On studying the timing of displacement

Justin Schon over at the Monkey Cage writes about drives behind population displacement, studying Somalia using UNHCR’s Population Movement Tracking system data —

What factors influence the timing of displacement? Why do certain crises prompt displacement floods while others only elicit a trickle? Unique daily internal displacement data from Somalia in the mid-2000s, which I published in a recent article, can offer insights into these critical policy questions. Since Ethiopia’s 2006 invasion, Somalia has produced some of the world’s largest displacement flows. As Anna Lindley observes, two-thirds of Mogadishu’s population fled between the end of 2006 and the end of 2008. Somali displacement flows furthermore exhibit substantial variation over time. Its lessons may be more broadly applicable, since Somalia contains characteristics that exist in many cases of civil conflict: a weak state, proliferation of armed groups and militias, protracted conflict, poverty, and environmental challenges.

The data derives from an UNHCR project called the Population Movement Tracking system. Begun in mid-2006, the project works with 48 local partners inside Somalia to track displacement on a daily basis. Analyzing this daily displacement data reveals that there were actually 15 distinct cycles of displacement in Somalia from 2008 to 2013. The structural conflict characteristics of geographic scope and balance of power are the most important drivers of displacement timing – and not individual events, as is commonly believed.

[Links in original; emphasis added.]


On 2016 projected global resettlement needs

UNHCR’s 2016 projected global resettlement needs is a treasure trove of context as to what’s going on, statistically, and the behind the scenes of global resettlement.

From page 17,

Strategic response 2015 – 2016

The Resettlement Service will:

• Expand global capacity and response: Resettlement needs continue to outstrip the number of available places, particularly emergency places.

• Streamline procedures: Resettlement processing challenges require collaboration and resources by UNHCR and States to further simplify resettlement procedures while ensuring the integrity of the process.

• Preserve the humanitarian foundation of resettlement: UNHCR will continue to advocate for States to avoid restrictive selection criteria based on integration potential and to receive refugees recognized under UNHCR’s mandate.

• Expand reception and integration capacity: UNHCR will support the ongoing efforts of resettlement partners and networks to reinforce the integration capacity of receiving communities.

• Situate resettlement within comprehensive solutions: UNHCR will work with host and resettlement countries to integrate resettlement more effectively with other durable solutions.

• Promote multi-year commitments: The use of multi-year resettlement commitments has been identified as a best practice that enables predictable planning and resource allocation, particularly for priority refugee situations and protracted situations.

• Boost field capacity: UNHCR will provide eld-oriented guidance, practical training and operational tools, as well as strategic deployments of af liate workforce.

• Foster partnerships: UNHCR will continue to ensure the effective management of global resettlement efforts through partnerships with the wider NGO community, IOM and other institutions.

• Ensure the integrity of the protection response: UNHCR will develop specialized training and guidance on fraud prevention, investigation, and response, and on ensuring integrity at all stages of the protection-case management process.

• Improve global coordination: UNHCR and resettlement partners will maximize the use of the ATCR/WGR process to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of the global resettlement programme including through the review of existing core and contact groups.

On 2014 Statistical Yearbook

UNHCR just released their 2014 Statistical Yearbook. From chapter 3, durable solutions and new displacement —

The number of countries admitting refugees for resettlement has remained relatively stagnant in recent years. Likewise, the number of available resettlement places has not grown significantly. These trends are in contrast to the number of resettlement claims, which continues to rise from year to year. UNHCR has not relaxed its efforts to advocate for more countries to offer resettlement places and for countries to increase their resettlement quotas.

see also: UNHCR 11 December 2015 confirmed pledges for resettlement and other forms of legal admission since 2013

On European resettlement resources

  • on Researching Forced Migration / Forced Migration Open Access
  • ECRE – European Council on Refugees and Exiles – on Resettlement
  • European Resettlement Network
  • Asylum Corner
  • IOM Missing Migrants project
  • Migrant Crisis project hosted at the European University Institute and Migration Policy Centre
  • Know Reset project hosted at the European University Institute:

    “KNOW RESET has resulted in the first website mapping EU involvement in refugee resettlement. It focuses on resettlement in the EU and covers the 27 Member States, involved in resettlement in one form or another, and to various degrees. It contains a unique database providing legal, administrative and policy documents as well as statistics collected from national authorities by the project team. It also includes a series of comparative tables and graphs, the country profiles of the Member States, country of first asylum reports, as well as thematic reports and policy briefs. This user-friendly website is a valuable instrument for: comparing the varied frameworks, policies and practices within the EU; for evaluating the resettlement capacity in the EU; for following the evolution of Member States’ commitment in resettlement; and for assessing the impact of the Joint EU Resettlement Programme.”

On UNHCR + NGO dialogue

Stumbled across the Final Report on the 2015 UNHCR-NGO Annual Consultations, posted by the International Council of Voluntary Agencies.

Of further note (archives!) — ICVA’s work on forced displacement:


Forced displacement was ICVA’s first focus area in 1962 and remains highly relevant today as the ICVA network responds to the overwhelming number of displaced persons.  In line with the 2015-2018 Strategy, ICVA promotes improved protection, assistance and durable solutions for refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless persons and vulnerable migrants

The focus is on the three key areas:

  1. Support collective NGO advocacy
  2. Improve institutional engagement between NGOs and organisations such as UNHCR
  3. Influence practice on the ground

On the Human Costs of Border Control

Hosted by VU University Amsterdam, the Human Costs of Border Control measures changes in migration policies in Europe  —

On the basis of globalization theories, as well as on the basis of developments in European migration policies, we  hypothesize that since 1990 migration law has witnessed a shift from migration control (reactive, focus on concrete individuals) to migration management (pro-active, focus on potential migrant populations). A second hypothesis is that the increased number of ‘irregular’ migrants dying on their way to Europe is an unintended side-effect of this shift. Thirdly, we propose that as a consequence of the shift to border management, the human rights protection previously available regarding migrant fatalities under border control, has become considerably less effective.

Click through for their ‘deaths at the borders database‘ that ranges from 1990 to 2013.

[edit 21.09.15: UNHCR has a pretty slick website documenting the refugees/migrants emergency response – Mediterranean in from 2015 to present.]