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Refuge in a Moving World

Refuge in a Moving World logo.jpgThe ‘Refuge in a Moving World’ network – an initiative of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) led by the MRU's Co-Director, Prof Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh – brings together experts from across the UCL who work on displacement, forced migration, exile and conflict. It is grounded on the understanding that cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research is essential to develop a full understanding of, and a means of responding to, the human, material and representational effects of intersecting processes of mass displacement around the world.

The network organises research-led interdisciplinary events, including seminar seriesconferences, workshops, public debates, and a PhD Wing (see below) to help us better understand the history, causes, experiences, representations and implications of ongoing shifts in politics, people and perceptions. For some of the RiMW activities coordinated since 2015, see here.

This site offers a snapshot of some of the world-leading research taking place across UCL into these complex questions in the form of a Directory of UCL scholars who are members of Refuge in a Moving World, and of relevant research projects across UCL. As the Directory is a work in progress, if you would like to join the network or include your project, please email Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh.

RiMW PhD Wing: If you are an MPhil/PhD student conducting research on conflict and displacement related issues, and are interested in joining the RiMW PhD Wing (which convenes interdisciplinary reading groups and events) email Aydan GreatrickVictoria TeccaClaire Fletcher, or visit the Facebook page.


Dr. Mai Abu Moghli is UCL Active Citizenship strand manager, and a British Palestinian human rights activist, practitioner and academic based in London. Mai holds a PhD from the UCL Institute of Education. Her PhD research focus was on human rights education in Palestinian Authority schools in the Occupied West Bank. Mai holds a Masters degree in human rights from the University of Essex and has worked extensively in the fields of human rights and education in the MENA region. She is a policy member of the Palestinian policy network (Al-Shabaka) and an associate member of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies. Her current research focus is on violence in all boys Palestinian Authority Schools, refugee education and formation of identity in refugee situations. You can follow her on: @maimoghliE-mail:

Bayes Ahmed, Lecturer UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction: Bayes's research focuses on disaster risk reduction (DRR), conflict and migration, climate change adaptation, community vulnerability and resilience, and climate justice. He works in the intersection between conflict and disaster with a vision to help improving the living standards of forced migrants and stateless population. Email:

    Dr. Rob Aldridge is an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the UCL-Institute of Health Informatics. Rob’s current research focuses on infectious disease epidemiology and the health inequalities faced by vulnerable, and often invisible populations, including migrants and refugees. Rob’s unique training in engineering, medicine and epidemiology allow him to carry out research using a range of methods including mathematical modelling of infectious disease, observational, interventional and cost effectiveness studies. He is a member of the UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health. You can follow him on @rob_aldridge.

    Raphaëla Armbruster is Coordinator of Admissions for UCL's international foundation course at pre-undergraduate level, the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate (UPC). She has also planned the Bowman Scholarship, which offer two students from forced migration backgrounds a full fee waiver for the UPC, on either the Sciences and Engineering or the Humanities and Social Sciences pathway. Following completion of the UPC, students have a qualification accepted by all UK universities, Russell Group included. Since 2016, she has been involved in the Refuge in a Moving World Education Sub-Committee, and in a number of projects at UCL (Pathways to Education for Women Refugees and Migrants, LCN Science and English Summer School). She also works as an educational mentor for the Refuge Support Network. E-mail: or

    Dr. Giovanna Astolfo is Teaching Fellow at the UCL-Development Planning Unit. Her research focuses on informal urbanisms, and bordering practices in the urban context. She is currently part of a interdisciplinary DPU research project on 'Refugee Cities. The actual space of migration'. Further research interests are related to the ethics of design, especially the social role of architects and the legacy of the community architecture movement. E-mail:

    Tom Bailey is Leverhulme Artist in Residence at UCL-Geography/Migration Research Unit. Tom is a theatre maker and director. Creating work through his company, The Mechanical Animal Corporation, he has developed work across the UK, and internationally in Egypt and Finland. He read English at UCL (2007). In 2016 he was making theatre with refugees in the Good Chance theatre in the Calais 'Jungle'. During his residency with the Migration Research Unit Tom will be researching and developing work that explores migration through live performance.

    Prof. Camillo Boano is a Professor and Co-Director of the UCL Urban Lab at the UCL-Development Planning Unit. He is an architect and urbanist with interests in humanitarian urbanism, environmental forced migration, temporary shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and communication in emergencies. He leads the DPU's new project, Refugee Cities: the Actual Spaces of Migration. You can follow him on @CamilloBoano.

