Making the most of World Refugee Day

1.pngIt’s World Refugee Day, a vital moment for raising awareness of the challenges refugees face every day around the world. Refugees have existed since notions of empire and state took root: people who have been forcibly displaced from their home, lacking rights, living under the fragile protection of a foreign ruler or government. The global figures today are staggering: 65.6 million forcible displaced people, of which 22.5 million men, women and children are counted as refugees. It is the persistence, growing nature and precariousness of the refugee phenomenon that has spurred the GEM Report into writing a full report on the issue in relation to education, due out at the end of 2018. This blog will take a look at some of the comments we received from our recent online consultation, and how they might be addressed by the team.

Well over 1000 visitors visited the eight week public consultation on our next Report, with substantial comments coming in from Save the Children, UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, CARE, the IRC, GCE and some national organisations or bodies as well, including the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey.


Total number of visitors to the online consultation for the 2019 GEM Report on migration and education

Various face to face meetings were also held in early 2017 as part of this consultation process, all discussing and debating the 2019 Gem Report concept note: during the CIES meeting in Atlanta (March), at the Building Evidence in Education meeting in Florence (April), and in London hosted by the UKFIET (May) and in Japan hosted by JICA next week. The team is hoping to organise further consultation meetings in other regions, for example in Beirut early next month.


The comments received on our concept note covered all manner of issues relevant to the Report, from technology, aid and definitions to remittances, xenophobia, linguistic issues, pastoralism and data. Some of the main topics raised are represented in the graphic below.

As we always do, a few think pieces were commissioned to help shape our thoughts as we first put pen to paper on the 2019 Report. This Report will cover not only voluntary migrants and forcibly displaced refugees, but also other groups of people on the move.

One think piece looks specifically at Kenya, characterizing migration and assessing its relationship with education. Another looks at the two-way relationship between education and migration, and its consequences on both migrants and non-migrants in each of the origin and destination countries. The last looks at data sources and definitions of migration; effects in home and host countries; the influence of migration and migrants on curricula and dives into Australia’s particular approach to migration as well.

This is only the beginning of an approximate eighteen month journey of engagement for the GEM Report team as we develop and finalize the 2019 Report. And meanwhile, we are also starting to take part in meetings and events aimed at discussing how to (and in what way) influence the Global Compact for Safe and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees in 2018. If you wish to suggest ways that the GEM Report could be brought into side events or discussions on SDG 4 for migrants and forcibly displaced groups, please let us know. It is important that those working on these issues know to expect – and reflect on – our Report when it is released.



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