Boston-area Migration & Refugee Activities

List of migration-related courses at Boston-area universities.

The Migration and Immigrant Incorporation Workshop was formed by graduate students in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University in Fall 2001. The primary purpose of the workshop is to circulate works-in-progress in order to elicit feedback and suggestions for improving scholarly work such as dissertation chapters or proposals, journal article submissions, interview schedules, and conference papers. The workshop and email list also serve as a means to disseminate information about data sources, recent publications of interest, and immigration-related events in Boston and around the country. Participation by graduate students and faculty from various academic disciplines is welcome and encouraged.

The International Institute of New England is an affiliate of Immigrant and Refugee Services of America (IRSA), the largest non-sectarian network of immigrant and refugee resettlement service providers in the U.S. IIB is also a United Way organization and an equal opportunity service provider.

The Refugees and Forced Migration Program is jointly sponsored by the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University. The R&FMP is an academic and field-oriented program that seeks to increase knowledge and understanding of forced migration by examining the socio-economic, security, and political problems confronting forced migrants and those who try to help them. The R&FMP promotes research on the livelihoods and education of forced migrants, and documents and records their experiences. The R&FMP is directed by Karen Jacobsen.

The Inter-University Initiative on Humanitarian Studies and Field Practice is a collaborative certificate program offered by the Harvard School of Public Health, the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and MIT. The program allows graduate students pursuing a degree at one of the partner institutions to incorporate certificate requirements into their graduate program studies. The core requirements provide a solid foundation in humanitarian studies, while allowing for flexibility based on individual background and interest. A critical component of the program is a three-month, supervised field placement in which students gain practical experiences in humanitarian response. Students also take part in a weekly skills seminar and a weekend-long simulation of a humanitarian crisis.

The Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic enables students to receive training in immigration and refugee casework and with clients, and to work on policy and research in the area of refugee law. The clinic focuses on refugee cases, especially those of women fleeing gender-based human rights violations. The program is directed by Deborah Anker, who teaches a related clinical seminar.

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government is a research, teaching, and training program that critically examines the policies and actions of governments, international organizations, and independent actors that affect the realization of human rights around the world. The Carr Center holds a monthly film series, a weekly speaker series, and periodic conferences and workshops. It has created a research seminar with fellows, developed case studies, and is offering fall and spring courses in human rights policy. The Center also has a major book series as well as a working papers series.

The Fletcher School offers a number of courses in international migration, refugee/forced migration issues and international human rights law, including specialized seminars on self-determination and minority rights, nationalism, rule of law, transitional justice, and the laws of war. The Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, created in 2000, is engaged in several informal research programs that address the intersection and overlap of these two disciplines. These have included projects on building bridges between the two professional communities, negotiating self-determination, evaluating transitional justice initiatives, and imagining co-existence in post-conflict societies (the last-mentioned funded by UNHCR). The Center also occasionally sponsors speakers and hosts small meetings of human rights and conflict resolution practitioners to discuss contemporary conflicts in which both are actively involved.

Managing inter-communal conflict and violence is critical to national and international security in today's world. Societies are becoming more diverse, and many more countries are facing ethnic, religious, cultural, and social conflicts. The globalization of such conflicts is also increasing. There is a crucial need to bring greater professional expertise and creative leadership to bear upon the challenges posed by these conflicts. The Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict at Brandeis University is intended to meet these challenges by providing students with a solid grounding in both the theories of contemporary coexistence work and the professional skills to design and implement successful interventions that enable divided peoples to live together more equitably, respectfully, and peacefully. While designed for early and mid-career professionals who work, or aspire to work, within governments, the Brandeis master's program also helps professionals working in related fields such as security and diplomacy, aid and development, human rights, education, and the promotion of democracy and civil society.

The Chayes Fellowship program at Harvard Law School provides students with an opportunity to work in international public service for the summer within governments of developing nations and those making difficult transitions to peace and democracy, as well as the inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations that support them. The program not only allows law students to offer their skills to governments and organizations engaged in critical work, but also enables Fellows to gain first-hand experience with the complex issues faced by societies in development or transition. Since Chayes Fellowships are international in nature, it is expected that most placements will occur with organizations based outside of the United States. However, in some cases it will be acceptable for a Fellow to work in the US if the placement is with an organization that has an international scope, such as the United Nations or the World Bank.

Boston Network on International Development: a non-profit organization for groups and individuals in the Boston area who are concerned with issues of international development and global justice. The purpose of this web site is to put individuals and groups into contact with one another. For example...
Events: Organizations wishing to post events (conferences, talks, concerts, fundraisers, et al.) and persons wishing to find out about what's going on. By signing up as a member you can choose to receive weekly email reminders of events in the Boston area, according to your interest.
Internships: Students looking for internships or paid jobs and organizations looking for interns or staff. (To search for internships click on Members (at left) and check box for Internships.)
Organizations: Individuals looking for organizations who are working on a particular issue, or organizations looking for like-minded organizations in the Boston-area.
Share Experience: Persons interested in an issue or country who wish to share their experiences and their work.
Connections: Considering the Peace Corps or some other volunteer activity? Here's a way to connect with others who have been there and done that.

Additional Migration & Refugee Resources


The Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty (DRC) at the University of Sussex was established in June of 2003 in recognition of the complex relationship between migration and poverty. It aims to examine migration flows in which poor people themselves are most represented and how migration impacts variously on their livelihoods, rights and levels of social protection. The DRC is a partnership of eight institutions in five countries - Bangladesh, Ghana, Albania, Egypt and the UK.

Forced Migration Online (FMO) provides instant access to a wide variety of online resources dealing with the situation of forced migrants worldwide. Designed for use by practitioners, policy makers, researchers, students or anyone interested in the field, FMO aims to give comprehensive information in an impartial environment and to promote increased awareness of human displacement issues to an international community of users. They offer an introductory guide to forced migration for visitors who are new to the subject.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think-tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels. It aims to meet the rising demand for pragmatic and thoughtful responses to the challenges and opportunities that large-scale migration, whether voluntary or forced, presents to communities and institutions in an increasingly integrated world.

The Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) is a multilateral regional forum on international migration in which countries with varying migration perspectives - based on experiences involving situations of origin, transit, and destination - address an issue of common interest. Member States of the RCM are: Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States. Observer states must be geographically part of the Western Hemisphere.

The WWW Virtual Library on Migration and Ethnic Relations objective is to create a superlative and easy to use guide that thoroughly catalogues in an organised and meaningful way, quality web resources on ethnic relations and migration topics. The WWW VL on Migration and Ethnic Relations is part of the much larger World Wide Web Virtual Library project.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. The website contains images, maps, current news and links to official documents and reference materials.

The European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations is a European research centre with a strong interest in comparative research in the fields of international migration, ethnic relations, racism and ethnic conflict within the European context. We are based at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

The Hamburg Institute of International Economics in Germany publishes a searchable database of documents related to research in the field of international migration, including recent press releases about migration issues.

The Migration Information Source provides authoritative data from numerous global organizations and governments and global analysis of international migration and refugee trends. The Source offers analytical tools, vital data, and essential facts on the movement of people worldwide, as well as information on current migration debates.

The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego is an interdisciplinary, multinational research and training program devoted to comparative work on international migration and refugee movements. Its primary missions are to conduct comparative (especially cross-national) and policy-oriented research, train academic researchers, students, and practitioners, and disseminate research conducted under its auspices to academics, policymakers, and NGOs through research seminars, conferences, publications, the internet, and the mass media.