Moving Peoples

Borders and Migration

As the world faces a growing number of refugees from conflict zones, climate change, and political turmoil, development in practice is faced with a series of pressing difficulties. Although not a new challenge, the ever changing global context is forcing development practitioners to re-think how to best respond to this burgeoning number of displaced persons. In a time of right-wing populism, and liberal resurgence throughout much of the world the moral responsibility to respond to migrant populations is more complex than in the past. The current political climate throughout much of the Western world makes migration an increasingly contentious issue.

How can governments best respond to the needs of their own citizens, as well as those with no place else to go? What is the role of development practitioners in this dichotomy?

Through a panel of migration experts, development practitioners and those who have experienced the effects of migration first hand, the many ways in which to move development practices to best support our migrant population will be explored.



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Annie Demirjian, Glendon School at York University

Annie Demirjian is the Director of the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, York University, Toronto, Canada. From 20014-2015, she was the Director of Political Affairs & Mediation Group at the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). She was responsible for the peace building and state building portfolio, including: military/civilian interface & stabilization, political reform, state formation (federal/state), conflict prevention & local reconciliation and constitutional review. From 2004-2013, working with the UN Missions in the field, she headed UNDP’s Democratic Governance portfolio in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Eastern European/CIS countries & Central Asia. At UNDP-Iraq (2004-2007), Somalia (2008-2009) and Libya (2011-2012) she was responsible for transitional administration, the constitution drafting process, elections, institutional development and capacity building, public administration reform, local governance and civil society development. In 2010, she was seconded to Haiti to lead the Post Disaster Needs Assessment for the UNDP/World Bank after the earthquake.

Annie has 20 years of senior management experience, in policy and programming, with the Federal Government of Canada (central agencies/line departments, including at the Security Intelligence & Review Committee (SIRC)). For the United Nations and the World Bank she also worked in the following countries:  Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nigeria.

Teaching experience includes:

•   ‘Canada’s role in conflict countries: Middle East & Africa’,  Ryerson University, Spring & Winter Semesters 2016;

•   ‘Transitional governance & comparative experiences’  - EU accession process and the Arab Spring countries; 2009-2013

•   ‘Peace-keeping & state-building in conflict/post conflict countries and the challenges facing the UN Missions’, at the following universities: 2009-2013

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Patricia Landolt

Landolt is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her research examines the production of social exclusion and inequality associated with global migrations. Specific themes include: refugee-migrant political incorporation, precarious work and income insecurity, and non-citizenship and precarious legal status. Professor Landolt’s previous SSHRC-funded project (2011-13) examined the ways that the Ontario public education system practices inclusion and exclusion in the context of encounters with precarious legal status families.