    Dr Beverley Butler is a Reader in Cultural Heritage at UCL Institute of Archaeology. Her key interests include: Critical Heritage perspectives, ‘Heritage Wellbeing’ and the transformative ‘efficacies of heritage’ particularly in contexts of marginalisation, displacement, conflict and extremis. Beverley has on-going long-term fieldwork research in the Middle East – notably in Egypt, Palestine and Jordan.  Her long-standing research collaboration with Dr Fatima Al-Nammari (Petra University Jordan) includes: Dislocated Identities and ‘Non-places’ – Heritage, Place-making and Wellbeing in Refugee Camps (2011- ongoing). Beverley is Co-Investigator on a new joint ESRC/AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund research project with Professor Helen Chatterjee in collaboration with the Helen Bamber Centre which looks at the role of creative arts and cultural activities in improving health and wellbeing.

    Dr. Estella Carpi is Research Associate at UCL-Development Planning Unit and Humanitarian Affairs Advisor at Save the Children UK. She is a social anthropologist who is coordinating a new project, Refugee Self-Reliance and Humanitarian Action in Urban Markets, at UCL. Her research interests lie primarily in humanitarianism, refugee migration, welfare, and politics of aid. You can follow her on and @estycrp.

    Dr. Elaine Chase is Senior Lecturer in Education, Health Promotion and International Development in the Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL-Institute of Education. Her research interests include the intersection between migration and wellbeing outcomes. Her current research investigates the outcomes for independent migrant and refugee children as they make the transition to ‘adulthood’. E-mail:

    Prof. Helen Chatterjee is a Professor of Biology in UCL Biosciences and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Culture. Her museological research investigates the value of cultural participation to health, wellbeing and education. She is PI on a number of projects including an ESRC/AHRC GCRF project entitled Co-developing a method for assessing the psychosocial impact of cultural interventions with displaced people: towards an integrated care framework, in collaboration with Dr Bev Butler, UCL Archaeology, Dr Fatima Al-Nammari at the University of Petra, the Helen Bamber Foundation and Talbieh Refugee Camp. You can follow her on @h_chatterjee. E-mail:


    Dr. Sarah Crafter was Senior Research Officer in the Thomas Coram Research Institute at UCL-IOE until joining the Open University. Sarah’s academic interests lie in the area of migration, diversity and the development of identities. By background she is a cultural-developmental psychologist whose work is grounded in sociocultural theory, transitions, critical or contested ideas of ‘normative’ development and cultural identity development. She has a longstanding interest in working with child language who are children and young people who translate and interpreter for family members after migration to a new country. Recently she has been working on research ('New families') that seeks to explore the care of children, by other children when they are unaccompanied refugee minors, including as PI of a new major research project led with Dr. Rachel Rosen of the UCL-IOE. E-mail:

    Dr Jay Derrick worked for 30 years in Adult and Further Education as a teacher, manager and researcher before joining the Institute of Education in 2007 as a teacher educator. He led the Post-Compulsory PGCE programme for 5 years until 2017. He now teaches on the MA in Professional Education and Training, the MSc in Engineering and Education, on the ReConnect HE Preparation Programme for Refugees, and for the Doctoral School. He completed his Ed D in January 2019, on Learning and Innovation through workplace practice. Follow him via his occasional blog on, or on @JayDerrickIOE. Email:

    Dr. Delan Devakumar is a Clinical Lecturer in the UCL Institute for Global Health. He is a medical doctor with experience in clinical paediatrics and public health. His research is on maternal and child health and is part of the Lancet Commission on Migration and Health.

    Prof Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is Director of the Refuge in a Moving World network and is Co-Director of the Migration Research Unit at the Department of Geography. Elena specialises in forced migration and conflict-induced displacement, with a particular thematic interest in gender, generation and religion, and a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She is currently the PI of two major projects: Local Community Experiences of Displacement from Syria (funded by the AHRC-ESRC) and Analysing South-South Humanitarian Responses to Displacement from Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (funded by the European Research Council). You can follow her on @RefugeeHosts and @RefugeMvingWrld. E-mail:

    Dr. Adele Galipo is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the UCL-Institute of Education whose research interests include transnationalism, diasporas and migrants return; urban diversity; development and humanitarian interventions; and nation-building processes. Her regional focus is the Horn of Africa, particularly the Somali region. E-mail:

    Aydan Greatrick, Refugee Hosts Project Coordinator: Aydan is responsible for the coordination of the MRU based AHRC-ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project investigating Local Community Experiences of and Responses to Conflict-Induced Displacement from Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The project is led by Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. Aydan's research interests focus on the intersections of gender, sexuality and religion in responses to and engagements with forced migrants. Email:

    Dr François Guesnet is Reader in Modern Jewish History in the UCL-Department of Hebrew and Jewish History. Migration has been a prominent feature in Jewish history from its inception, and forced migrations are part of this history of migrations. François works specifically on responses of Jewish communities to react - politically and socially - to such challenging situations in the early modern and modern period (16-19th centuries). You can follow him on @fguesnet. E-mail:

