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Migration & Asylum

Migration & Asylum

Across the globe, from Africa to Southeast Asia, instability and persecution have forced thousands of people to leave their countries and seek protection elsewhere. The Open Society Foundations support groups that work on a broad range of issues affecting the safety and well-being of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

We believe that migration and asylum policy should be grounded in economic and demographic realities, not driven by temporary political considerations or popular misconceptions. In Europe, many of our civil society partners are raising their voices demanding a common European approach in line with international human rights commitments. We also support legal action aimed at ensuring governments meet their obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity, and offer them asylum when circumstances dictate.

Volunteers and civil society organizations are showing a responsible and humane way to help those fleeing war and persecution. These practical expressions of solidarity with the plight of refugees highlight the important role of civil society and the readiness of thousands of ordinary citizens to do more.

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Recent Work

Voices
Case Watch: Europe’s Human Rights Court Delivers Mixed Ruling on Migrants Rights (Part Two)

In Khlaifia v. Italy, Europe’s top human rights tribunal found that migrants in migration “hotspot” facilities in Italy are being detained outside the law.

Voices
How One Man Made Greece a More Welcoming Place for Refugees  

When Vasilis Tsartsanis noticed Syrian refugees arriving in his town, he decided to help them, an act of kindness that would change their lives—and his own.

Voices
Case Watch: Europe’s Human Rights Court Delivers Mixed Ruling on Migrant Rights (Part One)

In Khlaifia v. Italy, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights weakened protections against mass expulsions, while finding fault with Italy’s detention policy.

Voices
Q&A: A New Way to Access Higher Education for—and by—Displaced Syrians

A new initiative harnesses the knowledge of Syria’s dispersed academic community to help other displaced Syrians continue their higher education.

Explainer
Understanding Migration and Asylum in the European Union

The real crisis around migration is in Europe’s poor response to irregular migrants and asylum seekers, including the EU’s ability to keep people safe and secure.

Voices
El Salvador’s Sky-High Murder Rate Is Creating a Humanitarian Crisis

Gang violence is pushing death rates to levels on par with war-torn Syria, and displacing tens of thousands of people in the process.