Connect with us
JRS/USA Staff Recommendations for Reading
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA staff recommendations for further reading on the issues of migration, refugees, asylum-seekers and forcibly displaced people. To access the Recommended Reading Archive, please click here.
  • Donate via Amazon
  • Internally Displaced
  • Afghanistan 2014
  • Children on the Run
  • FMR — Crisis
  • Bordering on Failure
  • Citizen or Subordinate
  • Detention and deportation
  • Boston College (videos)
  • Boston College (publications)
  • States of Fragility
  • Shop Amazon & Support JRS
  • American Diaspora
  • Alternatives to Detention
Donate to Jesuit Refugee Service when you shop at Amazon

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Global Overview 2014: people internally displaced by conflict and violence
Thirty-three million people were internally displaced at the end of 2013 due to conflict and violence says a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). This equates to a staggering increase of 4.5 million from 2012, signalling a record high for the second year running.

The Global Overview 2014 is the IDMC's flagship annual report, this year revealing a staggering increase in global displacement worldwide with a particular escalation in the figures in the Middle East and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Overview 2014: people internally displaced by conflict and violence report explores a number of key challenges including in terms of data collection, IDPs outside of camps, and the complexities around the compounding effects of natural hazards and conflict. 

"This record number of people forced to flee inside their own countries confirms a disturbing upward trend of internal displacement since IDMC first began monitoring and analysing displacement back in the late 90s," says Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of NRC.  

"The dramatic increase in forced displacement in 2013 and the fact that the average amount of time people worldwide are living in displacement is now a staggering 17 years, all suggest that something is going terribly wrong in how we are responding and dealing with this issue," says Egeland.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres added: "We should all be concerned about these numbers and the continuing upwards trend. We have a shared responsibility to act to end this massive suffering.  Immediate protection and assistance for the internally displaced is a humanitarian imperative."

"Global internal displacement is everyone’s problem, from politicians to private companies, development actors and lawyers – we all have a role to play," says Egeland. 

Afghanistan’s displaced people: 2014 and beyond
Download File

2014 is widely seen as marking a watershed for Afghanistan with its legacy of 35 years of conflict and one of the world’s largest populations in protracted displacement. International military forces are being withdrawn and the country is ‘in transition’, and there is still considerable uncertainty about the capacity of the country to address the challenges of return, integration and reintegration, protection, access to rights, and continuing displacement. FMR 46 contains 21 articles on Afghanistan, plus a mini-feature on Statelessness.

See more.

Children on the Run
As crime and violence have increased dramatically in Mexico and Central America in recent years, UNHCR has tracked a notable increase in the number of asylum-seekers—both children and adults—particularly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala lodging claims in the region. While the United States is receiving the majority of the new asylum claims, combined, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize, documented a 432% increase in the number of asylum applications from citizens of these three countries.

Among these numbers is a troubling new trend. The number of children from these countries, making the treacherous journey alone and unaccompanied, has doubled each year since 2011, and the U.S. government estimated—and is on track to reach—60,000 children arriving to U.S. soil seeking safe haven in this fiscal year. While the number of children from Mexico has far outpaced the number of children from any one of the three Central American countries, most of these children are promptly returned to Mexico after no more than a day or two in the custody of the US authorities making it even more difficult to obtain a full picture of who these children are and why they are coming to the U.S.

UNHCR's latest report, Children on the Run, unveils the humanitarian impact of the situation by analyzing the reasons that 404 unaccompanied children gave to a team of researchers for why they left their homes and makes recommendations for a way forward.

Forced Migration Review issue 45, 'Crisis'
Download File

Many people who are displaced, or become ‘trapped’, in the context of diverse humanitarian crises do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and IDPs. This raises questions about whether there needs to be – or can be – more systematic ways of dealing with assistance and protection for people affected by ‘crises’ such as environmental disruption, gang violence, nuclear disasters, food shortages and so on.

FMR 45 contains 33 'theme' articles on crisis, migration and displacement, and eight 'general' articles on subjects including Typhoon Haiyan, reparations in Latin America, discrimination in Burma, IDPs in Kenya, asylum in Lebanon, and contextualising educational standards.

Bordering on Failure: Canada-U.S. Border Policy and the Politics of Refugee Exclusion

The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) released a comprehensive report titled Bordering on Failure: Canada-U.S. Border Policy and the Politics of Refugee Exclusion.  The result of extensive research and fact-finding investigations led by HIRC affiliates Dr. Efrat Arbel (SJD ’12) and Alletta Brenner (JD ’14), the report finds that Canada is systematically closing its borders to asylum seekers, and failing in its refugee protection obligations under domestic and international law.

To view the report, please click here.

Citizen or Subordinate: Permutations of Belonging in the United States and the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic and the United States have both experienced tensions arising from migratory flows from poorer, less stable neighbors. Until recently, both countries had constitutions which conferred citizenship by birth with very limited exceptions. Despite these similarities, their respective discourses around jus soli citizenship, particularly for the children of unauthorized migrants from the poorer neighboring countries, have manifested in different ways. 

