US and Global Refugee Protection System
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US and Global Refugee Protection System

CMS’s work on refugee protection addresses a series of issues that has been of consuming international, state and local policy concern. These include: migrant deaths, large-scale forced movements of people, multiple crises driving forced displacement, and the debates and struggles of host communities and destination states to accommodate the uprooted. In 2014 and 2015, CMS coordinated a series of meetings and events on the US refugee protection system which led to a special edition of its Journal on Migration and Human Security. The papers in this collection exhaustively documented, critiqued and proposed improvements in the US refugee protection system.

Building on this initiative, in 2016, CMS organized a high-level conference on rethinking the global system of refugee protection. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), global forced displacement had reached “unprecedented levels” by the end of 2014, with 59.5 million displaced, including 38.2 million internally displaced persons, 19.5 million refugees, and 1.8 million asylum seekers. Moreover, the diverse refugee-producing crises and conditions, including the conflict in Syria, showed few signs of abating. The CMS project was closely aligned with the UN Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on September 19, 2016 and the US-hosted Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis on September 20, 2016. CMS also hosted a listening session with refugees for the Special Adviser to the Summit, Karen AbuZayd, and organized a public event in Washington, DC with US and UN officials, on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. In addition, CMS commissioned a unique series of expert papers designed to lift up new research, create a strong evidence-base for reform, and present new and promising policy ideas that will survive the two summits.