This policy overview was prepared as part of an RSC’s joint research and policy project on ‘Unlocking crises of protracted displacement for refugees and internally displaced persons’ with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. This paper considers how international actors should frame protracted displacements and the search for ‘solutions’ to such crises. It draws on the findings of three case studies (Central America during the 1980s and 1990s and contemporary displacements in Somalia and Iraq) as well as wider research on protracted refugee situations and the politics of refugee ‘solutions’.
The paper suggests a number of innovative strategies which might better match international policy to the needs of those trapped in protracted displacement. Based on the evidence assessed, the paper concludes that ensuring the quality of asylum, opening up migration routes and adopting a more flexible approach to residency and citizenship rights are all key to unlocking protracted displacements.
This project was generously supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.