Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University

Migration Research Center at Koç University

International Press Reader
 September 18-23, 2016

A photo essay documents life in the detention center on Manus Island, which was deemed unconstitutional in a recent court ruling.

On September 19, the UN General Assembly convened a Summit for Refugees and Migrants in order to develop the global compacts of responsibility sharing and migration - which will only be adopted two years later. A day later, US president Obama convened world leaders for the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, with the multifold purpose of increasing funding for humanitarian and international organizations, increasing refugee resettlement and strengthening refugees’ self-reliance and inclusion. The president’s summit resulted in a joint statement that made a lot of bold statements but failed to present any concrete steps to change.

Despite its intentions, migration experts and activists alike doubt the summits will bring about any change and in fact believe it was doomed before it started. The key documents were prepared hastily, speak in evasive, abstract language and lack a cohesive vision. The focus on the Syrian crisis and its effects for Europe do not bode well for refugees and migrants elsewhere in the world. Others doubt the commitment of participant states: the majority of refugees and internally displaces persons lives in developing countries, while rich governments look away and offer few chances for schooling and work. At the summit, these states can pretend to care while they continue to frame migration as a security and enforcement concern at home. Such criticisms are echoed by Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, who urges to turn promises into practice through international and intergovernmental cooperation on migration governance.

But what remains perhaps the biggest obstacle to the summit is the voice that is unheard, namely of refugees and migrants themselves. While organizations including the UN and UNHCR continue to hang on to routine and generalized practices, grassroots initiatives by refugees themselves work to determine and meet their own needs.


A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration

Fire in Greek refugee and migrant camp

Devastating news this week from Lesvos, where a fire swept through and destroyed most of a refugee and migrant camp in Moria. Reportedly none of the 4000 residents got injured. Reports indicate that the fire may have been started by the migrants to protest long delays in their cases being processed and the conditions of their detention. Expecting little change and amongst high tensions between locals and the migrant community and its allies, some migrants in the camp suspect the fire will not be the last.

Across the country, migrants and refugees face dire conditions. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch released a report on the over 3,300 unaccompanied minors who face arbitrary detention in Greece. Greece’s migration management is increasingly criticized but the responsibility ultimately lies with Western and Northern Europe’s migration policies that aim to keep migrants out of its borders. Consequently, around 50,000 are trapped in Greece failed by the EU relocation system.

Syrians employed as migrant farm workers in Turkey

Many Syrians in Turkey take on work at farms where they are exploited and earn as little as 20 lira a day - or sometimes, are not paid at all. The government’s new Private Employment Offices bill helps to institutionalize their exploitation by eliminating the responsibility to regulate workers’ conditions.

How far right politics are leading the polls 

A long-form article lays out the rise of the far right embodied by political figures as Le Pen, Trump, Orbin and Farage - all connected through their xenophobic, Islamophobic and racist discourses. Not economic decline, but the loss of privilege fuels a new right-wing politics around the world.

Mapping migratory routes to Italy

A new initiative by Doctors for Human Rights presents an online map of migratory routes from Sub-Saharan Africa to Italy based and told through the testimonies of 1000 migrants. Check out Exodi here.

The Refugee Rights Data Project is looking for volunteer researchers to work on a data collection project, researching the conditions faced by refugee women in camps in France and in Greece and mapping out relevant humanitarian aid responses relating to women's matters. Researchers should be free and able to travel to France or Greece between November 5 and 13.

Application deadline: 30 September 2016

The Refugee Review invites abstracts for a new volume of its journal, themed Refugees and Work. The journal accepts academic articles, opinion papers, practitioner reports as well as multimedia submissions primarily focused but not limited to the topic of labor and forced migration. 

Application deadline: 7 October 2016
Philosophy of Borders: Nations, States and Immigration is a conference organized in Budapest on February 3 and 4, 2017. The organizers are now accepting paper proposals of philosophical, historical and interdisciplinary reflections on theories of citizenship, nationhood, borders and global justice.

Application deadline: 30 October 2016
The Indira Gandhi National Open University is now accepting paper proposals for the conference, Migration and Diasporas: Emerging Diversities and Development Challenges on March 22 and 23, 2017. The conference aims to discuss topics such as transnationalism, diaspora and policy, diaspora engagement, diaspora culture and forced migration.

Application deadline: 30 November 2016


The Fall 2016 issue of International Migration Review is out! The articles explore a range of topics related to migration in Western Europe, North America and Australia, including education, marriage, unemployment, maternal depression, and unionization.

Access the new issue here.

The Migration Policy Institute has released a new report by Metin Çorabatır, The Evolving Approach to Refugee Protection in Turkey: Assessing the Practical and Political Needs. The report evaluates Turkey's evolving policy response to the influx of Syrians and the needs to provide them protection and livelihood opportunities. Click here to access the report.

About MiReKoç

Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) was established in August 2004 as a grant-giving program by the joint initiation of Koç University (Istanbul) and the Foundation for Population, Migration, and Environment (PME, Zurich).

As of 2010 MiReKoc has become a fully functioning research center aimed at developing the research capacity to address migration issues in Turkey.

In addition to being an institutionalized hub for Turkey-related migration research, MiReKoc also initiates conferences, workshops, meetings and seminars aimed at engaging students, academics, bureaucrats, policymakers, stakeholders and civil society organizations (CSO).

Copyright © 2016 Migration Research Center at Koç University, All rights reserved.

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