    Dr Philippa Hetherington is Lecturer in Modern Eurasian History at UCL- SSEES. She researches gender, migration and law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Philippa is currently completing a book on the emergence of 'trafficking in women' as a social problem and legal category at the fin-de-siècle, with a focus on the region considered the primary source country of trafficked women in this period, the Russian empire. She is also the Co-Investigator (with Dr. Julia Laite, Birkbeck) on the three-year AHRC project 'Trafficking, Smuggling and Illicit Migration in Gendered and Historical Perspective.' You can follow her on @philippahether. E-mail:

    Dr Cassidy Johnson is a Senior Lecturer at UCL-Development Planning Unit. She is an urbanist who is interested in migration and displacement in relation to urbanisation and urban life. Her core research focus is on disasters and post-disaster recovery, and this extends into looking at how people living through crisis situations make their way in the city, and how existing governance mechanisms can support them. Her current projects include: Human, Economic, and Social Flows Beyond Crisis: Understanding the “Urbanitarian” (HESF), which is a DPU collaboration with Save the Children, UK; Reducing Relocation Risks and Urban Africa Risk Knowledge. You can follow her on @cassidyajohnson. Email:


    Sara Joiko is a PhD Candidate at UCL-Institute of Education. Her thesis aims to acknowledge the schooling experience of migrant families in the Chilean context. She has worked as a research assistant on education in different contexts (Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Chile and the National Institute of Education in Singapore). She also has extensive experience linking her academic interests (such as on education policy, family-school relationships and migration) with her community-volunteer work at different social organizations such the Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO, London) and Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM, Chile). She has been a member of the UCL Refuge in a Moving World Education Sub-committee since 2016 and she is currently supporting the UCL Grand Challenges fundes project, Pathways to Education for Women Refugees and Migrants in London. Email:

    Prof. Ben Kaplan is Professor of Dutch History in the Department of History. He specialises in the history of relations between religious groups in early modern Europe – in essence, the history of religious toleration and conflict in Europe in the 16th-18th centuries. The history of early modern religious refugees is one important aspect of this topic. E-mail:

    Prof Ilan Kelman is Professor of Disasters and Health at UCL and a Professor II at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. His overall research interest is linking disasters and health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research. That covers three main areas: (i) disaster diplomacy and health diplomacy ; (ii) island sustainability involving safe and healthy communities in isolated locations; and (iii) risk education for health and disasters. You can follow Ilan on @IlanKelman. E-mail:

    Dr Agnieszka Kubal is Lecturer in Sociology at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Agnieszka is an interdisciplinary socio-legal, migration and human rights scholar with area studies interest in Central Eastern Europe and Russia. At UCL Agnieszka has just completed her second monograph Immigration and Refugee Law in Russia. Socio-Legal Perspectives (2019, Cambridge University Press). It results from her British Academy post-doctoral research fellowship project (2013-2016). Agnieszka's research among undocumented Syrian asylum seekers in Russia together with her involvement in their case before the European Court of Human Rights resulted in a court decision LM and Others v Russia (2016) and a real impact beyond academia: establishing standards of protection of Syrians against deportation in all European countries. Email:

    Ruth Mandel is Vice-Dean International in the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, and a Reader in the Department of Anthropology. She has researched migration issues for several decades, primarily among migrants from Turkey in Germany, described in her prize-winning book, Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish challenges to citizenship and belonging in Germany (Duke Univ. Press). At UCL she has directed the series of international conferences and arts workshops Engaging Refugee Narratives: Perspectives from Academia and the Arts in 2016-17, where talks, demonstrations and interactive workshops have brought together arts practitioners and academics who all are engaged in work with refugees. E-mail:

    Dr Anna Marazuela Kim was a Visiting Research Fellow at UCL’s Institute for Advanced Studies in 2017-18. She is an art and architectural historian with research interests in iconoclasm, particularly in the realm of religious images; art and terrorism; and the relation of the built environment to human thriving. Anna worked with refugees and immigrants in the US during the Central American conflict and more recently in refugee camps in Greece, as a photographer. She is keen to bring her activism around refugees into the academic realm. You can follow her on @AnnaMarazuela. Email:

    Ricardo Martén is a PhD Candidate and Researcher at the UCL-Development Planning Unit. His interests lie in the urban dynamics between informality, violence and migratory trends, as well as the role of urban design as a theoretical complement to the production of space. Current research projects look to examine these elements, particularly focusing on the urban legacy of official spaces of exception and the resulting informal counter-narratives. E-mail:

    Dr. Richard Mole is Professor of Political Sociology at UCL-SSEES. Richard's research examines the experiences of LGBTQ asylum-seekers/refugees from Russia and other post-Soviet states. It examines the politicisation of non-normative sexual and gender identities in the former USSR, the different forms of persecution by the state and society in the post-Soviet space as well as the narratives LGBTQ asylum-seekers need to produce to make their claims understandable in the West. E-mail:

    Dr Marta Niccolai is Teaching Fellow at the Department of Italian. Her research focuses on theatre events performed in war territories, primarily the Middle East, and in Europe, that explore human rights and refugees’ rights. She analyses the methodology applied and how the actor’s body and voice is used to encourage a deeper understanding between geographically and culturally different people who are brought closer by forced migration.

