Development, Mobility, Protection: Building Opportunity into Refugee Solutions
January 2016 Meeting
The fifteenth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration explored how governments can mitigate the rising financial, economic, and political costs of forced displacement by investing strategically in refugee populations. With new strains on a global humanitarian system already failing to find solutions both for individuals fleeing persecution and for overburdened host communities, a new way of thinking about protection and the development and humanitarian response is required. Preventing some of the unwelcome consequences of the current system will require prioritizing policy approaches that recognize, develop, and capitalize on the skills, experience, and economic value refugees can bring—helping to transform them from burdens to assets. Read the Council Statement, which outlines the top priorities for action to rebuild hope and opportunity for refugees while also improving the economic picture for countries of first asylum.
The individual papers presented at the meeting, which explore innovative policy solutions, are available below:
Building Livelihood Opportunities for Refugee Populations: Lessons from Past Practice
With the reality that a sizeable share of refugee situations can continue for many years, if not decades, there is growing focus on ways to better integrate refugees into countries of first asylum, particularly by ensuring they have access to livelihoods and economic opportunities. This report explores the pitfalls and promise of livelihood programs.
The Evolving Approach to Refugee Protection in Turkey: Assessing the Practical and Political Needs
Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country, having taken in more than 2.7 million Syrians since 2011. Despite Turkey’s generous humanitarian approach, long-term integration prospects for these refugees remain limited. This report assesses the current policy approach to managing the refugee influx and asks what is needed to ensure the long-term stability and success of both refugees and their host communities.
Resolving Policy Conundrums: Enhancing Humanitarian Protection in Southeast Asia
Human displacement, asylum movements, refugee and stateless populations, and irregular labor migration flows have long posed challenges for Southeast Asia. This report analyzes migration flows in and through the region and the policy challenges and responses to these flows, particularly the May 2015 humanitarian crisis resulting from the maritime migration of Rohingya and Bengalis in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Protection on the Move: Eritrean Refugee Flows through the Greater Horn of Africa
Even in a region characterized by mobility, Eritrean refugees stand out for the frequency and distance of their onward movement. With more than 411,000 Eritreans in refugee-like situations, this report outlines how they access protection, the routes they take, and how their high rates of mobility challenge traditional concepts of refugees as static populations and raise questions about how to provide effective protection.
Protection through Mobility: Opening Labor and Study Migration Channels to Refugees
With the rapid increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide, this report examines the role that legal labor and study mobility might play in connecting refugees with better opportunities, and how such mobility could work in concrete terms and as a complement to the traditional protection system.
New Approaches to Refugee Crises in the 21st Century: The Role of the International Community
The movement of more than 1 million refugees across the Mediterranean in 2015 brought much-needed attention to the inadequacy of the global humanitarian system and starkly underlined the need for new approaches to protection. This policy brief examines the extraordinary series of refugee-related international summits and meetings convened in 2016, their accomplishments and limitations, and outlook for future action.
Transatlantic Council Statement: Beyond Care and Maintenance: Rebuilding Hope and Opportunity for Refugees
Possibilities for many refugees to return to their country of origin are limited, yet conditions for the displaced in many first-asylum countries are bleak and resettlement places few. This Transatlantic Council Statement outlines new approaches that could gradually move the international community away from a choice between resettlement for a tiny proportion of refugees and basic protection from physical harm for the rest.