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MPI, Robert Bosch Foundation Launch Ambitious Initiative Aimed at Redesigning the Humanitarian Protection & Resettlement Infrastructure
Press Release
Monday, April 19, 2021

MPI, Robert Bosch Foundation Launch Ambitious Initiative Aimed at Redesigning the Humanitarian Protection & Resettlement Infrastructure

WASHINGTON and STUTTGART — Seeking to redesign the global humanitarian protection and refugee resettlement infrastructure in ways that advance equity, flexibility and sustainability, the Migration Policy Institute and Robert Bosch Stiftung today launched a new initiative, “Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World.”

With asylum systems under immense pressure and public trust eroded by the increasing numbers of spontaneous arrivals in Europe, North America and beyond, territorial asylum is under threat. And on the refugee front, many of the neediest refugees remain in extremely vulnerable situations worldwide, facing scant prospects for resettlement or other durable solutions.

These realities have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought humanitarian operations to a standstill, limited already strained asylum and resettlement infrastructure and further eroded the decades-old norms underpinning a protection system forged in the aftermath of World War II.

“The pandemic poses an existential threat to a global humanitarian protection system that was already deeply fragile,” said MPI President Andrew Selee. “But it also offers a window of opportunity to rigorously assess out-of-the-box alternatives that could help rescue and preserve the protection system for generations to come.”

The three-year initiative undertaken by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung seeks to address these challenges and seize the opportunity to explore and test new ways to facilitate access to protection that better support equity and result in more flexible, sustainable infrastructure.

“We are convinced that rethinking the protection system as well as identifying viable long-term solutions, including solutions that further enhance the agency of those affected by displacement, is extremely critical and timely,” said Ottilie Bälz, Senior Vice President, Global Issues, Robert Bosch Stiftung.

An Advisory Group, comprised of leading protection experts, policymakers, migration researchers and academics, and civil society from regions around the world, will be engaged in developing and advancing creative, workable alternative approaches to providing access to protection and structural reforms that can work in different global contexts. (For a list of Advisory Group members, click here.)

The initiative will organize private convenings and consultations with experts around the world to discuss and learn from natural experiments and policy innovations undertaken at local or national levels and propose adaptations that can work in other contexts. These findings will be published and disseminated via a series of research reports examining alternative approaches to providing protection and public briefings.

“The initiative aims to have an outsized impact: preserving protection norms by shoring up public trust and political confidence in the asylum and refugee resettlement systems,” said MPI Senior Policy Analyst Susan Fratzke, who is managing the initiative’s work.

The project builds on the longstanding relationship between MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. With support from the foundation, MPI’s sister organization, Migration Policy Institute Europe, led a two-year Integration Futures Working Group, which brought together policymakers, experts, civil-society officials and private-sector leaders to develop a fresh agenda for integration policy in Europe.

For more on the Beyond Territorial Asylum initiative, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/international-program/beyond-territorial-asylum.

About the Migration Policy Institute
A nonpartisan organization, MPI seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions. Founded in 2001, MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies, aiming to meet the demand for pragmatic and thoughtful responses to the challenges and opportunities that large-scale migration, whether voluntary or forced, presents to communities and institutions in an increasingly integrated world. For more on MPI, visit www.migrationpolicy.org.

About the Robert Bosch Stiftung
The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of the major foundations associated with a private company in Europe. It works in the areas of health, education and global issues. With its charitable activities, it contributes to the development of viable solutions to social challenges. For this purpose, the Foundation implements its own projects, enters into alliances with partners and supports third-party initiatives. For more on the Foundation’s work on migration, visit www.bosch-stiftung.de/en/theme/migration.