Latest News from Harvard FXB Center

Global Health and Conflict: Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria

FXB director Jennifer Leaning is one of three co-chairs of The Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria which held its first meeting in Beirut in early December and produced a scathing Comment in the Lancet about the international failure to respond to the desperate situation for Syrians. The Comment also calls for research papers from the global health community. The Commission plans a full report for March 2018, but given the gravity of the situation, it will convene side events at global health meetings in 2017 and produce interim findings, including a paper on the plight of health professionals, of which more than 1000 have been killed.    Read more.
Read Gazette interview with Dr. Leaning.

See also the blog post, Building Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, or the brief description of this seminar series below in events.
Rohingya refugees in India
Courtesy of Syed Saad Mahmood
Who Will Act on Behalf of the Rohingya People of Myanmar?

Over the past three months, the Myanmar military has led a violent campaign targeting the Rohingya people in the Rakhine State of western Myanmar (once known as Burma). The military campaign shows no signs of relenting. An excluded Muslim minority in a predominantly Buddhist state, the Rohingya have long been targets of persecution. In a December Lancet article , FXB staff and colleagues articulate the extent of persecution directed toward the Rohingya. The piece asserts that the Rohingya in Myanmar suffer a cycle of vulnerability to poor health outcomes: from childhood malnutrition, to diarrheal illness and other infections, to high rates of infant and maternal mortality.   Read more.

"The Rohingya People of Myanmar: Health, Human Rights, and Identity," The Lancet, pre-press, published online December 1, 2016.
New York Times coverage of the research.

FXB Children on the Move research, Impact of Persistent Exclusion: Rohingya Leaving Myanmar.
Children on the Move: UN High
Commissioner; Migrant Children Tell Their Stories

On December 8 and 9 in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees convened the Dialogue on Protection Challenges, Children on the Move--a theme central to the Harvard FXB Center's work.
In a panel during the opening plenary session, FXB research director Jaqueline Bhabha reflected on the protection gaps faced by migrating children and on the need for the Recommended Principles, a rights-based set of recommendations (which Bhabha co-authored) for those working directly with or on behalf of children on the move. 

Go to the FXB webpage for our Children on the Move research.

FXB visiting scientist Lynne Jones has co-created (with Luke Pye, a colleague in international
Courtesy of Lynne Jones Picture by James Vin Brown, age 16 from Guinea
Picture by James Vin Brown Courtesy of Lynne Jones
development) a dynamic website where migrant children can tell their stories. Through paintings, videos, and words, children share their experiences of war, poverty, and extraordinary journeys across deserts and sea. They describe life in shelter and tents, as well as their hopes and fears for the future. One project included giving ten camcorders to Syrian child refugees in a camp in Northern Greece for them to photograph and film their lives. She is actively seeking more stories from all over the world.

Go to the website for Migrant Child Storytelling.
India and Women's Empowerment
Prof. Bhabha, Dr. Bhatt, Prof. Chen Courtesy of SAI

Professor Jacqueline Bhaba presented on gender-based violence and presided over two panels related to women's empowerment in Delhi on December 22. With support from Tata Trusts, the Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) sponsored the event, "Women's Economic and Social Rights in India." Dr. Ela Bhatt, the founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), was the guest of honor and helped to launch three publications, two of which Professor Bhabha had edited.

Read more about the event including Kennedy School Professor Martha Chen's remarks.

Amiya Bhatia and Jacqueline Bhabha's article  "India's Aadhaar Scheme and the Promise of Inclusive Social Protection" examines Aadhaar, India's national biometric initiative, and its potential for social protection. The paper, now available online in prepress before publication in Oxford Development Studies, also examine potential risks, such as to privacy. 
Deadlines: Harvard Student FXB Internships &
HHR Journal on Roma

Do you know a Harvard student who would benefit from a summer field education internship in China, Colombia, France, India, or Rwanda? Applications are now open for the FXB Field Education Internship Program, which engages Harvard students in global community service and bridges academia and practice in a university-wide effort. The deadline for applications for this summer is February 15. More information and links to applications here.
And speaking of deadlines, don't forget that February 28, 2017 is the deadline for submissions for the Health and Human Rights Journal special issue on the Romani global diaspora, discrimination, and the right to health. FXB's Jacqueline Bhabha (whose chapter on Roma citizenship appears in the new book, Citizenship in Question) and Margareta Matache will be guest editors, along with Teresa Sordé Martí.  More information here.  

The December 2016 issue of the Health and Human Rights Journal is available now. In collaboration with UConn Health, it features a special section on
universal health coverage and human rights, with a foreword by Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health.
Refugee Education

FXB faculty steering committee member (and Harvard Graduate School of Education professor) Sarah Dryden-Petersen shared with FXB three of her recent articles on refugee education:

  "Refugee Education: The Crossroads of Globalization," Educational Researcher (December 22, 2016) provides a history of refugee education, aiming to conceptualize current practice and rethink refugee education in host countries, especially as it relates to opportunities for the future for refugees.

With Negin Dahya as lead author,   "Tracing Pathways to Higher Education for Refugees: The Role of Virtual Support Networks and Mobile Phones for Women in Refugee Camps," Comparative Education (December 1, 2016) examines the use of mobile phones and the construction of online social networks in women's pursuit of higher education in Dadaab camps.

(Not about refugees per se, but highly relevant) with Bethany Mulimbi,   "Pathways toward Peace: Negotiating National Unity and Ethnic Diversity through Education in Botswana," Comparative Education Review (online December 22, 2016, before February publication) explores the role of education in maintaining peace in post-Independence Botswana, with implications for disrupting conflict through the redistribution of resources and recognition of identities.

See also the upcoming sessions related to refugee education in Building Bridges (described below), February 16, Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Displaced Syrian Youths' Education and Migration Aspirations and Their Sources of Support and March 23, Building Environmentally Sound, Culturally Compatible Schools for Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon .
Upcoming FXB Events
  • Building Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. This seminar, presented jointly by FXB and the Middle East Initiative at the Kennedy School, is fully enrolled but a very limited number of places are made available a few weeks before each session through online RSVP. Both RSVP and pre-reading are required. The seminar takes place on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6PM, alternating between FXB and the Kennedy School. Upcoming sessions include: 
    • February 2, Understanding Resilience Among Syrian Refugees, Sarah Tobin, PhD, Associate Director of Middle East Studies, Brown University; 
    • February 16, Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Displaced Syrian Youths' Education and Migration Aspirations and Their Sources of Support, Vidur Chopra, PhD Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education; 
    • March 2, Protection for Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies and Global Responsibility Sharing, Susan Akram, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law and BU Law Students;
    • March 23, Building Environmentally Sound, Culturally Compatible Schools for Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon, Richard Mollica, MD MAR, Director, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma at Harvard Medical School.

  • Work-in-Progress Series. On selected Tuesdays at 12:30, FXB hosts a lunch-time seminar, which offers an opportunity for researchers to discuss their work. Convened by a senior member of the FXB staff, it starts with a presentation from the speaker and features a lively question and answer or discussion period. In the line-up for spring are: 
  • Save April 10 for  "Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution," a FXB academic symposium with related cultural events, centered around International Roma Day.The conference will document, contextualize, and celebrate Roma creative and artistic achievement.
Note that speakers, titles, places, and dates may change, so always check our event page for the current information.  Go to Upcoming Events.