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Making Hard Choices An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return of Syrian Refugees, Mehmet BALCILAR


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6th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2016 Integrative Risk Management - Towards Resilient Cities. 28 August - 01 September 2016 in Davos, Switzerland

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Making Hard Choices An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return of Syrian Refugees, Mehmet BALCILAR

  1. 1. Making Hard Choices An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return of Syrian Refugees Mehmet Balcılara and Fuat Oktayb IDRC Davos 2016, 28 August - 1 September, Davos, Swittzerland a Eastern Mediterranean University,Famagusta, T.R. Northern Cyprus; University of Pretoria, Preto- ria, South Africa; IPAG Business School, Paris, France b Repuclic of Turkey, Prime Ministry, and Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (former), Ankara, Turkey
  2. 2. Outline 1. Background 2. Hard Choices for Refugees and Politicians 3. Motivation 4. Contribution 5. Population and Sampling Design 6. Models 7. Demographics & War Impacts Demographics War Impacts 8. Empirical Results 9. Conclusion 1
  3. 3. Background
  4. 4. Forced Migration Largest Crises since WW II • highest levels of forced displacement since World War II • more than 60 million people are forcibly displaced • Reasons: violence, war and civil war, human rights violations, and genocide • Top Five Refugee Outflow Countries: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan • 4.84 million Syrians are registered as refugees outside Syria (July 2016). • a toll on millions of lives • around half million died, and • more than half of the country’s population is displaced 2
  5. 5. Syrian Refugee Crises • Millions refuged to Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Egypt • Turkey hosts 2.74 million refugees (July 2016) • Devastating effects not only for Syria, but also for Turkey, Lebanon, more recently for most EU countries due to refugee inflow • The economic cost on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt is estimated as $35 billion in output at the beginning of 2016 and it will climb • $10 billion will be needed through 2020 for the financing needs of Syrian crises 3
  6. 6. Hard Choices for Refugees and Politicians
  7. 7. Re-migration • Starting in 2014, a large number of Syrian asylum seekers in Turkey re-migrated to EU countries • Migration routes: Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea on boats, at face of a high risk of dying due to boat sinks • Approximately 2% of the those attempting to migrate to Europe from Turkey die by drowning • Yet, the thousands attempt to migrate through this dangerous way every day. 4
  8. 8. Hard Choices ” ... it is only in face to face meetings with people seeking asylum and with refugees that it is possible to comprehend the subtlety of these stories and the huge range of emotions behind them; anger, fear, anxiety, jubilation, hope, guilt and mistrust are just a few of the more obvious ones. –Alison Jeffers, Refugees, Theatre and Crisis: Performing Global Identities, 2012. 5
  9. 9. Hard Choices Hard Choices for Refugee • Stay in the initial migration location, but living conditions are harsh • Re-migrate to west, but costly, risky, likelihood of deport • Return, but not safe, no place to live, may not even able to run the kitchen Hard Choices for Politicians • Political solution has trade offs for all parties • Refugee size ise to big for everybody • Financing gap is large 6
  10. 10. Motivation
  11. 11. Motivation-I • Existing literature on conflict-driven or forced migration offers only limited knowledge on hard choices facing Syrian refugees • Further migration intentions • Return to homeland • Stay in their present location • Migrate to alternative locations (within the same country) • These choices are likely to be affected by the physical and non-physical damage caused by the conflict, living conditions of refugees, and demographic and social-economic characteristics of the refugees. • Not much is known on these, which requires individual level data 7
  12. 12. Motivation-II • Most of the literature on forced migration is based on aggregate (mostly state- level) data (large-n studied) • Large-n studies uses state level data • Economic factors: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, GDP growth rate, unemployment, income distribution, economic discrimination, energy consumption • Geographic and environmental factors: Natural disasters, climate change, geography, transportation, border controls, distance. etc. • Conflict -related factors: war and civil war, internal conflicts, genocide, civil rights, etc. • Large-n studies draw inferences about individual decisions on whether to migrate or stay, arguing that people can make rational choices even under the extremely violent conditions of war • However, the data used in these studies are not individual level data 8
  13. 13. Contribution
