Crisis migration

Due out February 2014 

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 2nd September 2013

FMR 45 will include a major feature on ‘Crisis migration’, focusing on people who move or become ‘trapped’ in the context of diverse humanitarian crises but do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and internally displaced people.

This issue of FMR is being prepared in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University. ISIM is working on a three-year project to identify and develop principles and effective practices to address the protection of ‘crisis migrants’ (see FMR 45 will include articles based on case-study and policy papers commissioned for the project. We are also seeking additional submissions (see below).

‘Crisis migration’ focuses on movements stemming from humanitarian crises, which are often triggered by a broad array of natural and anthropogenic events and processes – situations in which there are widespread threats to life, health, physical safety or subsistence. These events and processes include acute natural hazards (e.g. floods and earthquakes); slower-onset environmental degradation (e.g. drought and desertification); environmental disasters such as nuclear and industrial accidents; violence and political instability that do not rise to the level of armed conflict but render communities unsafe; and epidemics and pandemics that cause high levels of morbidity and mortality. Stressors such as governance deficiencies, human insecurity and mega-trends also interact with such triggers, creating or perpetuating humanitarian crises and leading to many different forms of displacement. Crisis migrants include people who become displaced, move in anticipation of future threats, or become trapped, unable to move to safety, in the context of humanitarian crises.

The FMR editors are looking for practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of opinions but focusing on situations of forced displacement and the protection of ‘crisis migrants’, which will supplement the ISIM papers (listed below, at the end of this Call for articles) and address questions such as the following:

  • What are the implications of broadening discussion of forced migration to ‘crisis migration’?
  • What cases of displacement  fall outside the scope of the existing frameworks relating to refugees and internally displaced persons? Could these be classified as ‘crisis migration’?
  • Are there legal, policy, operational and organisational frameworks that address or have the potential to address crisis migration and the protection of crisis migrants?
  • In what ways do practitioners already fill gaps in existing legal and policy frameworks to deal with crisis migration and crisis migrants?
  • What are the needs of crisis migrants – those who are displaced, move in anticipation of threats, or become trapped? What are or should be their rights?
  • What forms of protection should be afforded to different types of crisis migrants?
  • What are the specific issues and strategies to be considered with regard to non-citizens, such as refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers or stateless people, who are caught in a place experiencing a humanitarian crisis?
  • Are there specific issues and strategies to be considered with regard to gender, age or other potential causes of vulnerability, in relation to specific forms of crisis migration?
  • What are the roles, responsibilities and obligations of states and of the international community in responding to crisis migration?
  • Are there emerging or predictable challenges locally, regionally or globally that might be considered as likely to cause ‘crisis migration’ but that are not yet on policy or assistance agendas?

We are looking for examples of good, replicable practice and experience. We are also particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions.

Please note: as the Editors already have a set of submissions in hand from the outputs of the ISIM project (see list of ISIM papers below), you are strongly advised to contact the Editors at about your proposed submission before writing, in order to check that it does not duplicate material already planned for publication. Thank you.

Maximum length: 2,500 words.

Please note that space is always at a premium in FMR and that published articles are usually shorter than this maximum length.  Your article, if accepted for publication, may well be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes.

Deadline for submission of articles: 2nd September 2013

Please email the Editors at if you are interested in contributing or have suggestions of colleagues or community representatives who may wish to contribute. If you can put us in touch with displaced people who might be interested in writing, please do email us; we are happy to work with individuals to help them develop an article.

If you are planning to write, we would be grateful if you would take note of our Guidelines for authors at:

Papers from the ISIM project to be included in this issue of FMR cover the topics listed below:

  • Environmental displacement
  • Nuclear accidents: Chernobyl and Fukushima
  • Acute flooding: Pakistan and Colombia
  • Conflict and natural disasters: Somalia, Haiti
  • Violence in Mexico
  • Non-citizens caught in crises
  • Permanent community relocation because of climate change: Alaska and Carteret Islands
  • Urban options and adaptation
  • Mixed migration by sea
  • Epidemics and pandemics
  • Application of: the Guiding Principles, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Hyogo Framework, Disaster Law
  • Global governance of crisis migration