    Dr. Kristine Husøy Onarheim is a medical doctor and a research fellow in health policy at the Institute for Global Health. She works on the SELMA project, which aims to study public policy responses to improve the sexual and reproductive health of migrants and refugees. In her PhD, Onarheim explored priority setting and intra-household resource allocation for newborn health in Ethiopia (University of Bergen, Norway). Her wide-ranging research on priority setting in global health include work on women’s health, children’s health, universal health coverage, migrant health, access to medicines, and governance. She has been a visiting researcher at Harvard University. As a medical doctor, she has clinical experience from Norway, Ethiopia and India. Onarheim was a founding member of the Lancet Youth Commission on Essential Medicines Policies and an intern at the WHO. Email:

    Dr Miriam Orcutt is a medical doctor and academic researcher currently coordinating the UCL-Lancet Commission for Migration and Health; she is a Research Associate at UCL’s Institute of Global Health. Her background is in medical anthropology and her current research explores refugee health, including through research with Syrian refugees in informal camps in Northern Greece. You can follow her on @miriamorcutt. Email:

    Dr Amira Osman is Research Fellow at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR). Dr. Osman's research interests include gender and forced migration, humanitarian intervention, conflict resolution and peace building, gender analysis, and the use of evidence to inform policy-making. Email:

    Dr. Tejendra Pherali is Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development at UCL-Institute of Education. His research focuses on education in conflict-affected societies and the role of education in post-conflict peace building. He is currently involved in research into educational challenges for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan, and education for peace in Somaliland. You can follow him on @pherali. Email:

    Dr. Thibaut Raboin is Teaching Fellow at the Department of French. He is the author of Discourses on LGBT asylum in the UK: constructing a queer haven, published by Manchester University Press (2016), and has authored articles on LGBT asylum and homonationalism. His interdisciplinary research is based on the critical discourse analysis of French and UK public discourses, in particular in relation to race, sexuality, gender and migration, and the emergence and configuration of social problems in public arenas. Alongside his work on the discourses of forced migration, his current research concerns the expression of social suffering on the radio, with an attention to listening as both a mode of governmentality and a critical act. E-mail:

    Dr. Victoria Redclift is a Political Sociologist in the UCL IoE. Her research interests are in the Sociology of 'race', ethnicity and migration with particularly citizenship and political exclusion. She is the author of Statelessness and Citizenship: Camps and the creation of political space (Routledge, 2013), shortlisted for the BSA Phillip Abrams prize in 2014, and editor of New Racial Landscapes: Contemporary Britain and the neoliberal conjuncture (Routledge, 2015). She is currently PI of a Phillip Leverhulme Prize project and an ESRC Future Research Leaders award. Her work pays particular attention to spatial formations of political exclusion, histories of displacement and the formation of diaspora, and the negotiation of local and global political subjectivity. She has worked at the LSE, the University of Manchester and the University of Surrey, and joined UCL in 2018.

    Dr. Rachel Rosen (UCL-Institute of Education): Rachel is an Associate Professor in Childhood in the Department of Social Science at UCL-IOE. Her research interests include child and family migration, with a focus on the intersections of unequal childhoods, migration and care/stratified social reproduction. Her work contributes to debates about the politics of children and childhood; changing adult-child relations in the context of neo-liberal migration and welfare regimes; and how and to what effect children are involved in migration processes. She is currently co-leading an ESRC-project (Children Caring on the Move) and leading a BA/Leverhulme-funded project: Social reproduction in the shadows: migrant mothers and children with “no recourse to public funds”. E-mail:

    Dr. Tatiana Thieme is Lecturer in Human Geography at UCL-Department of Geography. Her research interests engage with different aspects of austerity and makeshift urbanism, focusing on alternative cultural and economic geographies related to the politics of urban poverty, informal work, and everyday strategies in contexts of precarious urban environments. Building on her recent ethnographic work in Nairobi’s informal settlements and on-going work in London with offenders nearing the end of their prison sentence, Tatiana’s British Academy-funded project - Temporary migrants or new European citizens? Geographies of integration and response between ‘camps’ and the city - brings together her research interests in informality, labour limbo, and social navigation of uncertain urban life. More information about her new project is included below. E-mail:

    Dr Ralph Wilde (UCL-Laws) is an expert in public international law, and also has an interest in the interface between international law and related academic disciplines, including international relations and legal and political theory.  His appointments include being Senior Research Associate at the Refugee Law Initiative of the Human Rights Consortium of the University of London School of Advanced Studies.  He is a long-standing member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM), having served as Rapporteur for one of the IASFM’s conferences. His research on migration has included work on UNHCR administration of camps housing refugees and IDPs, and the extraterritorial application of human rights and refugee law in the migration context, from sea-rescues to the extraterritorial posting of border officials.  His ongoing work on extraterritoriality is as PI of the project ‘human rights beyond borders’, funded by an ERC Starting Grant. More information, including publications, on Ralph is available [here] and on the human rights beyond borders project [see below and here]. You can follow him on @ralphwilde. E-mail:

