Nine months ago, we launched Refugees Deeply to take a hard look at the causes of and responses to the global refugee crisis. At the time, refugee boats were landing daily in Greece and families still hoped to continue their journeys through Europe. Soon after, Europe closed its borders, tightened its refugee policies and rolled out plans to deter further migration.
Since then, the number of people forcibly displaced from their homes has continued to grow. The number of people dying in the Mediterranean Sea has reached a new record. There has been even more bloodshed in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Yemen.
Over the past nine months, our reporters and community of experts have delved into the complexity of the global refugee crisis, interrogating institutions, challenging legal frameworks and exposing the politics and policies that are failing the world’s 65 million displaced people. They have reported on the often-interrelated causes of displacement, including conflict, persecution, failing economies and climate change. They have documented some of the harrowing impacts of being forced from home, including on women, children and people with disabilities.
This work will be even more critical in the coming year. The right to seek refuge, enshrined in international law 65 years ago, is under threat around the world. Refugees have become the scapegoats of political battles that have little to do with them. Most rich nations are evading refugee resettlement and devising opaque deals to keep migrants away. Developing countries that host most of the world’s refugees, including Pakistan, Kenya, Lebanon and Turkey, are threatening to send them back. Meanwhile, the aid community is struggling to overhaul how it protects and cares for refugees, and the private sector is emerging as an important, but largely untested, player in responding to refugee crises.
This year, Refugees Deeply will be keeping a close watch on and throwing our best reporting resources at some of these trends. We’ll be looking at what is and isn’t working in terms of refugee integration in countries that have taken in large numbers of refugees in recent years. We’ll keep track of the consequences of the E.U.’s aid-for-migration policies. We’ll look at who profits from the migration trade. We’ll follow the implications of sending refugees and asylum-seekers back to countries still mired in instability, like Afghanistan and Somalia. We’ll examine how refugee returns will affect the demographics of countries in conflict, like Iraq and Syria.
We’re also planning a series of deeper dives into issues that affect the lives of refugees, beginning with a special focus on refugee education early this year. We will report on the thorniest challenges for refugees trying to get an education, and the most interesting new ideas to get refugees back into schools and universities. Later this year, we’re planning similar deep dives into refugee health, employment and access to technology, among other topics.
Throughout the year ahead, we’d love to know what issues you think we should be covering more of, what brilliant experts we may have missed and what places we should be paying more attention to. If you are an expert in a related field, whether it be climate displacement or the economics of migration, we would love for you to write for us. If you have research papers or books coming out, please do get in touch about ways to feature your work on Refugees Deeply. If you are a journalist, please pitch us your stories related to migration and forced displacement. We’re always looking for new contributors, especially in underreported parts of the world.
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