PROFESSOR SUSAN MARTIN ON US AND EUROPEAN RESPONSES TO REFUGEES AND OTHER FORCED MIGRANTS FLEEING CRISES (SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015)
Today, in 2015, the number of refugees and displaced persons is at an all-time high since records began in the wake of World War II. None of the humanitarian crises in today's headlines are new. However, the dearth of adequate solutions to address the root causes of crises and to facilitate safe channels of migration for those who must get out of harm's way has prompted more people than ever to move by any means possible - including treacherous crossings over land and sea.
In recent weeks, ISIM Director and Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration, Susan Martin, has written and spoken out about the current situation and the need for governments in Europe and the United States to do more to respond to those moving in the context of humanitarian crises.
"A Kickstarter for Europe's migrant crisis misses some painful truths." By Professor Susan Martin. Fortune Magazine. To read the op-ed, click here.
The Global Migration Crisis: Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call Series with Professor Susan Martin. Council of Foreign Relations. To listen to the audio recording or to read the transcript, click here.
The Migrant Crisis in Europe: A Panel Discussion with Nancy Lindborg (President, United States Institute of Peace); Gregory Maniatis (Senior European Policy Fellow, Migration Policy Institute); and chaired by Susan Martin (Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University). Council of Foreign Relations. To read the transcript, click here.
In 2014, the Governments of the United States and the Philippines launched the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC), to address the impact of crises—conflicts and natural disasters—on migrants. Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and the European Commission are also members of the State-led initiative, and they are supported in this effort by IOM, UNHCR, ISIM, and the Office of the Secretary General’s Special Representative for International Migration. As part of its efforts to support the MICIC Initiative, ISIM will publish a series of policy-relevant briefs and working papers in the coming months, based upon desk research of acute crises affecting migrants in Côte d'Ivoire, Japan, Libya, Syria, Thailand, the United States and Yemen, among others. More information on the initiative can be found here.
Earlier this year, as part of ISIM's research in this area, Sanjula Weerasinghe and Abbie Taylor published an article on the topic in the Journal on Migration and Human Security. To view the article, entitled 'On the Margins: Noncitizens Caught in Countries Experiencing Violence, Conflict and Disaster', click here.
Report on Planned Relocation, Disasters and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future (September 2014)
Following on from the expert consultation in Sanremo, Italy co-hosted by Brookings, ISIM and UNHCR earlier in 2014, Sanjula Weerasinghe compiled this comprehensive report on "Planned Relocation, Disasters and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future" presents the findings, recommendations and next steps. To read the report, click here.
As part of the 2014 UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs, ISIM co-organized a side event with UNHCR on Alternative Models for International Protection of Forced Migrants.
Panelists discussed various recent initiatives that respond to humanitarian or migration-related crises, where existing protection frameworks are either not applicable or practicable. These included the Nansen Initiative on Disaster-Induced and Cross-Border Displacement, Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of International Migration's Crisis Migration project, UNHCR's Guidelines on Temporary Protection or Stay Arrangements, and IOM's Migration Crisis Operational Framework.
Following an initial overview of the scope and objectives of each initiative, the panelists (with interventions from other participants) exchanged on the different proposals - reflecting on their complementarities, distinctions and overlaps.
Volker Türk, Director, Division of International Protection, UNHCR
Alice Edwards, Senior Legal Coordinator, Division of International Protection, UNHCR
Elizabeth Ferris, Brookings Institution
Jill Helke, IOM
Walter Kaelin, Nansen Initiative
Susan Martin, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University
To read the UNHCR Report of the 2014 Consultations, click here.
Every week, thousands of people are compelled to move in the face of humanitarian crises, and yet for many, protection is out of reach. "Humanitarian Crises and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses", edited by ISIM's Susan Martin, Sanjula Weerasinghe, and Abbie Taylor brings together leading experts from multi-disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on diverse humanitarian crises and to discuss the challenges and opportunities in providing protection for these crisis migrants. This timely book, a product of the Crisis Migration Project, is now available for purchase in hardback, paperback and Kindle editions. Click here for more information.
Together with UNHCR and the Brookings Institution, ISIM co-hosted an expert consultation on Planned Relocation, Disasters and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future in Sanremo, Italy, from 12-14 March 2014. The consultation, supported by a grant from the European Union, Norway and Switzerland brought together 43 experts on a range of disciplines (adaptation, development, disaster risk reduction, civil protection, environment and climate change, humanitarian assistance and human rights) from 21 countries, drawn from governments, international and non-governmental organizations and academia.
Recognizing that planned relocation will increasingly be used as a tool by governments to move populations out of harm's way in the context of disasters and climate change, the Sanremo consultation sought to better prepare for planned relocation by canvassing suggestions, themes and recommendations for the development of guidance and tools for States, supporting actors and affected communities. ISIM intends to continue its collaboration with UNHCR and the Brookings Institution on this issue. A report of the Sanremo meeting, "Planned Relocation, Disasters and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future" is now available here.
To read more on the topic of planned relocation in the context of climate change from Elizabeth Ferris, Co-Director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and ISIM Affiliate, click here.
In collaboration with Forced Migration Review, ISIM has published a special issue on crisis migration (FMR 45 'Crisis'), released in February 2014. FMR 45, available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, features a number of policy and practice-oriented articles and case studies from authors affiliated with the Crisis Migration project, including ISIM's Patricia Weiss Fagen, Elzbieta Gozdziak and Alissa Walter. Susan Martin, Sanjula Weerasinghe and Abbie Taylor served as special advisors on the issue and 'set the scene' with their article on crisis migration. There are also several other submissions concerned with people who move or become trapped in the context of diverse humanitarian crises, but do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and IDPs. Click here for more information, and to download the publication.
'Crisis Migration', an article from Susan Martin, Sanjula Weerasinghe and Abbie Taylor features in the most recent issue of the Brown Journal for World Affairs. Stay tuned for more from the Crisis Migration project, including a forthcoming 'Special Issue of Forced Migration Review on Crisis Migration' and the release of the edited volume, 'Humanitarian Crises and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses', to be published in May 2014. Click here to visit the Brown Journal of World Affairs.
Sanjula Weerasinghe took the floor to offer insights and recommendations relevant to protecting migrants caught in conflicts and natural disasters at the 2013 UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, convened in New York in early October. Click here for more information on the event, and to read the intervention in its entirety.
On 15 July, Susan Martin moderated a meeting on international migration and development at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. Over 1,000 representatives from governments, international organizations and civil society attended the meeting, which was one of several held in preparation for the 2013 UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. Click here to watch the interactive hearing.
In September 2012, ISIM hosted a two-day workshop convening 35 commissioned authors, academics, practitioners, legal experts and policymakers to discuss and deconstruct the conceptualization and content of 'crisis migration'. The first day of the workshop attempted to identify forms of crisis migration, probe the significance of applicable dimensions (such as causality, vulnerability, geography, temporality) and identify complexities surrounding the provision of protection. The second day;s discussions centered on specific groups of 'crisis migrants' who face unique protection needs (such as non-citizens caught in crises, those traveling by sea, newly urbanized populations, and victims of trafficking) and the international architecture for providing protection as well as factors of import for framing appropriate responses.
For more information on the review workshop including an overview of salient themes discussed over the two days, the program or the list of participants, please download our Year One Report.