  14. 14. Contribution • Uses three-wave survey data collected by AFAD in 2013, 2014, and 2015 • Unique data, capturing more detail on the various different dimensions of the violence experienced in Syria and the effects of these and other factors on their plans for further migration • Considers migration, re-migration, re-location, and return decisions • Capture a great deal in the way of heterogeneity among different groups of Syrian refugees • Obtains significant information on who, when, where and why moves 9
  15. 15. Population and Sampling Design
  16. 16. Geography 10
  17. 17. Population & Sampling Design-I • Population: Syrian refugees in Turkey. • Design: Multistage random sampling. • Survey Waves: Wave 1 (2013), Wave 2 (2014), Wave 3 (2015), all conducted by AFAD.1 . Geographic Distribution of the Sample by Wave and Province 11
  18. 18. Population & Sampling Design-II Geographic Distribution of the Sample 12
  19. 19. Population by Time and Settlement Type 13
  20. 20. Models
  21. 21. Research Questions: Refugee Migration Choices 1. RETURN: What determines the intention to return to homeland. Variable: takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated they would return to Syria, 0 otherwise. 2. MIGRATE: Indicator of migrating to another location. Variable: takes a value of 1 if the respondent stated he (she) is planning to migrate, and a value of 0, otherwise. 3. RTNASAP: Return to the home country “as soon as possible”. Variable: takes a value 1, if the respondents state they will return to Syria “as soon as possible”, and 0 otherwise. 4. MIGRATEINT. Indicator of re-migration. Variable: takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated they are planning to migrate to another country, and a 0 otherwise. 14
  22. 22. Individual Level Explanatory Variables-I 1. INCOME: Household income (INCOME) while living in Syria before migrating to Turkey, measured in Syrian pounds and classified into 6 classes, 0-10000, 10001-20000, 20001-30000, 30001-40000, 40001-50000, and 50001+. 2. SHELTER: A binary variable, taking a value of 1 if the respondents state availability of shelter in the home country, and 0 if the shelter is not available. 3. DAMAGE: Measures property damage, takes a value of 1 if the refugee stated his(her) home to be “collapsed”, “heavily damaged”, or “partially damaged”; takes on a value of 0, if the refugee stated his home is “not damaged”. 15
  23. 23. Individual Level Explanatory Variables-II 4. DEATH: Existence of deaths of the family members, takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated one or more families died due to war, and a value of 0, if no family member died. 5. RFGTIME: Time lived as a refugee in the current host country (Turkey), defined as 1-12 months, 13-24 months, 25-36 months, 35-48 months, and 49-60 months. 6. RFGMONTHS: Number of months lived as refugee, used when it gives a better fit than RFGTIME in terms of the Bayesian Information Criterion. 16
  24. 24. Demographics & War Impacts
  25. 25. Distribution by Home Governorate & Sex 17
  26. 26. Geographic Distribution by Home Governorate 18
  27. 27. Time Lived as Refugee 19
  28. 28. Month of Leaving Syria by Governorate 20
  29. 29. Verified War Casualties by Month 21
  30. 30. Verified War Casualties by Governorate 22
  31. 31. Damage to Property 23
  32. 32. Empirical Results
  33. 33. Empirical Models Logistic regression for response yi : Pr(yi = 1|Xi , β) = exp{Xi β} 1 + exp{Xi β} (1) where yi is one of the response variables: RETURNi , MIGRATEi , RTNASAPi , or MIGRATEINTi and Xi β = β0 + β1INCOMEi + β2SHELTERi + β3DAMAGEi + β4DEATHi + β4RFGTIMEi (2) 24
  34. 34. Descriptive Statistics 25
  35. 35. Full Model Estimates 26
  36. 36. Models Selected by General Specific Approach 27
  37. 37. Predictive Margins of Return for Time Lived As Refugee 28
  38. 38. Predictive Margins of International Migration for Time Passed After Leaving Syria 29
  39. 39. Conclusion
  40. 40. Conclusion-I • Duration of the violence in Syria increases the probability of permanent settlement in another country. • As the duration of the violence in Syria is increased the probability of return to Syria is drastically reduced. • One important determinant of decision to move from Turkey (initial refuge location) is the duration of time lived as a refugee. • As the cost of the conflict (measured by damage to property, casualties to family members, job loss, etc.) increases for the conflict-affected households, it is less likely that these refugees will return to Syria. • As the cost of the conflict increases, the more likely that the refugees will move to higher income countries in search of asylum. 30
  41. 41. Conclusion-II • Refugees who would not have a shelter in their home country if they were to return home, are less likely to return to Syria and more likely to migrate or re-migrate. • Refugees who have deaths in their family due to war have lower probability of return to Syria and a higher probability of international migration. • Women refugees are more likely to return back to Syria. • Protraction of the conflict reduces the probability of returning to Syria and raises the probability of re-migration. • Higher income refugees are more likely to move to another country from Turkey. • There is a time threshold, which when exceeded, the refugees lose any hope for return to Syria and search for permanent settlement elsewhere. 31
  42. 42. Thank you ... 32