Inequality kills: the cold, wet fate of refugee rights in Lebanon

February 7, 2019
Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser, Anna Chernova uses her own experiences as a refugee to reflect on how Lebanon can tackle inequality and protect the rights of millions of Syrians. Back in 2015, I remember standing in a damp, soaked tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, watching kids run around in the snow in slippers. Their parents looked on in desperation

Gender, disability and displacement: Reflections from research on Syrian refugees in Jordan

May 24, 2018
This guest post is by Bushra Rehman, a Research Officer with the Humanitarian Academy for Development, which is the research and training arm of Islamic Relief Worldwide. The post is based on her prize-winning Masters dissertation. It is mid-afternoon in Jordan and the weather is stiflingly hot. I arrive at a derelict building in Irbid, a city located 20 km

What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees?

November 7, 2017
Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser Ed Cairns reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked to talk about that at the  ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference Duncan wrote about last week. When I

Book Review: How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power, by Matthew Bolton

September 5, 2017
Full disclosure: Matt Bolton works for Citizens UK, an organization of which I am a big fan, and who my son works for, but if you’re OK with that level of bias, read on. Citizens UK is a fascinating community organization, with a reputation far beyond its relatively small size (currently about 30 full time staff). For a fuller description

Is the UN about to agree a new deal for refugees and migrants?

August 24, 2016
Josephine Liebl, Oxfam’s global policy lead on displacement, looks ahead to the UN Summit in New York in September – and looks back on a heady few weeks negotiating its outcome. The first ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants will take place in New York on 19th September. President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on refugees the day

Why do people flee their homes? The answers may surprise you

June 21, 2016
Yesterday was World Refugee Day and a new UN report put the total number of ‘forcibly displaced’ at 65.3 million. Most of those remained within national boundaries (internally displaced). Oxfam researcher John Magrath summarizes a recent study on the causes of internal displacement Why do people become displaced? That is, forcibly displaced in that they have, or believe they have,

European Governments’ treatment of refugees is doing long term damage to international law

June 15, 2016
Maya Mailer (@mayamailer), Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy & Campaigns, reflects on a recent visit to Greece on the day it launches Stand As One, a big new campaign on refugee rights I visited some of Europe’s refugee camps recently. Oxfam was founded in 1942 to help civilians that were starving in Nazi-occupied Greece, and now, more than 70 years later, we

‘Thanks, but the truth is I hate being a refugee’: a young Syrian introduces Oxfam’s new briefing

October 7, 2015
  The arrival of tens of thousands of Syrians at Europe’s borders in recent weeks has been a sharp reminder of the tragedy engulfing the people of Syria. Today, Oxfam publishes its latest briefing on the country’s continuing conflict. Dima Salam (not her real name), a young Syrian refugee now working for Oxfam in the UK, introduces the new paper.

Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’

August 21, 2015
  The whole piece is powerfully written and well worth reading (h/t Craig Valters) “The umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean. It has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances, a blunt pejorative. It is not hundreds of people who drown

Four years into the Syrian conflict, we must never lose sight of the civilians behind the ‘story’

March 12, 2015
As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, Oxfam’s Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns, Maya Mailer, reflects on a recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan, where she spoke with Syrian refugees, and asks whether we have become immune to the suffering of Syrians. If you type ‘Syria’ into Google News, the headlines that normally appear are about airstrikes,

A week in the life of a humanitarian agency (it really is all kicking off everywhere)

August 1, 2014
To give people a better feel for our humanitarian work in Gaza, Syria and elsewhere, I thought I’d share the contents (unedited, but with a few explanatory links added + pics) of the weekly internal email that drops into Oxfam staff’s inboxes. It summarizes in pithy form what our humanitarian colleagues are up to – I think it captures the unique blend