Prospects for Refugee Returns and Other Durable Solutions to the Global Refugee Crisis

Silhouettes of migrants walking across a world map.

Image by Carlos Gardel / Adobe Stock

Event Details

Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. EST

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About the Program

The global refugee crisis is one of the world’s most pressing and persistent policy problems. There are over 80 million forcibly displaced people today, some 30 million of whom are refugees living outside their home country. Conflict-based displacement will likely continue to grow as conflicts remain unresolved and new ones develop. Refugee returns, on the other hand, have not kept pace with new displacement, and the status quo is a growing global population of people living in camp and non-camp settings in poor conditions and with limited opportunities. The need to promote durable solutions for refugees, particularly safe and dignified return, has become ever more urgent. During this panel discussion, three speakers will share perspectives from their research on the factors that influence refugee return and some of the underlying reasons driving low return numbers.


Louay Constant

Louay Constant is an adjunct policy researcher at the RAND Corporation whose research has focused on refugees, K–12 and post-secondary education reform, and labor markets. He is an author of several RAND reports about refugee issues, including In Search of a Durable Solution: Examining the Factors Influencing Postconflict Refugee Returns.

Stephanie Schwartz

Stephanie Schwartz is an assistant professor in the University of Southern California's Department of Political Science and International Relations. She studies the politics of forced migration, violent conflict, and humanitarian governance. Her current book project is Homeward Bound: Refugee Return and Local Conflict after Civil War.

Harun Onder

Harun Onder is a senior economist at the World Bank focusing on macroeconomics and fiscal management. He is an author of The Mobility of Displaced Syrians: An Economic and Social Analysis which identifies factors influencing return of Syrian refugees.


Shelly Culbertson

Shelly Culbertson is a senior policy researcher and associate director of the Disaster Research and Analysis Program at the RAND Corporation’s Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center. She has written extensively about refugee issues and is an author of In Search of a Durable Solution: Examining the Factors Influencing Postconflict Refugee Returns.