Physical, economic, social and political safety and security are prerequisites for prospects in countries of origin.“

Bärbel Dieckmann (Chairwoman)
Portrait of Bärbel Dieckmann

Our goal was to propose a package of measures that fairly answers the significant challenge.“

Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman)
Portrait of Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman)

Protecting refugees, creating prospects and managing migration: We can manage these major tasks when we work as partners.“

Dr. Steffen Angenendt
Portrait of Steffen Angenendt

We need to be consistent in promoting and demanding good governance!“

Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate
Portrait of Asfa-Wossen Asserate

We must support major host countries sustainably in an effort to create long-term prospects for refugees there.“

Dominik Bartsch
Portrait of Dominik Bartsch

Patience and perseverance are required for reducing the root causes of displacement – you can’t expect immediate impacts.“

Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer
Portrait of Thomas K. Bauer

Making future life prospects possible and using the opportunities that migration offers is our dual political and social responsibility.“

Dr. Bernd Bornhorst
Portrait of Dr. Bernd Bornhorst

We need to support endogenous initiatives like Africa’s Grean Green Wall as a concrete African response to climate change.“

Fred-Eric Essam
Portrait of Fred-Eric Essam

The German government should campaign resolutely for a fair global order – this entails far-reaching changes here as well.“

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel
Portrait of Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel

Improving the operating environment for innovative start-ups and small businesses creates prospects for people in their home countries.“

Rolf Huber
Portrait of Rolf Huber

Education is the key for good development possibilities for each individual person and for whole nations.“

Alisa Kaps
Portrait of Alisa Kaps

Reducing the root causes of displacement is an investment in the future.“

Ute Klamert
Portrait of Ute Klamert

The next German government should launch a coalition for resettlement and resettle about 40,000 refugees per year.“

Gerald Knaus
Portrait of Gerald Knaus

The efforts to reduce the root causes of displacement cannot justify human rights violations at the EU’s external borders. “

Prof. Dr. Heike Krieger
Portrait of Heike Krieger

Reducing the root causes of displacement means first and foremost sweeping around our own doorstep.“

Dr. Boniface Mabanza Bambu
Portrait of Boniface Mabanza Bambu

The solidarity we show in dealing with both refugees and migrants determines the basic ethical stance of our society.“

Dr. Annette Massmann
Portrait of Annette Massmann

Failure to protect the climate aggravates the drivers of displacement.“

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner
Portrait of Dirk Messner

Migrant organisations are important partners as mediators between Germany and their countries of origin on migration issues.“

Dr. Sylvie Nantcha
Portrait of Sylvie Nantcha

The costs to reduce the root causes of displacement will always be lower than the costs of not addressing them.“

Victoria Rietig
Portrait of Victoria Rietig

Global warming exacerbates inequality, conflict and displacement. Rich countries have a special responsibility for mitigating climate risks“

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran
Portrait of Jürgen Scheffran

Our government needs to enhance its strategic capability in order to be better able to prevent crises and resolve conflicts.“

Dr. Julia Steets
Portrait of Julia Steets

For women contribute to the development of their countries, physical integrity, gender equality and equal participation need to be ensured.“

Christa Stolle
Portrait of Christa Stolle

The role of women as agents of changes must be strengthened so that conflict do not escalate into wars. “

Düzen Tekkal
Portrait of Tekkal

Sustainable economic development, vocational training and improving agricultural productivity are necessary measures.“

Dr. Volker Treier
Portrait of Volker Treier

How can the root causes of displacement and irregular migration be mitigated effectively?

Over the last decade, the number of people who are refugees has nearly doubled as a direct consequence of the crisis hotspots in the world. The increase in the number of people who have been internally displaced by crises, conflicts and natural disasters is even higher. There is often more than just one reason why people leave their home countries. Besides climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic is also aggravating the most familiar drivers of displacement and irregular migration: war, persecution, hardship and a lack of prospects.

Preventing Crises,
Creating Prospects,
Protecting People

Report by the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement

Three copies of the report by the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement

The independent Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement was mandated by the German government in July 2019 to develop approaches for the effective mitigation of these root causes. Starting in October 2019, 24 experts from academic institutions, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and international organisations carefully studied the broad range of issues that play a role in displacement and migration – from conflict, human rights violations and political persecution all the way to resource scarcity, structural food insecurity, inequality and the consequences of climate change.

