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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
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.

Event
Collateral Repair Project on the Refugee Crisis in Jordan—Stories from the Field  

Amanda Lane provides a deep dive into the refugee crisis in Jordan, drawing on her work with Collateral Repair Project, a small community-based organization working to meet the basic needs of refugees in Amman.

Voices
Where Are the 47 Political Exiles Sent by Nigeria to Cameroon?

A vicious conflict in the Cameroon region has led to the secret detention and disappearance of 47 political exiles—who, in a breach of international law, were sent back to the country by Nigeria.

Voices
Five Steps the EU Must Take to Protect Civil Society

With attacks on the public space unfurling across the European Union, it is essential that the EU take swift and decisive action to protect the foundational values and institutions that undergird democracy.