Andrew W Mellon grant for IASFM International Secretariat
The International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) is an independent and self-governing community of scholars and practitioners who are concerned about understanding forced migration and about improving the formulation of policies and administration of programs dealing with refugees and other displaced persons. We are also an open collegial community, receptive to meeting with and learning from others.
This International Association evolved during the 1990s. The precursor organization was the International Research and Advisory Panel on Refugees and Other Displaced Persons (IRAP), which was created to advise the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford and the Journal of Refugee Studies. Participants at the first IRAP meeting in January 1990 tried to define a research agenda for refugee studies, and we discussed forming an "independent international think-tank on refugee policy and practice" that could utilize and merge the insights and perspectives of both scholars and practitioners.
Succeeding IRAP meetings in 1991, 1992, and 1994 all combined general analyses and state-of-the-art papers with reporting on developments in the world and field. However, each meeting was larger; the panel meeting had become a conference; and the subject matter had expanded from refugees to encompass the larger arena of forced migration. By 1994 the body of scholars and practitioners who had been attending IRAP meetings had formed a self-sustaining community and continuity and believed that it was time to delink ourselves from our Oxford hosts and become an independent organization.
The International Association was voted into existence at that 1994 meeting. Its primary mandate is to organize International Conferences on Forced Migration (successors to the previous four 'IRAP' conferences), the meeting place for our community. In addition to sponsoring formal meetings (or co-sponsoring them with local hosts), the Association also wants to establish and strengthen international and interactive networks of scholars and practitioners who are involved in the global issues of forced migration. We are truly international in scope, membership, and leadership, and we invite people from around the world to join us in our search for understanding and for ways to improve the lives of forced migrants and affected hosts.
We are not simply an academic organization. Our deliberations and exchanges also shape global debates, policies, and programs. We are committed to coming to areas of the world where forced migration is a pressing concern, interacting with people in different world regions, and learning from (and teaching) each other. The first International Conference on Forced Migration sponsored by the IASFM was in Kenya in 1996, the second in Jerusalem in 1998, and the third in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2001. The fourth International Conference on Forced Migration will take place in Chiang Mai near Bangkok, Thailand in January 5-9, 2003. We invite you to join us there.
The IASFM web site is currently hosted by the european forum for migration studies (efms). All links point to pages on the host's web server. Since the host of the IASFM web pages will soon move to the new International Secretariat at Oxford, these URLs will change in April 2003, resulting in outdated bookmarks or links for the sub-pages. To avoid this, please refer until then to the permanent IASFM web address http://www.iasfm.org which always points to the current home page.