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Image by Lerone Pieters


World Convention in Finland 2023











Injustice in a World of Uncertainty

Stream 2b: War, Refugees and Migration: What Happens Next? (Continued)

(A parallel stream of online and pre-recorded presentations with online access only) 

#1: Oppressive Effects of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War on the Igbos

Author(s): Oluwafemi Imisioluwa Olatunde, Department of Sociology, Federal University Oye-Ekiti Ekiti State, Nigeria

Abstract: Nigerian Civil War captured global attention both as the first modern bloodiest civil war in sub-Saharan Africa after independence and also as first post-World War II cataclysm. The prodigious death mostly from malnutrition and starvation as reported was about three times higher than that of World War II in Stalingrad and Holland. This colossal disaster left an indelible massive devastation to life, huge destruction of property and unimaginable environmental degradation in the mind of the affected people and the society.  This study probed and attested to the reactions of respondents –   Igbos’ of the eastern Nigeria - over the effect of the civil war on the war-torn region. The study was anchored on Social Control Theory as essential institution measure against any form of heinous attack on any ethnic group in Nigeria/ Being a quantitative study, the study generates quantitative information from some selected respondents from five (5) Eastern States namely: Abia, Anambra, Eboyi, Enugun and Imo states Nigeria. A total number of 40 - forty- copies of questionnaires were distributed, collected, coded, collated, and, analysed using both SPSS among the randomly selected respondents across the eastern region States. Findings from the study revealed that 70 percent of respondents experienced the war effect as a growing adolescent while 30 percent experienced it as an adult. Indicating that all the respondents were expose to civil war. Their experiences ranged from hunger and starvation (85.0 percent); widespread killings (87.5 percent); human rights abuses (75.0 percent), property destruction (85.0 percent), sexual crimes (80.0 percent) malnutrition (85.0); environmental degradation (90.0percent); ill health (70.0) and pollution (95.0). From the study, the under studied respondents’ human right and health privileges were grossly abused, deprived and hampered by the civil war tragedy. Also, experiences of such heinous tragedy may be preclusive to their emotional wellbeing and safety in the nation called Nigeria.


#2:  From Core to the Margins: Situating Bijoygarh as a refugee colony in post-partition Bengal

Author(s): Oishika Gosh, Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.

Abstract: Amid all the other refugee squats, the fact that a permanent refugee settlement emerged from it, sets Bijoygarh at a distance. Calcutta, as the capital city of Bengal, absorbed the highest number of refugees post-partition, in and around 1947. And, one such earliest refuge squats of Calcutta was Bijoygarh. Being established in 1948, Bijoygarh today situates itself in between two of the busiest roads, namely Raja Subodh Mullik and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road. Within the rubric of this larger argument, my paper provides an overview of whether East Bengali refugees are portrayed as passive victims of rehabilitation, daring protagonists, or simultaneously both. The paper’s chief corpus will focus on the micro-history of Bijoygarh’s refugees and the illumination of their erasures. Therefore, the colony which was once formed with the twelve refugee families traveling ticketless from Sealdah to Jadavpur, is argued in carrying the reminiscences of resistance, politics of representation, and memoirs of silence, till date. Also, the debate that refugees were incessantly preoccupied with their battle against the ‘other’ or the ‘host society’ gets clarified in my paper through the fractures of refugee experience. For this particular research study, data has been collected from secondary sources mostly, including books, research papers, websites and journals. I have tried to keep my literary analysis of the secondary sources as exhaustive as possible regarding the topic and its related concepts. The analysis in this paper is mostly qualitative in nature.

#3: The Old is Dying and the New Cannot be Born: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Authors: Shehnoor Khurram, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, York University, Toronto, Canada

Abstract: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was officially launched in 2014 to establish a transnational Islamic Caliphate. In the years following, it emerged as a major global actor in world politics, demonstrating significant resilience in constructing a Westphalian proto-state while fighting a four-pronged war: Iraq to the East, the Kurds to the North, the Assad regime in the West, and airstrikes from above by a US-led coalition. I examine the political-economic logic underpinning ISIS’ emergence and statecraft. I locate the rise of ISIS within the breakdown of the Iraqi and Syrian states. Three processes have facilitated state (de)formation in this context: (1) neoliberalism and the internationalisation of class and state in Iraq and Syria; (2) the spread of sectarianism, and (3) the failures of the Arab Spring and crises of social reproduction. The novelty of my research lies in bridging complex discourses within state theory, critical security studies, and political economy to examine how neoliberal globalisation undermines national and human security. Building from Ahmed (2004’s) framework, a state-centred conceptualisation of security demonstrates that neoliberal globalisation destabilises and fragments the state while militarising the state and non-state actors, contributing to intra-and inter-state conflict. A human-centred approach to the impact of neoliberal globalisation on individuals and communities reveals that this process produces insecurity and structural violence across national borders, politicising ethnic/cultural/religious identities. Joint national and human-level insecurity generates violent contestations for state power and the use of terrorism as mechanisms of political change.

