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Sharing the Responsibility to Protect and Rebuild: Lessons from Peacebuilding Engagement Activities of Resettled Liberian Refugees in Canada

February 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location:433 (History Lounge) Paterson Hall

The resettlement of refugees to third countries is considered both a protection practice and a durable solution to refugee crises, particularly in protracted refugee situations. Although fewer refugees globally are resettled, and Africa has lesser candidates, resettlement can constitute an expression of international solidarity and a commitment to sharing the responsibility for refugee protection. Unlike most migrants, resettled refugees arrive with the protection of their host country and in most instances such as in the case of Canada their road towards citizenship is charted prior to their arrival. For states, resettlement is not just a solution and humanitarian policy but also has a strategic use of maximizing direct and indirect benefit other than those received by the resettled refugees. Such benefits may accrue to other refugees, the host state, other states or the international protection regime. What is missing from this conceptualization is the use of resettlement as a strategic peacebuilding tool. This presentation highlights Canada’s resettlement of Liberian refugees, integration experiences and some peacebuilding engagement activities of resettled refugees’ as well factors that contribute to their (dis)engagement. The study notes that refugee resettlement presents states, such as Canada, the opportunity to fulfill their obligations under the twin international mandate of sharing the responsibility to protect refugees and to rebuild post-conflict societies

Picture rights: Equality Trumpet–a Buduburam news publication.


Dr. Amanda Coffie is a Research Fellow at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy, University of Ghana and an Adjunct Professor of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University. She earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She also holds an MA in Political Science and a BA in Political Science from Brock University, Canada and University of Ghana respectively. Her research spans a continuum of forced migration, from conflict zones, through asylum, repatriation and transnational. Her work attends to issues of refugees, governance of migration and asylum and programs of host countries and international organizations as well as post-conflict peacebuilding. Amanda has published on asylum policy and practices in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa as well as refugee returnees and peacebuilding in Liberia. She is a 2016 recipient of the Social Science Research Council-African Peacebuilding Network (SSRC-APN) Award and is currently working on refugee diaspora participation in post-conflict Liberia.