From the Editors

“We cannot see our future,” says a young Congolese refugee living in a camp in Malawi. Being displaced involves not just a change of physical location but a dislocation of many aspects of normal life, and young people  – in this context we mean those between early teenage and late twenties –  may be particularly susceptible to being physically and socially ‘out of place’ during this period of their lives. Families are divided, social relations are broken, education is disrupted, and access to social spaces and work opportunities can no longer be relied on at a time when young people face important changes.

But life goes on and, whether displaced into a camp or an unfamiliar urban environment or resettled to a new country, young people have to try to find ways to re-create what is lost or to find substitutes for it if they are to become fulfilled, responsible adults. The articles in the theme section of this issue of FMR examine the particular stresses of ‘being young and out of place’, explore young people’s needs and coping strategies, and ask why relatively little attention is paid to the rights and needs of adolescents and young adults.

This issue also includes a number of articles about disparate aspects of forced migration: protracted displacement, refugee-run information services, ‘tolerated stay’, psychosocial resilience, resettlement of refugees in Argentina, mental health in Lebanese refugee camps, Nigeria’s IDP policy, why some issues make it onto the international agenda while others do not, and the development of IDP policy in Afghanistan.

We welcome your help in disseminating this issue as widely as possible. Please post links to it, add it to your resources lists, Tweet about it, ‘like’ our Facebook page and do anything else that will raise awareness of its contents. We encourage you to post online or reproduce FMR articles but please acknowledge the source and provide the original website link.

We would like to thank Cécile Mazzacurati (UNFPA) and Jason Hart (University of Bath) for their invaluable assistance as special advisors on the feature theme of this issue.

We are very grateful to Save the Children, UNICEF and the Norwegian Refugee Council for their funding support for this issue. Unfortunately, we have failed to raise any other earmarked funding for this theme and for that reason we are only able to print copies of this issue in English, rather than in all four of our usual languages. The French, Arabic and Spanish editions will be available but only online. We apologise to all those who use these language editions for sharing research, learning and debate in non-English-speaking areas of the world. If your organisation could help fund the printing and dissemination for one of the other language editions, please do get in touch with us as soon as possible at

Could you support FMR?

FMR is funded entirely by donations and grants – including donations from individuals who read FMR. We can’t tell you how many hygiene-kits/tents/schoolbooks for displaced people your donation will buy because it’s not like that with a magazine that promotes the protection of and assistance to refugees and displaced people. What it will do is help keep the magazine going so that it can continue to support the principles and actions that we are all committed to. Any amount helps, and you can pay by credit or debit card, on a one-off or regular basis, in any currency. Please visit our secure online giving site at or see for more information. Thank you!

Forthcoming issues:

  • FMR 40, due out December 2012, will include a feature section on ‘Preventing displacement’:
  • FMR 41, due out March/April 2013, will focus on ‘Sexual orientation and gender identity and displacement’. Call for articles online at Deadline for submissions: December 3rd 2012.


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With our best wishes

Marion Couldrey and Maurice Herson
Editors, Forced Migration Review


Opinions in FMR do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, the Refugee Studies Centre or the University of Oxford.
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