What the F@*#CK happened??? ~the jigsaw puzzle of humanity

By Saskia Jenelle     This story relates to my fieldwork, which takes place in Amsterdam and concerns undocumented refugees. My research focuses on how refugees and the volunteers who work with them experience encounters with ‘others’, and how these encounters influences their perception of human dignity. I would like to share a recent experience with you.  On May 29th 2015 the refugees from ‘We Are Here’ who resided in the ‘Vluchtgebouw’ (literally ‘Escape building’) had to leave the building that had served as their home for nine months. They were offered shelter in a barrack in Amsterdam-North and decided to walk the …

Lees meer

A Grim New Phase in Yemen’s Migration History

By Marina de Regt  “Yemen’s conflict is getting so bad that some Yemenis are fleeing to Somalia,” read a recent headline read a recent headline on Vice News. The article mentioned that 32 Yemenis, mainly women and children, made the trip to Berbera, a port town in Somaliland (and not Somalia). Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have crossed the Gulf of Aden since the outbreak of the Somali civil war in 1991. But now the tide seems to have turned. Yemen has become a war zone, as a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia bombs the country in an attempt …

Lees meer

Potential famine among Syrian refugees has far-reaching implications for the Middle East

Erik van Ommering   Last week around 1.7 million refugees from Syria received the following text message on their cellphones: “We deeply regret that WFP has not yet received funds to reload your blue card for food for December 2014. We will inform you by SMS as soon as funding is received and we can resume food assistance” The message was sent by the World Food Program (WFP), one of the UN agencies that has played a vital role in supporting refugees from Syria in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. Hosting refugees “in the region” has been a key policy pursued by …

Lees meer

Where and how can unrecognized refugees from Burma in Thailand be themselves?

By Ursula Cats and Allegra Palmer January this year, a concrete wall collapsed in Pathum Thani, Thailand, severely injuring Charlie Tiyu, a man from Burma who lives in Thailand as an undocumented migrant worker. He broke his left hip and suffered internal injuries, including a crushed large intestine and a bruised bladder. And yet, his injuries were not the biggest of his concerns.

Lees meer

Anthropology alumnus founds NGO for unrecognized refugee women from Burma

  By Ursula Cats When I started my fieldwork as a Master’s student last year, I had many ideals and I mainly wanted to represent the women I was researching as “agents of change”. What I actually experienced was different. As I wrote in an e-mail to my supervisor Ellen Bal towards the end of my fieldwork: “I can clearly see the restrictions these young women have. I can see that they are active agents, but their impossibilities are also becoming painfully obvious.” I have always had the motivation to support people who have fewer opportunities than I do. To …

Lees meer