    Analysing South-South Humanitarian Responses to Displacement from Syria (2017-2022)

    • Through fieldwork in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, this ERC-funded project examines how, why and with what effect Southern actors - states, civil society networks, and refugees themselves - have responded to displacement from Syria. The project purposefully centralise refugees’ own experiences of and perspectives on these Southern-led initiatives. Indeed, by bringing refugees’ voices to the forefront, the project aims to shed a unique light on refugees’ understandings of humanitarianism, and the extent to which they consider that diverse Southern-led responses to conflict-induced displacement can or should be conceptualised as ‘humanitarian’ programmes. In so doing, the project makes a particularly significant contribution to debates regarding the desirability and/or tensions of ‘alternative’ forms of humanitarianism which have, until now, been monopolised by Northern academic and policy perspectives.
    • The project is led by Prof Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (UCL-Geography, MRU) in collaboration with Dr Estella Carpi (UCL-Geography, Research Associate).
    • Affiliation: UCL-Department of Geography.

    BUDDcamp & Buddlab
    • The aim of the BUDDcamp is to investigate the multiple housing pathway of migrants. Through the use of different methodological instruments, this research tries to gather the complexity concerning the dimension of home in migrants’ experience. The fieldwork, neighborhoods in Brescia, Italy, are chosen for two main reasons: in the one hand they are characterized by a considerable presence of migrants at different stages of their migration experience, on the other hand they are interested by urban renovation programs and social interventions promoted by private and public actors. Individual experiences are thus investigated, alongside with spatial phenomena, policies and interventions. Achieving these different fields of interest implied the utilization of life story interviews, ethnographic observation, key informants interviews and participatory maps. This last technique constitutes a methodological innovation. In addition the research aims to reflect on the efficacy and limits of housing and immigration policies drawing on evidence based data.
    • This is an annual design exercise which is part of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development
    • Affiliation: UCL-Development Planning Unit

    Children Caring on the Move (CCoM)

    • Children Caring on the Move (CCoM) is an ESRC-funded research project that investigates separated child migrants’ experiences of care, and caring for others, as they navigate the complexities of the immigration-welfare nexus in England. The project sits against the backdrop of rising numbers of children who have been separated from primary carers during migration and conflicting state rhetoric: protecting children on the one hand and immigration control on the other. ‘Care’ is ambiguous in this context because children may receive care because of their ‘child’ status or be excluded from provision because of their ‘migrant’ status. CCoM fills a gap in existing research, law, policy and practice which, to-date, has emphasised parent or state care to the neglect of children’s care for each other. Our pilot studies indicate this neglect has led to a theoretical lacuna in conceptualisations of care, and meant that policies and practices designed to support separated child migrants can end up harming, excluding or discriminating against them. CCoM uses participatory methodologies, in combination with an analysis of the cultural political economy of separated children’s care, to provide new evidence about the implications of separated migrant children’s caring practices for the ways relevant stakeholders respond to the immigration control-protection tension at the heart of the UK state, and the consequences for separated migrant children.
    • The project is led by Sarah Crafter (OU) and Rachel Rosen (UCL), alongside academic colleagues from UCL (Elaine Chase, Veena Meetoo), University of Bedfordshire (Ravi Kohli), University of Liverpool (Helen Stalford), University of Northampton (Evangelia Prokopiou), and University of Oxford (Ellie Ott). Kamena Dorling, Head of Policy and Law at Coram’s Children’s Legal Centre, joins the team as an expert consultant.
    • Affiliation: Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education

    Co-Developing a method for assessing the psychosocial impact of cultural interventions with displaced people: Towards an integrated care framework

    • Stories of displaced people, migration and immigration continue to occupy headline news. Huge efforts are being made by displaced people and associated relief agencies to help deal with the many challenges of displacement and migration and many of these efforts involve the use of arts, heritage and cultural activities. The impact of these programmes on participants' health and wellbeing has often been overlooked in relation to their overall health and how such cultural programmes contribute to recovery, adjustment and other challenges associated with displacement, such as employability. This project - funded by the ESRC-AHRC under the GCRF - aims to better understand the role of creative arts and cultural activities in improving health and wellbeing. The project will also explore the potential for the arts to play a central role in improving issues associated with resettlement, employability and learning new skills, and consider how this could feed into relevant policies such as those related to immigration.
    • The project team is led by Prof. Helen Chatterjee (Department of Genetics, Environment and Evolution, UCL), with co-investigators Dr. Fatima Al-Nammari (Department of Architecture, University of Petra), Dr. Beverley Butler (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) and Dr. Linda Thomson (UCL Culture).
    • Affiliation: Department of Genetics, Environment and Evolution, UCL; Institute of Archeology, UCL; UCL-Culture; Univeristy of Petra; in collaboration with the Helen Bamber Foundation in London and the Women’s Programme Centre at Talbieh Refugee Camp in Jordan.


