Publications

Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation. Read More
Many commentators have suggested that the displacement of people across international borders is caused by a lack of “political will,” and that refugee situations could be averted, mitigated or resolved if only such will existed. However, there has been little serious analysis as to what “political will” means and how to generate and sustain it in a refugee context. This paper is an initial attempt to address these neglected issues. Read More
The World Refugee Council (WRC) was created to build on the momentum generated by UN meetings in New York in September 2016, which saw the unanimous adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and to develop bold approaches to transform the current refugee system, focusing on the issues of accountability, responsibility sharing and governance, and finance. The WRC offers this interim report, and other discussion and research papers, to raise awareness of these issues and to stimulate ideas for reform that will transform lives. Read More
The refugee system lacks a formal accountability mechanism, which means there are virtually no costs to states for not complying with the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Nor is there a meaningful enforcing mechanism to ensure that states will share responsibility in situations of mass influx. This paper proposes three potential mechanisms based on accountability models in other global governance systems that could operationalize the norm of responsibility sharing. Read More
Violent or oppressive regimes are responsible for much of the forced migration in the world today, and are often corrupt, stealing from their treasuries and placing the money and other assets offshore for the rulers' unlawful benefit. The jurisdictions where the assets are placed will frequently "freeze" or even seize them. Could these assets be used to help the refugees and internally displaced persons whose dislocation was caused by the regimes that stole them? This paper considers this question in the Canadian legal context. Read More