On behalf of the editorial team, it is our great pleasure to welcome you to this issue of the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration. This issue’s articles explore a broad range of topics from around the world. The five sections aim to cover different approaches to forced migration as well as to engage authors and readers from a variety of different fields and disciplines.
The policy monitor offers a critical analysis of current policy practices or proposals. Steven Feldstein examines the ongoing human rights situation in Libya. He argues that Europe commits a moral failure as long as it determines the success of its policy based on whether or not fewer refugees arrive. Serena Sorrenti focusses on an entirely different set of the EU migration policy — readmission agreements. By exploring the readmission agreement between Afghanistan and Sweden, she demonstrates the unequal negotiation positions of the two countries as well as the decisive shift in Swedish migration policy.
In the field monitor, we hear from those who have had direct experience with forced migrants. Erik Amundson interviews refugees that were resettled in a rural area in the United States. He shows that refugees are confronted with the negative attitudes of the local population and argues that more contact might help overcome prejudice. Faten Ghosn and Alex Braithwaite come to a similar conclusion when presenting the results of a survey about attitudes toward refugees in Lebanon. Muhip Ege Çağlıdil focuses on those internally displaced and the specific challenges of their situation. The international community, he argues, has largely ignored the needs of internally displaced populations. Stacy Topouzova assesses the array of accommodation types for unaccompanied minors in Bulgaria and the challenges this poses to status determination.
We take special pride in the first-hand section that offers a platform for individuals with lived experiences of forced migration to offer their views and insights. In this issue, Wali Mohammad Kandiwal draws on his experiences as a refugee and researcher to explore the notion of truth in the everyday experiences and survival strategies of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
The law monitor analyses laws, policies, as well as practices and their possible implications for the rights of forced migrants. In this edition’s law monitor, Jason Tucker assesses Sweden’s temporary asylum law introduced in 2016 and the subsequent prolonged situations of statelessness that follow from the gaps in law and policy the author identifies. Additionally, in Dropping the Anchor authors Maegherman, Veldhuizen and Horselenberg address the lack of understanding of the plausibility concept commonly employed in the credibility assessment of asylum seeking cases.
In this issue’s academic article, Tara Kalaputi provides us with the insights of a comparative study of Serbia and Croatia. While both countries share a similar geographical position and legal framework, Kalaputi argues that the EU accession negotiations made Serbia adopt a more humanitarian approach towards refugees compared to Croatia where a shift towards securitisation occurred in light of political center-right tendencies.
We would like to express our gratitude to everyone that has made the publication of this issue possible. A big thank you goes to our authors, our editors, as well as the staff and faculty of the University of Oxford that support this publication. Lastly, dear Reader, we thank you for your interest. We hope that this issue will challenge you with new perspectives and ideas.
Claudia Hartman and Klaudia Wegschaider
Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration