Tag Archives: Mobility & Immigration Rights

Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Discrimination and Disparity in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Covering the nearly two-year span of the COVID–19 pandemic to date, this roundup is a collection of reporting and research on communities around the world that have experienced the dual perils of discrimination and disparity. In addition to bearing the brunt of the disease, marginalized communities around the world have become the pandemic’s scapegoats and the targets of rumor, distrust, and disinformation campaigns, resulting in the “racialization” of the virus and creating further insecurities during the crisis. Beyond local inequalities, the coupling of discrimination and disparity has generated transnational inequities such as the outbreak of anti-Asian racism, the targeting and marginalization of migrants and refugees, and the disproportionately worse illness outcomes of Indigenous and Black people.

The situation has created obstacles to protecting communities against the ongoing effects of COVID–19. Among historically persecuted communities, longstanding distrust of government brought about by historical injustices has cultivated resistance to state-driven medical interventions such as vaccine campaigns. And local inequalities have been exacerbated by structural inequalities at the international level, with the wealthy West accused of hoarding health resources such as vaccines.

This collection contains more than 160 news reports, research articles, and data sources covering conditions and developments at the global, regional, and national levels. Data and information in older items are likely outdated and should be treated as historical records, reflecting emergent problems and understandings that have produced the current social, political, and economic landscape of the pandemic. However, the unfolding of coverage reveals how knowledge of the differential impact of the pandemic has shifted, from early awareness of racial and ethnic mortality disparities and reports of discrimination to recent concerns about vaccine nationalism and the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic.

Continue reading Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Global Event: The Afghanistan Exodus

The International Situation of Afghan Asylum-Seekers

The pullout of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the Afghan government has generated a wave of Afghan people fleeing incoming Taliban rule. With the Taliban committed to governing according to fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law, concerns are particularly heightened for women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQ+ people, journalists, and those who supported the fight against the Taliban. Abroad, governments have debated whether and to what degree to accept asylum-seekers, with many seeking to either offshore asylum processing or contain refugees to the immediate region of southwest and Central Asia. For refugees who do make it out, the intensification of anti-immigrant sentiment across the world’s regions in recent years—including the increasing political power of far-right nativist movements—has created new threats for asylum-seekers in their destination countries.

While politicians and analysts around the world bicker over responsibility and blame, Afghans scramble to exit before the full weight of the new Taliban regime comes down. Here is a collection of reporting on the conditions in Afghanistan for those needing refuge, which countries are offering haven, and reactions from the Afghan diaspora.

Continue reading Global Event: The Afghanistan Exodus

Denmark News | Immigrants, Muslims & People of Color

Government of Denmark proposes bill further limiting residential concentration of “non-Western” people

  • Reducing the allowable concentration of residents of “non-Western” descent in neighborhoods to 30% and the availability of public housing in designated neighborhoods to 40%, Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek claims the measure is intended to avoid the emergence of “religious and cultural parallel societies.”
  • The current version of the bill removes the controversial term “ghetto,” the legal classification for a neighborhood of more than 1,000 residents in which more than half were of “non-Western” origin and exhibiting other indicators of disadvantage (such as high unemployment or crime rates).
  • Fifteen neighborhoods currently fall into that classification, where crimes carry stiffer punishments and parents are required to enroll children over the age of one in day care or face loss of public financial support.

Read

Denmark plans to limit ‘non-western’ residents in disadvantaged areas” (The Guardian | March 2021)

Denmark’s ‘Ghetto List’ down drastically from last year” (The Copenhagen Post | December 2020)

Facing Eviction, Residents Of Denmark’s ‘Ghettos’ Are Suing The Government” (NPR | August 2020)

CITATIONS | Global Indigenous Security

Citations:
Global Indigenous Security

Historically tied to forms of settler-colonial social organization and subjugation, Indigenous identities today—including Aboriginal, Native, First Nations/Peoples, and “tribal peoples”—have proliferated alongside contemporary efforts to secure political recognition, concentrate resources, redress historical wrongs and entrenched inequities, and form widespread networks.

