SPECIAL PROJECTS

Recognized for its expertise and its connections in the refugee community, every year the Refugee Hub engages with a number of strategic projects with partners, academics, and the student community at the University of Ottawa. This academic year (2017-2018), some of the projects within the Hub’s sphere include a research collaboration with Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative in support of the Global Compacts process at the United Nations, a new student clinic which focuses on public legal interventions, and supporting several research projects in collaboration with the newly formed World Refugee Council.

NEW PARTNERSHIP: UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA’S REFUGEE HUB AND THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GLOBAL POLICY INITIATIVE (GPI)

The University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Columbia University Global Policy Initiative (GPI) on a series of policy briefs and high-level convenings related to the United Nations' Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration.

The goal of the collaboration is to support the development of the Global Compacts by providing both high-quality research and policy contributions, and a discussion platform for the major actors engaged in the Compacts process to focus on the development of concrete solutions and proposals for action.

The Global Compacts are international commitments being developed in response to the UN General Assembly’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which expresses the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility for refugees and migrants on a global scale.

The Columbia Global Policy Initiative, led by founding director Professor Michael W. Doyle, brings together eminent Columbia University faculty members from a wide range of disciplines to address serious problems of global significance, applying the highest standards of disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise and a commitment to finding practical solutions.

The Refugee Hub, led by founding director Professor Jennifer Bond, 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.

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.