From the Editors

Many people who are displaced or become ‘trapped’ in the context of diverse humanitarian crises do not fit well within existing legal, policy and operational frameworks for the protection of refugees and internally displaced people. This raises questions about whether there needs to be, or can be, more systematic or normative ways of dealing with assistance and protection for people affected by environmental crises, gang violence, nuclear disasters, food crises and so on. Do, for example, these different types of situation or event in effect create common types of movement? And would that then enable lessons to be drawn and guidance to be developed for humanitarian crises triggered by the whole range of events and processes? Can we also distil common themes and guidance, in relation to movement and protection needs, responses and challenges, across crisis situations – or not? On the other hand, creating new norms is neither easy nor without possibly problematic consequences.

As Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development, writes in his Foreword: “[W]hen it comes to protecting migrants’ well-being and rights, smart practices abound. … We need to clarify the critical roles that all key actors – including countries of origin and destination, neighbouring states, businesses and civil society – should play.”

This issue of FMR presents a number of articles based on work done for the Crisis Migration Project in Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), alongside a number of other articles submitted in response to an FMR call for articles. This issue also includes a range of general articles on other aspects of forced migration.

We are grateful to Susan Martin, Sanjula Weerasinghe and Abbie Taylor at ISIM for their advice and support as special advisors on this issue. We are also very grateful to the Crisis Migration Project and to the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation for funding this issue.

The full issue and all the individual articles are online at in html, pdf and audio formats. It will be available in print and online in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. An expanded contents listing for the issue is available at

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See details of our forthcoming issues – on Afghanistan, Syria and Faith-based responses to displacement.

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With our best wishes

Marion Couldrey and Maurice Herson
Editors, Forced Migration Review


Opinions in FMR do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, the Refugee Studies Centre or the University of Oxford.
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