“Forgotten,” “Hidden”: Predicaments of the Urban Refugee

Philip Marfleet


Urban refugees are widely viewed as anomalous—people who stand outside a refugee regime which, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is based upon rural encampment. This article considers why states and humanitarian agencies view urban refugees in this way. It examines the history of the refugee as an urban person and the recent change in perspective which has enforced a rural norm. It considers the extreme pressures placed upon displaced people in the city and the consequences for communities which contest their marginal status.

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