North America

The sessions will be hosted by the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN).
Protection Capacity

North America

The sessions will be hosted by the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN).
14 January 2021
NA Banner 4

Alio Mustafa, left, the first refugee advisor to be an official member of a national delegation to the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva hosted by the UNHCR, shown with Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino at the event in Geneva in December 2019.

Session 1: Realizing protection and solutions within North America

18:30-20:00 CET / 12:30-14:00 EST

This session will examine the past, present and future of realizing protection and solutions within North America. It will consider challenges to protection (admission agreements, detention, border practices) and solutions (integration, sponsorship, pathways to citizenship) in the North American context. It will consciously take a regional approach, and include perspectives from Canada, the US and Mexico. It will consider differences and lessons from these various national contexts, from the perspective of state practice and from the perspective of civil society actors, the private sector, and sub-state actors, including cities and provinces or states. In looking forward, the panel will consider future opportunities to realize protection and solutions in a hemispheric approach to displacement, including the potential to support regional approaches such as the MIRPS, and to identify examples of innovation that can be taken to scale.

Watch the recording of the event 

Session 2: North America within the global refugee regime

20:15-21:45 CET / 14:30 - 16:15 EST

This session will consider the role of North American states (Canada, the US and Mexico) as actors within the refugee regime. While the panel will take stock of past forms of engagement as donor states, host states, resettlement countries and leaders in policy development and diplomatic engagement, the panel will consider how North American perspectives can help advance dialogue on future questions and challenges facing the regime, including:


  • Refugee inclusion and leadership
  • Addressing diverse forms of displacement, including climate migration and IDPs
  • Linking humanitarian, development and peace-building responses
  • Advancing localization and the inclusion of local perspectives in global discussions

The panel will include a critical reflection on power and relations within and between actors in the refugee regime and the changing political context within which UNHCR’s mandate needs to be pursued. This includes the state of multilateralism, public discourse and popular perspectives on refugees.

Watch the recording of  the event