Humanitarianism and the Migration Crisis
"Humanitarianism and the Migration Crisis" is a collection of articles reflecting on the experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as we grapple with the implications of the global refugee ‘crisis’. The articles are published in Refugee Survey Quarterly (OUP) in the latest issue (Volume 35 Issue), June 2016. This issue has been made temporarily freely available and can be found online at http://rsq.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2.toc
Summary of the issue:
Over the past years hundreds of thousands of people have moved from Africa and the Middle East to Europe, generating widespread media attention and considerable political wrangling. For aid workers, this situation raises questions that get to the very heart of humanitarianism and its purpose in the contemporary world. How does an organization like MSF, the pioneer of “sans-frontierism”, engage with the shifting politics of borders and migration? What does it mean to be a “borderless” organization in a world where migration controls through borders are such a big political issue? What are the implications of the refugee crisis for humanitarian principles and medical care?
- Humanitarian Dilemmas in a Mobile World - Tom Scott Smith (Refugee Studies Center, Oxford University), brings some humanitarian dilemmas into focus, arguing that, in reaction to the migration crisis, aid agencies may have no option but to take a more robustly political approach.
- Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean Sea: Negotiating Political Differences - Hernan del Valle, explores the debates that unfolded within MSF around the decision to launch search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean in 2015.
- Be Near a Road: Humanitarian Practice and Displaced Persons in North Kivu - Sean Healy and Sandrine Tiller, analyzes internal displacement in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, showing that assistance provided by humanitarian community was not so much determined by need as by status and location.
- Aid and the Perpetuation of Refugee Camps: The Case of Dadaab in Kenya 1991–2011 - Hakim Chkam, examines the role and responsibility of aid organizations such as MSF in the establishment and perpetuation of camps, using the case of Dadaab in Kenya from 1991-2011.
- Continuity of Care for Migrant Populations in Southern Africa - Aurélie Ponthieu and Andrea Incerti, presents the implications of medical care in contexts of displacement, when human movement is a major obstacle to ensuring compliance with treatment regimes, using the example of Southern Africa.
- The Journey to Dreamland Never Ends: A Refugee’s Journey from Somalia to Sweden - Ali Hassan and Linn Biörklund, is a detailed life story about Ali’s flight from Somalia. It illustrates both the human impact of restrictive migration policies, and the problems this generates for aid workers.