Video-Conference: Paradise or Purgatory? The challenges of accommodating refugees
Date: 10 – 11 June 2021
Convenors: Oliver Razum (Bielefeld, GER), Lisa Eckenwiler (Fairfax, USA), Verina Wild (Augsburg, GER), Angus Dawson (Sydney, AUS)
Refugee migration is a particularly highly regulated form of migration. Policies and regulations address essential domains of life, for example housing: refugees are frequently accommodated in mass shelters or camps, where they usually have to follow strict rules and remain under close observation. They are being taken care of, but can thereby be disempowered and lose control over their day-to-day responsibilities and freedoms such as food provision, work, leisure time, etc. The way refugees are accommodated has far-reaching implications for physical and mental health, as well as human rights. States, international institutions or local actors carry responsibility for policy and practice of refugee accommodation. The research question of this ZiF workshop is: How can the responsibilities for refugee accommodation best be met, taking empowerment, human rights and health into account? Our approach is three-tiered: 1) providing analytical frameworks for assessing types of refugee accommodation from different disciplinary perspectives (methodological); 2) balancing the trade-off between giving shelter to, and restricting freedom of, refugees (theoretical / normative-ethical); and 3) developing approaches to improve various aspects of the way refugees are accommodated (interventional).