Refitting the Global Protection System to Meet the Challenges of Modern Crises
December 2014 Meeting
The thirteenth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration examined the realities of the current global protection system, which is under increasing strain, with an eye to identifying gaps and exploring opportunities for change. The reports prepared for the Council consider how governments and stakeholders can cooperate to address existing crises, distribute responsibilities more fairly, create more flexible systems that respond to changing realities, and prevent new displacement from becoming protracted. As governments struggle to keep up with large (and increasingly complex) mixed flows, protection itself is becoming more elusive, as reports collected here explore. Read the Council Statement that distills the Council's deliberations and offers recommendations to refit the global protection system.
The individual papers presented at the meeting are available below:
Protection in Crisis: Forced Migration and Protection in a Global Era
More than 51 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced today as refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons. This report details the increasing mismatch between the legal and normative frameworks that define the existing protection regime and the contemporary patterns of forced displacement.
Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention
Policymakers, the public, and the media were seemingly caught off-guard in spring 2014 when a surge of child migrants from Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Yet the uptick began in 2011. This report examines the causes of this surge and recommends policy solutions to advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows.
Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Long Road Ahead
As of mid-March 2015, more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees lived in Turkey, making this the world's largest community of Syrians displaced by the conflict in their country. This report provides an overview of Turkey's changing migration landscape and the position of Syrian refugees in Turkey today, along with policy recommendations given the likelihood of long-term or permanent displacement for Syrians.
Rethinking Global Protection: New Channels, New Tools
Today's refugee protection regime, established in the aftermath of World War II, is ill-equipped to meet the protection needs of contemporary displacement situations. This report explores the main sources of strain on the existing system of protection, and examines the two most promising avenues for strengthening the system: development- and mobility-focused approaches.
From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Changing the Paradigm in Protracted Refugee Situations
The majority of the 51 million people displaced in the world today are in protracted situations, forcing them to live in limbo for years. This policy brief by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees argues for long-term development solutions and a new narrative that emphasizes refugees' potential to contribute to host and origin communities through their own human capital, transnational connections, and dedicated international assistance.
From Refugee to Migrant? Labor Mobility's Protection Potential
There has been growing international recognition that continued movement and migration often play an important role in shaping refugees' lives after their initial flight. This report considers the extent to which labor migration is being used—or could be used in the future—to strengthen the international refugee protection regime and facilitate durable solutions for more refugees, many of whom have been displaced for many years.
Transatlantic Council Statement: Beyond Asylum: Rethinking Protection Policies to Meet Sharply Escalating Needs
This Council Statement, authored by Council Convenor Demetrios Papademetriou, highlights the need for national governments and international actors to respond proactively to rising displacement and to look beyond the care-and-maintenance model of protection and help the long-term displaced find their economic and social footing.