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Exceptions to blanket anonymity for the publication of interviews with refugees: African refugees in Israel as a case study

Gerver, Mollie (2013) Exceptions to blanket anonymity for the publication of interviews with refugees: African refugees in Israel as a case study. Research Ethics, 9 (3). pp. 121-139. ISSN 1747-0161

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1747016113481176


Literature on the ethics of researching refugees, both as participants and partners, presents strong arguments for why anonymity is the safer option in the event of questionable consent. However, blanket anonymity, without asking refugee interviewees if they wish to be anonymous, may cause more harm than good in certain contexts. One such context which this article will explore is the context of Israel, where a working Refugee Status Determination (RSD) system has yet to be established. This case study highlights that, even in extreme circumstances where identity exposure can create risks, there may be a case for allowing identity exposure and perhaps an obligation on the part of the researcher to publish a name if this is the strong wish of the interviewee. This article builds on literature addressing confidentiality of identities (Duvell et al., 2010; Giordano et al., 2007; Kelly, 2009; Lahman et al., 2011; Lee, 1993; Mackenzie et al., 2007; Pittaway et al., 2010) and literature addressing informed consent (Hugman et al., 2011; Mackenzie et al., 2007; Pittaway et al., 2010; Zion et al., 2010). Primary sources demonstrating the use of waiving anonymity were collected between 2007 and 2012. Data were collected from refugee and activist civil society publications, television and newspaper media reports, participatory observation in the Israeli Knesset, and in-depth interviews with refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan, Sudan, DR Congo, Liberia and Eritrea living in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 10:44
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2021 23:12

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