Asylum and exile. A history of the distinction between migrants / refugees
On April 12, at 6.30 pm, we will have the great pleasure of hosting a virtual CRASH conference with political scientist and sociologist Karen Akoka, fresh from her publication in November of “Asylum and Exile. A History of the Refugee/Migrant Distinction" (La Découverte, 2020). The author describes and analyzes the trajectory of OFPRA, the French institution founded in 1952 and responsible for granting refugee status; she provides an insight into how the history of the distinction between migrants and refugees was established in France.
We can all agree that the emergence of Covid-19 vaccine is “an absolutely astonishing development”, but vaccines are unlikely to completely halt the spread of the virus, let alone eradicate it. Yet even without achieving herd immunity, the ability to vaccinate vulnerable people seems to be reducing hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.
There is a new book out by Patrick de Saint-Exupéry entitled La traversée. Une odyssée au cœur de l’Afrique [The crossing. An odyssey in the heart of Africa]. What odyssey? Crossing the Congo (Zaire, later the Democratic Republic of Congo) from Rwanda. The author describes his encounters, the beers he had here and there, the bumpy rides on the back of a motorcycle (to Kisangani), a trip down the Congo River, flying over the dense forest on his way to Mbandaka.
Within four months of the first notification of Ebola cases in August 2018, the Nord Kivu (and Ituri) Ebola epidemic had become the second-largest on record. Notwithstanding a rapid and massive mobilisation of resources, the outbreak continued beyond the most pessimistic predictions and the case fatality rate (the proportion of people with the infection who die from it) remained static at 66%. Despite numerous lesson-learning exercises following the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014–2016, and despite the development of new vaccines and treatments, after 3,444 cases and 2,264 deaths it is difficult to claim that outcomes are better this time around.
This article was published in Mouvements magazine on March 24, 2021.
In the early spring of 2020, the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched a mission in nursing homes in the Ile-de-France region, which had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. After considering the implementation of night-time palliative care, the organization finally decided to provide daytime support to the nursing homes in difficulty. Once the crisis was over in the summer, the MSF teams started offering mental health support to nursing home staff. A look back at this experience on September 28, 2020 with four members of the mission, Olivia Gayraud (project coordinator), Jean-Hervé Bradol (M.D. and CRASH1 member), Marie Thomas (psychologist) and Michaël Neuman (CRASH coordinator).
This article was first published in Issue 2, Volume 2 of The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs.
How can a medical humanitarian organisation deliver emergency assistance in Syria when there is nowhere in the country where civilians, the wounded and their families, medical personnel and aid workers are not targeted? Not in the areas controlled by the government, nor in those held by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the different rebel groups. So what action could be taken, and how? Remotely or on site? At the very least, we had to decipher the diverging political and military agendas, and then adapt, persist or sometimes just give up. In this article, I will present the full range of methods used to acquire knowledge and obtain information as well as the various networks used to carry out this venture. I will also show how Médecins Sans Frontières’ operations became a balancing act, punctuated by episodes of adapting to the various difficulties encountered.