New Partnership: The Refugee Hub & Allan Rock Launch Project in Support of World Refugee Council Research

The University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub and uOttawa law professor Allan Rock have recently launched an innovative research project designed to inform the newly formed World Refugee Council (WRC), which is exploring new approaches to transform the global system for responding to refugees by addressing core structural issues, and above all, responsibility-sharing for refugee protection, assistance and solutions.

Professor Rock, supported by a team of upper-level uOttawa law students, will undertake cutting edge research and analysis on the development of new legal tools to respond to the needs of those who become refugees due to the actions of violent, corrupt and repressive regimes. Forced displacement and bad governance are frequently linked. The project will examine the potential to use assets belonging to corrupt governments, frozen under various forms of sanctions, to fund refugee relief and programming for those displaced. This work highlights the importance of governmental accountability and seeks to explore innovative ways to finance the international refugee regime. The findings and recommendations will be shared with members of the World Refugee Council as they continue their important work. The work being done at uOttawa is aimed at advancing one of the Council’s priorities, namely to find innovative ways to finance refugee programming.

Established in 2017 by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) with support from the Government of Canada, the 22-person Council convenes thought leaders and innovators from around the globe to dialogue, debate and reframe how the international community can comprehensively respond to refugees based on the principles of international cooperation and responsibility sharing.

With a distinguished 35-year career in law, policy, and diplomacy, Allan Rock is currently serving as a special adviser to the World Refugee Council and recently joined the uOttawa Faculty of Law after completing his mandate as President of the University (2008-2016). He practiced as a trial lawyer in Toronto before being elected to Parliament. During his decade in office, he served in various senior cabinet posts including Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He subsequently served as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. He has just completed a term as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.

The project is being hosted and facilitated by the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub. Led by founding director Professor Jennifer Bond, the Refugee Hub fosters justice and human rights for refugees and migrants through cutting-edge research, community programs, and innovative partnerships. It is housed at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.