Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
January 6, 2017

Photojournalist Alice Aedy shares portraits and stories of some of the people
working with Help Refugees in Greece.
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A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration

Looking back

2016 in review

2016: Al-Jazeera called it the “year the world stopped caring about refugees”. It has been the deadliest year on the Mediterranean, and migrants were used as a ploy for right-wing parties across Europe and for the Republican candidate in the U.S. to win votes over security, economics, and culturalist concerns. For a chronological overview of the most important events and decisions concerning migration, see Refugees Deeply’s Year in Review.

Deadliest year on the Mediterranean

In 2016, 4,733 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean, making it the deadliest year for migrants attempting to reach Europe. Open Migration seeks to understand why people continue to die, calling into question the European response missions. Over the past years, some Sicilian cities have taken initiative to identify and give the migrants a proper burial, but many families continue to wonder where their missing relatives are and if they may have died at sea.

Germany sees increasing migrants return home

While Germany is lauded as the European example for taking in Syrian refugees, less attention has been given to its programme of assisted voluntary returns. German authorities have approved funding for more than 54,000 migrants to return to their homelands, as the country is eager to increase the number of rejected asylum seekers leaving the country. Another 25,000 migrants were deported. Most of these voluntary and involuntary returns come from the Western Balkans, but also increasing numbers to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Photo series from Penas Blancas, Costa Rica sheds light on a new pattern of movementfrom Haitian and African migrants to North America. Read more in "7000 Miles to Salvation".

Looking forward

Opportunities in migration for 2017

As 2016 has come to an end, migration experts, academics and activists are looking forward and discuss possible strategies ahead. Izumi Nakamitsu, the head of crisis response at the UNDP, highlights some of the progress made in humanitarian response last year and outlines steps to make sure that the pledges made last year are lived through. The Independent points to ways to manage migration - without closing borders and external controls - but by reorganizing the internal labor market into one that’s more fair and accessible.

Challenges ahead: Environmentally induced migration

Climate change will prove to be one of the main drivers of migration in the coming decades. While most will relocate within their own borders, others will have no option but to flee abroad - such as those on the island nations threatened to disappear. In 2015, more than one million Africans moved due to natural disasters, as alternating periods of floods and droughts force populations from their homes. Driven by climate conditions, sociopolitical instability and conflict, and the lack of livelihood opportunities, they are often considered as merely economic migrants, downplaying the complexity of their displacement, and fall through the cracks of international law. On the other side of the world, thousands of Mexicans face severe environmental challenges and agricultural declines, forcing them to move elsewhere. Most are expected to follow the footsteps of relatives and acquaintances and settle in small towns in the south of the United States. In the most remote state, Hawaii, the federal government faces a huge challenge to combat poverty and homelessness among thousands of Micronesians on the island, with many more expected to arrive due to climate change.

The plight of women and girls in migration movements

While the media is focused on Trump’s threat of deportation, U.S. federal authorities have placed a growing number of Central American women in detention with their children - with the purpose of sending them back as soon as possible. Even while 136 House Democrats called to stop detaining families, more detention facilities were being built and apprehensions at the border increased. While women and girls face additional challenges during their migratory journey - a new report disclosed that nearly 71% of all human trafficking victims are women and girls - their plight is largely silenced. The Progressive Post interrogates how women and especially girls are discriminated in data collection - and how this translates into services focused predominantly on boys and adolescent men.


The panel African migration imaginaries: rumours, cosmologies, representations invites papers that explore migration imaginaries related to any aspect of African migrations, including rural-urban migration, internal displacement, and international migration within or beyond the continent. The panel will take place as part of the 7th European Conference on African Studies in Basel between June 29 and July 1.

Deadline: January 19, 2017. Learn more.

The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University is accepting applications for its annual Summer Course on Refugees and Forced Migration. The course will take place between May 8 and 12, 2017 and will this year be focused on themes such as legal approaches, the international refugee regime, sexual minority claims, climate change, racialization and detention.

Deadline: January 31 (Early Bird), April 1. Learn more.

The latest volume of Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics aims to problematize the Eurocentric narrative of 'migration crisis' and interrogates how culturalist narratives have maintained geographies of separation and coercion, while also exploring how other communities are imagined in a politics of hope. Access the issue, Global Migration Crisis and Europe: Whose Crisis is it?, here.

Recently published journal articles on migration-related topics:

About MiReKoç

Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) aims to advance the state of the art in migration research through original and innovative scholarship, academic collaboration, and dialogue between researchers, policy-makers, international organizations and civil society actors. Based in Istanbul, MiReKoc provides a unique, institutionalized hub for migration research with a focus on Turkey and its close environment, with the objective of increasing research capacity and encouraging interinstitutional dialogue on the topic of migration..

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