Ten of the best migrant blogs

Photo by Mike Licht

Photo by Mike Licht

There are some great migrant blogs out there but they’re not always easy to find. So, for those on the hunt for migrant voices, someone to explain new immigration policy, or just an interesting take on global migration, here are some of our favourites:

1. The Diary of a Refugee Mother

Blogging as ‘Helen’, this mother of three came to the UK from Ethiopia nine years ago after having been imprisoned for political activities. She blogs, (with the help of someone from Women for Refugee Women), about the brutal realities of life on the little money available to those in the asylum process, (which for Helen is still dragging on after nearly a decade – during which time she, like all refugees, has been banned from working in the U.K). From the choices you have to make when feeding four on an income of just £60 a week, to the way she was treated when she first arrived, Helen’s story is incredibly revelatory. Her introduction post  is here.

2. Life Without Papers

Photojournalist, Len Grant, follows the stories of two families of undocumented migrants living in the UK. Ruth, 25, is the mother of Dyanna, 4. She was brought to the U.K. at the age of 14 to work as a domestic slave – she claims no benefits and is unknown to the authorities. Sinan has no papers to prove where he came from – he couldn’t be deported anywhere and is left in limbo.

Grant deservedly won several awards for his fantastic previous blog, Her First Year, following a teenage mum from Manchester’s Moss Side. His new one delivers the same wonderfully observant stories.

3. Reporting and Writing, by Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi

Shortlisted for the Orwell prize in 2012, Omonira-Oyekanmi travelled Europe to report on undocumented migrants travelling west and crossing borders. From migrants stuck in Spanish limbo, to the consequences of Greece’s dysfunctional system, these first hand accounts tell you more than a dozen impersonal news reports.

4. BritCits

Posting with wonderful frequency, this blog is a direct response to the coalition government’s immigration policy, and in particular the huge restrictions imposed in July 2012. Their introduction gives their statement of purpose, whilst the ‘stories’ label is well worth a read for the personal accounts of those affected by the new rules, from people wanting to bring their fiances, spouses, or elderly relatives over – all affected by the government’s imposition of an income threshold higher than the average median salary.

5. Hein de Haas’ blog

The co-director of Oxford’s International Migration Institute, Hein de Haas, writes about some of the big themes in migration in a clear and accessible way, but informed by lots of research and a clear expertise. If you’re interested in asking just how voluntary ‘voluntary return’ is, or hearing about abuses of migrant rights in Morocco, this is the place – an insightful look at migration politics on an international level.

6. Migrant Sicily

Part of a project monitoring the situation for refugees tricking from Libya and the Maghreb into Sicily, this blog will deliver all the news that isn’t being reported in the mainstream press, about an area with serious tensions around migration. Immigrants have been protesting there recently, and the area has a history of attacks and violence towards migrants.

7. Not the Treasury View

This is another one for those looking for an insightful and in-depth look at immigration to the UK, from an economic perspective. Written by Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and former Chief Economist at the UK Cabinet Office, it’s a blog with some heft to it.

Portes often responds to the news around immigration, or to the comments of senior UK political figures. Even if you don’t plan on being a devout follower, his commentary on Nick Clegg’s speech on immigration is worth a read.

8. Calais Migrant Solidarity

A fantastic blog, documenting police harassment towards migrants in Calais, day by day, (because there really is enough to post about, every day). Local journalism at its very, very best.

9. Y-Axis UK blog

The UK blog of the visa consultant group, Y-Axis, comprehensively covers policy changes and developments in the UK and elsewhere, and comments on what they’ll mean for those wanting to immigrate to the UK. They rarely miss even the small stuff.

10. Refugees International Blog

The place to go for first-hand accounts of how refugees are being treated and are living across the world, is here. They have excellent and often first-hand coverage of the camps on the Turkish-Syrian border in particular, and those in Kenya for Somali refugees.

And a few bonus blogs

Migrant Voice blogs

Finally, a stalwart source of endless blogs – from the story of one girl’s migration from India to the UK, to a discussion of the new citizenship test, to an argument in favour of moving to Japan. Endless blogs from endless writers, with an interest in migration linking them all together.

Migrants at Sea

Refugee law specialist, Niels W Frenzen, blogs here about migrants travelling across the sea from Africa towards Europe.Not one of the casual reader but for those interested in the best news and analysis on a very specific and niche area, with a legal slant, it’s an invaluable resource. Frenzen is a clinical professor of law at the Gould School of Law, University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.

The Women’s Refugee Commission blog

This NGO’s blog covers everything female and refugee related. It features diverse voices from across the world, with endless stories of their experiences as refugees, and how these have informed their lives, alongside international news -with a particular eye for UN initiatives.

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2 responses to “Ten of the best migrant blogs

  1. http://birdsofimmigrants.jogspace.net/
    This blog displays a platform for unaccompanied young refugees on the way to Europe. Some of the post are written in Greece, others are posted in some Internet-Cafe on the run. This page should be a way for young refugees to display their view on Europe and of course all the experience on their way.

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