From the Editors

Europe is experiencing the mass movements of displaced people in a way that it has largely been immune from for decades. The ramifications and manifestations of what is being called a migration crisis are extensive, intersecting with national as well as pan-European politics, existing economic problems, xenophobia, fear of terror attacks, and much more. This crisis, in effect, seems to dwarf in scale and complexity any other crisis that Europe has faced since the end of the Second World War.  

The manifestations are as disparate as the building of fences to stop people crossing normally peaceful borders, the deaths of people transported by smugglers in unseaworthy boats, EU political leaders bickering over a Common European Asylum System and the numbers they will or will not allow into their respective countries, and contentious responses to the disaster that continues to unfold in Syria. Alongside this we also see an upsurge of grass-roots compassion, solidarity and assistance to those whose human suffering on a grand scale in and around Europe constitutes the reality behind the rhetoric.

In this issue of FMR, authors throw legal, practical, moral and experiential light on a variety of the multifarious issues and manifestations that make up this ‘crisis’.

FMR 51 also includes a range of ‘general’ articles on other aspects of forced migration.

We would like to thank Richard Williams, Elizabeth Collett of the Migration Policy Institute Europe, Madeline Garlick of UNHCR and Cathryn Costello of the Refugee Studies Centre for their assistance as advisors on the feature theme of this issue. We are also grateful to the International Organization for Migration, the Open Society Foundations,  the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR's Europe Bureau for their financial support of the issue.

The full issue and all the individual articles in this issue are online in html, pdf and audio formats at Please help disseminate this issue by circulating to networks, mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook and adding it to resources lists.

This issue (and its accompanying expanded contents summary) will be available online in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. If you would like printed copies, please email us at

Forthcoming issues:
Thinking ahead: displacement, transition and solutions
(May 2016)
Local communities: first and last providers of protection (September 2016)

For more details, see

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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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