Recognising Structures of Vulnerability in the Global Compact on Refugees

Refugee Hosts PI Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh has encouraged UNHCR and other actors to recognise and address the structures that create heightened vulnerability and inequality in contexts of conflict, displacement, and refugee hosting.

In her recent address to the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Dialogue in Geneva, Elena called on the Global Compact on Refugees to take this opportunity to tackle the intersecting structural causes of inequality and vulnerability:

“People are at risk, or at heightened risk, they are not ‘vulnerable’ per se…refugee women, children and men are vulnerable TO violence, vulnerable TO inequality…we need to challenge the structures which create heightened risk and vulnerability to persecution, and the terminology used in the Global Compact on Refugees must reflect this.”

(Pg. 19, UNHCR Gender Audit Report)

In particular, the recently published UNHCR Gender Audit Report that followed the High Commissioner’s Dialogue recognised Elena’s emphasis that strengthening institutional capacity and gender sensitivity in humanitarian responses to refugees requires an intersectional approach, “which recognizes how the dimensions of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability influence displacement experiences” (pg.15).

You can read Elena’s High Commissioner’s Dialogue presentation here.

For more on Elena’s work relating to gender, generation and displacement, you can read the suggested pieces published with Refugee Hosts and elsewhere below, or visit her full list of publications here.

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees,’

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) ‘Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees‘ UCL Migration Research Unit Policy Brief 

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