Refugee & Migrant Action Group


The Refugee & Migrant Action Group is a platform for global collaboration to define key problems and causes driving the refugees and migrant crisis, and to develop and promote the implementation of urgently needed short-term as well as longer-term solutions.


2.a.2.1. Burma

(Rohingya people forced to leave Burma, seeking new home)


There are currently more refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons – over 65 million globally – than at any other time in documented human history (read more). Some people have great concern for the safety and well-being of the refugees and migrants, while others primarily fear the economic and cultural consequences of so many people entering and settling in new countries.


Initiative for Equality (IfE), a global network with members in over 130 countries, decided to take input from our own network as well as from members of several large email lists for academics and activists concerned with social justice, economic inequalities, or sustainable development. Is this a crisis or a manageable situation? Are these “refugees” seeking protection from life-and-death threats, or “economic migrants” seeking a better way of life? Does that matter from an ethical standpoint? Is this a new situation, or just a new realization by certain Western countries, once people began arriving in larger numbers? On a global scale, where are most refugees and/or migrants coming from? In which countries are they primarily taking refuge – in Europe, or in other regions? What are the dangers, and potential benefits, associated with this situation?

For those of us who want to help, additional questions become important:

  • What are the causes of the refugee and migrant situation?
  • What must be done in the short-term to alleviate suffering and protect people’s well-being and human rights?
  • What are the long-term solutions?
  • What can concerned individuals and civil society organizations do about the situation?


Results of the consultation (Global Consultation on Refugees and Migrants) were clear: participants viewed the current situation as a crisis urgently in need of addressing, and as a complex problem having multiple causes that are global in scope. Many of the solutions identified will require international collaboration and resources.


IfE is presently convening an Action Group to collaborate on defining the problems and causes of the Refugee & Migrant Crisis, and to develop and promote the implementation of solutions. Please contact IfE if you are interested in getting involved:   


Migrants protest behind a fence against restrictions limiting passage at the Greek-Macedonian border, near Gevgelija, on December 1, 2015. Since last week, Macedonia has restricted passage to northern Europe to only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who are considered war refugees. All other nationalities are deemed economic migrants and told to turn back. Macedonia on November 29 finished building a fence on its frontier with Greece becoming the latest country in Europe to build a border barrier aimed at checking the flow of migrants. / AFP / ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

(refugees at the Greek – Macedonian border)