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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

Art, Migration, and Public Space: An Evening with the 2019 Soros Arts Fellows

Soros Arts Fellows Firelei Baez, Tania El Khoury, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Nontsikelelo Mutiti share their work and discuss art, migration, and public space.

Reimagining the Image: Walé Oyéjidé

Open Society Moving Walls fellow Walé Oyéjidé shares excerpts from his project After Migration, currently on view at Open Society Foundations–New York as part of the Moving Walls 25/Another Way Home exhibition.

A Worldwide Movement for Domestic Workers

Despite their increasingly essential role in the global economy, domestic workers in many countries remain shockingly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Thankfully, a global and worker-led movement is pushing for change.

Hungary’s Anti-NGO Tax Law Violates Free Speech and Freedom of Association

The Venice Commission, Europe’s leading body of legal experts on democracy and the rule of law, has called on Hungary to repeal a 25 percent tax on NGOs working on migration issues.

Is Italian Agriculture a “Pull Factor” for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?

The Open Society European Policy Institute and the European University Institute launch a new report exploring factors underlying the demand for exploitable migrant labor in Italian agriculture.

Is Italian Agriculture “Pull Factor” for Irregular Migration—And, If So, Why?

This study examines how the EU’s agricultural practices leave workers vulnerable to exploitation, ultimately hurting local communities and consumers, too. The report also offers suggestions for addressing this breakdown.