Nov 3 2017

A Model International Mobility Convention: Principles and Regulations for Migrants and Refugees

6:00pm - 8:00pm
University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs
Past Event


A Model International Mobility Convention: Principles and Regulations for Migrants and Refugees

3 November 2017
University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place

The Model International Mobility Convention is the culmination of a two-year effort by an international commission to rewrite the rules for the movement of persons across borders, from visitors through to refugees. More information (including a brief summary of the Convention) can be found here.

Profs. Randall Hansen, Michael Doyle, and Kiran Banerjee, all of whom were active in the development process, will present the Convention and discuss its significance in the context of the ongoing global migration crisis. They will be joined by Prof. Fen Hampson, Prof. Audrey Macklin, and Dr. Craig Smith for further discussion.

For more information, visit

Read and sign the Model International Mobility Convention at


Kiran Banerjee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan, focusing in the areas of ethics and international politics. Banerjee’s research agenda addresses migration governance, with a focus on the normative dimensions of forced migration and membership as questions of global justice. His current work examines the role of non-state actors in shaping humanitarian responses toward forced displacement, as well as exploring the implications of the existing refugee regime as it plays out on the international level. Beyond this, his larger research interests include political theory, international ethics, the history of political thought, international relations theory, and migration studies, as well as legal theory. Accordingly, he has also written, published, and delivered lectures on EU citizenship and migration, the international refugee regime, as well as on liberalism, global justice, and the history of political thought.

Michael W. Doyle is the Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and University Professor of Columbia University in the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia Law School and the Department of Political Science. His current research focuses on international law and international relations. His major publications include Ways of War and Peace (W.W. Norton); Empires (Cornell University Press); Making War and Building Peace (Princeton Press); Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict (Princeton Press); and The Question of Intervention: J.S. Mill and the Responsibility to Protect (Yale University Press, 2015). He served as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan where his responsibilities included strategic planning (the “Millennium Development Goals”), outreach to the international corporate sector (the “Global Compact’) and relations with Washington. He also served as an individual member and the chair of the UN Democracy Fund from 2006 through 2013. He currently chairs the International Peace Institute.

Fen Osler Hampson is a distinguished fellow and director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics program, overseeing the research direction of the program and related activities. He is director of the CIGI-led and sponsored World Refugee Council, which is chaired by Canada’s former foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy. Previously, he served as director of Global Commission on Internet Governance, which was led by CIGI in cooperation of Chatham House in London. Most recently, he served as director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) and continues to serve as Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Fen holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he also received his A.M. degree. He also holds an MSc. (Econ.) degree (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a B.A. (Hon.) from the University of Toronto. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he is the past recipient of various awards and honours, including a Research and Writing Award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace (a non-partisan, congressionally-funded think tank) in Washington, D.C. He has also taught at Georgetown University as a visiting professor.Fen is the author or co-author of 13 books and editor or co-editor of more than 28 other volumes. In addition, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters on international affairs. His latest books are Look Who’s Watching: Surveillance, Treachery and Trust Online (2016) and Master of Persuasion: The Global Legacy of Brian Mulroney, which will be published in the spring 2018.

Randall Hansen is Interim Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He works on immigration and citizenship, demography and population policy, and the effects of war on civilians. His published works include Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance after Operation Valkyrie (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), Sterilized by the State: Eugenics, Race and the Population Scare in 20th Century North America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany(Penguin, 2009), and Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (Oxford University Press, 2000). He has also co-edited Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies (with David Leal and Gary P. Freeman) (New York: Routledge, 2012), Migration States and International Cooperation (with Jeannette Money and Jobst Koehler, Routledge, 2011), Towards a European Nationality (with P. Weil, Palgrave, 2001), Dual Nationality, Social Rights, and Federal Citizenship in the U.S. and Europe (with P. Weil, Berghahn, 2002), and Immigration and Asylum from 1900 to the Present. He appears regularly on TVO’s The Agenda and has written for and been quoted in the national and international press. He holds an Mphil and Dphil from the University of Oxford.

Audrey Macklin is Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, and Chair in Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. She teaches, researches and publishes in the fields of migration and citizenship law, business and human rights, and administrative law. In 2017, she was named a Trudeau Fellow by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Craig Damian Smith is the Associate Director of the Global Migration Lab at the Munk School. He earned his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on migration, displacement, European foreign policy, and refugee integration. His doctoral thesis “Malignant Europeanization: Schengen, Irregular Migration Governance, and Insecurity on Europe’s Peripheries” examines the effects of European migration governance on transit states. He has conducted several years of fieldwork throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Western Balkans, and Europe. His current SSHRC-funded research looks at the effects of social networks on refugee integration. In addition to his scholarly work, he has provided media commentary on migration and refugee issues to outlets including the BBC, CBC, and NBC.

Background Materials

The Model International Mobility Convention

While people are as mobile as they ever were in our globalized world, the movement of people across borders lacks global regulation. This leaves many refugees in protracted displacement and many migrants unprotected in irregular and dire situations. Meanwhile, some states have become concerned that their borders have become irrelevant. International mobility—the movement of individuals across borders for any length of time as visitors, students, tourists, labor migrants, entrepreneurs, long-term residents, asylum seekers, or refugees—has no common definition or legal framework. To address this key gap in international law, and the growing gaps in protection and responsibility that are leaving people vulnerable, the "Model International Mobility Convention" proposes a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people (and the corresponding rights and responsibilities of states) as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted.

In 213 articles divided over eight chapters, the Convention establishes both the minimum rights afforded to all people who cross state borders as visitors, and the special rights afforded to tourists, students, migrant workers, investors and residents, forced migrants, refugees, migrant victims of trafficking and migrants caught in countries in crisis. Some of these categories are covered by existing international legal regimes. However, in this Convention these groups are for the first time brought together under a single framework. An essential feature of the Convention is that it is cumulative. This means, for the most part, that the chapters build on and add rights to the set of rights afforded to categories of migrants covered by earlier chapters. The Convention contains not only provisions that afford rights to migrants and, to a lesser extent, States (such as the right to decide who can enter and remain in their territory). It also articulates the responsibilities of migrants vis-à-vis States and the rights and responsibilities of different institutions that do not directly respond to a right held by migrants. 

The Model International Mobility Convention was developed by a Commission of eminent academic and policy experts in the fields on migration, human rights, national security, labor economics and refugee law. The Commission came together to debate and develop the Convention in workshops conducted regularly from spring 2015 until it was finalized in June 2017. A full list of Commission and other signatories to the Convention can be found further down on this page. 

Read and sign the Model International Mobility Convention at