The political success of the category, however, has been uneven. In some regions, such as the Americas, states have long recognized Indigenous peoples as coherent social groups with unique interests distinct from non-Indigenous groups. In others, such as much of Asia and Africa, indigeneity remains, at best, only partially recognized, even as governments acknowledge historical priority, cultural and economic distinctiveness, and entrenched territorial connections. Some groups that would in one context be identified as Indigenous avoid or refuse identifying as such, often the result of complex political negotiations. Given the tremendous—and perhaps irreconcilable—diversity that exists between different Indigenous communities, how can the many groups caught in the gravity of the concept of “the indigenous” be discussed together? What commonalities might link them?

Sidestepping the scholarly debate on the coherence of “Indigenous” as a global identity category, this special content collection highlights several thematic “centers of gravity” around which self-identifying Indigenous or “tribal” groups have come to cluster, focusing on issues of material security in line with the broader scope of Outlas as a project. It presents news and resources covering social and political developments affecting i/Indigenous* communities around the world from early 2019 through the present. A snapshot of issues and events shaping global, regional, and local conversations on Indigenous communities, it organizes content around six thematic areas: culture, conflict, health, environment, mobility, and politics. A final section contains links to government, civil society, and international resources of relevance to international Indigenous research and advocacy efforts.

* Although this collection will primarily capitalize “Indigenous” as an identifier, it will distinguish where necessary between contexts involving general conditions of historical distinctiveness with respect to territorial antecedence, livelihood, and/or culture (small-I) and those involving self-identified Indigenous/Aboriginal/Native/First/tribal communities (capital-I).

Continue reading CITATIONS | Global Indigenous Security

Global Feature | Black

Traveling While Black

For those with the means, contemporary Black travelers experience a freedom of movement historically circumscribed by oppression, persecution, and economic exclusion. People of African descent have found new footing in the exploding global travel field, with travel motivations ranging from pleasure-seeking to the desire to connect with ancestral homes. Travel abroad is not without its challenges, however: Black travelers recount dealing with stares, hair obsession, and the need to expand conceptions of the diverse places Black people live in the world. As a lifestyle movement coalesces around Black travelers, BBC News explores the unique experiences of traveling while Black, from encounters with strangers to hyper-visibility.

“Our access to travel has been historically tied to colonisation or immigration. We’re paying homage to our ancestors to be travelling on our own free will.”

Read

What does it mean to be a black traveller?” (BBC News | January 2020)

Previous Coverage

How the black travel movement is gaining momentum” (CNN | August 2019)

Connect

Black & Abroad

Black Girls Travel Too

Travel Noire

U.S. Feature | Indigenous Asylum-Seekers

The U.S. Immigration System’s Indigenous Language Problem

The surge of asylum-seekers from Central America in the mid-2010s revealed critical language gaps in the asylum system: namely, the lack of competent Mayan-language interpreters. Language shapes each stage of the immigration process, from Border Patrol interrogations and detention to credible-fear interviews and post-approval integration. Non–Spanish-speaking indigenous children are at particular risk, with five of the six children who have died in Homeland Security custody having been indigenous and others traumatized by separation from their families in an unfamiliar language environment.

With three Guatemalan Mayan languages ranking among the top 25 languages used in immigration courts last year, the demand for interpreters exceeds supply, with the U.S. government relying on an uneven landscape of third-party companies and non-profit volunteers. The New Yorker highlights how skill deficiencies, U.S. President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, and a strained asylum system have combined to produce unique vulnerabilities for indigenous asylum-seekers.

“The indigenous population was likely the least able to understand their rights, and may therefore have been more susceptible to losing their children and waiving away their own asylum rights.” 

