Recent International Coverage of Migration
Migration Research Center at Koç University
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January 20, 2017

On 25 January, the exhibition "Mekân: Stories of Syrian Refugees" will open at DEPO Istanbul, featuring photographs taken in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Greece and Germany since 2011.

Ayşen Üstübici publishes book review

Aysen Ustubici, assistant professor in international relations and sociology and vice director of MiReKoc, reviews "Living on the Margins: Undocumented Migrants in a Global City", a new book on irregular migration by Alice Bloch and Sonia McKay. Click here to read the review!

Press Reader

Migrants unprotected during harsh winter

Thousands of migrants are at risk as Europe fails to respond to the freezing temperatures, leaving at least four refugees dead because of hypothermia. In Greece, temperatures have dropped as low as -18 degrees Celsius. Unicef warns that the harsh weather is especially dangerous for children and may lead to influenza outbreaks and acute respiratory infections.

In Serbia, more than 1,000 refugees are stranded in an old warehouse, living in hazardous conditions, but the state deems it cannot be held responsible. MSF has warned that Belgrade is becoming “a dumping zone, a new Calais where people are stranded and stuck”.

Erdogan renews citizenship promise as many seek asylum abroad

Earlier last week, President Erdogan renewed his promise of offering citizenship to a select group of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. They must pass a screening process before including security checks. The plan has provoked debate among Kurds of Turkey and Syria about the possible effects on the Southeast - believing it will be used to disturb the ethnic balance in the Kurdish areas.

Meanwhile, asylum claims from Turks abroad have increased following the growing repression after the failed military coup. Among them are many academics, who have lost their jobs or are unable to carry out their research.

Obama's unsettling immigration legacy

As migration experts fear Trump taking office, people seem to gloss over the fact that no administration has deported more people than under President Obama - or, as Al-Jazeera calls him, the ‘deporter-in-chief’.  Right before leaving office, Obama also repealed the special status for migrants fleeing Cuba, who no longer are automatically allowed to stay upon reaching the U.S. The policy change treats undocumented Cubans, now “subject to removal”, like other undocumented migrants - rather than treating all refugees better. It puts Trump in a difficult position; while his entire campaign has rested on curbing migration and closing borders, the Cuba hard-liners on his foreign policy team would prefer reversing the policy.
Photographer Xyza Bacani documents migrant workers in Southeast Asia after having been a domestic worker in Hong Kong and having fled to a shelter for women with abusive employers.

Children caught between migration policies

In Lebanon, children with a foreign father risk becoming stateless due to an old, sexist nationality law. According to the law, citizenship can only be passed through the father, therefore denying hundreds of children born to a Lebanese mother and a foreign father the right to Lebanese citizenship.

In Switzerland, mixed-gender swimming lessons have become part of the integration debate, after two Muslim students were forced to attend the class despite their parents’ objections. It is not the first time Swiss children have been fined for not participating in the compulsory classes, revealing how the state gives preference to integration over religious freedom.

In a new LSE Politics post, Jacob Lind discusses his research on the political agency of migrant children. As both bearers of specific rights and being subject to immigration control, how do these children react to the experience in their everyday lives?

Stories of migrant women

In Belarus, a train station has become a meeting space for dozens of Chechens trying to seek asylum in neighbouring Poland. The women and children among them are particularly vulnerable, but they have managed to recreate community life at the station, their temporary home.

In Italy, Nigerian women face a more hostile environment and are increasingly becoming victims of sex trafficking. IOM estimates that 80% of Nigerian women arrivals in Sicily were trafficked and will likely be forced into prostitution in Italy.

Finally, TIME magazine followed four Syrian women about to give birth after fleeing their home country. The multimedia piece will follow these babies and their parents in the first year of a stateless generation.

Academic opportunities

CfP: Euro-Mediterranean Migrations Congress, 26-28 April, University of Alcala

Papers may deal with a myriad of migration-related topics and may be submitted in Spanish, English and French. Geographic focus is on the Europe-28 and MENA countries. The congress is part of a project for the European Commission under the title “New dimensions of Euro-Mediterranean Integration through Migration: socioeconomic impact and policies (ExoMed)”. The congress is open to researchers, academics, public authorities, professionals and the civil society.

Application deadline: 23 January, 2017 - More information

CfP: The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crises, 13-16 September, Barcelona

The 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations reflects upon the politics and responsibilities of IR scholarship in an age of crises. The conference organizers seek contributions that investigate the ways in which the discipline can help design political, economic and social alternatives beyond the existing configurations that underpin the current crises. The conference consists of 50 sections, including three on transit migration, forced migration, and welfare and migration. 

Applicatin deadline: 10 February, 2017 - More information

Recent publications

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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