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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

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.

Voices
Saving Newborn Rohingya from a Legal Abyss

The government of Bangladesh has already promised to uphold its obligation to register newborn Rohingya refugees. For the sake of international law—and the children’s future—it must stop dragging its feet.

Voices
A New Model for Refugee Resettlement Puts People First, and Gathers Support

Immigration ministers from six countries have endorsed a model for refugee resettlement that gives a leading role to people and families, rather than the state.

Voices
A Brighter Future for Refugee Kids, Through Learning and Laughter  

Syrian refugee children—now living in uncertain conditions in multiple countries—are in dire need of both educational and psychological support. A new and unique partnership is trying to help.

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.

Briefing Paper
Legal Analysis of Hungary’s Anti-NGO Bill

This briefing paper analyzes legislation passed by the Hungarian parliament that criminalizes efforts by civil society groups to offer support to refugees and migrants.