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Migration and Refugees

Humanity has always been on the move. From the earliest times, humans have moved in search of new land and new opportunity. Today, the world is witnessing the highest levels of migration on record. In 2019, there were more than 270 million migrants worldwide.

Some people move by choice, others move to escape conflict, violence and persecution, the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. In the past few years alone, 60 million people around the world have been forced from their homes, over half of whom are under 18.

This is a subject that crosses the boundaries of politics, social responsibility and ethics, economics and international development. The past year has thrown into sharp relief what can happen unexpectedly to change the fabric of society at a moment’s notice.

THE Migration and Refugees TRACK

Students on the Global Challenges – Migration and Refugees track will explore concepts around migration and the many forms it takes. They will consider different perspectives, particularly that of the migrant. An expert team at Queen’s have curated an exciting education programme that will include:

An introductory lecture from Dr Heather Johnson on “Finding Safety, Finding One Another”: how technology can help displaced people to reconnect
A hands-on challenge/workshop session
The opportunity to pitch solutions and win the Migration and Refugees track prize
Heather Johnson


The Migration and Refugees track lead is Dr Heather Johnson. She is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics.  She has been working with refugees and asylum seekers around the world for 15 years, examining questions of refugee policy, border security, and the everyday lives of migrants.  She has done field research in Canada, Australia, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Morocco, Greece, and Tanzania, and is currently working on a project focusing of Maritime rescue and boat migrations.  She also researches the politics of refugee images and representations, and of undocumented and non-citizen protest and activism.


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