    Dislocated Identities and ‘Non-places’ – Heritage, Place-making and Wellbeing in Refugee Camps (2011- ongoing):

    • This project examines the use of heritage as a resource by which to engage with dislocated identities and strategies of transformation/ empowerment. This project is based on ground-breaking ethnographic research undertaken in five Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Zaatari Syrian refugee camp also in Jordan. Key outcomes include a collection of oral histories and the creation of Community Archives in these locations.
    • The project team is led by Dr. Beverley Butler (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) with co-investigator Dr. Fatima Al-Nammari (Department of Architecture, University of Petra, Jordan)
    • Affiliation: Institute of Archeology, UCL; Univeristy of Petra.


    Engaging Refugee Narratives: Perspectives from Academia and the Arts

    • This series of international conferences and arts workshops - first run in 2016 - brings together arts practitioners and academics who all are engaged in work with refugees through talks, demonstrations and interactive workshops.
    • The project is led by Dr Ruth Mandel and Dr Susan Pattie (both of UCL Anthropology).
    • Affiliation: Funded by UCL's Global Engagement Office; organised in partnership with UCL Institute of Human Rights, UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, UCL Grand Challenges, Knowledge Exchange (UCL), the Institute of Advanced Studies (UCL), Department of Anthropology (UCL), Graduate Institute Geneva, Refuge in a Moving World (UCL), Organization for Identity and Cultural Development, Armenian Institute, and ArtEZ Institute of the Arts (Netherlands).
    • Website:


    Refugee Self-Reliance and Humanitarian Action in Urban Markets

    • As protraction of crises increasingly becomes a long term drive for urban change and a challenge for city governance and infrastructures, this research project focuses on “urban-itarian” settings: that is the interactional moment between the urban and the humanitarian, when cities have become home to humanitarian actors and de facto refugees, and urban and humanitarian infrastructures provide and negotiate basic services and livelihoods. The project investigates how human, social, and economic relations, exchange and consumption experiences can better inform humanitarian policies and practices, both of which regulate access and relations to services, labour, and resources.
    • The project team is composed by Dr. Estella Carpi (jointly based at DPU and HAT), Dr. Andrea Rigon (DPU), Dr. Camillo Boano (DPU), and Dr. Cassidy Johnson (DPU), and Fernando Espada (HAT), Sophie Dicker (HAT), Dr. Jessica Field (HAT).
    • Affiliation: This project has been developed by The Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit,  University College London (DPU) and the Humanitarian Affairs Team of Save the Children UK (HAT).


    SELMA: Identifying and implementing appropriate and effective public policy responses for improving the sexual health of migrants and refugees (SELMA project)

    • Pursuing an interdisciplinary approach, the SELMA project examines how to improve the sexual health of migrants and refugees, with particular attention to the roles policy responses play in addressing broader determinants of health. The focus on the sexual health of refugees and migrants arises from an understanding that a range of inequalities both drives people to become refugees and migrants in the first place, and then increases their risk of sexual ill-health once they are refugees or migrants. Upon arrival in a new country, migrants’ health is found to be comparatively better than the general population. Still, differences in socio-economic risks, rules and regulations, and practical access to services in the new country may dispose migrants to poor health.
    • The SELMA project focus on West Asia/Middle East North Africa (WA/MENA) and European region, with countries particularly affected by large influxes of migrants. The WA/MENA region is home to the world’s largest populations of refugees, internally displaced persons and work migrants. Sexual health represents an area of health that is: 1) global in nature; 2) driven by structural determinants; 3) incites widely differing “solutions” fromstakeholders; and where 4) evidence encounters cultural values in policy processes.
    • The Project is led by Prof. Sarah Hawkes, with Dr. Kristine Husøy Onarheim at UCL-Institute for Global Health

    Human Rights Beyond Borders

    • States have an impact on human rights not only in their own territories.  Also, often there is an extraterritorial impact—on people in the rest of the world.  From drone strikes to economic sanctions, states affect human rights beyond their borders.  For civil and political rights, relevant extraterritorial activity includes war, occupation, anti-migration and anti-piracy initiatives at sea, sanctions, extraordinary rendition, and the operation of extraterritorial detention and interrogation sites housing combatants and migrants, including refugees. This ERC-funded interdisciplinary project aims to provide a critical evaluation of the law and policy of whether and to what extent international human rights law is and should be applicable extraterritorially.  It covers both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
    • This project team is led by Dr. Ralph Wilde (UCL-Laws), with Dr. Karen Da Costa (UCL-Laws)
    • Affiliation: UCL-Faculty of Laws
    • Website:


