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The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously and profoundly changed everyday life for people in Canada and in other countries around the world. It has also had serious effects on those who do not have a country to call their own. Even before the onset of the pandemic, millions of refugees and other displaced persons existed in precarious and even life-threatening situations.

This lecture, led by associate professor Christopher Anderson, will review some of the ways in which the pandemic has rendered their lives even more insecure, and look at how people and states have responded, with a primary focus on Canada.

Lecture Video

Further Reading and Resources

Global Perspectives

  • For information on the evolving response of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to the COVID-19 crisis, see http://reporting.unhcr.org/covid-19;
  • A set of “Principles of protection for migrants, refugees, and other displaced persons” developed “to inform and guide State action, to assist international organizations, and to provide a basis for advocacy and education” during the pandemic is available on the website of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility (The New School) at https://zolberginstitute.org/covid-19/#Human%20Rights%20Document.
  • A wide range of articles relating to refugees and other displaced persons can be found in Forced Migration Review, which can be downloaded in pdf (and in many cases audio) format at https://www.fmreview.org/issues.

Canadian Perspectives

About the Instructor

Christopher G. Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. He received his PhD from McGill University and his BA from the University of Toronto. His research encompasses both historical and contemporary studies of Canadian citizenship, multiculturalism, immigration, and refugee policy. His book, Canadian Liberalism and the Politics of Border Control, 1867-1967 (UBC Press) was published in 2013, and he co-edits a widely used introductory politics textbook, Studying Politics (Nelson Education). Elsewhere his work has appeared in various edited volumes and journals.

About Lifelong Learning at Home

Lifelong Learning at Home is a free weekly series featuring pre-recorded lectures from some well-known Laurier faculty and community experts. Visit the Lifelong Learning at Home section to explore other lectures and to find out more about this limited series offered by the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning.

Lifelong Learning at Home was created to connect people through lifelong learning during this time of unprecedented challenges. Many Laurier students are experiencing significant financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are in a position to do so, you can help us support our students by donating to Laurier's COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which provides emergency financial support, health and wellness support and teaching and learning support during this challenging time.

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