| Back | Unit G2   Changing Human Environments
Theme 1 Investigation Population Change
  • You should understand the the push and pull framework can be used to study the causes of flows of asylum seekers and refugees into MEDCs like the U.K.
  • Your studies should include at least one case study and should include both a historical and a current dimension.
  Note: we are choosing to interpret the 'historical dimension' as meaning since the UNHCR was set up in 1951. In part this is also because 'geography' tends to have a 'last 50 year rule' for relevant case studies. More than 50 years or so is for the subject 'history' and this is modern 'geography'.  

The most important parts of the refugee definition are:

  • Refugees have to be outside their country of origin;
  • The reason for their flight has to be a fear of persecution;
  • The fear of persecution has to be well-founded
  • The persecution has to result from one or more of the 5 grounds listed in the definition, that is race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion;
  • They have to be unwilling or unable to seek the protection of their 'source' country.
  General examples  
  Pictorial History of UNHCR since 1951.  
  List each refugee crisis noting the date, the cause of the refugee crisis, the source region and the main host area.  
  Against All Odds  
  Play the first section - War and Persecution - running from persecution. Make some notes about the causes of your persecution.  
  Dustbin Game - put each statement into one of four bins. Bin 1 - Pull factor. i.e. what the host country might offer. Bin 2 - Push Factor i.e. why the refugee might have to flee the home country. Bin 3 - Not a refugee i.e. this person is a migrant and does not meet the definition of a refugee/asylum seeker. Bin 4 - Economic Migrant - this person is moving purely for economic betterment.  


Click here for full screen version

  Particular Case Study: Uganda  

Uganda became independent from the UK in 1962. The constitution was changed in 1963 to satisfy an alliance between the Uganda People's Congress and the Kabaka Yekka Party. This created a post of Head of State called the President and a position of a Vice President. The UPC government appointed Edward Muteesa II, Kabaka (King) of Buganda, as the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. William Wilberforce Nadiope, the Kyabazing of Busoga (paramount chief), was appointed Vice President.

In 1966, Obote overthrew the king. A UPC-dominated Parliament changed the constitution, and Obote became president. The elections were suspended, ushering in an era of coups and counter-coups, which would last until the mid-1980s. Obote was deposed twice from office, both times by military coup.   


Suggest why there may have been a small stream of refugees from Uganda in the early years of independence (1963-1972).

  President Idi Amin 1971-1974  
  Leicester Ugandan Asians 40 years on part 1  
  Leicester Ugandan Asians 40 years on part 2  
  Leicester Ugandan Asians 40 years on part 3  
  Leicester Ugandan Asians 40 years on part 4  
  Leicester Ugandan Asians 40 years on part 5  
  Why would the stream of refugees have increased in this time period?  
  Ugandan Asians 1972  
  The British colonial power had brought migrants workers from India to live in Uganda. Idi Amin expelled 25,000 Ugandan Asians in 1972 and those with British passports were resettled in the UK. But ministers were initially worried at the effect on race relations and whether the UK would be inundated with other East African refugees.  
  Ugandan Asians Movie  
  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2619049.stm "Leicester City Council once took out advertisements in the Ugandan Press in an attempt to deter the country's dispossessed Asians from settling in their town. Still they came."  
  The files show that the government looked at whether some of the Ugandan Asians could be settled elsewhere. It was suggested that the Falkland Islands might take in some of the refugees. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/releases/2003/nyo/ugandan_asians.htm  
  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/2399549.stm BBC news report 30 years after the exodus  
  http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/west/series2/ugandan_asians.shtml Impacts on the new arrivals  

Research the Ugandan Asians. Why were they living in Uganda? Why did Idi Amin 'expel' them? Where did they move to? How were they treated? What has happened to them since the 1970s?

  The Lords Resistance Army  
  Civil War has raged in the north of Uganda for 20 years. Villages were raided and children were made to fight as soldiers in the rebel army called the LRA.  



Why has this situation led to increased numbers of refugees both in neighbouring African countries and asylum seekers into the UK? What does Harriet's case below tell us?

  2011 Ugandan Refugees - 'Pink Asylum Seekers'  


Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5_NvRMzz14&feature=player_embedded#!

  http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2011/08/ugandan-gay-refugee-recounts-horror-of.html Robert Segwanyi was scheduled for deportation on August 18, from the United Kingdom's Heathrow airport. The UK was sending Robert back to Uganda, where he was tortured with molten plastic and imprisoned for being gay.
Robert was spared from deportation at the very last minute according to his friend and fellow gay Ugandan refugee John Bosco:

"[Robert] is back in the detention centre waiting to hear what's next. He had 5 escorts up to the plane, and as he was about to board the plane the Home Office stopped his deportation. He is very tired and stressed since he has not been sleeping well. He is in pain."

John Bosco told me on the phone that Robert has not been eating well and that he was considering suicide.
  Explain this current Ugandan refugee issue.  
  May 2011 Explain why refugees and asylum seekers enter countries with developed economies (10)  
  Mark Scheme suggested content: reasons include push factors of persecution due to war, race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group (e.g. 'gay'), political opinion or (environmental disaster).

Reasons also include pull factors such as the lure of a better life economically and socially in the MEDC; but this alone is no basis for being a refugee many political asylum claims in the UK are rejected (if they are deemed to be mainly being made on economic grounds) - there has to be 'well founded fear'.

Specialist details of Uganda

  2011 - other leading examples of Refugee crises: You could study any of these...  
  Libya - refugees to Lampedusa (Italy)and Tunisia  
  NOVEMBER 2009 Task  
  1) Complete the ICT programme Against All Odds

2) Write an essay of about 2 sides (c. 600 words) - Use one case study to show a range of causes of refugees leaving a country over a time period of about 50 years. Hand in date - next lesson Tuesday 10th November.