East and Horn of Africa not only experience conflicts and political instability but also chronic poverty and extreme climatic variability, all of which lead to different forms of mobility and human displacement. The region plays the dual role of producer and host to refugees and asylum seekers. Latest statistics released by UNHCR indicate that by the end of 2017, there were over 3.2 million refugees originating mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and South Sudan. In addition, there are 5.76 million internally displaced persons within the countries of Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Efforts to provide life-saving assistance, protection, and related humanitarian activities as well as to find durable solutions to this situation continue to be made through international and local interventions. Driving the current collective effort is the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Despite the joint efforts, these regions continue to experience significant forced migrants and refugee flows as evidenced in Djibouti, Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Forced displacement continues to exert strains on regional governments and resources, as well as in other continents such as Europe and America. The increased numbers of refugees and undocumented migrants arriving in Europe by boats despite the numerous deaths in the Mediterranean Sea is evidence enough to interrogate refugee protection and assistance as well as other forms of migration in and out of Africa. While intervention measures to mitigate and manage forced migration have been put in place, they however remain insufficient. This insufficiency in mitigation can be attributed to weak collaboration between knowledge production, policy formulation and practice in the region. The planned conference is therefore an effort to provide a convergence platform for reflections on forced displacement and related migrations in these two regions.
The horn and eastern regions of Africa are experiencing various developments in the dynamics of refugeehood and forced migration. While there is a wide range of institutional responses to refugees including protection, humanitarian assistance and search for durable solutions, there are also justifiable concerns on problems associated with forced migration. These are issues of internal displacement, human trafficking as well as mixed migration flows. This conference seeks to address several issues. First, enable a scholarly and policy interrogation of the relationship between forced displacement and other forms of migration (Mixed migration flows). Secondly, assess and analyse new knowledge and developments in migration policies and management in Africa. Third, discuss how these mixed migrations flows influence and are in turn influenced by the political economy of international migration. In discussing these broad dynamics, the conference aims to help in shaping future directions of the forced displacement discourse, interventions and policy in the Horn and East Africa . This is also important in identifying potential avenues for collaboration between policy makers, researchers, international institutions, practitioners and governments in their pursuit to address issues related to forced migration. This is done with the objective of broadening the discussion in order to come up with much longer-term and multifaceted approaches to addressing issues of forced migration.
The themes that will be addressed in the conference will include the following:
• The economics of forced displacement
•The effects of displacement on the displaced and host communities
• Legal regimes governing displacement
• Negotiating institutional responses to displacement
• Humanitarian space and spaces of protection
• What is a human being worth? Human trafficking today
•Protracted urban displacement: the minefield of needs and interests
• Security and displacement
• What next? The dynamics of evolving protection space
• Durable solutions to displacement
• South-South Vs South-North forced migration
• Local, National, Regional and Global perspectives on the rights of forced migrants
• Development Induced Displacement and Resettlement
• Refugee health and Psychosocial issues
The conference will have two keynote addresses, presentation of papers and round-table discussions.
All papers will be subject to a review process. Papers submitted will be categorized into working papers and full papers.
July 10, 2018: Submission of Abstracts
July 20, 2018: Acceptance Notification
September 10, 2018: Submission of full papers
Michael Omondi Owiso, PhD,
School of Development and Strategic Studies
P. O. Box Private Bag/Maseno
Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt