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Debate

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.

Jean-Hervé Bradol, ancien président de @MSF_france et actuel directeur d'études du CRASH, a participé au premier épisode de "Première Ligne", un podcast réalisé par MSF et @Europe1 pour commémorer le 50 ans de MSF. https://t.co/B4SDCTVP3q
RT @MSF_france: #Podcast : avril 1994, Jean-Hervé arrive au #Rwanda en guerre. Retrouvez son témoignage « 20 jours au cœur du génocide des…
RT @Europe1: Rony Brauman sur MSF : "Nous avons notre liberté de parole (...) Il y a des situations dans lesquelles ont a été plus utile au…
[Reminder conference-debate today] Karen Akoka will present her book "Asylum and exile. A history of the distinction between migrants / refugees" and answer our questions tonight at 6:30pm CET. More info and streaming links on our website⬇️ https://t.co/06qoxvWxE7
[Rappel conférence-débat aujourd'hui] Karen Akoka viendra nous présenter son livre « L’Asile et l’exil. Une histoire de la distinction réfugiés / migrants » et répondre à nos questions ce soir à 18h30. Plus d'infos et liens du streaming sur notre site⬇️ https://t.co/mlIjAmVmW4
Rwandan refugees fleeing towards Congo-Zaire, 1994.
Blog post

The “disappeared” of Congo-Zaire, 1996-1997. The question of the massacres of Rwandan Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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.

Decontamination activities in Kalunguta health zone, North Kivu province, DRC
Blog post

Ebola and innovation: examining the approach to the Nord Kivu epidemic

This article was first published in March 2020 for the Humanitarian Practice Network. 

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.

MSF provides medical assistance in Covid19 centres in Paris and the suburbs.
Blog post

Nursing homes and their ghosts: MSF's experience in France during the Covid-19 health crisis

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).

 

Residents of Al Mishlab, Raqqa returning back home to check their houses and belongings. The houses in Mishlab that still stand are scorched and reduced to piles of rubble, and the streets are full of rubbish and abandoned belongings: cooking pans, broken children’s toys and documents. Shops are burned and looted, and the empty bullet cases underfoot are an indication of the violence of this war.
Article

Humanitarian Field Practices in the Context of the Syrian Conflict from 2011 to 2018

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.

José Rodrigues Emergency Unit (UPA) in Manaus, Brazil, where the Covid situation remains critical.
Blog post

What to think, do and say about the Covid-19 vaccination? 

Blog written by Jean-Hervé Bradol, director of studies at the Crash.

Today, in order to obtain supplies of vaccines against Covid-19, there is neither a major difficulty related to price, nor a major obstacle related to intellectual property rules, nor a deficit in bio-medical research. However, these three topics are generally at the heart of MSF's communication in the area of access to medical care for those in most need. Our discourse must therefore evolve.
With the emergence of worrying variants of the virus present in the early stages of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the need to vaccinate on a global scale as quickly as possible, the world is facing a double challenge: biological engineering and ultra-industrial production – “ultra” echoing the need to produce on a global scale in a short period of time.

CONFERENCES
& DEBATES

Paris, le 15 juillet 2020. Près de la place de la République, 5 associations dont MSF, ont monté un campement le 29 juin 2020, d'une centaine de tentes accueillant des mineurs étrangers isolés afin d'alerter sur l'absence de prise en charge des mineurs étrangers à Paris.
Debate

Asylum and exile. A history of the distinction between migrants / refugees

Karen Akoka

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.

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Publications

Residents of Al Mishlab, Raqqa returning back home to check their houses and belongings. The houses in Mishlab that still stand are scorched and reduced to piles of rubble, and the streets are full of rubbish and abandoned belongings: cooking pans, broken children’s toys and documents. Shops are burned and looted, and the empty bullet cases underfoot are an indication of the violence of this war.
Article

Humanitarian Field Practices in the Context of the Syrian Conflict from 2011 to 2018

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.

District de Jacobabad, Wasayo, Pakistan. Distribution de nourriture par le CICR à 945 foyers touchés par des inondations.
Article

The invention of impartiality: the history of a humanitarian principle, from a legal, strategic and algorithmic perspective

The principle of impartiality, which is often reduced to a principle of mathematical distribution, was originally coined by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at that time on a quest for legitimacy. However, reducing impartiality to a resource distribution algorithm strengthens the overarching position held by non-territorial organisations. This is the theory put forward by the author in his latest book.