Forced Migration

Forced Migration

Extraregional Migratory Flows in Transit as Complex Unbounded Emergency (Risk): Conceptual Challenges and Empirical Lessons in Costa Rica

Recent migratory flows transiting through Central America have led to unprecedented institutional and humanitarian responses across the sub-region. Between 2015 and 2016, the small Central American countries and Costa Rica in particular experienced at least two major “migration waves,” triggered by thousands of “extraregional migrants” in transit from Cuba, Haiti, and many countries from Asia and Africa who became stranded for months in Central America. The article examines how these recent and unusual migratory flows led to novel state responses, including the use of disaster risk management principles and operational mechanisms. Based on empirical data from Costa Rica, the article explores how the concept and notion of complex unbounded emergency (risk) may be appropriate in understanding the practical implications of this new migratory reality in terms of disaster risk reduction and management. It aims to shed new insights on the complexities of extraregional migratory flows, which are likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

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The Migrant Protection Protocols: Policy History and Latest Updates

On December 6, 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reimplemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This post and the accompanying graphic outline policy changes and estimates of people impacted by MPP and their asylum case outcomes.

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Ethics in Forced Migration Research: Taking Stock and Potential Ways Forward

Migration research poses particular ethical challenges because of legal precarity, the criminalization and politicization of migration, and power asymmetries. This paper analyzes these challenges in relation to the ethical principles of voluntary, informed consent; protection of personal information; and minimizing harm. It shows how migration researchers — including those outside of academia — have attempted to address these ethical issues in their work, including through the recent adoption of a Code of Ethics by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). However, gaps remain, particularly in relation to the intersection of procedural and relational ethics; specific ethical considerations of big data and macrocomparative analyses; localized meanings of ethics; and oversight of researchers collecting information outside of institutional ethics boards.

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Modeling and Simulation as a Bridge to Advance Practical and Theoretical Insights About Forced Migration Studies

Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is a relatively unused research approach in forced migration studies. In most of its application areas, M&S is applied in several broad thematic policy-oriented topics: predicting human movement, humanitarian logistics, communicable diseases, healthcare, policing, and economics. More recently, there has been increased use of M&S in predicting human movement and health impacts resulting from climate change. Computer modeling has benefits for both policy and theoretical advancements in the field.

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Promoting Voice and Agency Among Forcibly Displaced Children and Adolescents: Participatory Approaches to Practice in Conflict-Affected Settings

Globally, large numbers of children and adolescents are displaced by armed conflict, which poses significant threats to their mental health, psychosocial well-being, and protection. Although humanitarian work to support mental health, psychosocial well-being, and protection has done considerable good, this paper analyzes how humanitarian action is limited by excessive reliance on a top-down approach. Although the focus is on settings of armed conflict, the analysis offered in this paper applies also to the wider array of humanitarian settings that spawn increasing numbers of refugees globally.

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Resilience within Communities of Forced Migrants: Updates and the Path Forward

This article explores the current state of the principal literature relevant to resilience and vulnerability within and among communities of forced migrants. It highlights strengths, gaps, and weaknesses in these literatures, utilizing a case study to illustrate the importance of what we deem to be essential omitted variables. It makes recommendations for moving these literatures—and their associated underlying conceptual frameworks—forward.

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Applying Concepts and Tools in Demography for Estimating, Analyzing, and Forecasting Forced Migration

Among demographic events (birth, death, and migration), migration is notably the most volatile component to forecast accurately. Accounting for forced migration is even more challenging given the difficulty in collecting forced migration data. Knowledge of trends and patterns of forced migration and its future trajectory is, however, highly relevant for policy planning for migrant-sending and receiving areas. This paper aims to review existing methodological tools to estimate and forecast migration in demography and explore how they can be applied to the study of forced migration. It presents steps towards estimation of forced migration and future assessments, which comprise: (1) migration flows estimation methods using both traditional and nontraditional data; (2) empirical analysis of drivers of migration and migration patterns; and (3) forecasting migration based on multidimensional population projections and scenarios approach. The paper then discusses how these demographic methods and tools can be applied to estimate and forecast forced migration.

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Policy Update: Protecting Afghan Allies in the Aftermath of the Longest War in American History

On August 31, 2021, President Joe Biden announced the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. By the end of August, the United States completed one of the biggest airlifts to date, evacuating more than 120,000 people out of Afghanistan, including US citizens and permanent residents. As of September 14, 2021, approximately 64,000 Afghan evacuees have arrived in the United States.

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When Internal Migration Fails: A Case Study of Central American Youth Who Relocate Internally Before Leaving Their Countries

This paper examines the experiences of Central American youth who have attempted internal relocation before migrating internationally. Based on interviews and participant observation with Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran youth migrating through Mexico, this paper shows how youth from the Northern Countries of Central America turn to their domestic networks to escape labor exploitation and gang violence before undertaking international journeys. The paper further demonstrates how those domestic networks lead youth into contexts of poverty and violence similar to those they seek to escape, making their internal relocation a disappointment. The failure of their internal relocation attempts makes them turn to international migrant networks as their next option. This paper sheds light on the underexplored issue of internal migration among Central American youth and that migration’s synergy with Central American youths’ migration to the United States. The paper finds that internal relocation is unsuccessful when the internal destination fails to resolve the issues from which youth are attempting to escape. This failure ultimately triggers their departure from their home country.

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