Ongoing Research

The South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (Funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF))

A group of leading international migration centers including CMRS has won backing from the UK government’s science and research funding agency to explore how South-South migration is affecting inequality and development in less developed regions.

CMRS, as part of the Hub, will investigate how South-South migration contributes to the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and reducing inequality.

CMRS will work alongside academics, artists, community leaders, international organisations and policymakers from 12 countries across South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East to better understand international migration patterns and consequences, and to support and influence global migration policy development.

South-South migration is estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration (up to 70% in some places), but its potential benefits have been undermined by limited and unequal access to rights and the economic and social opportunities that migration can bring.

Using a wide range of research methods and creative approaches, the Hub will map, record and draw attention to the experiences of those who move, generating a better understanding of – and encouraging a greater range of policy responses to address – the challenges associated with international migration. It is hoped that the work will rebalance academic and political debates, currently driven largely by the perspectives and priorities of countries in the Global North.

The GCRF South-South Migration Inequality and Development Hub will be led by Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, and delivered in partnership with:

  • 20 leading universities, as well as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI);
  • Six international organisations – the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Research Institute For Social Development (UNRISD); and
  • Numerous local organisations in the 12 countries in which the hub will work: Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal and South Africa.

CMRS’ work in the Hub will be led by Ibrahim Awad, CMRS Director.

CMRS is pleased to be part of this significant project exploring the challenges associated with migration in the Global South. Not only will this Hub help to build new and valuable partnerships in countries where migration and development are closely connected, it will also enable these countries to bring their own perspectives, knowledge and capabilities to the table to support future migration policy development.

  • The project’s overall objective is to map the complex legal rights and entitlements of refugees, asylum seekers, and unsuccessful asylum-seekers in Egypt to better promote and protect their rights. The three years project has three phases: research, awareness- raising, and capacity building. The research phase is ongoing and so far the research team has prepared reports addressing entitlements to employment, expulsion and detention, family unity, education, health, documentation, and housing. Further papers on entitlements pertaining to access to courts and refugee status determination are forthcoming. This coming academic year, the project will enter the field research phase and examine refugee, asylum-seekers, and failed asylum-seekers’ lived experiences in Egypt.  

  • This project investigates identification needs of Sub-Saharan African and other migrants in North Africa, particularly focusing on children born outside the country of nationality of their parents. Identification needs are examined in order to give guidance on providing birth registration and other forms of identification to prevent and reduce current and future statelessness. Our specific objective is to promote the recognition and respect of the rights of children and adults to documents that officially confirm their identity and nationality. Our general objective is, through such documentation, to contribute to the reduction of statelessness. We achieve our objectives through comparing and contrasting the legal and policy frameworks, and their implementation, in two North African countries, Egypt and Morocco. Comparison is undertaken with a view to understanding the risks and making policy recommendations to host countries as well as consular authorities of sending countries to avoid statelessness among migrants, particularly for children born outside the country of nationality of their parents. To achieve this, 20 focus group discussions shall be conducted with individuals who claim Syrian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Sudanese nationality yet cannot provide documents to prove so. To date, 15 FGDs are completed with 5 remaining. Complementary key informant interviews have also been conducted. Upon completion of the country and comparative reports, a conference will be held in Cairo and organized by CMRS will take place in February to disseminate the research findings. 


  • RIT promotes understanding of the migrant/refugee experience by drawing on the knowledge and perspectives of refugees themselves as well as local hosts, and working with them to develop case studies and reports of the towns in which they live. RIT seeks to analyze and understand the process of immigrant/refugee integration and support community leaders, aid organizations, and local governments in shaping policy, practice, and interventions.

    Since the publication of RIT's report on Cairo in June 2018, CMRS and its students have been collaborating with RIT as they work with local partners to develop the findings into programming to better support the integration of refugees in Cairo.

  • Syria hosted a considerable numbers of Palestinians including both those fleeing Palestine in 1948 and in 1967. The civil strife that broke out in Syria in March 2011 forced Syrians to flee and take refuge in bordering and other neighboring countries. Such flows comprised a considerable number of Palestinians who were residing in Syria. This is not the first instance of secondary Palestinian displacement; Palestinians were displaced from Kuwait in 1991, from Iraq in 2003, and from Lebanon during the civil war. The plight of Palestinians has always been compounded by discriminatory treatment. CMRS has already examined the conditions under which Palestinians were received in Jordan and Lebanon. Civil society in Egypt also commented on similar discriminatory treatment. To understand the conditions of Palestinian from Syria in Egypt, CMRS recruited Professor Tahreer Araj, a Professor of Sociology of Palestinian origin, to examine their situation in Egypt and produce a report to be published in CMRS Cairo studies on Migration and Refugees. During the summer of 2018, Dr. Araj carried out interviews with NGOs and CBOs as well as with Palestinian refugees. It is expected that the report would be published before the end of the academic year 

  • The aim of this project is to bring together academics and third sector partners with expertise in children’s literature, migration and education in in order to create a network that will build on common expertise and best practice in using children’s literature and the arts to help negotiate the current challenges stemming from multi-ethnic contexts of flux and precarious resources.  In Egypt and Mexico, spaces for sharing books and learning with displaced children, through children’s literature and arts-based activities, have developed in urban and rural areas through government, NGO or volunteer initiatives, often involving health and social workers and teachers but also writers, artists, storytellers and musicians. Different cultures and languages converge, both from internally displaced groups within these countries or from neighboring countries. These spaces may also be open to host children, including those living in precarious conditions (e.g. local homeless or street children).  By understanding how these spaces are operating, we can learn about participatory arts-based practices that improve the identification of needs and the implementation of literacies that allow children to participate more fully in more cohesive communities. This project organizes study tours to Egypt and Mexico, the main target countries. CMRS hosted the first project and country meetings in December 2017. A second trip to Greece was organized in August 2018 and the third and final trip will be held in Mexico in November 2018.