Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS)

Founded in 2011, the Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS) engages a cross-national and interdisciplinary group of researchers, students, practitioners, refugee legal aid organizations, policy makers, refugee community based organizations, writers, visual and performance artists to re-conceptualize refugee protection. Through collaborative research, participation in policy dialogues, workshops, training and clinical programs, we seek to contribute to our understanding of the condition of refugee movement across state borders to avoid the risk of harm, the underlying social disfranchisement, and the international community's response to refugee needs.

  • Research: We conduct multidisciplinary research to safeguard refugee rights and protection guaranteed under international law and, in doing so, seek to identify gaps in protection needs.
  • Documentation: We develop new approaches, strategies and resources to collect expert testimony, documentation of persecution, and violations of the rights of refugees.
  • Education: We provide learning and training opportunities for students, academics, policy makers, practitioners and refugees such as our annual summer institute.
  • Outreach: We contribute to the formation of refugee policy, protection practices and debate through networking, engagement, publication and partnerships.

Get involved

To join the listserv, receive information on events, become a corporate sponsor or donor, or inquire about internship opportunities, please contact us at



Group photo in Geneva

Join CFMS and our Partners this June for Chicago's World Refugee Day Celebrations!

June 4, 2016, Foster Beach, 9AM-3PM Come show your support for Chicago's thriving refugee communities! Events include the "One Human Family" unity rally/march from 11:30 to 1:30, soccer tournament, children's activities, potluck lunch, and world music and entertainment. All are welcome to attend!

June 16, 2016, Daley Plaza from 12PM-1PM Attend the World Refugee Day lunchtime concert performance. Photo displays from Changing World profiling selected refugee stories, and stories on refugee resettlement featuring different themes will be on display to  highlight the diversity within the Illinois refugee community.

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