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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

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.

Transformative Technology for Migrant Workers: Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks

This report examines five areas in which digital platforms are being developed to protect and empower migrant workers, and considers legal, ethical, and technological implications, and the risks associated with them.

How New Technologies Can Help—and Hurt—Migrant Workers

Technology has enormous potential to improve the situation of the most disadvantaged workers, particularly migrants and refugees in low-wage jobs. But it can also exacerbate power imbalances that lead to worker exploitation.

Briefing Paper
Does Offshoring Asylum and Migration Actually Work?

This policy brief provides a comparative look at offshoring asylum and migration management in Australia, Spain, Tunisia, and the United States; and offers lessons learned for the EU.