Read

A Translation Crisis at the Border” (The New Yorker | December 2019)

Previous Coverage

Anyone Speak K’iche’ or Mam? Immigration Courts Overwhelmed by Indigenous Languages” (The New York Times | March 2019)

Indigenous immigrants face unique challenges at the border” (High Country News | June 2018)

Ancient Mayan languages are creating problems for today’s immigration courts” (Los Angeles Times | August 2016)

Connect

Asociación Mayab (English version)

The Mayan League

Malaysia News | UyghurS

Malaysian PM announces asylum provisions for refugee Uyghurs

  • Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamed indicated that the country would not honor extradition requests from China for Uyghurs fleeing persecution.
  • The announcement follows a statement from the foreign minister indicating that an inquiry into human rights violations in the Xinjiang region of China.
  • Hundreds took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to protest the ongoing incarceration of more than a million Uyghur Muslims in “political re-education” camps in northwest China.

Read

Malaysia not to extradite Uighurs seeking asylum” (Andalou Agency | December 2019)

Malaysia to probe rights violations against Uighurs” (Andalou Agency | December 2019)

In KL, hundreds of Muslims protest against China’s treatment of Uighurs” (Malay Mail | December 2019)

U.K. News | Asylum-Seekers

Asylum-seekers increasingly attempt dangerous cross-Channel trek to the U.K.

  • Patrol operations in the English Channel have led to the rescue of asylum-seekers attempting to reach the U.K. by small boats, which French and British officials claim is driven by organized smuggling.
  • More than 200 have arrived in the U.K. by water since November, which represents more than a tenfold increase from last year.
  • Migrants have begun turning to aquatic travel as the British and French governments have increasingly targeted land-based vehicles for inspection and closed shelter camps.

Read

More migrants and refugees try to reach UK via English Channel” (Al Jazeera | December 2018)

Five migrant boats rescued in English Channel” (BBC News | December 2018)

Migrants risk death at sea to reach Britain as prices spike on traditional routes” (CNN | December 2018)

Palestinian Territories News | Women with Cancer

Israel denies Palestinians with cancer access to treatment as medication dwindles
  • The Israeli government has indicated that six Gazan women suffering from cancer can travel to the West Bank (despite its lack of treatment capability) or abroad for treatment.
  • The women had previously been denied exit from the Gaza Strip because they are related to members of Hamas—a common punishment disproportionately burdening women—and continue to be denied permit to travel to East Jerusalem, where Palestinian hospitals are located.
  • The Gaza Health Ministry also announced the termination of its chemotherapy treatments in Gaza hospitals due to depletion of medical supplies, which cannot be replenished due to the recent tightening of the Israeli military blockade.
Read

Israel Proposes Gaza Cancer Patients Be Treated in West Bank, Where Treatment Is Unavailable” (Haaretz | August 2018)

Roundup: Gaza suffers escalating medicine, humanitarian goods shortage by Israeli blockade” (Xinhua News Agency | August 2018)

Many Gazan Women Are No Longer Able to Enter Israel for Cancer Treatment” (The New Yorker | June 2018)

Germany News | Asylum-Seekers

Report indicates attacks on asylum-seekers down in Germany
  • According to police, there were 704 cases of anti-refugee violence from January to June, down more than a third from 2017.
  • The 2018 attacks included 77 on asylum shelters and 627 direct attacks on refugees, resulting in 127 injuries.
  • The reduction has come as immigration debates continue to erupt along political fault lines, including the introduction of “anchor centers” for asylum-seekers awaiting judicial decisions and the limited restart of family reunifications.
Read

Fewer attacks on refugees and asylum shelters in Germany” (Reuters | August 2018)

Germany opens refugee ‘anchor centres’ amid criticism” (Al Jazeera | August 2018)

Family reunification for refugees resumes in Germany” (Deutsche Welle | August 2018)

Lebanon News | African Migrant Workers

African migrant workers violently attacked, one deported in Lebanon
  • A crowd of people beat and dragged two migrant workers in Bourj Hammoud, a suburb of Beirut.
  • The police arrested the two women along with two of the attackers, and one of the women was reportedly deported back to Kenya on an alleged visa violation.
  • Progressive advocates condemned the treatment of the women by both the mob and the justice system, arguing it reflects broader abuse of the some 200,000 migrant workers in Lebanon including wage withholding and limited access to justice.
Read

