Two asylum seekers fleeing persecution from the same country may end up in a very different situation if refuge is sought in country A or in country B. Expected discrepancies may have dire consequences for both asylum seekers and the ability of the international protection apparatus to protect them.
In this webinar, Pierre-Georges Van Wolleghem, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Comparative Politics, UiB, will discuss the reasons why refugee recognition rates vary from country to country. Drawing on quantitative data, he posits that variation in recognition rates stems from the procedural diversity of Refugee Status Determination (RSD) structures, i.e. the legal and administrative machinery that transform asylum claims into positive or negative outcomes.
Pierre-Georges Van Wolleghem is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Comparative Politics, UiB, and executive scientific coordinator of PROTECT (Horizon 2020). Van Wolleghem works on European Union migration policies. His research interests include social policies, quantitative methods, and impact evaluation.
Time: Thursday 24th of September 2020, 12.30 – 13.30
Join us on Zoom
Meeting ID: 619 6209 0787
Since the refugee reception crisis in 2015, asylum seekers and refugees have often been at the centre of public and scholarly debate. However, the focus has frequently been on the problems they bring about for host countries. Less attention has been placed on asylum seekers’ aspirations, dreams and plans after arrival. Yet these are meaningful to study given that aspirations can have a significant impact on people’s future trajectories and hence, the ways they incorporate into their new homes. Furthermore, desire, despite having a strong agentic nature, is deeply entangled in the social structures and discourses that newcomers are surrounded by.
In this seminar, Zubia Willmann, will be presenting her article in which she explores how the aspirations of women who came to Norway as asylum seekers change over time, the elements that may be involved in such changes as well as how these women go about pursuing their aspirations. She draws on intermittent fieldwork for one and a half years (2017-2019) in which she followed women seeking asylum in Norway, from the stages in which they lived in asylum centres to the early stages of settlement in a Norwegian municipality.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome.
Zubia Willmann is a currently a PhD candidate at VID Specialized University, Stavanger with a project exploring how women seeking asylum in Norway go about starting their life in their new home. She has an interdisciplinary background, her main fields of interest being migration studies but also gender and religion studies among others. She has been recently a visiting scholar at the Migration and Diversity Centre at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Zubia is also a member of the IMER Junior Scholars Network.
Time: Tuesday 25th of February 2020, 12.30 – 13.30
Place: Rosenbergsgaten 39, Seminar room 112, first floor
Torreiro-Casal will describe findings from an online survey developed by UC Davis students using a psychological strength-based perspective. Monica will describe cultural constructs, migration experiences and immigrant’s perceptions on current anti-migrant rhetoric. The rational for using this survey will be discussed as well as the relevance of collecting qualitative data. Further, Monica will describe the current analysis of data and purpose of codifying themes from those narratives. The analysis of these narratives so far has helped to identify immigrant’s strengths and psychological protective factors. These findings contribute to voice counter narratives to the current political climate in the USA.
Lunch will be served on first-come first-served basis.
Dr. Monica Torreiro-Casal holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Currently, Monica is affiliated with the Chicano/a studies Department at the University of California in Davis where she teaches and researches on mental health-related issues with vulnerable communities. Her research focuses on collecting narratives (survey, interviews, art/media) and conducting qualitative research to document the undocumented narratives of marginalized individuals.
The event is organized by IMER and DIGSSCORE.
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Time: Tuesday 10th of September 2019, 12.00 – 13.00
Place: The Corner Room, DIGGSCORE, Rosenbergsgaten 35
As the UN declared over 70 years ago, all human beings are entitled to certain inalienable rights. These rights are contested from numerous political and theoretical perspectives. There appears to be a general consensus that these rights, and perhaps especially the right to seek asylum, are not fit for our times and evolving circumstances.This perspective represents a duality. On the one hand, it is connected to anti-globalist movements and right-wing populism. On the other hand, it reflects a progressive impatience with global challenges, such as climate change which threatens the living environment of millions of people.
For this IMER seminar, Johannes Servan, an associate professor in philosophy, will present us with the cosmopolitan critique of human rights regime. What is the cosmopolitan critique, and what are the implications of this critique? How does this perspective alter the character of the moral and political claims of foreigners? The case of global climate change will be used as an example of a morally relevant circumstantial change where it is impossible to deny that we are all to blame – some more than others – for the damaging consequences of a changing climate. Does this change of circumstances require the recognition of new cosmopolitan rights?
Johannes Servan is an assistant professor at Department of Philosophy, UiB. He is currently working on a post-doc proposal on climate refugees.
If a LGBTI person can “stay in the closet” in the country of origin, should she then be denied asylum as a refugee? This is currently a thorny issue for several European countries, when facing asylum seekers who apply for protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For this IMER seminar, Andrea Grønningsæter from the faculty of law at UiB will discuss how this is currently practiced in Norway.
Research has shown that that LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people) often face specific legal and procedural challenges when applying for refugee status. In a number of jurisdictions, including Norway, LGBTI asylum seekers have been denied refugee status with reference to the fact that they can abstain from behavior that may result in a risk of persecution. A gay person can live as a gay within the confines of the home, for example, but not on the streets – and may thus not be granted protection. It is then concluded that the requirement in refugee law of establishing a ‘well-founded fear’ of persecution is not fulfilled, because concealment will mean that the asylum seeker is not revealed to potential persecutors.
In 2012 the Norwegian Supreme Court considered the right to refugee status based on sexual orientation (Rt. 2012 s. 494). In the court’s decision it was stated that a gay person may not be required to hide their sexual orientation in the country of origin to avoid persecution. In cases where it is concluded that the asylum seeker will choose to conceal their sexual orientation, the court established a step-by-step approach for assessing whether the asylum seeker is entitled to refugee status.
For her PhD project, Grønningsæter looks at how the approach that was established by the Supreme Court in 2012 for assessing asylum cases based on sexual orientation or gender identity is interpreted by the courts and the immigration authorities. She explores how the courts and immigration authorities establish the asylum seeker’s reason for concealment, as well as how concepts such as ‘being open’ or ‘discreet’ about sexual orientation or gender identity is understood.
A light lunch will be served at the seminar. Welcome!
Andrea Grønningsæter is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Bergen University.
ATTENTION: NEW DATE
The war in Syria has created a large flow of refugees into Lebanon. Maja Janmyr from the faculty of law at UiB has recently conducted a prolonged fieldwork among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She joins IMER for our first lunch seminar this semester, in order to present some findings.
In this seminar, Janmyr will explore the various legal, bureaucratic and social labels that get attached to the refugees by humanitarian, state and local government actors. A wide array of labels are imposed; registered refugee, laborer, displaced, foreigner, and more. These labels carry with them implications for what a Syrian may do, and how her presence is understood by others in the community. The labels also influence what type of rights and protections she may have access to. Importantly, the emergence of labels in one arena often influences how and why another set of labels takes shape in another.
The seminar takes place at the seminar room at the ground floor of Sosiologisk institutt, Rosenberggaten 39, between 12.30 and 14.00. A lunch will be served.
Maja Janmyr is a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.