With over 5 million Venezuelans fleeing their home country, Latin America is facing the largest migration crisis in its history. Colombia, Peru, and Chile host the largest numbers of Venezuelan migrants in the region. Each country has responded differently to the crisis in terms of the provision of education. Venezuelan migrants attempting to enter the primary, secondary, and higher education systems encounter a variety of barriers, from struggles with documentation to limited availability of spaces in schools to cultural barriers and xenophobia.
While gang violence, community violence, and domestic violence have been recognized as contributing factors to Central American migration, less is known about the intersection between child maltreatment and migration. This article uses secondary data from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees interviews with unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico to examine child maltreatment. It provides information on the abused children, their abusers, and the questions that led to their disclosure of maltreatment. It finds that girls reported maltreatment at higher rates than boys; only girls in this sample reported sexual abuse and intimate partner violence; and boys experienced physical abuse more than any other form of maltreatment. Overall, girls experienced all forms of abuse at higher rates than boys. Fewer than half of this sample described maltreatment as an explicit reason for migration, even those who viewed it as a type of suffering, harm, or danger. In addition, some disclosures suggest that childhood transitions, such as in housing, schooling, or work status, warrant further inquiry as a potential consequence of or contributor to maltreatment.
The article recommends that professionals engaged with migrant children in social services, legal services, or migration protection and status adjudications should inquire about maltreatment, recognizing that children may reveal abuse in complex and indirect ways. Protection risks within the home or family environment may provide the grounds for US legal immigration protections, such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or asylum. Practitioners working with unaccompanied migrant children should use varied approaches to inquire about home country maltreatment experiences. Maltreatment may be part of the context of child migration, whether or not it is explicitly mentioned by children as a reason for migration.
This paper offers estimates of US foreign-born populations that are eligible for special legal status programs and those that would be eligible for permanent residence (legalization) under pending bills. It seeks to provide policymakers, government agencies, community-based organizations (CBOs), researchers, and others with a unique tool to assess the potential impact, implement, and analyze the success of these programs. The paper views timely, comprehensive data on targeted immigrant populations as an essential pillar of legalization preparedness, implementation, and evaluation. The paper and the exhaustive estimates that underlie it, represent a first attempt to provide a detailed statistical profile of beneficiaries of proposed major US legalization programs and special, large-scale legal status programs.
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.
The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is pleased to announce the release of New Demographic Directions in Forced Migrant and Refugee Research, a special collection of the Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). This special collection aims to advance forced migrant and refugee research. It considers refugee resettlement and integration in the United States within the broader framework of the literature on migrant integration and reflects on the role that population research can play in promoting successful and healthy refugee resettlement in the United States. Articles in this special collection also explore the ethical challenges of forced migration research, humanitarian work with children and adolescents, the resilience of forced migrant communities, the value of computer modeling for human migration and health, demographic methods for estimating and forecasting migration, and research priorities for US refugees and refugee communities.
This introduction to this special issue of the Journal on Migration and Human Security discusses the background and focus of two meetings precursory to this collection, considers refugee resettlement and integration in the United States within the broader framework of the literature on migrant integration, and reflects on the role that population research can play in promoting successful and healthy refugee resettlement in the United States. Other contributions to the special issue are based on five of the presentations at a scientific workshop held in May 2019 in Washington, DC, entitled, “Forced Migration Research: From Theory to Practice in Promoting Migrant Well-Being.” A sixth article evolved from a virtual stakeholder meeting held as a follow-up activity in December 2020, entitled, “Refugee Resettlement in the United States: The Role of Migration Research in Promoting Migrant Well-being in a Post-Pandemic Era.” Both the workshop and the virtual meeting were hosted by the Committee on Population of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with dedicated support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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.
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.
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.
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.