Call for Papers: Refuge in the Time of Pandemic


Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees is issuing an open call for submissions on the theme of “Refuge in the Time of Pandemic.”

We are very aware that refugees and other migrants are facing even greater challenges at this time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From lack of masks and physical distancing options in detention facilities and camps to border closures and halted resettlement programmes to a wide range of other serious and pressing issues, the situations confronting displaced persons around the world - already dire - have become even more urgent. At the same time, we continue to see incredible mobilization by migrants and their supporters around the globe in response, reminding us not only of their resiliency, creativity and determination in the face of adversity but of the continued need to document and analyse these issues in order to address the needs of today and lay stronger foundations for tomorrow.

We are interested in two broad types of submissions: 

a. shorter research notes (max 2,500 words) aimed at identifying important dynamics, issues and trends, and thereby helping to shape the broader research agenda; and 

b. longer research papers (max. 7,500 words) that adhere to the standard criteria of scholarly contributions to the field.

In issuing this Call for Papers, we welcome submissions on a broad range of themes and from a diverse range of experiences and perspectives. We especially welcome contributions of authors from the Global South as well as both refugee support workers and other frontline practitioners (e.g., health workers).

Authors are encouraged to submit an initial abstract (by emailing it to us at to signal their intentions.

Alternatively, authors can submit an already fully developed work. Please submit longer research papers through our regular online submission system at

We would like to begin including submissions in Refuge in early 2021 but we recognize that there are still difficulties in the ability of many potential contributors to undertake scholarly work, including peer review, due to COVID. 

The range of questions that we seek to answer through this Call for Papers is broad, and includes but is not limited to:

  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected refugees and other displaced persons, refugee support agencies, and state approaches towards protection?
  • How has COVID-19 affected the mobilization of refugees and practices of refugee support workers?
  • How has COVID-19 affected how refugees and other displaced persons are portrayed (e.g. have been gendered, racialized) and addressed through state policies and media representation?
  • How has the pandemic affected the ability to research, understand and address contemporary protection challenges, as well as the focus of such research?