Anne Davies and Karen Jacobsen
Improving living conditions in Bossaso, Somalia
Filiep Decorte and Ombretta Tempra
The poor and the displaced in Khartoum
The journey towards social exclusion in Colombia
Rubén Darío Guevara Corral and Diego Andrés Guevara Flétcher
Desperate lives: urban refugee women in Malaysia and Egypt
Dale Buscher and Lauren Heller
Urban refugee health: meeting the challenges
Paul Spiegel and the Public Health and HIV Section at UNHCR
Support systems among urban IDPs in Georgia
Namrita Singh and Courtland Robinson
Education and self-reliance in Egypt
Marisa O Ensor
Urban shelter and the limits of humanitarian action
Kate Crawford, Martin Suvatne, James Kennedy and Tom Corsellis
Refugees and space in urban areas in Malaysia
Alice M Nah
Urban IDPs in Uganda: victims of institutional convenience
Hilde Refstie, Chris Dolan and Moses Chrispus Okello
Transition, connection and uncertainty: IDPs in Kampala
Urban Somali refugees in Yemen
Displacement within the city: Colombia
Luz Amparo Sánchez Medina
The role of municipal authorities
Surviving in the city
ATM cash assistance: does it work?
Cities of Solidarity: local integration in Latin America
City of Sanctuary – a UK initiative for hospitality
Jonathan Darling, Craig Barnett and Sarah Eldridge
Hosting ‘the enemy’
Harry Jeene and Angela Rouse
“Legitimate” protection spaces: UNHCR’s 2009 policy
Spotlight on: Haiti
Using standards to shape response and recovery in Haiti
General Articles / Regulars
Beyond good intentions: implementing the Kampala Convention
Nowegian Refugee Council
Shade netting: simple design – effective relief
International Displacement Monitoring Centre Displacement in urban areas: implications for humanitarian action
Sara Pavanello and Marzia Montemurro
The blind spot of the Millennium Development Goals
Marlou den Hollander
Cross-border mobility of Iraqi refugees
Non-nationals displaced in South Africa
Jean-Pierre Misago and Tamlyn Monson
Social mobilisation in IDP camps in Pakistan
Shingha Bahadur Khadka
Flexible mandate for protection
IDP camp closure and gender inequality in Timor-Leste
Family breakdown in Bogotá
Ofelia Restrepo Vélez and Amparo Hernández Bello
Living death: separation in the UK
Voluntary repatriation and the participation of Mauritanian refugees