The project "RefugeeCooperation" is organized around three study groups conducting applied/field research.
The study groups focused on the following key topics:


As the conflict in Afghanistan enters its fourth decade, Afghan civilians continue to be the main victims. Violence has been increasing in intensity and spreading to previously peaceful areas. The gains made in improving health and education are increasingly fragile due to insecurity issues, but also corruption, and the politicization of aid. But more Afghan refugees returned home from Pakistan in 2010 than in the previous year, despite increased insecurity in Afghanistan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says. Over 104,000 Afghan refugees returned voluntarily in March-October 2010 (mostly for economic factors, the difficult situation in Pakistan and improvements in security in some provinces of Afghanistan), e.g. a significant increase on the same period last year when 54,000 returned. According to UNHCR, 29 percent of returnees from Pakistan in 2010 (over 30,000 people) opted not to return to their original home areas. Of the many refugees who returned after camps were closed in Pakistan over the past few years, about 45,000 sought refuge in informal settlements in the eastern provinces (Nangahar, Laghman, Kunar). But many had no homes of their own there and had become internally displaced persons (IDPs), often living in informal settlements.

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Eight years after the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, the country continues to face large scale displacement and pressing humanitarian needs. Although Washington has sought to minimize reports of damage done by the invasion, the UN said that 4.7 million of Iraq’s 30 million people fled their homes. By 2010, less than 10 per cent have returned, and the remainder live in squalid and deprived conditions in neighboring countries, or have taken refuge in parts of Iraq where they feel less threatened. It takes courage - or desperation - for an Iraqi refugee to return home, given the levels of insecurity in the country. But unable to support their families abroad, some are taking that decision. The risks are substantial: According to an autumn 2010 survey by UNHCR, 61 percent of Iraqi asylum-seekers who have returned home have regretted it, citing the astonishing levels of violence.

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Sudan is both a host and a source of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Sudan also has four million internally displaced people -- living in Darfur, the Greater Khartoum area, South Kordofan and the ten States of Southern Sudan, as well as the other northern and eastern states. Some people have been displaced for decades, while others were newly displaced in 2009 and 2010. Civilian protection in Darfur remains a serious concern. Meanwhile, over 250,000 Darfuris are living in refugee camps in Chad. In November 2010, clashes over scarce water and land, as well as uncertainty over the looming referendum on south Sudan's independence, forced thousands of Sudanese to flee to Kenya. Preliminary indications are that south Sudan, as expected, voted overwhelmingly for independence in the January 9, 2011 referendum. Thus a six-month transition period began, during which groundwork is to be laid for the official creation of two new countries. Nevertheless, progress is slow on resolving key north-south disputes such as the status of the oil-producing Abyei region, Sudanese citizenship and oil sharing.

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