Beyond Asylum: Adapting the Global Protection System to Better Meet Escalating Needs
Betsy Lippman, Chief of Operational Solutions and Transition Section, Division of Program Support and Management, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Katy Long, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, and Lecturer, Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science
Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow and Co-Founder, Migration Policy Institute
More people around the world are now forcibly displaced from their homes than ever before, as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ annual Global Trends report recently revealed. An estimated 2.9 million people became refugees in 2014, with an average 42,500 forced to leave their homes each day. The unprecedented scale of displacement has placed the global refugee system under visible strain, as humanitarian agencies and host communities struggle to provide for ever-rising needs.
While the proliferation of conflict, and its resulting displacement, has been a key contributor to growing pressures on asylum and protection systems, the failure of the international community to provide a swift return to normal life for most of the displaced has meant that new refugees are arriving in host communities already overburdened by the continuing effects of earlier crises.
A recent series of reports by MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration lays out a number of emerging ideas for adapting the global protection system to better meet the growing challenges of forced migration. This webinar will dig more deeply into ways to: (1) empower refugees to use their skills and energies to provide for their own livelihoods through development-led responses to displacement, and (2) enable refugees to legally take advantage of security or self-sufficiency opportunities beyond countries of first asylum by tapping into the potential of existing migration schemes. Speakers will explore how each approach might mitigate current refugee pressures (particularly in response to the Syria crisis), and discuss some of the largest practical and political barriers to implementation.