Addressing the issues behind the European refugee crisis: Towards new global solidarities and solutions

The African Centre for Migration & Society’s South African Research Chair in Mobility and the Politics of Difference invites you to a special public lecture by Liv Tørres (Executive Director, Nobel Peace Center, Oslo).

In the beginning of 2015, large numbers of refugees and migrants started arriving in Europe. The so-called “European refugee crisis” had developed slowly since 2010, but evolved into a mass movement of people, with record-numbers of refugees passing the doorstep of Europe.

Altogether 1,3 million people arrived with relative high numbers settling in Germany, Sweden and France, with Italy and Greece as frontline states which carry most of the practical and political “burdens”. Two years and an agreement with Turkey later, thousands of people are still stuck in holding camps in Greece; Italy is overwhelmed; large parts of Europe refuse to help; right-wing political parties and far-right groups capitalize on fears, at the same time as regular Islamist attacks contribute to growing tensions, mounting radicalization, the closing of borders and a divided and more nationalistic Europe.

Putting this into a larger perspective though, the numbers of refugees arriving in Europe are low compared to the larger migration and refugee flows internationally where it is countries in the south taking most of the solidarity responsibility. Why has this become such a crisis in Europe? What kind of a crisis is it really? And with new waves of migrants and refugees expected, what needs to be done? Is this not more of a political crisis and solidarity crisis than a “refugee crisis”?


Liv Tørres is Executive Director at the Nobel Peace Center. She is former General Secretary of the Norwegian People’s Aid. Previous engagements include political advisor for Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion (Labour Party); research director at the research institute Fafo; associate professor at the University of Oslo and senior advisor at the Research Council of Norway. Tørres holds a PhD in political science from the University of Oslo. She has worked many years on issues such as international labour markets, trade unionism, development policy and democratization. She lived and worked for many years in South Africa and is also visiting professor at Wits University in Johannesburg South Africa. She is an active voice in the Norwegian contemporary debate, within topics related to foreign policy, the refugee crisis and the role of leadership in an unstable world.

For more information and to RSVP:

Date:    Tuesday 24 October 2017

Time:    14:30 to 16:30

Venue:  ACMS Seminar Room, Room 2147, South-East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, East Campus, University of the Witwatersrand