People Forced to Flee: History, Change and Challenge, UNHCR’s flagship publication, is an invaluable resource on the most pressing issues for improving responses for forcibly displaced persons. Published by Oxford University Press in February 2022, the digital version is available here in English and Portuguese.
People Forced to Flee: History, Change and Challenge is produced by UNHCR, the United Nations agency charged with safeguarding the rights and well-being of refugees, other forcibly displaced people and stateless persons around the globe. The book:
- Traces the history of asylum from ancient period to modern times
- Describes how the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees outgrew post-war Europe to become a global, binding framework for the protection of refugees
- Reviews international responses to internally displaced persons and those forcibly displaced in the context of climate change and disasters
- Discusses the record on finding lasting solutions to forced displacement, the lessons learned and prospects to unlock more
- Charts the growing recognition that forced displacement is a development and humanitarian challenge
- Looks at the potential this holds for improving lives of forcibly displaced persons and the communities in which they live
- Examines how new partnerships are widening the funding base, improving data, evidence and analysis, strengthening innovation and investments in locally led responses
- Traces the expansion of efforts to hold those who cause displacement – the perpetrators of serious human rights abuses – criminally liable.
It is 70 years since nations in the wake of World War II drew up the landmark 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. People Forced to Flee marks this milestone. It is the latest in a long line of publications, stretching back to 1993, that were previously titled The State of the World’s Refugees.
People in danger have received protection in communities beyond their own from the earliest times of recorded history. The causes — war, conflict, violence, persecution, natural disasters, and climate change — are as familiar to readers of the news as to students of the past.
The book traces the historic path that led to the 1951 Convention, showing how history was made, by taking the centuries-old ideals of safety and solutions for refugees, to global practice. It maps its progress during which international protection has reached a much broader group of people than initially envisaged.
It examines international responses to forced displacement within borders as well as beyond them, and the protection principles that apply to both. It reviews where they have been used with consistency and success, and where they have not. At times, the strength and resolve of the international community seems strong, yet solutions and meaningful solidarity are often elusive. Taking stock today – at this important anniversary – is all the more crucial as the world faces increasing forced displacement.
Most is experienced in low- and middle-income countries and persists for generations. People forced to flee face barriers to improving their lives, contributing to the communities in which they live and realizing solutions. Everywhere, an effective response depends on the commitment to international cooperation set down in the 1951 Convention: a vision often compromised by efforts to minimize responsibilities.
There is growing recognition that doing better is a global imperative. Humanitarian and development action has the potential to be transformational, especially when grounded in the local context. People Forced to Flee examines how and where increased development investments in education, health and economic inclusion are helping to improve socioeconomic opportunities both for forcibly displaced persons and their hosts.
In 2018, the international community reached a Global Compact on Refugees for more equitable and sustainable responses. It is receiving deeper support. People Forced to Flee looks at whether that is enough for what could – and should – help define the next 70 years.
To mark the 70th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention, UNHCR received the following reference papers which canvass a number of wide-ranging contemporary issues such as drivers of displacement; socioeconomic inclusion for forcibly displaced persons; improving data and evidence; unlocking more solutions; and engaging more broadly. They represent the perspectives of a broad array of partners in forced displacement responses and have helped inform the research for People Forced to Flee: History, Change and Challenge. The reference papers reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of their associated institutions or UNHCR. UNHCR is greatly appreciative of these contributions and insights.
- Forced Displacement Trends and Responses in the Horn, Eastern and Great Lakes Region: Overview of the Decade
Tsion Tadesse Abebe
- Educating the Forcibly Displaced: Key Challenges and Opportunities
Dina Abu-Ghaida and Karishma Silva
- Strengthening Forced Displacement’s Approach to Preparedness
- Forced Displacement Data: Critical gaps and key opportunities in the context of the Global Compact on Refugees
Natalia Krynsky Baal
- Internal Displacement, UNHCR and the International Community
- On this side of the border – The global challenge of internal displacement: scale, impacts and solutions
Bina Desai, Christelle Cazabat, Louisa Yasukawa and Chloe Sydney
- Academic Trends in Forced Displacement
Filippo Dionigi and Domenico Tabasso
- Urban Displacement, Local Engagement: Examining the past, current and future role of cities in forced displacement
- Impact Evaluations in Forced Displacement Contexts: A Guide for Practitioners
- Access to higher education for forcibly displaced persons: challenges, good practices, and suggestions for the future
- The future of solutions
- Forced displacement related to the impacts of climate change and disasters
François Gemenne, Caroline Zickgraf, Elodie Hut and Tatiana Castillo Betancourt
- COVID-19 and Forcibly Displaced People: addressing the impacts and responding to the challenges.
Isabel Arciniegas Guaneme, Emmanuel Guerisoli, Leah Guyot and Achilles Kallergis
- Refugee Participation Revisited: The Contributions of Refugees to Early International Refugee Law and Policy
- Developments and Lessons Learned in Humanitarian Innovation for Forced Displacement
- A historical overview of forcibly displaced persons in Southern Africa (2011- 2020): Realising the Expectations of the Global Compact on Refugees
Fatima Khan and Nandi Rayner
- Financing for Forced Displacement Situations
Doreen Kibuka-Musoke and Zara Sarzin
- The Impact of COVID-19 on Forced Displacement: addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities of a crisis
Julie Kim, Maria Julia Rivas Mor Mur, Evelina Dahlgren, Ruben Cruz Valladares, with Achilles Kallergis (advisor) and Leah Guyot (editor)
- Forging a new path, RLOs as Partners: Lessons from the Africa Refugee Leaders’ Summit
Christa Kuntzelman and Robert Hakiza
- Strategic Displacement and the Politics of Wartime Mobility: Implications for Policymakers and Practitioners
Adam G. Lichtenheld
- Digitalization in Displacement Contexts: Technology and the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees
- Civil Society and the Politics of the Global Refugee Regime
James Milner and Amanda Klassen
- Reshaping Asylum in Latin America as a Response to Large-Scale Mixed Movements: A Decade of Progress and Challenges (2009-2019)
Juan Ignacio Mondelli
- Of Mayors and Ministers: The Emergence of cities (and their networks) as partners in national efforts to integrate refugees in Europe
Alex Mundt and Susanne Klink
- The Forcibly Displaced in the Asia-Pacific Region: Dynamics of Solidarity and the Quest for Refuge and Beyond
- Resettlement policy and practice: evolution of a life-saving protection tool
Angela Murru and Davina Gateley Saïd
- International, Regional, and Domestic Mechanisms to Hold States to Account for the Causes of Forced Displacement
- The impact of forced migration on the labor market outcomes and welfare of host communities
- Refugee Reception in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Response to Syrian Refugees
Şevin Gülfer Sağnıç
- Religious Actors and the Global Compact on Refugees: Charting a Way Forward
- Private Sector Initiatives in Forced Displacement Contexts: Constraints and Opportunities for a Market-based Approach
Weiyi Wang and Ozan Cakmak
- The role of ‘complementary pathways’ in refugee protection
- Strengthening Refugee Human Capital in Displacement
Pascal Bahati Zigashane