On implementing EU-Turkey agreement

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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 humanitarian visas

Sam Cowie at IRIN discusses Brazil’s use of humanitarian visas —

Until recently, Haitians escaping their homeland after the utter devastation of the 2010 earthquake took hazardous overland routes through South America in the hope of finding a better life in Brazil, often putting their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. Now, it’s simple: they walk into an office in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and apply for a humanitarian visa. No need for smugglers or sneaking across borders.

Brazil has introduced a similar system for Syrian refugees who can apply for special visas at Brazilian consulates in the Middle East. The visas facilitate their travel to Brazil. After arriving, they can register asylum claims. So far, 8,000 Syrians have been granted the visas.

On the EU internal quota relocations

25.01.16: updated statistics: 257 relocated from Italy, 157 from Greece

23.01.16: Building on the Lessons Learned to Make the Relocation Schemes Work More Effectively – UNCHR

05.01.16: Member States’ Support to Emergency Relocation Mechanism [hint: things aren’t looking so good]

01.12.15: EU to relocate asylum seekers currently in Sweden

09.11.15: 5 reasons relocating refugees is a nightmare

The fear is that if too many other countries want to send refugees away and too few want to take them in, a domino effect could collapse the whole process, which is already proving a nightmare to implement.

04.11.15: 116 relocated of 160,000. [EU Commission press release with updates.]

04.11.15: 30 refugees in Greece will be sent to Luxembourg.

Lisa de Bode at Al Jazeera America notes that the first 20 individuals are being relocated to Sweden from a camp in Italy under the EU refugee quota system.

Lithuania offered to resettle 1,105 refugees in the next two years but doesn’t appear to have any takers yet.

[updates as I hear of more relocations.]