About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees is a non-profit, open access, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, bilingual journal. Founded in 1981, it publishes analytical, reflective, and probing articles from a wide range of disciplinary and regional perspectives, presenting writing of academics, policy-makers, and practitioners in the field of forced migration. The journal provides space for discussion of emerging themes and debates, as well as ongoing topics. It also features a book review section and occasionally publishes special issues on specific themes related to forced migration. Refuge publishes articles in both English and French. Refuge articles are indexed and abstracted widely, from the DOAJ, Érudit, Google Scholar and Scopus (Elesvier) to PAIS International (ProQuest).

All works submitted to Refuge must be original and must not be submitted for consideration with other journals. Refuge does not publish personal reflections on forced migration experiences, fiction, artwork or poetry.

Historical Evolution of Refuge

In the late 1970s, coinciding with the large-scale resettlement of Indo-Chinese refugees in Canada, a literature began to emerge concerning the origin and dynamics of refugee movements and the policies related to the reception and integration of refugees in Canada. Refuge was founded at York University in 1981 to serve as a communications medium for this new interdisciplinary field of enquiry.

Relatively short academic articles summarized the “state of the art” in various domains related to refugees. Special emphasis was directed towards policy issues and the dynamics and impact of refugee movements to Canada.

In 2000, Refuge began to solicit longer, in-depth articles. The transition to a fully academic, peer reviewed journal was assisted, in 2002, by a special initiatives grant from the Social Science and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This grant also funded the development of bilingual promotional material, the launching of Refuge’s website, and outreach to new contributors and subscribers. Refuge has been fortunate to have received multiyear funding from SSHRC under its Aid to Scholarly Journals program since 2005.

Since 2013, Refuge has implemented an open access policy, whereby all current and archived issues are available free of charge through our website. This policy is motivated by a desire to make high-quality research available to a broader audience outside of academic institutions in the global North. By making our full archives more widely available and accessible, Refuge underscores its history and unique position in the field of refugee studies as one of the oldest journals in the field. This accessibility also facilitates the ability of scholars to cite articles of Refuge, thereby increasing our global academic impact.

Publication Frequency

Refuge is published on a bi-annual basis. In exceptional cases, Refuge may publish three issues per year. 

Open Access Policy

Refuge is an open access electronic publication, available free of charge through our website. All archived issues can be accessed through the Archives page. This ensures that the journal is accessible to readers who may not have access to academic libraries, including practitioners, people in situations of forced migration, and readers from the global south.

We do not charge article submission or processing fees (APCs). 


Refuge authors retain the copyright over their work, and license it under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License International (CC BY-NC 4.0) to the general public. This license allows for non-commercial use, reproduction and adaption of the material in any medium or format, with proper attribution (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode - human readable summary at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Sources of Support

Refuge is a non-profit, independent journal, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and supported by the membership of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS / ACERMF).