Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » About


The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York is an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to advancing the well-being of refugees and others displaced by violence, persecution, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation through innovative research, education, and policy engagement. Since its inception in 1988, CRS is recognized as an international leader in the creation, mobilization, and dissemination of new knowledge that addresses forced migration issues in local, national and global contexts.

CRS is an organized research unit of York University. Founded in 1988, the Centre for Refugee Studies is successor to the Refugee Documentation Project created in 1981 for the conservation and analysis of research documents and data collected by Operation Lifeline during the Indochinese “Boat People” crisis (see attachments below for news articles). In 1991, CRS was designated as a Centre of Excellence by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

At the time of its founding, the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University became the second centre of its kind in the world, following the Refugee Studies Centre created at the University of Oxford. An increasing number of centres devoted to the study of forced migration are emerging in various parts of the world, and the York centre has links with more than fifteen of them. CRS is one of the largest and most active research hubs related to refugee and forced migration studies in the world. The Centre for Refugee Studies fosters interdisciplinary and collaborative research and knowledge mobilization and invites inquiries from like minded institutions and scholars worldwide.