‘Camps That Are Becoming Cities – Cities That Are Becoming Camps : The Case of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
The Power of Life Stories : Situating the Narratives of Migrants and Refugees within the Context of the Law
Professor François Crépeau delivering the Inaugural Lecture as Francqui International Professor on February 08, 2018.
François Crépeau will be at the Université Catholique de Louvain from January to June 2018 as part of the Chair Francqui International Professor for Human Sciences, organised in collaboration with seven universities (UCLouvain, KULeuven, UAntwerpen, UGent, ULiège, USt-Louis Brussels, ULBrussels). He will be staying at the Centre Charles De Visscher pour le droit international et européen (CeDIE) within the Équipe droits européens et migrations (EDEM).
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Refugee populations are often perceived as an unexpected, disruptive, and temporary burden. This perception often drives countries of asylum to adopt short-term and exclusionary policies regarding refugees’ rights and settlements strategies. Almost 85 % of the world’s refugees are in the Middle East & North Africa. This region has witnessed during the last few decades two of the most significant refugee crises. First, with the Palestinian refugee influx in 1948. Second, with the Syrian conflict after 2011. While in Turkey, the Syrian refugee population is estimated to be of nearly 3.5 million, Lebanon is hosting almost 500,000 Palestinians and 1.5 million Syrians. This presentation compares refugee hosting and settlements policies in Turkey and in Lebanon. It seeks to demonstrate that in Lebanon, the same policies, those adopted 70 years ago vis-à-vis the Palestinians, are being implemented today with Syrian refugees. These policies are based on institutional, social, economic and spatial exclusion. Seeking to dissuade refugees from staying, they engender similar drawbacks : competition over housing and jobs, refugee exploitation, increasing poverty, growing social tensions, security breaches, and (sometimes armed) ghettoization. The Lebanese experience will be then compared with the Turkish hosting policies for Syrian refugees, with an emphasis on the Turkey-EU deal. This panel highlights the importance of long-term planning and development strategies for refugees. It examines the benefits of integrative approaches and refugee empowerment for both refugee and host populations.
Rouba Al-Salem is a Steinberg Fellow in International Migration Law and Policy at the Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University.
Faten Kikano is a researcher and a PhD candidate in the faculty of built environment at Université de Montréal.
Semuhi Sinanoğlu is a policy consultant from Turkey and a resident fellow at Jeanne Sauvé Foundation.
This event will be moderated by Associate Professor Nandini Ramanujam, the Executive Director and Director of Programs of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism
« For the last six years, Canadian lawyer François Crépeau has served as the United Nations’ leading investigator and expert on the human rights of migrants. His post put him on the frontlines of an international crisis, during some of the most challenging years in recent memory…
He spoke to The Sunday Edition host Michael Enright about his time as UN special rapporteur and about why he believes resisting migration is an impossible goal.
In the last six years, in your position with the UN, you’ve travelled around the world. You’ve visited detention centres, camps, places where people try to cross borders. What stands out in your mind now from those visits ?
François Crépeau : I was expecting this to be very grim. And what stood out from day one, when visiting detention centres or camps, was the sheer determination, the grit, the courage of those people — the fact that even if they were detained, in their mind they were already somewhere else. They were already in the next step of their journey. They might be sent back home, but they would come back.
They are going to come whether we like it or not, because this is what humankind has always done. They are going to try to find a place where they can thrive, flourish, feed their kids and educate their kids. They don’t do it, often, because they like it. They do it because that’s where the future lies for themselves and their families »
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Most writings on refugee economy or the immigrant economy refer to changes in the immigrant labour absorption policies of the Western governments. In these writings the refugee economy or the immigrant economy never features directly ; refugees are seen as economic actors in the market. But we do not get a full picture of why capitalism in late twentieth or early twenty first century needs these refugee or immigrant labour as economic actors. The organic link between the immigrant as an economic actor and the global capitalist economy seems to escape the analysis in these writings. Yet, if immigration policies produce precarious labour, this has general significance for the task of theorising the migrant as living labour. The question of the production of living labour is important because it puts in a critical perspective the necessity of the states and the international regime of protection to synchronise the economic and the political strategies of protection. Yet the disjuncture between the two strategies of protection is not only typical of the postcolonial parts of the globe, the disjuncture is evident in the developed countries. Globally, one can say, capital sets in motion movements of labour within a specific field of force that dictates how and why migrant labour is to be harnessed, disciplined, and governed (for instance the dominant presence of immigrant labour in logistics, health care, agriculture, etc.), and that shapes the links between “strategies” (that control migrants once they are in motion) and the mechanisms that set these movements in motion.
Speaker : Ranabir Samaddar, O’Brien Fellow in Residence
Ranabir Samaddar belongs to the critical school of thinking and is considered as one of the foremost theorists in the field of migration and forced migration studies. The much-acclaimed The Politics of Dialogue (2004) was a culmination of his long work on justice, rights, and peace.He is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group, India.
Respondent : Megan Bradley, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Development Studies at McGill University.
Professor Bradley’s research focuses on the rights and wellbeing of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as on questions of transitional justice, reconciliation, and accountability for human rights violations. She holds a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and is the author of Refugee Repatriation : Justice, Responsibility and Redress (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In late 2015, Megan published a book entitled Forced Migration, Reconciliation and Justice with MQUP which explores the harsh reality that more people were displaced globally in early 2015 by conflict and human rights violations than at any time since the Second World War.
Respondent : Hanna Haile, Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow at the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.
Hanna Haile’s research and writing interests lie in the fields of international human rights, migration, environmental law, sustainability and intellectual property rights, with a particular interest on the question of how cultural phenomena shape and are shaped by law. Recently, she has been working on a project on the impacts of the activities of copper mining companies on communities living on the Copperbelt of Zambia. She holds a J.S.D. and an LL.M. from Cornell Law School and LL.B. from the University of Asmara. Prior to joining the McGill Center for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she has worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Cornell University, the University of Asmara and the High Court of Asmara in Eritrea.