More people than ever before are on the move, crossing international borders in search of safety, livelihoods, opportunity, or the chance to reunite their families. States are ill-prepared to deal with these mixed flows of refugees and other migrants, especially those who move without prior authorization from the countries they seek to enter.
Much of the focus is on how best to address the immediate and urgent needs of refugees—and for good reason. But much less attention has been paid to protecting the human rights of other migrants, or to creating orderly processes and expanding opportunities for legal migration. Increased mobility is a fact of life in the 21st century, and cannot be continually dealt with as a crisis.
There are signs that national governments and international institutions are working toward building collective humanitarian responses and designing more flexible systems that can respond not just to emergencies but also to protracted displacement and large-scale movements of people who are not refugees. A series of high-profile international meetings will culminate in September at a special session of the UN General Assembly and at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees convened by President Obama. These meetings provide an opportunity for states to bring greater safety, order, and benefits to international migration.
At this co-sponsored event, Lars Westbratt, State Secretary to the Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute, discuss global and national responses to rising displacement, innovations in managing migration processes, and attempt to address the dysfunctional aspects of international migration. An introduction and welcome is given by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.