Message from the Director

UNHCR #WithRefugees Petition

Each day war forces thousands of families to flee their homes.
People like you, people like me.To escape the violence, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency believes that all refugees deserve to live in safety.
Add your name to the #WithRefugees petition to send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility.
We stand together #WithRefugees.
Please stand with us.

The #WithRefugees petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, on September 19. The petition asks governments to:

  • Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
  • Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
  • Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.



Recent public and media attention have mobilized around the massive displacement of refugees from Syria. This displacement is symptomatic of broader global violence and inequalities and is, unfortunately, not limited to Syria. UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, estimates that there are almost 60 million people forcibly displaced worldwide – “one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum”.

As a community of researchers dedicated to the well-being of people displaced by violence, persecution, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation, the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) is responding through innovative research, education and policy engagement. In the context of increased public awareness about refugee issues, CRS faculty, students and affiliates have attempted to promote sustainable and informed responses that build on our long-standing research and education initiatives, while channeling support to existing initiatives and partnerships with local and international organizations and all levels of government.

We invite you to suggest ways in which CRS can work with you, and join some of our on-going initiatives:

Ultimately, human displacement is about people. Individually and collectively, we need to invest in sustainable, informed solutions that uphold every person’s right to asylum. Please join us!

Christina Clark-Kazak, DPhil

Acting Director, Centre for Refugee Studies

December 2015