9th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS)
Hosted by the Conflict Resolution Studies Department of Menno Simons College, a College of the Canadian Mennonite University located at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA – 12–14 May 2016
Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state; and, (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to his or her country. Unfortunately, people in situations of persecution, armed conflict, and displacement are prevented from exercising their right to freedom of movement. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates in the 2014 Global Trends Report that war, conflict, and persecution have displaced some 60 million people worldwide, resulting in the highest level since records have been kept. Of these people, 20 million are displaced across borders, with more than half of this refugee population comprised of children. Since its inception in 2011, the Syrian crisis has produced a total of 11 million internally displaced people and refugees. New waves of “boat people,” displaced by violence, are crossing the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and entire oceans to seek asylum, safety, and freedom. Many perish on their dangerous journeys, and others who arrive at their destinations are refused entry or detained.