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Addressing the Asylum Crisis

Institute for the Study of International Migration

Friday, May 2, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT)

Addressing the Asylum Crisis

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Addressing the Asylum Crisis: Religious Contributions to Rethinking Protection in Global Politics

An event organized by the University of Kent (UK), the University of Groningen (Netherlands),  and Georgetown University (US),made possible by a grant from the British Council’s Bridging Voices program


2 May 2014

Georgetown University


for Religion, Peace & World Affairs

Conference Room, 3307 M Street, Suite 200


Across the world, the dominant state-based modes for asylum and protection are in crisis. Governments of both left and right have introduced increasingly strict asylum policies in an effort to deter asylum seekers. At the same time, however, the causes for people to flee and seek asylum are becoming more varied. These dynamics are contributing to a failure of asylum and refugee protection and are particularly acute in a global context where individuals are still overwhelmingly only able to access their rights through membership of a state.

Amid this failure, religious actors have emerged as major providers of services for asylum seekers and those who have not received refugee status, as well as significant campaigners for alternative modes of protection and belonging. While persecution on the basis of religion is often one of the factors leading people to seek protection through asylum, faith-based groups are also an increasingly important part of asylum and protection mechanisms. Their activities draw on rich traditions and histories of providing sanctuary and asylum to foreigners, strangers and outcasts.

Join us for a discussion of the current state of the asylum crisis and the present and potential future roles of faith-based actors and religious worldviews to rethinking responses to protection beyond the nation-state.

Speakers include:

-      Prof Alastair Ager, Professor, Program on Forced Migration & Health, Columbia University - Faith, Secularism and Humanitarian Response: (Re)Envisioning the Role of Local Faith Communities with Displaced Populations

-      Prof Josh DeWind, Program Director, Social Science Research Council - Refugees, Rights, and Religion

-      Siobhan McGuirk, PhD candidate at American University and co-founder of LGBT Faith and Asylum Network: title tbc

-      Prof Karen Musalo, Director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Hastings College of the Law, University of California - Excluding those Worthy of Protection:  Restrictive Procedures and Interpretations that Refoule Bona Fide Refugees

-      Dr Max Niedzwiecki, Coordinator, LGBT Faith and Asylum Network - title tbc

-      Prof Alex Stepick, Director of the Immigration and Ethnicity Institute and Professor of Anthropology & Sociology at Florida International University in Miami - Refugees, Religion and Civic Social Capital

Have questions about Addressing the Asylum Crisis? Contact Institute for the Study of International Migration

When & Where

Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University
3307 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

Friday, May 2, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT)

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Institute for the Study of International Migration

The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) applies the best in social science, legal, and policy expertise to the complex issues raised by international migration.ISIM, founded in 1998, is part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and affiliated with the Law Center at Georgetown University.

ISIM focuses on all aspects of international migration, including the causes of and potential responses to population movements, immigration and refugee law and policy, comparative migration studies, the integration of immigrants into their host societies, and the effects of international migration on social, economic, demographic, foreign policy and national security concerns. ISIM also studies internal displacement, with particular attention to the forced movements of people for reasons that would make them refugees if they crossed an international border.

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