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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

DSEI: A supermarket for state surveillance and border wars

As borders are increasingly militarised and their operation privatised, migration, more than ever before, is also an anti-militarist struggle.

Supporting refugee livelihoods or host stability? The two sides of the coin

For many refugees, the humanitarian programmes focusing on "livelihoods" end up having merely an "accessory" role rather than generating sustainable labour.

Seeking refuge in refugees

Glimpses of life in a Greek refugee camp through the diary of a young volunteer.

‘Sorry I drowned’

Watch the 6-minute animated film ‘Sorry I Drowned’ inspired by a letter allegedly found on the body of someone who drowned in the Mediterranean sea due to the prevailing cynical politics of our day. [video]

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

Stepping back from sensationalist stories on African migration

Who should be held accountable for the continued violations of rights, and the deprivations of life and dignity, experienced by African refugees and migrants?

Trump’s Syrian “safe area” is just another wall

Without a true and robust commitment to save lives, Trump’s idea for a safe area in Syria looks more like a death trap.

From Damascus to The Hague: a refugee's journey

A refugee’s journey through physical and political borders, and the difficulties and risks along the perilous route.

Uncertain, cold, and disempowered – healthcare in Greek refugee camps

How can we heal the wounds of refugees in these circumstances,asks a volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society.

The EU-Turkey migration agreement and its humanitarian masquerade

The binding of security to humanitarianism, as is the case with this EU-Turkey agreement, exposes its underlying aim of maintaining the economic trade integrity of the Union.

For partners in managing refugee flows, don’t look to Libya

Current proposals for European cooperation with Libya to contain migration and refugee flows are ill-advised.

The Turkey–EU refugee deal and how to really solve 'the problem'

Unless there is mobilisation to provide a better life for those in underdeveloped parts of the world, the 'problem' of people's desire to migrate in search of a better life will persist.

The EU-Turkey deal: unjust and short-sighted

Sending citizens who are fleeing one authoritarian regime to another authoritarian regime will only result in more anger, frustration and extremism in the years to come.

Reflections from Arab Spring to refugee crisis in Europe: an argument for measure and the rule of law

As we must find ways to deal with economic migration in all its variations and the effects it has on society and economy, we must offer a rights-based welcome to those who qualify for asylum.

On the move again: 70,000 refugees compelled to leave camp

Refugees in South Sudan's Yida camp dispute UNHCR arguments for their relocation once again.

The violence of the word refugee

Words have power. The meaning of the word ‘refugee’ must be challenged to represent the experiences of the millions of individuals who have lost everything and yet wake up each day seeking to build a better life for themselves.

Always keep your sadness inside your heart

Leaving their family behind in Baghdad, a father and his son journey from Iraq to Finland in search of peace and security.

Refugee crisis: those most responsible are the least affected

Western governments talk of “moral” responsibility towards the refugees—but morality has nothing to do with it. They are simply obliged to help clean up a mess they helped make.

Europe: time to face up

Sharing responsibility for the refugee crisis is a first step, but it remains unclear if EU members will work towards resolving its root cause.

Dreams of return find new meaning on Zaatari's third anniversary

The permanence of the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan is not accepted by all, but is a truth that is transforming lives and attitudes inside the informal city.

When does a refugee camp become a permanent home?

Encamped refugees are often portrayed on our TV screens as objects of pity with deadpan expressions. Time to ask what they think and feel.

The wretched of the sea: an Algerian perspective

The securitisation of immigration control has failed to solve the migrant crisis because it ignores the root cause: a global system that puts profits before people.

The dilemmas of migration and the alternatives

Force and denial are not going to solve the migrant crisis—instead we must turn to long-term economic, political, and cultural solutions.

Desperate people, hazardous escapes

Those fleeing violent conflict or brutal repressive regimes, facing darkness and terror as they journey from home to Europe, deserve compassion—not intolerance, paranoia and hate.

Where are the people of Syria?

To mark the fourth anniversary of the uprising, the people of Syria tell their stories. 

Intra-Arab discrimination in Dearborn

Arab communities in America can reproduce white supremacist racial hierarchies, whereby certain Arab ethnic groups are privileged at the expense of others, beginning with refugees.

Anti-Syrian racism in Turkey

A wave of xenophobia is ruining the lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey where they are seen as criminals, accused of stealing jobs and responsible for anything that goes wrong. Media incitement and state inaction fuel the flames.

(Syrian) black skin, (Lebanese) white masks

Refugees in Lebanon face a violent troika: the state, the Lebanese bourgeoisie, and the weather.

For young refugees from Syria, education equals hope

Young Syrian refugees have shown extradordinary resilience, but hope for their short and long-term futures hinges on better educational opportunities.

Syrian civil society in Lebanon: challenges and opportunities

Instead of empowering Syrian civil society and helping it to build its capacity, the aid community is rendering us more fragile. 

The right to neighbourhood: way out of a sectarian quagmire

In Damascus there are no direct routes linking Jaramana to Mhajirin, or the Yarmouk camp to Sayyida Zayneb - each home to different communities stratified along lines of class and religious belonging. Isolation and distance is reinforced; and in so doing serves to reproduce the Other.

Arab migrants face a new Sykes-Picot in Calais

The latest raid on camps in Calais is an example of Europe continuing to strengthen border controls and crack down on migrants. But violence and coercion will not deter those who are determined to reach a safe haven at any cost.

Ghassan’s memories

Kanafani can make you dream of a free Palestine in a multitude of ways. A Palestine freed through writing, through song, through poetry, through art, or through a rifle. 

Forever a refugee: A "Syrian-Palestinian" in search of identity

Millions have been displaced since the uprising in Syria kicked off three years ago. This is the story of Salim, a Palestinian from Syria, who no longer identifies himself as a citizen of any particular place.

Suffering happens, but Pakistan's Afghan refugees are more than just victims

The word 'refugee' conjures up images of rows of tents, barefoot children and saddened faces. The reality is more complex. My research shows that Afghan refugees have developed lives alongside Pakistani nationals in Karachi's poor katchi abadi areas: marrying, working, loving and learning together. 

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