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Repurposing Assets for the Forcibly Displaced

Kleptocrats and other corrupt leaders are responsible for causing forced displacement around the world.

In the Council's A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System report, we proposed that assets seized by governments — as has been done to Russian oligarchs in response to the illegal invasion of Ukraine — be repurposed to compensate and assist those who have been forcibly displaced.

As a direct result of the Council's proposal, Canada has now implemented the recommendation in amendments to the Special Economic Measures Act passed in May, giving the country new powers to not just freeze, but seize and repurpose assets of persons who are responsible for “gross and systematic human rights violations…in a foreign state or acts of significant corruption” to assist forcibly displaced persons.

The Council continues to promote similar legislation with governments around the world.


At two major events in Mexico City — with Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and with Canadian Ambassador to Mexico Graeme Clark — the North and Central American Task Force on Migration presented its recommendations for filling key governance gaps and promoting better coordination of the often-disjointed response to migration in the region.  Read 


At the June Summit of the Americas meeting in Los Angeles, the WRMC co-hosted a side event on regional migration, governance & forced displacement in the Americas with the Organization of American States, Pan American Development Foundation, Migration Policy Institute, UNHCR, International Organization for Migration, International Labour Organisation, Open Society Foundations and the Emerson Collective  Watch 


A new WRMC research paper in partnership with International Lawyers Project and Spotlight on Corruption with contributions from WRMC Special Advisor Allan Rock and others assesses the four main legal options in dealing with frozen Russian assets: continued freezing, confiscation, private claims, and enforcement of a foreign judgment or international award.  Read 


WRMC Canadian Task Force Against Global Corruption member Prof. Robert Currie outlines the international legal aspects of Canada's new legislation to seize and repurpose frozen foreign assets.   Read 


On World Refugee Day WRMC Chair Lloyd Axworthy issued a statement on the more than 100 million people around the world now forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict, attacks on human rights and, to a growing extent, climate emergencies.  Read 


The global system addressing forced displacement suffers from a climate of indifference. Responsibility sharing is rarely acknowledged & largely ignored. 

Learn more about the Council’s efforts to reset the global response to forced displacement on our website and write to us to get involved in our current activities.

Write us at with comments and questions about this newsletter or how to get involved in our Action Plan for transforming the global refugee and migration systems.

The World Refugee & Migration Council is supported through a partnership with 
Cuso International.
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