    Local Community Experiences Of Displacement From Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (Refugee Hosts: 2016-2020)

    • This AHRC-ESRC funded project aims to improve our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that arise in local responses to displacement, both for refugees from Syria and for the members of the communities that are hosting them in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Through interdisciplinary and participatory research in and with 9 local communities in the Middle East, this project fills a major evidence gap about the roles played by local communities – including those that explicitly or implicitly identify with and are motivated by faith – in supporting, and/or undermining, people affected by conflict and displacement: refugees and hosts alike.
    • The project is led by Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (UCL-Geography) in collaboration with Prof. Alastair Ager (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Columbia University), Dr. Anna Rowlands (Durham University) and Prof. Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of East Anglia).
    • Affiliation: UCL-Geography; Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; Durham University; University of East Anglia; in partnership with PEN International; the Joint Learning Initiative on Local Faith Communities, Refugees and Forced Migration Hub; and in collaboration with Stories in Transit and the Humanitarian Affairs Team of Save the Children UK (HAT).
    • Webpage and Twitter: and @RefugeeHosts

      Many Strong Voices

      • This project brings together Arctic peoples with peoples from the small island developing states to tackle climate change within wider sustainability and development challenges. One topic is the possibilities for migration linked to climate change within the context of other reasons causing mobility and non-mobility. Island and migration publications are on page 2 here, while an Arctic migration output is here.
      • The project is coordinated jointly by John Crump (GRID-Arendal) and Dr Ilan Kelman (Institute for Disaster Risk and Reduction, UCL) and NUPI (Oslo).
      • Website:


        • This research project consists of a multi-scale analysis of the spatial, social and economic impacts of migration in the urban context, trying to merge transdisciplinary approaches including data-driven mapping and ethnographical research. This will help to create an original composite of spatial visualizations through different media channels, shared and disseminated through an interactive, digital platform. By identifying the overlooked issues surrounding the refugee crisis in European cities and challenging the dominant narratives, the platform will provide a reliable overlap of data, curated to better interpret and cope with the intensifying impact of migration on cities.
        • The project's working team is led by Dr. Camillo Boano (DPU) and is composed by Dr. Kayvan Karimi (Space Syntax Laboratory), Dr. Ed Manley (CASA), Dr Falli Palaiologou (Space Syntax Laboratory), Dr. Giovanna Astolfo (DPU) and Ricardo Marten (DPU).
        • Affiliation: UC-Development Planning Unit; Space Syntax Laboratory; CASA
        • Twitter: @BrmgRefugee


        Refugee Health: Syrian narratives of flight and health encounters

        • This project has involved research in informal refugee camps in Northern Greece in 2015-2016, where Syrian refugees’ narratives of flight and health encounters were gathered through focus groups and interviews. Individual narratives of flight from within Syria, across the Turkish border, by boat across the Mediterranean to Greece and subsequently to the border of Greece/Macedonia were often similar; however the lived experiences and trauma exposure varied widely, as did cultural perceptions of trauma and individual resilience. By collecting these narratives, the project has aimed to gain insight into the physical and psychological health needs within this transient, vulnerable population, as well as a deeper appreciation of the impact of culture, health and illness perceptions on dealing with both acute and chronic trauma. During the research period, the findings were used immediately to improve the NGO health response through integration into health needs assessments, demonstrating the importance of individual health narratives in improving humanitarian health response and health provision.
        • This project is led by Dr. Miriam Orcutt (UCL-IGH)
        • Affiliation: UCL-Institute of Global Health


          Pathways to Education for Women Refugees and Migrants in London

          • This 2017-2019 project is part of the on-going cross-departmental initiative of the Refuge in a Moving World (RIMW) network. Since 2015, RiMW has been coordinating UCL-wide staff and student activities in support of refugees and developing ways the UCL community can support refugees and migrants to access and participate in higher education. Members of the RiMW education sub-committee are leading this project.
          • Funded by the UCL Grand Challenges Programme, this project will develop a model for collaboration between the UCL community and London-based charities working with women refugees and migrants, synthesising these groups’ expertise to design a short course aimed at strengthening pathways to education for women who are refugees or forced migrants in London. The project will facilitate a series of ‘information exchange’ meetings to map the challenges that refugees and migrants face when seeking to access education, as well as their existing skills and knowledge. Based on these findings, we will design a short course that will engage migrants and refugees directly, providing them further skills, understanding and confidence.
          • UCL team: Dr Claudia Lapping, IOE; Prof Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, UCL-Geography; Dr Rachel Rosen, IOE; Dr Amy North, IOE; Raphaela Armbruster, CLIE; Dr Shaista Aziz; Phd © Iman Azzi, IOE; Phd © Sara Joiko, IOE
          • Funding: UCL Grand Challenges


          Religion and the Promotion of Social Justice for Refugees (2018-2020)

          • Funded by the British Council-USA and the Henry Luce Foundation, this interdisciplinary project brings together leading experts from the UK and the US to examine the roles that religion plays in promoting social justice for refugees.
          • Through comparative research with and about refugees from and in Central America, Central Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Western borderlands, the project aims to analyse the roles that local faith communities and faith based organisations (FBOs) play: in supporting refugees’ access to protection; lobbying for rights; and challenging xenophobia and discrimination against different groups of refugees.


