The Refugee Research Network (RRN) has been created to mobilize and sustain a Canadian and international network of researchers and research centres committed to the study of refugee and forced migration issues and to finding solutions to the plight of refugees. As an established hub of scholarly activity internationally, the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York University is well-placed to stimulate this knowledge mobilization process. Our goal is to build a network of networks which will produce, share, and consolidate knowledge across space, as well as globalize knowledge production.
As a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, a major location for the resettlement of refugees, host of an internationally recognized refugee status determination system, and a prominent actor in the international system with a stated commitment to humanitarian issues, Canada is well positioned to provide leadership in standard setting and implementation in research, practice and policy to address the root causes of forced migration and refugee flows, to support resettlement when required, and to develop more predictable, effective and comprehensive solutions to the plight of refugees and forced migrants.
This initiative is intended to build Canada’s capacity in the field, to establish linkages with colleagues internationally, and to support the transfer of knowledge within and across regions in the Global South and North. This will be accomplished through the following five actions:
- Establishing a refugee law research network
- Establishing a refugee policy network of academics and policy makers
- Supporting the development of the nascent Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) which will facilitate communications across academic disciplines and across academic, practice and policy sectors throughout the country
- Establishing an international network of refugee research centres with selected centres serving as nodes in their regions
- Partnering with NGOs such as the Canadian Council of Refugees, a new international NGO Network on Refugee Rights and institutions such as the World Food Program, UNICEF and UNHCR.
The connections among researchers and research centres in Canada and globally will be facilitated with the development of a virtual research community that includes global online connections and communications and a virtual library with materials from the South and North and fully accessible to the South and North.
Network members have identified the following five key research and policy issues as priority areas for the network to address:
- In/security and refugee protection
- Refugee resettlement
- Settlement and Integration
- Protracted refugee situations, internally displaced populations
- Extraterritorial refugee status determination procedures and the externalization of asylum
- Environmental and development induced displacement
- Critical issues in international refugee law
as well as other new and emerging issues.