Migrants and Citizens

For richer, for poorer

If the UK’s coalition government has a single theme it likes to spin its policies around, it’s solidarity. And like the forgotten language of the ‘big society’ and the faux-austerity practices of Cabinet millionaires, the UK Government’s relentless… Read More

Israelis and Africans: the other refugee story

We all know the story of Israel and the Palestinian refugees. And certainly, even in this most politicized of conflicts, no one should dispute the continuing human suffering of the civilian Palestinian population. There should be shame that… Read More

Citizen London (or what is forced migration?)

What isforced migration? That’s a time-honoured question every lecturer teaching. An Introduction to Refugee Studies asks.  And as the students who try and answer that first-week question quickly realise, the answer is deceptively complex. We can identify the… Read More

It’s the rich wot get the visa, it’s the poor wot get the blame…

What price citizenship? Last Thursday,Damien Green put a figure on it: £31,000 per year for five years. This salary floor should – apparently – ensure that only the ‘brightest and the best’ are able are able to settle… Read More

What’s humanitarian?

I gave £20 to a destitute asylum seeker yesterday. An Afghan I would guess, although he had almost no English so I could not ask. It was an encounter which left me feeling hopelessly inadequate and extraordinarily angry… Read More

You can stay, but you have to go…

All gifts come with strings attached: but some have more strings attached than others. In 2008, Tanzania announced it was prepared to offer naturalization to 162,000 Burundian refugees. Known as the “1972” caseload (to distinguish them from the… Read More

Ménage à trois

Every refugee researcher has an opinion on UNHCR and its role in providing refugees’ protection. For some, UNHCR is the devil incarnate, responsible for many refugees’ imprisonment in camps and part of the problem, rather than the solution…. Read More

Doublethink, or not thinking?

Tuesday night.  French class, and we are practising the conditional:  `if I were Prime Minister, I would…’  And of course, my conversation partner comes up with the obvious: `…get rid of all the immigrants’. Depressingly predictable.  And give… Read More

Verified by Visas

The Henley Visa Restriction Index ranks countries across the world according to their citizens’ ability to cross border and enter freely into other states’ territories. Ever since a graph in the Economist based on its 2010 findings caught… Read More

Another day, another drowning

An article in The Guardian catches my attention: `43 African migrants drown in heavy seas off Yemen coast’. Somalis and Ethiopians looking for a way out of persecution and poverty. So familiar an event it’s hardly a news… Read More