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Bokolmanyo refugee camp, Ethiopia © Raphael Bradenbrink
Bokolmanyo refugee camp, Ethiopia

The term ‘refugee’ bears many different meanings, even in law. While the definition in the 1951 Refugee Convention often dominates, that definition has evolved, and been supplemented by protections for those fleeing not only persecution, but also conflict and other unrest. Studying ‘forced migration’ opens up debate about the purposes and scope of international protection, and allows us to gain critical distance from entrenched legal and political concepts. The term ‘forced migration’ is deliberately open, and allows us also to question the false binary between ‘refugee’ and ‘economic migrant’.

The RSC’s Online School in Forced Migration fosters creative dialogue between academics, practitioners and policymakers working to improve the situation of refugees and other forced migrants. It provides the time and space for participants to reflect on their experiences and to think critically about some of the aims and assumptions underlying their work.