Call for Proposals

CARFMS23: Racism, Rights, and the Responsibility to Protect

May 29, 2023 - May 31, 2023

York University, Keele Campus, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

*** The submission dreadline has been extended to February 10, 2023***

The 2023 CARFMS Conference will bring together researchers, academics, legal counsel, government and international organization officials, policymakers, NGO officials, practitioners, students, refugees and other forced migrants, and activists from diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds to discuss racism, rights, and the responsibility to protect, while “reckoning and re-imagining” the struggle for equality and advancing refugee protection and international justice for  refugees and the forcibly displaced. The conference will feature keynotes and plenary sessions from leaders in the field of refugees and forced migration, and we welcome proposals for individual papers, organized panels, roundtables, art exhibits, film documentaries, and our graduate student poster exhibit that are based on any of the following broad five subthemes:

1)          Human Rights and National and International Laws – more than just words in the protection, settlement, and inclusion of refugees and forcibly displaced peoples

In addition to the nine-core international human rights conventions, liberal democratic States typically also have a set of constitutional national laws that protect fundamental rights and liberties – including the right to racial equality. In addition, these liberal democratic States have established precedential jurisprudence that protects the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. This subtheme considers how national and international law and practice either advances or hinders the rights of forced migrants as they seek to obtain asylum, resettlement, or integrate within their host societies. To what extent does race impinge on an individual’s ability to exercise their most fundamental human rights? How can law, whether national or international, be better and more fully exercised to advance and protect the human rights and dignity of all those who seek asylum from persecution, and to resettle and integrate within Canada and/or elsewhere?

2)           Relationships between Indigenous Communities and Newcomers and the BIPOC Community and Newcomers – differences and commonalities; challenges and opportunities; partners and allies in the struggle for equality and justice

All those who are racially marginalized in societies share commonalities and differences. How do these racialized communities relate to “newcomers,” especially, refugees and other forced migrants? Are they natural partners and allies in the struggle for equality and justice or are they perceived as “settlers,” newly arrived, who are occupying their traditional lands? This subtheme examines and analyzes the relationships between Indigenous Communities and “newcomers” and the BIPOC Community, as a whole, and “newcomers,” and, more specifically, refugees and other forced migrants and how these relationships can potentially be utilized to advance their common struggles for equity and justice within their own communities and the broader society at large.

3)           Structures/Processes and Policies/Practices that perpetuate persecution and prevent access to protection - understanding the “intersectionality of exclusion,” understanding the “continuum of care”

Existing policies and practices can mask biases, prejudices, colonial legacies, and inherent injustices that reproduce and perpetuate inequalities within societies. The compounding nature of the cross-cutting multiple barriers confronting racialized minorities can constitute an “intersectionality of exclusion” rather than advancing a “continuum of care.” This subtheme welcomes explorations and analyses of how past and existing policies and practices continue unfair systemic societal structures and relationships that exclude racial minorities and newcomers from being able to achieve their full potential as individuals and/or communities. How can these systemic barriers be dismantled in constructive ways to advance further the ideals of a more “just society and world?” How should we more effectively “Indigenize” and “Decolonize” existing structures and processes, policies, and practices to incorporate fully our Indigenous communities while also welcoming newcomers, forced migrants, and refugees to our multicultural Canadian society?

4)          Actions to Address Systemic/Structural Violence experienced by refugees and other forcibly displaced peoples – engaged research for political action, community development, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding activities

What form of creative constructive re-imagined new actions are necessary to address the predominate “root causes” of forced displacement in the world today? The mobilization of broad-based political movements whether at the local, national, or international level have been proven essential to realize positive changes. First, they can play an essential educative role by raising our awareness of the injustices that need to be addressed. Secondly, they can provide possible solutions for the immediate problems that need to be rectified. And, thirdly, they can harness the political system so that the State and international community can respond appropriately to remedy the injustices. This subtheme focuses on how grassroots, middle-level, and top-level progressive movements across wide ranging alliances and coalitions through concentrated and sustained efforts over time have proven successful in realizing effective positive change to achieve a more equitable, sustainable, peaceful society and world.

5)           New Methodologies and Best Practices in Refugee and Forced Migration Research

What are the methodological challenges confronting the relatively new discipline of refugee and forced migration studies? What best practices have emerged to overcome the ethical research issues and concerns in engaging with questions of racial marginalization across Indigenous Communities, the BIPOC Community as a whole, and refugee and other forced migrant communities? What new methodologies need to be developed to assist in furthering a more equal, fair, just, and caring community? We welcome submissions that address our major conference theme from a methodological perspective – the appropriate and valid means of gathering, measuring, weighing, and analyzing data – capable of addressing meaningful and ethically sound and practical action-oriented research that advances knowledge, understanding, and practice in the discipline of refugees and forced migration studies while also affecting progressive positive change.


We welcome submissions for panels, individual papers, or workshops, all in 90-minute sessions, that can include diverse discussion and/or presentation formats (e.g., media presentations and demonstrations). We also invite graduate students to submit their research to our adjudicated poster exhibit that will be featured throughout CARFMS23 and CONGRESS.  All those who are interested in displaying their art and media exhibits and film documentaries, that will be shown during the conference as well as made available on the website of the CARFMS 2023 Conference and on the CARFMS YouTube channel, should submit their abstracts as well. Please indicate which subtheme your submission best aligns with.  

For full panel session presentations, please indicate the overall theme of the panel in your abstract and then the individual authors/contributors and their abstracts in the same submission. If you have a subtheme for a panel session and are looking for authors, please feel free to use our CARFMS mailing list. If you are not already subscribed to the list, please send a request to

Please submit your abstract directly online by February 10, 2023. 

Earlier submissions are welcome.