Call for Papers: Resettlement of Refugees



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Forced Migration Review (Oxford Dept. of International Development)


Forced Migration Review (Oxford Dept. of International Development)


Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 10th October 2016

Resettlement is one of the three ‘traditional’ durable solutions for refugees. It involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a state in which they have sought protection to a third state which has agreed to admit them, as refugees and traditionally with permanent residence status. As such, resettlement is a tool for refugee protection, designed to meet specific needs of refugees whose life, liberty, safety, health or other fundamental rights are at risk in the country where they have sought asylum. Ironically, it involves the further displacement of the refugees.

Although fewer than one per cent of refugees globally are resettled, resettlement can constitute an expression of international solidarity and a commitment to sharing the responsibility of refugee protection. Geo-political realities and attitudes have nonetheless shaped how resettlement has been implemented (in particular vis-à-vis the countries of resettlement and the nationalities of origin), and strategies, priorities and modalities have therefore changed over time. For refugees, it can provide a tool for family reunification or access to specific services unavailable in the country of first asylum.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has resettlement as one of its core objectives, and the International Organization for Migration also has in its mandate to “… concern itself with the organized transfer of refugees … including [to] those states undertaking to receive them”. UNHCR works with countries of asylum, states of potential resettlement, international organisations and non-governmental organisations in a variety of ways to identify and then resettle refugees. It is usually the most vulnerable or at-risk who are selected for resettlement.

The FMR editors are looking for articles reflecting a diverse range of opinions and perspectives focusing on resettlement of refugees and addressing questions such as the following:

  • How does resettlement fit into the larger framework of potential solutions for refugees, including alternative and additional pathways?
  • Does resettlement encourage the idea that spontaneous asylum seeking is bad, and that ‘good’ refugees wait to be resettled?
  • Is the prospect of resettlement ever used as a form of containment, with the result that people live in limbo in the hope of resettlement?
  • Is current resettlement practice fit for the global scale and nature of refugee needs? Is there potential for speeding up resettlement or for variations on resettlement, such as temporary residence?
  • How are refugees identified for resettlement and what is their profile? How could or should this be improved? Do ‘vulnerability’ criteria rationalise discrimination and/or arbitrariness?
  • What is the impact of resettlement on those left behind?
  • What is the impact of resettlement on receiving communities? How can public acceptance of resettled refugees be fostered?
  • What are the roles of host states, UNHCR and receiving states in resettlement strategy and process? Can confidence in the process be increased?
  • To what extent do refugees themselves have a say in the process of resettlement? How are the expectations of refugees best managed?
  • What are the international responsibilities or other motives that lead states to resettle refugees, and could more states resettle refugees?
  • Is there potential for more ‘private’, that is, non-state-managed, resettlement?
  • How do public opinion and the attitudes to nationhood, citizenship and belonging in countries of resettlement affect the efforts of states to resettle refugees and affect the experiences of refugees once resettled?What conditions need to be in place for refugees being resettled and for their integration once relocated to their new country?
  • How should the success of resettlement be judged and under what circumstances can it be seen to have failed?
  • What happens to resettled refugees over time after they have been resettled? Are there examples of interventions that have significantly affected these outcomes?
  • Does resettlement function satisfactorily in respect of family reunification?
  • How does age or gender affect opportunities for resettlement and experiences of resettlement?
  • What roles do or can civil society in countries of resettlement take to support resettled refugees? How should the role of civil society – and the resources needed to undertake this role – be taken into account when governments agree to resettle refugees?
  • What is the role of members of the diaspora or previously resettled refugees in attracting, receiving or supporting newly settled refugees?
  • Does resettlement ever signify failure of other solutions?


Authors are reminded that FMR seeks to publish articles with a gendered approach or a gender analysis.

While we are looking for examples of good, replicable practice and experience as well as sound analysis of the issues at stake, we also urge writers to discuss failures and difficulties: what does/did not work so well, and why.

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions.

Maximum length: 2,500 words.

Please note that space is always at a premium in FMR and that published articles are usually shorter than this maximum length.  Your article, if accepted for publication, may well be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes.

Deadline for submission of articles:  10th October 2016

If you are interested in contributing, please email the Editors at to discuss your ideas for an article. If you have suggestions of colleagues or community representatives who may wish to contribute, please do email us; we are happy to work with individuals to help them develop an article and very keen to have displaced people’s perspectives reflected in the magazine.

If you are planning to write, we would be grateful if you would take note of our guidelines for authors at:

Contact email: