04 April 2018

How can we better protect and assist forcibly displaced people?

Civil war in Syria, state collapse in Afghanistan and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar have contributed to a global crisis of forced displacement, with over 65 million people affected. On 22 March, the Graduate Institute and the International Committee of the Red Cross organised an event exploring how we can better protect and assist these vulnerable migrants, refugees and internally displaced.

“We can neither manage, contain, nor adequately respond to the displacement crises that we’re confronted with today if we just look at them as humanitarian mitigation strategies”, said ICRC President Peter Maurer. Linking international humanitarian law violations towards civilians with levels of displacement, he said “if we are not successful in changing the behaviour of belligerent parties, we will not be able to cope.”

The event was introduced by Professor Vincent Chetail, founding director of the Graduate Institute's Global Migration Centre. and featured Melanie Kolbe, Graduate Institute Assistant Professor in International Relations and Political Science, and Ahmad Al-Rashid, a forced migration researcher from Syria. It was organised in the context of the collaboration between the Graduate Institute and the ICRC, which promotes cooperation on research projects, outreach activities, professional training and career opportunities for students. You can watch the event video below.