People First - New Solutions to the Challenge of Displacement

TRAFIG's Policy Brief for the Think7 engagement group advising the German G7 presidency has been published.

The Think7 is a group of experts and think tanks who are providing advice to Germany's G7 presidency. Benjamin Etzold (BICC), Martin Wagner and Caitlin Katsiaficas (both ICMPD) joint the Think 7 task force "International cooperation for the global common good" of the Think7 and contributed to developing policy recommendations for the G7/G20. Based on insights of TRAFIG research they wrote the policy brief People First - New Solutions to the Challenge of Displacement to promote a people-centred approach to displacement policy. The policy brief is accessible via the Think7 website


More than 82 million people – equal to the population of Germany – are forcibly displaced across the globe. An increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons are living in long-term situations of vulnerability, dependency, and legal insecurity. This is despite the fact that every displaced person has the capacity and resources to build a new future in displacement but is rarely given the chance to do so by current aid, development, and migration policies. This policy brief makes the case for a paradigm shift towards a people-centred approach to displacement policy that 1) considers the human capital and social networks of displaced people and 2) enables them to use and further develop their potential, including through mobility. As the world’s most powerful countries, the G7 are well positioned to play a game-changing role in reducing the scale of global displacement by:

  • leading global cooperation on displacement;
  • promoting displaced people’s professional expertise so they can make better use of their skills;
  • strengthening human capital by promoting education and apprenticeship opportunities;
  • leveraging the power of family networks so that its easier for them to support one another; and
  • scaling up support for the most vulnerable individuals.

Please cite as: Etzold, B., Wagner, M., & Katsiaficas, C. (2022). People First - New Solutions to the Challenge of Displacement. Policy brief for the T7 Task Force International cooperation for the global common good.

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