Special Issue "Forced Migration: New Trajectories, Challenges and Best Practices"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2025 | Viewed by 637

Special Issue Editors

Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY 10023, USA
Interests: forced migration; migration policies; women’s rights; violence against women; international social development
Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY 10023, USA
Interests: global mental health; suicide assessment, prevention, and intervention; forced migration; mental health treatment utilization and barriers to care; capacity building for suicide prevention in low-resource settings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decade, forced migration reached unprecedented numbers, dominating the public discourse (either as a growing humanitarian concern or as a justification for populist, anti-immigrant attitudes) and the political arena (with international frameworks emerging in response to an ever-growing migration crisis).  Of the over 82 million people forcibly displaced in the world today, half are under the age of 18 and almost half are women (UNHCR, 2022).  Intersecting layers of vulnerability and the complexities of forced migration processes compel us to rethink our approaches, centering on the rights of forced migrants and their own experiences with migration and displacement. Only about a third of all displaced people are classified as refugees, and thus under protections established by the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. (UNHCR, 2022). Legal status and the absence of proper protections for people with lived experiences of forced migration increase existing vulnerabilities, creating major challenges for the integration of migrants in their host communities. Dominated by a securitization framework (Waever, 1995; Popescu, 2019; Popescu et al. 2020), regional and national migration policies contributed to the reconceptualization of borders, aiming to contain migration by limiting access to international laws and rights for most of the displaced population. New global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, manifested as complex emergencies for people in forced migration contexts (Alonzo et al., 2021) and led to increasingly oppressive migration policies, drastically reducing refugee resettlement processes and bringing asylum processes to a hard stop (Reidy, 2021).  Meanwhile, the language of migration further stigmatized and/or increased the invisibility of so many people.  Labeled as asylum seekers, undocumented, irregular, illegal, or not included in any category, people in forced migration contexts are  dependent on the interpretation of these terms at local levels, often in the absence of a clear understanding of the context of migration, even by professionals, policy makers, or scholars.

The impact of forced migration includes: migration-related trauma; limited access to health, mental health, and social services (Popescu, Alonzo, & Adler, 2021); and, a lack of coherent policies providing protection and facilitating integration in host countries. In the context of the two Global Compacts of migration (Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration – GCM, and Global Compact on Refugees- GCR), now in the implementation stage, the literature on migration must examine and critically analyze current migration patterns, new challenges (particularly in the context of complex emergencies), the impact of forced migration on most vulnerable populations, as well as best practices and implementation gaps, particularly as related to the objectives of these two global migration frameworks.

This Special Issue will focus on both theoretical and empirical findings, conceptual issues, and the best policy and practices at international, regional, and national levels addressing forced migration. Potential topics for papers include:

  • A critical analysis of migration patterns and the impact of global and regional policies on the most vulnerable migrants (women, children, unaccompanied minors, LBGTQI, older migrants; etc.);
  • A review of the two global frameworks of migration (GCM and GCR): identifying policy gaps and informing implementation practices;
  • Best practices on decriminalizing migration and improving protections for forced migrants;
  • Health, mental health, and reproductive health in the context of forced migration;
  • Evidence-based/evidence-informed practices for mental health treatment of forced migrants;
  • The language of migration as a tool of oppression or inclusion;
  • Migrant voices and the importance of inclusive global and local policy making.


Alonzo, D., Popescu, M., Zubaroglu, P. (2021) The current pandemic, a complex emergency? Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and extended quarantine periods on highly vulnerable communities in Guatemala. International Journal of Social Psychiatry

Popescu, M. (2019). Migration Policies in Europe and the US: Securitization, Safety, and the Paradox of Human Rights (Chapter 5). In Refugees and Asylum-Seekers: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives. (Eds. Libal, K., and Berthold, M.), Praeger, 100:127

Popescu, M., Alonzo, D., & Adler, A. (2021). Reclaiming the right to health care for forced migrants: A shared global responsibility. In Congress, E. P., Meister, D., Osborn, S. C., & Takooshian, H. (Eds.). (in-press). Behavioral science in the global arena: Global health trends and issues (Vol. 3). Information Age Publishing.

Popescu, M., Zubaroglu-Ioanides, P., and Turin, S. (2020). Whose citizens, what rights? Roles and responsibilities in addressing displacement and forced migration in Haiti. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 1:14, https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-019-00114-z

Reidy, E. (2021). One year on: How the pandemic has affected refugees, asylum seekers and migration. The New Humanitarian, 10 March, 2021. https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2021/3/10/one-year-how-pandemic-has-affected-refugees-asylum-migration

Dr. Marciana Popescu
Prof. Dr. Dana Alonzo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • forced migration/forced migrants
  • refugees
  • asylum seekers
  • migration policy
  • trauma
  • securitization frameworks
  • global compact on safe, regular and orderly migration
  • global compact on refugees
  • evidence-based practices with forced migrants
  • mental health
  • human rights

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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