Call for Papers: Refugees and Forced Migration in Eastern Africa & Horn of Africa, Conference, 25-27 October 2016, Nairobi

Call for papers:

International Conference
Refugees and Forced Migration in Eastern Africa & Horn of Africa: Crises, Trends and Dynamics, Challenges, Opportunities and Conundrums 

October 25-27, 2016
Venue: Nairobi

Important deadlines:

September 12, 2016, Submission of abstracts

September 16, 2016, Acceptance Notification

October 10, 2016, Submission of full papers

Globally, there are an estimated 54.7 million displaced persons, comprised of 38 million internally displaced and 16.7 million refugees in foreign countries. An estimated 14.9 million persons, are in Sub-Saharan Africa, with about 8.7 million residing in the Horn of Africa region (HOA) is unique due to the protracted nature of conflicts and other refugee generating causes and which have given rise to successive generations of people in asylum.

The region, made up of Djibouti, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya is beset with a complex web of population displacements generated by military conflict, a history of weak governance, insecurity, environmental degradation, poverty and persistent development challenges. As a result, most countries act both as sources and destinations of these forced migrants.

The HOA region is home to four major displacement situations including Eritrea’s mixed migration, Somalia’s conflict and environmental related displacements, South Sudan’s multiple layers of conflict and Sudan’s center-peripheral tensions that induce displacements. These displacements are locally hosted in Ethiopia, the largest refugee hosting country in Africa and Kenya hosting the second largest number.

The impact of displaced populations on host community is complicated and contested. Potential positive contributions of displaced populations to their host communities include stimulation of markets, availability of cheap labour, investment in infrastructure and the strengthening of civil society. However, negative impacts include excessive strain on the social infrastructure, rising commodity prices and increased environmental degradation etc. Problematic coping strategies may lead to a rise in vices including insecurity.

The literature on the flows of migration from and within Eastern Africa although existing is not vibrant. This situation eschews reality. There are however emerging trajectories and complexity of issues ranging from human trafficking, internal displacement, protracted refugee asylum seeking, transnationalism, illegal migration, legal and institutional responses. In this light, refugees and forced migration as experienced today in Eastern Africa, necessitate reflections by scholars, policy makers, and humanitarian and relief organisations as well as individuals interested in the subject. The conference seeks to bring together a group of scholars and practitioners in forced displacement to reflect on displacement from a multiple disciplinary and methodological standpoints that stand to bring new insights into a complex and fast evolving field. While the participants are free to present papers on global displacement, those creating a nexus between the global and the local or those paying particular attention to displacement dynamics in Kenya and HOA region are especially encouraged.

Suggested themes:
Among the themes to be investigated in the conference include:
* The economics of forced displacement
* The effects of displacement on the displaced and host communities
* Legal regimes governing displacement
* Negotiating institutional responses to displacement
* What is a human being worth? Human traficking today
* Protracted urban displacements: the minefield of needs and interests
* Securitization of displacement
* What next? dynamics of the evolving protection space
* Durable solutions in displacement


The workshop will have keynote addresses, presentation of papers and roundtable discussions.

Submission, Review Process and Announcement of Acceptance:
All papers will be subject to a review process. Papers submitted will be categorised into working papers, full papers and teaching/practice cases.

Important deadlines:
September 12, 2016, Submission of abstracts September 16, 2016, Acceptance Notification October 10, 2016, Submission of full papers

The International Rescue Committee-Kenya; Department of Political Science Aalborg University, Denmark; and the School of Development and Strategic Studies, Maseno University.

Contact Information:
Michael Owiso: email: ; OR Leah Kimathi: email:

The conference is financed by the IRC, Aalborg University and the Royal Danish Embassy in Kenya.