          Resilient Futures for the Rohingya Refugees
          • The principal aim of this research project is to help build resilient futures for the Rohingya refugee and local host populations in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh, through research and practical solutions to reduce hydro-meteorological disaster risks, particularly landslide risks, through a co-produced approach between natural and social scientists.
          • The project is funded by the Royal Society under its ‘Challenge-led Grants’ scheme which is supported by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
          • The project is led by Professor Peter Sammonds, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction with Project Manager: Dr Bayes Ahmed, Lecturer, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. The project's Co-Applicants are Professor A.S.M. Maksud Kamal, Department of Disaster Science and Management, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Professor Imtiaz Ahmed​, Director, Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.


          Temporary migrants or new European citizens? Geographies of integration and response between ‘camps’ and the city.

          • Funded by the British Academy UK International Challenges award, this project aims to provide an alternative account of the European ‘refugee crisis’, where the arrival of over 1.5 million refugees since 2015 has stretched EU and individual state capacities; tested formal registration and arrival procedures; and (reignited) debates around continental ‘margins’ and geopolitical power differentials between east and west Europe. In this project, we provincialise and challenge narratives of ‘the crisis’ through an engagement with the evolving duties of care, needs and agencies of refugees and providers on the arrival ‘frontlines’. Our multi-sited research engages with the myriad forms of arrival settlement, from the makeshift and temporary camps along the Hungarian-Serbian border to the sprawling tent communities in Lesbos, and the disintegration of the ‘Jungle’ in Calais. By ‘thinking from the south’ and vantage of post-colonial cities, we will capture and explore the improvisation, precarity, makeshift practices and alternative scripts of citizenship that refugees and local agencies utilize alongside how state rules and norms are negotiated.
          • The project is led by Dr Tatiana Thieme (UCL-Geography) in collaboration with Dr. Eszter Kovacs (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Kavita Ramakrishnan (UEA).
          • Affiliation: UCL-Department of Geography


          The work of Teatro di Nascosto/Hidden Theatre

          • This interdisciplinary research examines the work ethics adopted by Teatro di Nascosto/Hidden Theatre, an International Theatre company based in Italy that creates events in territories of war and occupied territories primarily in the Middle East, and in European cities. The project analyses how Annet Henneman, the Company's director and founder, applies theatre reportage and theatre anthropology to explore human rights and refugees' rights with the intent to create a deeper understanding between the people living in the Middle East and those living in Europe. The project explores the notion of 'hospitality' in relation to Henneman's travelling to meet the people whose stories are told in the theatrical events, and in relation to the actor's training for international acting groups. Ultimately, the research examines the effect of these intersected methodologies through the actor's body and voice in the act of performance.
          • The project is led by Dr. Marta Niccolai
          • Affiliation: UCL-Department of Italian


          Trafficking, Smuggling and Illicit Migration in Gendered and Historical Perspective
          • Human trafficking, 'people smuggling' and clandestine migration are some of the most politically volatile and socially pressing issues in the present day, but they also have a long history. This project contributes significantly to the emerging study of the history of illicit and clandestine migration by examining the history of trafficking in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in comparative and global perspective. The PI, Julia Laite, a specialist on trafficking and migration in the British World, and the CoI, Philippa Hetherington, a specialist on trafficking in the Russian empire, will collaborate to produce a comparative study of trafficking and clandestine migration in these two nations and empires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while organizing a series of workshops and a major digital collaboration project that will bring together historians who are studying trafficking, smuggling and illicit migration in other areas of the world in the modern period. This digital collaboration will also produce a web-application, centred around an interactive mapping project, which will be collaboratively built by project participants based on their own research and expertise and shared widely with both academic and non-academic stakeholders.
          • This project is led by Dr. Julia Laite (Birkbeck) with Dr. Philippa Hetherington (UCL-SSEES).
          • Affiliation: UCL-School of Slavonic and East European Studies


          • 'Zugunruhe' is a theatre project that explores migration patterns in both humans and the natural world, and examines the cultural/ political construction of a 'refugee'. The project builds on Tom Bailey's earlier his work with refugees at the Good Chance theatre in the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp in 2016. During Tom's residency with the Migration Research Unit as Leverhulme Artist in Residence, Tom researched and developed work that explores migration through live performance. Throughout his residence, Tom ran  a series of workshops around his research, and presented a developmental performance of 'Zugunruhe' in 2017.
          • The project was led by Tom Bailey, Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the UCL-Migration Research Unit
          • Affiliation: Migration Research Unit, UCL-Geography.
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