Conflicts in Syria and around the world have generated an estimated 19.5 million refugees, of whom just over half are children. Most refugees reside in countries of first asylum in developing regions, with relatively few officially resettled in the United States and other developed countries. The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is releasing a series of three papers, as part of a research project supported by the Foundation for Child Development, about the education and well-being of these children. The first report discusses the mental health and schooling of Syrian refugee children living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The second explores the experiences of Somali Bantu refugee students in a U.S. elementary school shortly after their resettlement. And the third offers a broader look at the educational experiences of refugee children in developing countries—in camps and urban settings. In this webinar, the authors of the papers and MPI analysts presented their findings on the experiences of refugee children and the impacts on their mental health and education.
Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe and the unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied minors entering U.S. schools in the last two years, this webinar considers the particular challenges facing educators and policymakers as they attempt to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee students who arrive during their middle and high school years. Providing these students with instructional, linguistic, and socioemotional supports is especially complex in the secondary grades, due to the rigor of the curriculum and the short timeframe available for students to prepare for postsecondary education and the workforce.
With uncontrolled migration to the European Union growing by leaps and bounds and asylum applications recorded by EU Member States at an all-time high, calls for ‘solidarity’ and increased support from the EU level for Member States under pressure have grown louder. In this webinar, MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou and EASO Executive Director Rob Visser, the agency’s first director, had a candid discussion on the role EASO has played in its first five years and its potential for the future, along with what strategies Europe ought to be pursuing with regards to the current crisis.
With refugee arrivals continuing on a scale unprecedented in recent history, the European Union is struggling to deliver a humane, sustainable response that will have the support of all of its Member States. MPI Europe, as part of a joint project on asylum in the EU with the Open Society Foundations, brought together senior officials from some of the Member States to discuss their differing perspectives on the current crisis. They considered what is needed to ensure a unified, practically feasible response to the biggest crisis that has faced the Common European Asylum System since its inception.
This discussion explored the tensions facing asylum systems in Europe and North America, and asked what tools governments have at their disposal to respond proactively to forced displacement and reduce its costs for refugees and host communities alike. Where and when should governments focus their protection investments to have the most impact? What actors and stakeholders need to be engaged, both within a government and internationally? What lessons can be drawn from responses to past asylum flows?
An estimated 2.9 million people became refugees in 2014, with an average 42,500 forced to leave their homes each day. The unprecedented scale of displacement has placed the global refugee system under visible strain, as humanitarian agencies and host communities struggle to provide for ever-rising needs. This webinar digs more deeply into ways to empower refugees to use their skills and energies to provide for their own livelihoods, and enable refugees to legally take advantage of security or self-sufficiency opportunities beyond countries of first asylum by tapping into the potential of existing migration schemes.
This discussion focuses on the Migration Policy Institute's new report, The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Success and Challenges, which uses previously unpublished State Department data among other sources to examine refugee characteristics at arrival for the ten largest national-origin groups resettled between 2002-2013, as well as their integration outcomes. The discussion examines the report's findings with respect to refugee employment and incomes, English proficiency and education levels, public benefit use, as well as differing integration outcomes between refugee groups with similar characteristics at arrival.
To date, almost 4 million refugees have fled the Syrian civil war, the vast majority seeking shelter in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, but with growing numbers also moving to Egypt and Northern Iraq. At this Migration Policy Institute briefing, Erol Kekic from Refugee Council USA and Anastasia Brown from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who recently visited the region, report on their findings on the space for humanitarian protection. Also joining the panel is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Simon Henshaw, whose portfolio in the Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration includes Syrian refugees. He discusses recent developments in the region and in the U.S. humanitarian response. The discussion is moderated by Kathleen Newland, director of MPI's Refugee Protection and Humanitarian Response Program.
This Migration Policy Institute webinar addresses two distinct, significant areas—economic development and refugee resettlement—that were a focus of robust discussion in recommendations submitted by a number of leading organizations and networks to the White House Task Force on New Americans. During the webinar, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Annie Wilson shares thoughts on how to better support the integration of refugees and the refugee resettlement process, Global Detroit Director Steve Tobocman talks about the WE Global Network and recommendations for the task force in the areas of international student retention, immigrant entrepreneurship, and rural economic development, and MPI’s Margie McHugh discusses recommendations on education and training, language access, and late-arriving immigrant and refugee students.
This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) telebriefing discusses factors behind the recent surge in flows of unaccompanied children from Mexico and Central America to the United States as well as short- and longer-term policy options for improving how the U.S. immigration system interacts with this population with distinct needs. Speakers include Doris Meissner, Director of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy Program, and Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program. The call previews a policy brief on unaccompanied minors that MPI will release in July.
This Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPI Europe) telebriefing examines the realities of European policy on immigration and asylum thus far, the challenges that policymakers face in the coming months and years, and what possibilities exist for future reform and development of EU immigration policy. Is this the end of the road for European collaboration, or the beginnings of closer cooperation? Participants include MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett, MPI Europe Fellow Madeline Garlick, and moderator Matina Stevis of the Wall Street Journal. The discussion outlines the findings of a new MPI Europe policy brief written by Madeline Garlick that reflects on the challenges confronting the European Union and Member States with respect to asylum policymaking in the near term and beyond, as well as some of the opportunities ahead to improve the Common European Asylum System.
To read the policy brief, click here.
