Committee on Forced Migration

The Columbia University Committee on Forced Migration is an initiative of the Columbia Global Centers led by Professor Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, and coordinated by Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh.

The Committee on Forced Migration began in 2017 in response to the dramatic increase in forced migration in many parts of the world.

The Committee’s mission is to maximize Columbia’s ability to act as a platform to engage, support, and share information across its community of faculty, students, and staff. The Committee convenes the world’s thought leaders in global migration and acts as a channel for communicating Columbia’s work to the wider public.

As the Committee expands, it will include collaborative opportunities with global organizations and opportunities for the broader public to engage directly with the solutions being created. 

The Committee on Forced Migration is one of a number of forced migration-related activities the Global Centers supports, including the 

"Most current international crisis-related discourse is concerned with the coronavirus pandemic, yet in the decade prior to the appearance of Covid-19, a much larger global crisis has been unfolding. By the time a person finishes reading this, over one hundred people will have been compelled to leave their homes. Nearly half of those will become stateless as well – displaced not only within their countries, but forced to migrate across borders. The causes are numerous and complicated: natural and ecological disasters, development projects that claim or contaminate land and water, and primarily, violent conflict. Unspeakable horrors that need immediate attention and action. 

Columbia University and Columbia Global Centers affirm that, as an institution with global reach, we are determined to help meet the needs of our global society.  The haphazard results of leaving the response to international crises up to individual states has only underscored the necessity of unified strategies and shared information that respect our human connections across borders.  We are committed to research into the myriad issues involved in forced migration, and to engaging meaningfully in providing solutions. 

Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development

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May 17, 2021: Migrant Children and Their Families: The Cruel Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border "Crisis"
April 23, 2021: When Pandemics Collide: COVID-19 and Gendered Inequities of Health Among Forced Migrants

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