The identity of the United States as a nation of immigrants has limited the success of campaigns to revoke jus soli citizenship for the children of unauthorized immigrants, but the persistent articulation of this idea as a response to illegal migration has shifted the parameters of the immigration debate. In the Dominican Republic, the historical construction of national identity and anti-Haitian discourse has led to an evolution in Dominican law which codifies already established practices that deny citizenship to children of Haitian migrants. In both cases, movements that support more inclusive understandings of societal belonging, like the DREAMers in the United States and youth movements in the Dominican Republic, may offer the most effective way of protecting universal jus soli citizenship regimes.

Click here to read a PDF of the report. It is written by Shaina Aber, Jesuit Conference of the United States and Mary Small, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security.
Forced Migration Review: Detention and deportation

Asylum seekers and refugees — men, women and even children — are increasingly detained and interned around the world, as are numbers of other migrants. Sometimes detained indefinitely and often in appalling conditions, they may suffer not only deprivation of their liberty but other abuses of their human rights too. 

Detention may appear to be a convenient solution to states’ political quest to manage migration (often as a precursor to deportation) but it is an expensive option and has lasting effects on those detained. In the search for a more humane – and cheaper – approach, agencies and government authorities have trialled a variety of alternatives to detention.

Forced Migration Review 44 includes 36 articles on immigration detention, alternatives to detention, and deportation, plus a mini-feature on the Syria crisis and a selection of other articles. See more.
Videos from Boston College

The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College addresses the increasingly interdisciplinary needs of human rights work. Through multidisciplinary training programs, applied research, and the interaction of scholars with practitioners, the Center aims to nurture a new generation of scholars and practitioners in the United States and abroad who draw upon the strengths of many disciplines, and the wisdom of rigorous ethical training in the attainment of human rights and international justice. 

Some videos are highlighted below, please click the linked titles to view them.

Videos from a Migration Symposium 

• The Border is Not a Straight Line 

• Race and Class in U.S. Immigration 

• The Future of Immigration Policy in the U.S.

Other Videos

• Aftermath: Deportation Law and New American Diaspora

• Taking Flight: When Jesus was a Refugee

• Catholic Peacebulding Initiatives in Sudan and Eastern Africa

• Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect

• Causes of Forced Migration and Systemic Responses

• Natural Disasters and Human Rights: Comparing Responses to Natural Disasters in Haiti and Pakistan.

Publications from Boston College faculty and staff

The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College addresses the increasingly interdisciplinary needs of human rights work. Through multidisciplinary training programs, applied research, and the interaction of scholars with practitioners, the Center aims to nurture a new generation of scholars and practitioners in the United States and abroad who draw upon the strengths of many disciplines, and the wisdom of rigorous ethical training in the attainment of human rights and international justice. 

Some recommended readings are highlighted below, and additional books and articles can be found on their website by clicking here. Links have been provided, where available, for the articles below.

• David Hollenbach (2008). Refugee Rights: Ethics, Advocacy, and Africa 

• David Hollenbach (2010). "Ethical Globalization and the Rights of Refugees" Grace and Truth: A Journal of Catholic Reflection for Southern Africa

• David Hollenbach (2010). "Humanitarian Intervention: Why, When and How?"
137, no. 19.

• David Hollenbach. "Reconciliation and Justice: Ethical Guidance for a Broken World"

• David Hollenbach. "Human Rights, Justice and the World Church"

• David Hollenbach. "Human Rights in Catholic Thought"

• David Hollenbach (2004) "The Hard Lessons of Kakuma: The Suffering of Refugees Should Raise New Questions about the Use of Military Force"  

• Brinton Lykes (2011). "Framing Immigration to and Deportation from the United States: Guatemalan and Salvadoran Families make meaning of their experiences" Community, Work and Family.

• Daniel Kanstroom. Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History  

• Adam Saltsman. Displaced Iraqis in Jordan: Formal and Informal Information Flows, and Migratory Decisions in a Context of Uncertainty. Appeared in Refuge, Canada's Journal on Refugees.

Forced Migration Review — 'States of fragility'
Many states fail in their responsibilities to their citizens but those states which are fragile, failed or weak are particularly liable to render their citizens vulnerable. This latest issue of FMR includes 24 articles on fragile states and displacement, going behind the definitions, typologies and indicators to explore some of the concepts and realities, looking at a variety of cases and discussing some of the humanitarian and development responses.

In addition this issue contains eight further 'general articles' on other aspects of displacement.

FMR43 is available at
Shop via the Amazon aStore and a portion of your spending supports Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

We've created an aStore via the website to highlight some of our favorite books and movies. A portion of each sale goes to support our work. So check out our selections ... and help refugees while you shop!

Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora

Prof. Daniel Kanstroom, Associate Director of the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice, has just published Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora. The book explores the impact of deportation on life of those deported. An excerpt, "Deportation laws destroy lives," is available on the Salon website by clicking here.

Prof. Kanstroom also appeared on National Public Radio's The Takeaway on July 5, discussing the book. Listen to the audio by clicking here

Alternatives to Detention
On a daily basis women, children and men are detained for immigration purposes around the world. Immigration detention is extremely expensive, can harm the health and wellbeing of those detained and has been found to not be effective at deterring irregular migrants. Global research spanning two years, conducted by La Trobe University and the International Detention Coalition, found cheaper alternatives that work effectively in the interests of government, communities and the individual. Discover the Handbook and CAP, the Community Assessment and Placement model.