Book Review: Refugees & Forced Migration

Reviewed by Stephen Kaduuli

Scholarly practitioner Catherine Baillie Abidi and social anthropologist Shiva Nourpanah have masterfully woven together the key terminologies and concepts that relate to refugees and forced migration. This book is a compilation of contributions from refugee activists, scholars, and practitioners. Although its focus is on Atlantic Canada, this easy-to-read 144-page book contains some universal terms and concepts that are relevant to the rest of Canada and the whole world. The A to Z guide proceeds from activism and advocacy through to “Generation Z” (youth). Apart from defining or explaining certain terms, it outlines processes and procedures asylum seekers go through once in Canada.

Marianela Fuertes gives a historical overview of how the world took on the role of protecting refugees and the law concerning the right to seek asylum. The guide discusses several topics including the hot button issue of racism. In contextualizing the Safe Third Country Agreement, Katie Tinker provides the lived experiences of asylum seekers who cross the border into Canada from the U.S.

The major omission is Canada’s acclaimed Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program which should have been a standalone topic since the largest number of resettled refugees come to Canada through it.

Although it gets too academic in discussing some issues, I would recommend this guide to all settlement practitioners, private sponsors, and advocacy groups. Universities, colleges, and high schools introducing students to refugee and forced migration issues would find this guide very useful. It can also be useful in generally debunking negative rhetoric about refugees in Canada.

Refugees & Forced Migration: The Canadian Perspective: An A-Z Guide

By Catherine Baillie Abidi and Shiva Nourpana
Nimbus Publishing, 2019

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