The world is currently experiencing some of the highest numbers of displaced people on record, and a large number of conflict and disaster-induced humanitarian emergencies. Displaced persons, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other groups of migrants, are both a symptom of humanitarian crises, and, in some cases, a part of the complex set of political, social and economic reasons that humanitarian emergencies endure. This course will provide an opportunity to critically analyze the causes and consequences of humanitarian crises, with a specific focus on displacement. It will examine current displacement case studies, including Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Central America, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and will consider the causes of these crises, as well as efforts to prevent, respond and recover. It will also explore the range of actors involved in responding to humanitarian crises, including international organizations and NGOs, the UN, states, and displaced persons, and will examine how these actors work in principle and in practice. Finally, the course will explore recent trends in how actors are responding to displacement crises around the world.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Articulate a common understanding of the concept of humanitarian crises, based on in-depth analyses of crises in different regions
- Describe the normative frameworks applicable to different types of internal and cross-border migration and displacement;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of humanitarian emergencies on affected communities, governments and the international community;
- Identify and understand the roles and interactions among key actors in humanitarian response, including those focused on displacement in particular; and
- Indentify the multiple beneficiaries needing assistance and protection in humanitarian crises, with a particular focus on gender, age and those with specific vulnerabilities.