The Covid-19 Shock: Effects on the Migrant Labour Force and Remittances

By: Dr. Zsoka Koczan and Dr. Alexander Plekhanov
In this article, we examine the likely effects of the pandemic on employment for immigrants and, in turn, on remittances. Although immigration to advanced economies generally receives more attention, it is important to note that emerging markets and developing economies host almost half of the world’s migrants. Motivated by this, we zoom in on a group of select emerging markets with significant migrant populations in south-eastern Europe and Russia (looking at the experiences of migrants predominantly from Central Asia and the Caucasus in Russia, from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, and Albanians in Greece). In turn, we look at how these shocks are transmitted to the migrants’ home countries through remittance flows.

The Conflictual Theory of Law: Towards a More Inclusive Understanding of Rights

By: Julius M. Rogenhofer
Despite the global crisis of human rights imagination and protection, a universalist justification for rights remains firmly entrenched in the institutional self-understanding of many of the world’s liberal democracies. Yet I contend that liberalism’s ahistorical and undifferentiated justifications of what are undeniably important principles for the protection of human life and dignity, including rights to privacy, family, nationality and political participation (Articles 12, 15, 21 UDHR), are unable to account for the pluralism intrinsic to social histories and human experiences.

The Importance of Humanising Refugees

By: Alexander Huang-Menders
I traveled to Greece to document the refugee crisis in Athens and Chios island as part of my family’s The Power of Faces portrait project. Through this project, we endeavor to put a human face to the refugee crisis. We created a makeshift studio and took studio portraits of individuals, families, or groups of friends detained in Chios’s Souda and Vial refugee camps. We seek to show individuals with their inherent beauty, courage, dignity, and grace. Realising that most refugees have lost all their personal possessions when they fled their homelands, we also give printed portraits to the individuals. To date, we have distributed thousands of photographs to the individuals we have met in camps in Greece, Turkey, Mexico and Bangladesh.

The Brides for Survival: Tracking the Invisible Pandemic of Early Marriages in India

By: Reetika Subramanian
A growing body of largely empirical literature, particularly in Asia and Africa, examines the disproportionate impacts of, and the potential interlinkages between early marriage, climate change and natural disasters. This research offers both theoretical insights that have global resonance and ethnographic particularities that are relevant to the conversations on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making Home Away: A New Digital Archive of Testimonies of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement

By: Dr. Helen Underhill
For many people around the world, recent months have seen an unprecedented redefinition our relationship with our homes, with millions spending time confined to home in a mass effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. Advocates and campaigners have rightly urged us to think about those who have no safe or reliable home to isolate themselves. Making Home Away centres on the homes that have been lost and found by refugees of the recent Syrian crisis. The emerging digital archive established by the Making Home Away project encourages the reexamination of the idea of ‘home’ as a crucible for rethinking attitudes towards displacement, migration, and resettlement at both public and policy levels.

“Stay at Home?” How Syrian Refugees Face a Crisis of Shelter in Jordan

By: Cevdet Acu
I came to Amman/Jordan on 8 March 2020, only three days before the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic. I had travelled to Jordan to conduct interviews with Syrian refugees in order to gain a better understanding of their economic integration in society. However, the COVID-19 crisis changed my original plans as it changed almost everything, from the governments’ refugee policies to human relations across the world.

A Critical Analysis of the Migration Ban Lifecycle for Women Domestic Workers in the Indo-Pacific Region

By: Dr. Sophie Henderson, Dr. Richa Shivakoti, & Dr. Matt Withers
Although migration bans often appear to be enforced in a piecemeal and reactive fashion, they have been embraced by an increasing number of countries and used more frequently over time, drawing nascent academic and civil society attention to their efficacy as a potential mechanism for negotiating better wages and conditions for migrant domestic workers (MDWs). There has been little comparative analysis of the varying political logics behind migration bans, the extent to which they might reflect extant gender norms or economic constraints, and the emergent patterns of policy convergence or divergence within and between sub-regional contexts.

Digital Livelihoods: The Promises and Perils of Remote Work for Refugees

By: Dr. Philip Rushworth
On Friday, 12 June, we hosted a panel of researchers and practitioners at The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement at Cambridge University to discuss remote work for refugees. This guest post covers some of the key themes from our discussion.

Covid-19 and the onset of lockdown around the world has revealed and accentuated a number of existing faultlines and trends. One of these is discourses about “the death of the office” and an increasing shift to remote work. This promises a profound impact for many people, but it raises particular questions for those who face severe restrictions on their ability to work in their location. One such group is refugees.

Global Conversations – Technology, Remote Work and Sustainable Livelihoods for Refugees

The fourth video in our Global Conversations series.
There is an urgent need for scalable, sustainable and replicable models of job creation for refugees, and technology has the potential to provide this. Yet, this potential has not been fully realised for refugees. The current disruption to employment caused by COVID-19, forcing many to work from home, has emphasized the potential for some work to be done remotely, via technology. As many companies now realise that their employees can work anywhere, from home, from a cafe or even from a refugee camp, this has presented an opportunity for refugees.

World Refugee Day 2020

Today, on World Refugee Day, the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement recognises the courage and resilience of the nearly 80 million people who have been forced to flee from their homes as refugees or internally displaced people. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and with anti-racism protests spreading globally, it seems an opportune time to take stock and consider how, in ways both small and large, we can contribute to making the world a more inclusive place.