Current Research Projects

At present, CMRS is engaged in the following research projects

  • "The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo was commissioned by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to conduct a baseline study to understand the Egyptian legal and regulatory framework concerning refugees and asylum seekers’ access to the labour markets, access to training and education, rights at work, and naturalization and social integration.

    The study was commissioned under the PROSPECTS Partnership between the Government of Netherlands, the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Bank for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities. 

    The study was based on desk and field research. The fieldwork was conducted in three Egyptian governorates, namely Giza, Alexandria and Damietta during the period November 2021 and January 2022. The final result of the study is a 76-page report available now online

  • The purpose of this project, funded by the International Organization for Migration, is to enhance the production and dissemination of knowledge in the area of mixed migration information for policy formulation. CMRS is entrusted to bring together scholars from the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to develop the first academic network among mixed migration scholars from the region. During fall 2021, CMRS brought together seven scholars working on mixed migration issues from six countries in the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Sudan). During the period, the network members produced policy briefs, the findings of which were presented in a public webinar involving key stakeholders concerned with mixed migration in the region. In spring and summer 2022, CMRS carried out training directed to young scholars of the region with the ultimate hope of building their capacity in this area. At the same time, CMRS will work on sustaining and expanding the network and producing additional policy briefs.

  • In fall 2017, CMRS partnered with the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics and the Association marocaine d’études et de recherches sur la migration (AMERM) to research access to birth registration and consular assistance for migrants and refugees in Egypt. The research was conducted in fall 2017 and spring 2018 in Egypt with migrants and refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Syria. The research investigated migrant, and refugee identification needs focusing primarily on access to birth registration for children born to these migrants in Egypt. The findings of the research are published in a sixty-two pages report entitled “Preventing Statelessness among Migrant and Refugee Children in Egypt”, the results of which were disseminated at a conference organized in Cairo on October 7, 2019. The report and the policy brief based on it were translated into the Arabic language. Both the report and policy brief were disseminated widely to the concerned government agencies, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as well as other international and local organizations concerned with the issue of statelessness.

    From January 12-16, 2020, CMRS organized a five-day intensive short course entitled ‘Statelessness: Theories and Practices”. The course was co-taught by Bronwen Manby, Senior Policy Fellow at the Middle East Center of LSE and Zahra Albarazi, Senior Researcher at the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion. The course examined relevant legislation and policy (international, regional, and domestic), the causes of statelessness and the links between statelessness and other issues including human rights, displacement and migration. During the year 2020, CMRS carried out twenty awareness-raising sessions for the main five refugee communities in Egypt to help them understand the procedure of birth registration and related matters in Egypt. Twenty-awareness raising sessions were carried out during the period May 2020-January 2021. In addition, CMRS produced brochures in different languages highlighting the main important points discussed in the sessions. Last but not least, CMRS initiated a media awareness campaign by producing promotional videos. The different videos provided a brief background on the refugee definition, the conditions that could lead to statelessness, and the process of obtaining different identification papers in Egypt. The videos are in Arabic with subtitles in English. In a period of six weeks, CMRS released one video per week on CMRS Facebook page.

    CMRS along with five other academic and advocacy organizations officially launched the MENA Statelessness platform, the first platform to end statelessness in the MENA region and strengthen research and advocacy. In addition to CMRS, the other members of the steering committee are: Boston University’s International Human Rights Clinic, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs of the American University in Beirut (AUB), Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and MENA Statelessness Network (Hawiati). The aim of the platform is to present stateless people, researchers, experts, activists, NGOs, government officials and journalists with information related to statelessness. It also aims to shed light on the work of organizations and individuals involved in topics related to stateless people in the region. The goal is to create a network on statelessness in the MENA region, which will serve as a hub for organizations and individual experts to work together in hopes of reducing statelessness.