#4: Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Refugees and Asylum Seekers Resettled in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Authors: : Istiaque Mahmud Dowllah, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Abstract: Refugees and forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) have been subjected to various forms of trauma throughout their lives, which leads to poor physical and mental health. Refugees and asylum seekers are more prone to PTSD than the general population due to their previous and current experiences, such as torture, human rights violation, a lack of essentials, painful loss, and separation from others. Human rights breaches such as forcible movement of refugees from camps, police harassment, arbitrary arrest, and detention without trial are all major issues that refugees confront in low- and middle-income countries. It is challenging to implement psychosocial therapies in LMICs due to limited resources, a lack of mental health specialists, and insufficient research. This systematic review aims to determine which psychosocial interventions effectively treat PTSD among refugees and asylum seekers in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). 


In conclusion, refugees and FDPs who endure a difficult life are susceptible to various mental health concerns, such as PTSD. This study aimed to examine the efficacy of psychosocial interventions in this demographic resettled in LMICs and provide an updated knowledge. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) had the greatest effect size among psychosocial therapies for this demographic. However, the number of studies is small, and their methodological rigour is limited, thus future study should concentrate on performing more rigorous trials.

#5: The ethnographic story of chained precariousness: Migrating as a strategy for a better life in a society full of uncertainties about the future


Authors: Sibel Akyildiz, Université de Tours, France

Abstract: Migration due to wars, economic instability, social insecurity or pandemics that cause forced displacement of people is not only an individual humanitarian crisis, but also a problem that threatens all nations globally. These people, forced or voluntarily migrating, living on the socially challenged margins of society due to their economic, ethnic or national origins, have to endure a lower status in many parts of the world. This study deals with the ethnographic story of the migration journey of a nurse who immigrated from Syria to Turkey due to the Syrian war and a teacher who immigrated from Turkey to France due to economic instability and social insecurity. The study tries to reveal the experiences of 2 women immigrants in private and public spaces in the cities of Izmir in Turkey and Paris in France in August 2022, through in-depth interviews and discourse analysis. The research aims to discuss the phenomenon ‘chained precariousness’ that immigrants experience due to the lack of sufficient social and economic capital in the societies they have just arrived in.

#6: EU Long-term Residence in Portugal: A Possible Way to Refugees’ Autonomy?


Authors: Ana Filipa Neves and Carlos Narcos, CES, University of Coimbral, Portugal

Abstract: In his statement to the UNHCR Executive Committee meeting, on 10 October 2022, High Commissioner Filippo Grandi highlighted the never-reached before number of 100 million refugees in the world, also underlying that the demand for responses that imply “refugee voices to be heard, and acted upon” has never been greater. In their quest for autonomy and a life in and with dignity, refugees’ rights must be ensured not only in the beginning of their flight from persecution or violence, but also, and most poignantly, along the way through their long journey home, be it in their country of origin or their host country. Protracted conflicts, protracted violence equate to protracted situations of refugees who stay and become long-term residents in the host country. In 2003, the EU approved a new regime of long-term residency of third country nationals who, after having lived in a EU Member State for a minimum of five years, should enjoy equal rights as those of Member States citizens in a wide range of economic and social matters. Interestingly, only in 2011, was this specific regime also applicable to refugees and beneficiaries of international protection. Almost two decades after its entry into force – ten years in the situation of refugees – it was time to analyse the impact of this legal avenue in the lives of long-term migrants, including refugee in protracted situations, living in Portugal.


The analysis conducted systematised how this EU legislation was transposed into the Portuguese migration and asylum legal norms and how it became effective in ensuring migrants well-being in Portugal. Fundamental in the research process was hearing, as underlined by Filippo Grandi, “migrant and refugee voices” and, only then, pointing to the advantages and pitfalls of a long-term residence status in order to ameliorate the first and surpass the latter not losing sight of the end-goal of ensuring refugees’ right to protection and autonomy.

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