Lebanese activists angry after assaulted Kenyan is deported” (The Guardian | July 2018)

Kenyan woman beaten in viral video deported” (The Daily Star | July 2018)

Assaulted, imprisoned, deported: Shamila’s story – an all-too-familiar violent narrative facing migrant women in Lebanon” (The Anti-Racism Movementcommentary | July 2018)

Saudi Arabia News | Women

Saudi flight academy opens applications to women as mobility restrictions lifted
  • Oxford Aviation Academy has received hundreds of applications from women at its flight school branch in Dammam.
  • The change comes as the government has lifted a decades-old ban that prohibited women from driving or traveling without permission.
  • Despite the legal relaxations, women still face a number of mobility obstacles, including many derived from the country’s guardianship laws.
Read

Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots” (Reuters | July 2018)

The ban on Saudi women driving is ending: Here’s what you need to know” (CNN | June 2018)

How Guardianship Laws Still Control Saudi Women” (The New York Times | June 2018)

China Feature | Uyghur

The Transnational Oppression of Uyghur Chinese

Growing paranoia over terrorism by and radicalization of China’s Muslim Uyghur minority has led to the dramatic expansion of state surveillance activities in Xinjiang—where Uyghurs account for nearly half of the population—and abroad. Digital surveillance, travel restrictions, indefinite detention, “reeducation” camps, and the exploitation of intra-community and transnational relationships have dramatically expanded the crackdown on ethnic minorities perceived as threats to the integrity of the state. After fleeing China, Uyghur emigrants find themselves and their families (some of whom remain in China) subject to harassment by Chinese security forces in places as far flung as Istanbul and Washington, D.C. BuzzFeed News and The Globe and Mail have profiled a number of Uyghur Chinese in exile and the oppressive conditions they and their families face, including high levels of distrust and fear of advocacy.

Read

Spy For Us — Or Never Speak To Your Family Again” (BuzzFeed News | July 2018)

How China is targeting its Uyghur ethnic minority abroad” (The Globe and Mail | October 2017)

Additional

‘It is about Xi as the leader of the world’: Former detainees recount abuse in Chinese re-education centres” (The Globe and Mail | July 2018)

One in 10 Uyghur Residents of Xinjiang Township Jailed or Detained in ‘Re-Education Camp’” (Radio Free Asia | June 2018)

Connect

Uyghur Human Rights Project

China News | LGBTQ Immigrants

Hong Kong court green-lights spousal visas for same-sex couples
  • Hong Kong’s highest court ruled in favor of a two British-national partners, which is expected to open residential visas to spouses regardless of gender in the partnership.
  • Without spousal visas, the same-sex partners of Hong Kong residents could only reside in the city on short-term tourist visas that prohibited work or access to public services.
  • While a recent poll showed more than 50% of Hongkongers support same-sex marriage, native Hong Kong residents still do not have access to same-sex marriage rights, though advocates and some legal experts have suggested the ruling could serve to expand their access to housing and family rights.
Read

Hungary News | Asylum-Seekers, Undocumented Migrants & Advocates

Hungary passes laws criminalizing support of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants
  • The Hungarian parliament passed legislation criminalizing the “organization of illegal immigration,” prohibiting individuals and organizations from providing aid to undocumented immigrants including support in asylum petitioning.
  • Framed as retaliation against the pro-immigrant efforts of billionaire Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, the laws could subject those found guilty of providing support to asylum-seekers to imprisonment for up to a year.
  • The passage comes amidst a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, spearheaded by recently reelected Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Read

Hungary passes anti-immigrant ‘Stop Soros’ laws” (The Guardian | June 2018)

Hungary to criminalise migrant helpers in crackdown” (BBC News | June 2018)

Hungary aims to criminalize aiding illegal migration in ‘Stop Soros’ bill” (Reuters | May 2018)