The Model International Mobility Convention: Migrants, Refugees and Responsibility Sharing


Past Event

The Model International Mobility Convention: Migrants, Refugees and Responsibility Sharing

February 18, 2022
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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Zoom Webinar


In this session Professor Michael Doyle, Dr. Janine Prantl and Mr. Mark Wood will be speaking about the Model International Mobility Convention and about responsibility-sharing by culpability and capability. Prof. Michael Doyle will begin the session by discussing the need for the convention as well as its defining features -- its cumulative and comprehensive nature. 

International mobility—the movement of individuals across borders for any length of time as visitors, students, tourists, labor migrants, entrepreneurs, long-term residents, asylum seekers, or refugees—currently has no common definition or legal framework. In order to address this key gap in international law, and the growing gaps in protection and responsibility that are leaving people vulnerable, the Model International Mobility Convention proposes a comprehensive and cumulative framework for mobility, reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people and expanding them where warranted. 

The Convention is comprehensive as it establishes the rights afforded to tourists, students, migrant workers, investors and residents, forced migrants, refugees, migrant victims of trafficking and migrants caught in countries in crisis. While some of these categories are covered by existing international legal regimes, the Convention brings them together under a single complementary framework for the first time. The Convention is cumulative as its chapters build on and add rights to the set of rights afforded to categories of migrants based on their needs. In addition to the minimum rights afforded to all mobile people - independent of their migration status - the Convention grants certain categories of mobile persons additional rights that address the particular needs associated with each kind of international mobility.

Dr. Janine Prantl and Mark Wood will then discuss responsibility-sharing for forced migrants based on culpability and capability. Responsibility-sharing by culpability reflects the norm that each state has a duty to its own citizens to not inflict harm on them and the consequent expectation that the international community should hold states that do so accountable. Responsibility-sharing by capability refers to international cooperation among states to equitably and predictably share responsibilities when it comes to protecting and resettling refugees according to criteria such as a state’s population or wealth. 

This event is a part of Columbia Academy on Law in Global Affairs (CALGA), a series of online open-access events, in which Columbia Law School faculty present their research and debate current issues with colleagues from around the globe.

CALGA is cosponsored by Columbia Law School, the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative LawThe Committee on Global Thought, and Columbia | Global Centers.

About the Speakers

Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle, a University Professor of Columbia University, with appointments in International Affairs, Law and Political Science, specializes in international relations theory, international security, and international organizations. Doyle previously served as assistant secretary-general and special adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan from 2001 to 2003. Doyle is the former chair of the Academic Council of the United Nations System. He has also been a vice president, senior fellow and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Institute between 1992 and 2018. He served as chair of the board of the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) from 2006–2013. In 2001, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2009, to the American Philosophical Society; and in 2012, to the American Academy of Political and Social Science. On July 15, 2014, the University of Warwick conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) upon Doyle in recognition of his research and publications on Peace Theory. In 2013, Doyle was appointed director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative where in 2015, he convened a commission of experts who developed the Model International Mobility Convention. The Convention serves the ambitious goal of creating a holistic, rights-respecting governance regime for all aspects of international migration, filling in the gaps in the existing international legal regime and expanding protections where needed. 

Janine Prantl

Janine Prantl supports the Global Strategic Litigation Council for Refugee Rights as Legal Fellow, providing the Council’s Working Groups with legal research on pertinent refugee and human rights law issues. She received her first law degree from the University of Vienna, and wrote her PhD at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, on the legal framework for refugee resettlement to the European Union. Janine holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School, where she took part in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Prior to her LL.M. studies, Janine worked as university research and teaching fellow in the fields of Public International and European Law.

Mark Wood

Mark Wood is an intern at the International Peace Institute focusing on United Nations peacekeeping missions. He is also a Master’s degree candidate at Columbia University specializing in International Security Policy. Wood holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pretoria and Seton Hall University. He has done extensive research on peace and security efforts in Africa and the Middle East, focusing on the causes of violence and the role religion plays in peace efforts. Prior to Columbia, Wood worked as an Advocacy Assistant for CARITAS Internationalis and served as a United Nations Youth Representative in 2019.

Dorothea Koehn

Dorothea Koehn is a research assistant to Professor. Michael Doyle and research fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, supporting the Model International Mobility Convention. She is a Master’s Candidate at Columbia’s School of International Public Affairs, specializing in Humanitarian Policy and the Middle East. Prior to joining Columbia, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Dorothea previously worked for Human Rights Watch and the German Parliament. 

Contact Information

Nick Pozek