Migration Policy Institute
Samuel Davidoff-Gore

The Mobility Key

Realizing the Potential of Refugee Travel Documents

Governments are increasingly exploring new pathways for refugee mobility, including complementary ones that connect refugees to work or study opportunities in a country other than the one in which they first sought safety. However, this push to expand the future prospects of refugees is impeded by refugees' limited access to travel documents and restrictions on their use. As a result, refugees are often unable to travel internationally safely and legally. This limits their agency and keeps pressure on key refugee-hosting countries by preventing refugees from taking advantage of opportunities abroad. In this brief, Samuel Davidoff-Gore examines the types of travel documents available, the challenges refugees face in obtaining and using them, and the steps governments and other stakeholders could take to address these challenges. The brief is part of the Beyond Territorial Asylum: Making Protection Work in a Bordered World initiative undertaken by MPI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The initiative seeks to address challenges to asylum systems that are under immense pressure and seize the opportunity to explore and test new ways to facilitate access to protection that better support equity and result in more flexible, sustainable infrastructure. 

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