Forced Migration as a Cause and Consequence of Civil War

Authored by: Idean Salehyan

Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415622585
eBook ISBN: 9780203105962
Adobe ISBN: 9781136255786


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During periods of turmoil people are often forced to flee their homes and livelihoods in search of safety, either within their own countries or across national boundaries. A raging civil war in Syria in 2011–13, for example, forced over one million people to seek refuge in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. Refugees from the fighting in Somalia have poured into neighboring countries as well, with the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya sheltering some 400,000 people. While the public perception in many developed countries is that their borders are being overrun by migrants, only a small fraction of the world’s refugees end up in industrialized countries. For the most part, the humanitarian burden is borne by the developing world, and countries of asylum often are stretched thin as they attempt to cope with new arrivals. Forced migration has lasting effects, not only on the refugees themselves, but also on sending and host communities. Refugees are certainly the unfortunate victims of war, and deserve humanitarian protection, but recent research suggests that they can cause strains on host communities, and can potentially fuel new conflicts and foster tensions between states.

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