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Types of Migration
Internal Migration
Global Labour Mobility
Child Migration
Skilled Migration
Forced Migration
Return Migration

Key Themes
Modelling Causes and Consequences
Links between Migrations
Rural Poverty and Livelihoods
Social Protection
Gender and Generations
Health and Education

UK / international
Albania / Eastern Europe
Ghana / Africa
Egypt / the Middle East
Bangladesh / South Asia




Forced Migration

Forced MigrationExisting studies on forced migration have conventionally been concerned with understanding the social, cultural and economic impacts of this process, and the policy or practical interventions that could minimise the accompanying processes of impoverishment. However, such approaches tend to view forced migrants simply as problems, rather than according agency to refugees and oustees as they make the best of their adverse conditions and mobilise around their rights. In line with our approach to other types of migration, the objective here is to consider instead consider the variety of ways in which forced migrants themselves seek to minimise the costs and vulnerabilities associated with forced displacement, whilst also maximising any benefits that might be associated with being in new places.

In particular, our research is focused on the way in which forced migrants view policies developed for or towards them, and seek to mobilise actual or potential rights in the context of different institutional responses. This includes work on both refugees and ‘oustees’, or those forcibly displaced by the development or conservation initiatives of the state. Analysis aims to contribute to understanding the dynamics of forced migration, and especially onward displacement that is often associated with initial forced relocation. It also aims to contribute to a re-evaluation of the tools and institutions for an international response to forced migration, and in particular an evaluation of the value of rights-based approaches (see Rights).

To date, new research has been conducted on the policy process in three Middle Eastern countries: Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan, and this has been integrated with new insights from research in India and Malaysia. A framework has been developed to analyse the policies on rights of forced migrants, which will be developed further in 2006 in the light of empirical findings, whilst new work is to be initiated on Burmese asylum-seekers in Bangladesh.


  Key Projects
  6a: Balancing Rights and Risks in Forced Migration in India and Malaysia

6b: Forced Migration and Policy in the Middle East

6c: Liberian Refugees and Rights in Accra, Ghana

1e: Gendered 'Return Home' -- Sudanese Refugees are Coming Back


Whose Needs are Right? Refugees, Oustees and the Challenges of Rights-Based Approaches in Forced Migration, Dec 03 (WP-T4)

  Two workshops on forced migration and rights have been organised: ‘Rights and Policy Frameworks: Challenges for Forced Migration’ in Cairo, October 2004, and ‘Forced Migration and Policy in the Middle East’ in October 2005. Researchers working on this theme will organise a panel at the IASFM conference in Toronto in June 2006. Prior to this, they will come together for a writeshop in April 2006, and contributions will be finalised for a landmark edited volume, to be launched at the IASFM conference in Cairo in January 2008.

  © University of Sussex 2003 Text-Only
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With thanks to IOM and Claudia Natali for the photographs