< Distinguished speaker series

Jennica Larrison, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Executive Director

School of Public and International Affairs

University of Baltimore

Humanitarian Negligence: Turning A Blind Eye to The Forced Migration Catastrophe

DATE: May 17, 2023 5:15 pm

LOCATION: World Trade Center Baltimore

Event information

One hundred million people are without a home in the world today, forced to flee trouble spots
by terror, civil war, or foreign conquest. The number is growing by 10 million people annually.
At its current trajectory, in five years, a population the size of Russia – 150 million — will be
without a home, forced to flee with nowhere to go.

But major governments, starting with our own, haven’t tackled the problem and are loathe even
to discuss it. The United States, which sets the pace for the world on humanitarian issues, has
largely shut its doors to refugees, due to political pressures at home, and European countries have
similarly closed opportunities for settlement– other than for refugees from Ukraine. Moreover,
countries have largely abandoned the post-World War II accords for dealing with refugees, with
the exception of Ukrainians. The 1951 Refugee Convention gives rights and legal protection to
refugees and requires neighboring countries to not return refugees to their homes if they’d be
endangered. Now, countries are shutting their doors, and returning refugees against their will –
openly disregarding international law without accountability.

It is the new “problem from Hell.”

We’ve invited Professor Jennica Larrison to explain the crisis and how we can address it,
starting in Baltimore, historically the second-ranking U.S. port of entry for refugees fleeing foreign
wars. She’s an Associate Professor and Executive Director of the School of Public and
International Affairs at the University of Baltimore and teaches courses on migration, global
governance, and human security. Prior to joining UBalt, she worked with the World Bank focusing
on issues of migration and social protection in East and Central Asia. She is an expert in migration
across regions, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Larrison has a
Ph.D. from George Washington University, a master’s degree from the University of California,
San Diego, and undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Summing up the problem, she says: “ A policy of deterrence (of refugees) is never going to be
effective. Deterrence does not alter what is happening in the country of origin. We have to figure
out how to address immigrants coming into our country with a truly fair and transparent system.
If we fail today when the numbers are relatively small, in 20 years when we may have tens of
millions at our border, the consequences of our inaction today will be catastrophic.

Please join us May 17at the World Trade Center 21st floor to hear Dr. Larrison.


Professor Jennica Larrison, PhD
Executive Director at the school of Public and International Affairs at the University of

World Bank Report:
Migration and Poverty: Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor
Edited by Edmundo Murrugarra, Jennica Larrison, and Marcin Sasin
World Bank Document

Comprehensive List of Jennica Larrison Publications
Migration related publications:
– “Governance of Migration”
– “Building the Right Skills for Human Capital: Educations, Skills, and Productivity
in the Kyrgyz Republic”
– “Integrating Immigrants into Local Communities”
– “Exploring the responsibilities of Street-Level Bureaucrats through the
Perspectives of Unaccompanied Migrant Youth and Their Sponsors.”
– “Refugee Migration as a “Wicked Problem”: American Controlling, Palliative,
and Governance Policies in Global Context”
– Understanding Migration: The Case for Public Administration
– “Street-level bureaucrats and the governance of unaccompanied migrant
– “Activating Agency and Discretion: Identifying Factors Affecting the Interactions
Between Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Public Servants”
– “Informing Migration Policies: A Data Primer”

More information on the topic…

Red Cross:
Migration and Refugee Crisis: Responding in Times of Crisis with Relief and Hope
– Red Cross is doing humanitarian work to help migrants in all stages of their
– Relief supply network: food, water, hygiene kits, baby supplies, clothes, medica
items, medical services, shelter, comfort to families, etc.

Oxfam International:
Refugee and Migrant Crisis
– Current migration crisis is at the highest figure since WWII
– Why people flee: hunger, extreme poverty, climate change, violence, conflict, etc.
– Women and girls are impacted the most and face greater risk of gender-based

International Rescue Committee (IRC):
Refugee Crisis: 100 Million Displaced
– Sources of the crisis: Conflict in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia,
U.S. Border
– 89.3 million people displaced in 2021