This MPI panel discussion, in partnership with the Middle East Institute and the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), examines the status of Syrian refugees abroad and the effect of the ongoing Syrian crisis on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Panelists Oytun Orhan, ORSAM Project Coordinator and Researcher, Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb, Middle East Research Institute Junior Research Fellow, Faysal Itani, Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and Saban Kardas, ORSAM President discuss the experiences of each country as outlined in ORSAM’s report. The project team visited each country and after six months of boots-on-the-ground research, found that women and children account for more than 75 percent of the refugees, making education in particular a devastating issue for the next generation of Syrians. In addition, Syrian emigrants settle not only in camps but also in cities, raising prices and lowering wages all along the Syrian borders. The discussion is moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection Program at MPI.
The panel makes the case that because of the heavy financial and social costs, Syrian displacement is not merely a problem for Syria or even the greater Middle East; the destabilization is a global problem requiring significant outreach to the global community.
This MPI event, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), discusses the critical issue of climate-related displacement in the Asia-Pacific region, explored in depth in the joint MPI and IOM brief Human Rights, Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration: A New Paradigm. Climate change and environmental degradation are predicted to displace millions of people in the coming years, either directly or indirectly. While today’s international legal framework provides a degree of protection to those displaced by environmental factors and climatic events, there is no global consensus on a definition for such a group. In the absence of this, gaps in the legal system, and in implementation, how can recognition of the vulnerability of environmental migrants be facilitated and their protection ensured? This discussion explores how to protect climate change-induced migrants, particularly in the highly vulnerable Asia-Pacific region.
Migration Policy Institute panel discussion on unaccompanied minors focuses on a report by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) at UC
Hastings College of the Law, A
Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System. The panel moderated by Kathleen Newland, Director of the Refugee Protection and Migrants at MPI, includes speakers Elizabeth Dallam, KIND National Legal Services Director, Lisa Frydman, CGRS Associate Director
and Managing Attorney, Karen Musalo, CGRS Director, and KIND Executive Director Wendy Young. The discussion focuses on the conclusion that children face a
system created for adults that is not required to consider the child’s best
interests. Despite the potentially enormous impact of the proceedings on their
lives and futures, unaccompanied children are not provided lawyers to help them
navigate the complex requirements of immigration proceedings.
The report is available at www.supportkind.org and www.cgrs.uchastings.edu.
This Migration Policy Institute panel discussion, presented in cooperation with the Greek Embassy, explores how the 2014 Greek Presidency of the
European Union and the United States can work to address the challenges of
managing migration while meeting humanitarian obligations and nurturing
economic growth. Speakers are: Ambassador of Greece to the United States
Christos P. Panagopoulos; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population,
Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard; MPI CEO Michael Fix;
and moderator Demetrios G. Papademetriou, the President of MPI.
As the 2014 Greek Presidency of the Council of
the European Union works to formulate the European Union’s next five-year
program, two interconnected challenges have come to the fore: building a
comprehensive migration system whose parts work harmoniously to meet
humanitarian obligations and nurture economic growth and social cohesion, and
doing so with very limited resources. Europe is not alone in the difficulties it faces in meeting these goals—and in
fact shares many of these challenges with the United States. This discussion bridges these critical themes and offer ideas on how to manage more effectively the opportunities and responsibilities migration writ large creates.
More than two and a half years of violent conflict in Syria have left between one-quarter and one-third of the Syrian population displaced internally or seeking refuge abroad, with many still departing the country. UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees T. Alexander Aleinikoff joined Kathleen Newland, who directs MPI's refugee protection work, for a discussion on what is now considered one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies in a generation. In addition to discussing the key concerns UNHCR has identified in the Syrian crisis and the regional and international responses, Mr. Aleinikoff and Ms. Newland discussed some of UNHCR’s other priorities and areas of action, such as the Somalian refugee situation and prospects for innovation in UNHCR.
With global mobility on the rise, the international community is finally grappling with the challenge of stranded migrants, one of the main agenda items for the High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in the UN General Assembly in October 2013. In this podcast, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing reflects on IOM’s long experience with stranded migrants and the ways in which the organization is preparing proactively to address their needs. He explains IOM’s approaches in the context of the High-Level Dialogue and the opportunity it presents for states to come together to address the new migration challenges of the 21st century. InterAction President and CEO Sam Worthington joins Ambassador Swing to discuss how NGOs work with governments and other organizations to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations and protect them from abuses often suffered by migrants. This event was moderated by Kathleen Newland, who directs MPI’s Migrants, Migration, and Development Program.
For more information, visit http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/migration_development.php.
This Migration Policy Institute event discussed the Dutch model for fighting human trafficking and the strategic and operational dilemmas that public prosecutors in the Netherlands face. The event discussion also covered international efforts to engage private-sector organizations and the public in reducing organized crime; ways to strengthen law enforcement’s operational capacity and ability to apply collaborative and interagency approaches; and strategies for framing the public and political discourse on the issue. Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President, moderates a discussion on the international efforts to engage private-sector organizations, law enforcement, governments, and the public in reducing organized crime to combat human trafficking. Panelists include Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, National Rapporteur for Human Trafficking in The Netherlands; Jane Nady Sigmon, Senior Advisor to the Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, US Department of State; Herman Bolhaar, Chair of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service; Jack Blakey, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, Cook County, Illinois State Attorney’s Office; and Ruud Bik, Deputy Chief, National Police of the Netherlands.