Conflict, migration, and human rights

This research cluster studies the linkages between conflict, atrocity crimes, and the production of refugees and internally displaced persons within the prism of forced migration having been identified as a cross-cutting issue within the Sustainable Development Goals.

The cluster also focuses on current international, regional, and transnational legal and institutional mechanisms that can be used to mitigate these linkages, including the UN’s human rights system, international criminal law, peacekeeping, and the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. 

Academic Members

Associate Professor Phil Orchard
Cluster Lead

Dr Charles Hawksley 

Dr Izabela Da Costa Pereira Watts

Doctoral Fellows

Mareen Brosinsky Seeking Accountability for the Crime of Forced Displacement: The Effectiveness of Universal Jurisdiction as a National Response Mechanism.

Liam Moore Norms, protection, and the development of climate-related displacement policies in the Pacific.

Atsushi Yamagata Japanese Responses to Refugees.

Specific Projects

This project examines why governments increasingly use force to deliberately displace their own populations on a massive scale, which is termed regime-induced displacement. Through a mix of quantitative and case study research, this project explains why such actions have become rational strategies for regimes to respond to ethnic groups which may be a threat to them and how these regimes try to justify their behaviour in order to thwart or delay international action. This is a critical issue as beyond its human cost, regime-induced displacement can lead to state fragility and regional instability as cases from Darfur to Syria demonstrate.


This project investigates how the United Nations and individual states can respond to forced displacement crimes at the individual and state levels through seven existing accountability mechanisms at the domestic, regional, and international levels.