The world has millions of refugees who are unable to go home or unwilling to do so in the face of persecution. Resettlement to a third country is considered for only a fraction of refugees, those whose conditions are so perilous or whose needs cannot be met in the country where they first sought protection. Only a small number of states take part in UNHCR resettlement programs—among them the United States, Australia, Canada, the Nordic countries, and increasingly some countries in Europe and Latin America. The research here examines refugee protection and resettlement policies.
Danger often awaits people who set out by boat, seeking safety from upheaval or persecution. MPI Co-Director Kathleen Newland examines how governments, the shipping industry, and international bodies have succeeded — or too frequently, failed — to cast a line to those in need.
The term "refugee," like the people it describes, can cover a lot of ground. Sharon Stanton Russell, Research Scholar at MIT, maps out out who qualifies for refugee status, as well as the most pressing issues facing the community of institutions tasked to protect them.