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Re-examining refugee protection through a lens of mobility and migration

None © C Nalule
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, July 2019

Project aims

The RefMig project aims to re-examine the global refugee regime through the lens of mobility and migration. In order to achieve a deeper understanding of the laws, norms, institutions and practices that govern refugeehood and the migration and mobility of refugees, the project examines the division between refugees and (other) migrants in several contexts. The project’s premise, that ‘refugees are migrants’, examines how refugees come to be recognised (or not), and opens up for scrutiny those practices that limit refugee flight and onward mobility, examining how migration control concerns have come to permeate the refugee regime.

RefMig has two main strands. Recognising Refugees is a comparative empirical study of diverse processes for recognising refugees, examining in particular group recognition practices and the role of UNHCR in Refugee Status Determination (RSD). The Organisations of Protection strand examines the role of international organisations in the global migration regime, and how that effects the scope of international protection. This strand currently focuses on the role of the IOM in particular, its obligations, ethos and accountability. Accountability is an overarching theme of RefMig. One of the first project outputs was the 2020 special issue of the German Law Journal entitled ‘Border Justice: Migration and Accountability for Human Rights Violations’.

The RefMig project is a collaborative project based at the RSC and the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School in Berlin.


 EU flag

RSC team

  • Derya Ozkul
    Derya Ozkul

    Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick

Selected outputs

●  A series of working papers, country profiles and policy briefs

●  A special issue of Forced Migration Review entitled Recognising Refugees

●  A special issue of the German Law Journal edited by Cathryn Costello & Itamar Mann: Border Justice: Migration and Accountability for Human Rights Violations (2020)

●  An edited collection, edited by Cathryn Costello, Megan Bradley and Angela Sherwood: IOM Unbound: Obligations and Accountability of the International Organisation for Migration in an Era of Expansion (Cambridge University Press, 2023)


November 2018

Workshop – Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Migration Control: New Frontiers of Individual and Organisational Responsibility

February 2019

Workshop – The Global Governance of Migration - Spotlight on International Organization for Migration

December 2019

Workshop – Recognising Refugees

November 2020

Authors' workshop – Spotlight on the IOM: Obligations, Accountability and Ethos

January 2021

Authors' workshop – RefMig country reports

February 2021

Conference – Politics of the Migrant/Refugee Binary