E.g., 07/23/2021
E.g., 07/23/2021
Refugee & Asylum Policy

Refugee & Asylum Policy

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Tens of millions of people around the globe have been forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disaster, or persecution, seeking refuge either within or beyond the borders of their country. Humanitarian protection, whether for refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced persons (IDPs), represents a key policy area for many major immigrant-receiving countries as well as nations bordering locations where war, political upheaval, or natural disaster have disrupted daily life. The research offered here relates to the law and practice of protecting refugees and IDPs in areas of conflict as well as in industrialized nations, with a focus on secure solutions and effective institutional arrangements for comprehensive protection.

Recent Activity

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Reports
April 2021
By  Meghan Benton, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt
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Reports
March 2021
By  Camille Le Coz, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Timo Schmidt, Susan Fratzke, Andrea Tanco, Maria Belen Zanzuchi and Jessica Bolter
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Reports
November 2020
By  Liam Patuzzi, Monica Andriescu and Antonio Pietropolli

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Libya was once a prized destination for workers from around the world. But after Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011, the country became the transit point for hundreds of thousands of Europe-bound asylum seekers and other migrants. Following Libya's 2017 deal with Italy to detain and return migrants caught at sea—which was renewed in February 2020—migrants became trapped in an unstable country, facing harrowing realities, as this article explores.

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The high-stakes gambit taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to allow tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants free movement to the Greek border demonstrated the fragility of the EU-Turkey deal and the European Union's broader approach to outsource migration management to third countries. This article examines the causes for the tensions, the EU approach to external partnerships, and a hardening European attitude towards unwanted arrivals.

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The recent rise in xenophobia in Hungary stands in marked contrast with the country's rich migration history. After 390,000 migrants and asylum seekers arrived in 2015, the government of Viktor Orbán issued policies to significantly limit migration and enacted a law criminalizing humanitarian assistance to migrants. This country profile examines Hungary’s migration past and present, tracing the country’s multicultural heritage to the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.

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As Greece's Aegean islands continue to grapple with migrants arriving on their shores, decisions regarding the needs of newcomers are negotiated in Brussels and Athens, far removed from the situation on the ground. Meanwhile, local communities have had successes in hosting migrants, as this article drawing on observations from the hospitality center and refugee camp on Lesvos explores.

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Several years after a flurry of tech innovations arose to respond to the 2015-16 European migration crisis and assist asylum seekers, "digital litter"—now-dormant websites, broken links, and poor-quality information spread through apps and social media—is floating around. At best, digital litter is a nuisance. At worst, it can place refugees and migrants in harm's way and undermine their decision-making, as this article explores.

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Commentaries
June 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett and Susan Fratzke
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Commentaries
March 2018
By  Elizabeth Collett
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Commentaries
March 2017
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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Commentaries
February 2017
By  Elizabeth Collett
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Commentaries
April 2016
By  Hanne Beirens and Paul Clewett
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Commentaries
March 2016
By  Elizabeth Collett
Commentaries
September 2015
By  Elizabeth Collett

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Audio
April 15, 2021

This report release event examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, and the growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies.

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Video, Audio
April 8, 2021

Marking the release of an International Organization for Migration (IOM)-Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report, this two-panel discussion, features introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino and examines how the pandemic has reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be t

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 26, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence.

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Video, Audio
March 17, 2021

Ten years into the response to the Syrian refugee crisis, this webinar explores findings from a research project conducted by the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and MPI on lessons from international experiences to support pathways to solutions in the Syrian refugee context. 

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 2, 2021

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states.

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Recent Activity

Video, Audio, Webinars
May 19, 2021

In April 2021, the European Commission took a step toward the creation of a common EU return system, releasing its first Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration. This MPI Europe event, marking the release of EU Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration: Crafting a Road Map to Better Cooperation with Migrants’ Countries of Origin, examines origin- and destination-country policy priorities surrounding return, opportunities for cooperation, and possible next steps in policy development. 

Video, Audio, Webinars
May 11, 2021

The convergence of the second largest refugee crisis in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic has left the more than 5.5 million migrants who have fled Venezuela in an even more vulnerable position. This discussion, with leaders from the Western Hemisphere, focuses on national and regional efforts to integrate Venezuelans, along with possible opportunities for further international cooperation.

Policy Briefs
May 2021

In its Strategy on Voluntary Return and Reintegration, the European Commission sets out principles to increase the number of voluntary returns, make the return process more dignified, and provide better support to returnees. To make good on these goals, EU countries will need to improve their cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin. This policy brief explores opportunities to build this cooperation.

Articles

The United States historically led the world in refugee resettlement, but was surpassed by Canada in 2018—and U.S. refugee admissions fell to a record low 12,000 in 2020. With the country now on course to rebuild resettlement capacity, this article examines the U.S. refugee and asylee populations and how they have changed over time, including key demographic characteristics.

Articles

The European Union has tried to leverage development assistance to address root causes of migration from Africa, including poverty, instability, and conflict. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, unveiled in 2015, has supported more than 250 programs totaling nearly 5 billion euros across 26 countries, but has had only partial success addressing the underlying drivers of migration, as this article explains.

Commentaries
April 2021

The European Commission's strategy on voluntary return and reintegration for migrants covers a lot of ground, including new coordination efforts across EU Member States. Yet one of its most significant developments is the recognition that countries of migrant origin must be consulted and play a key role in reintegration if these efforts are to be impactful and sustainable, as this commentary explains.

Articles

During his first 100 days in office, U.S. President Joe Biden took more than three times as many executive actions on immigration as predecessor Donald Trump. While rising encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border have captured major attention, Biden has been remarkably active in areas that have received far less attention, including interior enforcement. This article explores the administration's actions during its first three months.

Video, Audio, Webinars
April 19, 2021

Marking the launch of the MPI and Robert Bosch Stiftung initiative--Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World--this event examines how the accessibility of asylum and protection globally has changed since the EU-Turkey deal, other similar policies deployed by countries of asylum, the impacts of these policies on asylum seekers and host and transit countries, and what can be done to ensure refugees continue to have access to protection and asylum procedures.  

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