Keynote One: Sexual and gender-based violence and refugees: vulnerability, resilience and resettlement
Professor Jenny Phillimore
In considering the state of knowledge around sexual violence and war Skjelsbaek notes the reluctance of researchers to “look into how this crime affects the victims” (2001:212). This paper responds to the question how does the experience of SGBV influence refugees’ mental and physical health and ability to integrate and achieve equality of social and economic outcomes in countries of refuge? Given the prevalence of SGBV across the refugee journey, experiences need to be conceptualised as an ongoing and multi-faceted experience of trauma, with both immediate and long-term consequences. This approach moves us beyond exclusive focus on SGBV in war zones, to consider the entire refugee journey (before, during and after exile). Thus, attention is paid to location(s), interaction with perpetrator(s), health professionals, immigration officials and others, and how they shape vulnerability, recovery and resettlement. Such an approach is pertinent given Wasco’s (2003) argument that the harm done by sexual assault cannot be understood as a single trauma. The paper uses data from a review of existing literature and a preliminary analysis of interviews with organisations working with refugee survivors to explore the resilience and vulnerability of refugees and how these impact upon their survival and resettlement in countries of refuge.
About Jenny Phillimore
Jenny Phillimore is the Founding Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity and Professor of Migration and Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the RSA. Her research interests span refugee integration with a particular focus on health, housing and social networks and access to healthcare in superdiverse neighbourhoods. She has led multiple research projects for funders including the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the European Union, the Home Office and research foundations. She frequently appears in the media discussing superdiversity and integration and has advised Governments in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Jenny has published widely in leading academic journals such as Social Science and Medicine, BMJ, Urban Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Policy and Politics and Journal of Social Policy. She currently leads two major international projects: Welfare Bricolage examining healthcare seeking behaviours and provision in superdiverse areas (Norface) https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/upweb/index.aspx and SEREDA exploring refugees resilience and vulnerability to sexual and gender based violence in the refugee crisis (Europe and Global Challenges). https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/superdiversity-institute/research/projects/sereda.aspx
Keynote two: “We the Resilient”: Colonizing Indigeneity in the Era of Trump
Professor Julian Reid
Keynote three: At the intersection of concern and suspicion: Children in the asylum process
Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor Rebecca Stern
Children seeking asylum are ascribed many roles: vulnerable objects of protection, family members, individuals with a right to international protection, social agents with the right to participate in decision-making processes, unwanted economic migrants and illegal migrants to name a few examples. A common denominator for these roles is that asylum-seeking children often are seen as migrants first, children second. It can be argued that this approach to migrating children both increases and downplays their vulnerability. It also opens the door for questioning their motives for applying for international protection. In some cases, the very basis for the child being considered a child – his or her age – is questioned. In this presentation, based on an ongoing research project on the impact of incorporation of the CRC in domestic law for asylum-seeking children, these issues are explored, drawing in particular on examples from refugee status determination and medical age assessment procedures.
About Rebecca Stern
Rebecca Thorburn Stern is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in International Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Uppsala, where she also received her doctorate in international law. She has researched and published widely in the area of asylum law, human rights law and children’s rights, and the implementation of international law on the domestic level, over the last decade. Recent publications include the monograph Implementing Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Participation, Power and Attitudes (Brill Nijhoff 2017) which includes a chapter discussing Sweden’s implementation of key articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in the context of asylum-seeking children. Thorburn Stern is a co-founder of the Göteborg Lund/Uppsala Migration Law Network (GL/UMIN) and has previously worked for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the Swedish Red Cross, the Swedish Refugee Advice Centre and the Swedish Aliens Appeals Board. During the Spring semester of 2018, she was Visiting Professor at Minnesota Law School.