In this area of work, we interrogate the many social, political, economic, and environmental forces that constitute global forced migration, past and present, as well as how these forces have shaped the realities of millions of displaced peoples around the world. We examine these mechanisms and investigate the historical and contemporary causes of forced migration as well as the challenges and capacities of national and international refugee regimes and resettlement efforts. The project goals are to identify the key stakes to challenge policies of expulsion and exclusion, and to call for an alternative refugee regime that is inclusive and able to preserve the dignity of refugees, migrants, and IDPs. 

Analysis of Global Forced Migration

This report, Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration, aims to interrogate the inactiveness of the global refugee and migration regime that is incapable of successfully addressing the 21st century’s migration and refugee challenges. Moving Targets report aims to humanize all refugees and displaced persons. It does so by investigating the historical and contemporary causes and instruments of forced migration as well as both the challenges and capacities of national and international refugee protection and resettlement efforts. This project envisions a set of policy interventions that can not only help establish a more comprehensive global refugee regime but that can also help prevent the future production of refugees by exposing and tackling the contemporary dynamics of global forced migration by holding all actors accountable. 

Climate Refugees: The Climate Crisis and Rights Denied

This report argues that a comprehensive legal framework for climate-induced displaced persons forced to cross international borders due to the climate crisis is necessary. It also argues that such a framework needs to be applied to two specific situations: (a) persons moving across internationally recognized state borders as a consequence of sudden-onset or slow-onset disasters; and (b) those who are permanently leaving states no longer habitable (including “sinking island states”) as a consequence of sudden-onset or slow-onset disasters.

These nuances brought by the climate crisis required a new understanding of “persecution” that could account for the severe nature of the climate crisis and climate-induced displacement, and serve as the basis for a normative framing to protect these displaced population. And accordingly, to consider these displaced populations as climate refugees.

Presently, the refugee paradigm hinges on the “actor” of persecution originating from the territory where the displacement is occurring. Hence, in order to aid efforts to develop an international refugee protection regime that includes protections for climate refugees, this report recounts the proximate causes of climate-induced displacement and the added population pressures that follow such displacement. Then, the report elaborates on gaps in the current protection regime for climate-induced cross-border migration and discusses legal debates around the term “climate refugee” in light of such gaps. It does so by targeting a key condition for refugee status: “petro-persecution.” Learn more about "Climate Refugees: The Climate Crisis and Right Denied."