Having closely analysed these matters for one and a half years, the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement presented its findings to the German government and the German parliament (Bundestag) in a report on 18 May. In the report, proposals for Germany's future national and international activities across the entire range of displacement- and migration-related areas are presented by the members of the Commission. Fifteen specific recommendations for action are to serve as input for the negotiations on the formation of the new government in the autumn of 2021, so that Germany can chart the right course for mitigating the root causes of displacement and irregular migration in the next legislative term.

Documents

Report by the Commission and Summary

Cover english version

Preventing Crises, Creating Prospects, Protecting People (Summary)

Report by the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement

Download (pdf | 1 MB | accessible)

15 recommendations to chart the course for the future: Commission on the Root Causes of Displacemet puts forward proposals

Press release, 19 May 2021

Download (pdf | 608 KB)
Members

Members of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement

Portrait of Bärbel Dieckmann
Bärbel Dieckmann (Chairwoman)
Former President of Welthungerhilfe

„Physical, economic, social and political safety and security are prerequisites to ensure that people have prospects in their countries of origin for their lives and their families. As long as structural drivers such as social inequality, a lack of income opportunities and of social security, political persecution and violent conflicts prevail, people will leave their homes and seek a better future elsewhere.“

Bärbel Dieckmann (Chairwoman) - Former President of Welthungerhilfe
Bärbel Dieckmann (Chairwoman)
Former President of Welthungerhilfe
Portrait of Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman)
Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman)
President of the German Red Cross

„Our goal was to propose a package of measures that fairly answers the significant challenge. I hope that through our report we will contribute to an informed debate in politics, academia and civil society and that our recommendations will create a basis for political decision-making in the new legislative term.“

Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman) - President of the German Red Cross
Gerda Hasselfeldt (Chairwoman)
President of the German Red Cross
Portrait of Steffen Angenendt
Dr. Steffen Angenendt
Head of Global Issues Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

„Protecting refugees, creating prospects for people in their home regions and managing migration – these are major tasks for the future which are linked to one another and which we can achieve if we take a well-considered approach and work together as partners.“

Dr. Steffen Angenendt - Head of Global Issues Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Dr. Steffen Angenendt
Head of Global Issues Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Portrait of Asfa-Wossen Asserate
Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate
Consultant for African & Middle Eastern Affairs, Author and Political Analyst, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the German Africa Foundation

„We need to be consistent in promoting and demanding good governance!“

Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate - Consultant for African & Middle Eastern Affairs, Author and Political Analyst, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the German Africa Foundation
Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate
Consultant for African & Middle Eastern Affairs, Author and Political Analyst, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the German Africa Foundation
Portrait of Dominik Bartsch
Dominik Bartsch
UNHCR Representative in Jordan; until 31 January 2020 UNHCR Representative in Germany

„We must find ways to provide sustainable and predictable support to the major refugee-hosting countries like Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, in an effort to create long-term prospects for the refugees who have found protection in those countries.“

Dominik Bartsch  - UNHCR Representative in Jordan; until 31 January 2020 UNHCR Representative in Germany
Dominik Bartsch
UNHCR Representative in Jordan; until 31 January 2020 UNHCR Representative in Germany
Portrait of Thomas K. Bauer
Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer
Professor of economics at the Ruhr University Bochum and Vice-President of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

„Managing conflicts, ensuring the sustainable provision of food, clean drinking water and health services, and creating better prospects through access to education, job creation and social protection are fundamental pillars of a policy aimed at reducing displacement and forced migration. These are complex tasks requiring patience and perseverance – you can’t expect immediate impacts.“

Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer - Professor of economics at the Ruhr University Bochum and Vice-President of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer
Professor of economics at the Ruhr University Bochum and Vice-President of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
Portrait of Dr. Bernd Bornhorst
Dr. Bernd Bornhorst
Chairman of VENRO and Head of the Policy and Global Challenges Department at MISEREOR

„Displacement and migration have many causes. Wars, violence or a lack of prospects are frequent causes for people to leave their homes. At the same time, migration is a constant in human history and has generated many positive developments. Making future life prospects possible everywhere and using the opportunities that migration offers is our dual political and social responsibility.“

Dr. Bernd Bornhorst - Chairman of VENRO and Head of the Policy and Global Challenges Department at MISEREOR
Dr. Bernd Bornhorst
Chairman of VENRO and Head of the Policy and Global Challenges Department at MISEREOR
Portrait of Fred-Eric Essam
Fred-Eric Essam
Founding Chairman of ident.africa

„We need more international solidarity and we urgently need to support young people in Africa and endogenous initiatives like Africa’s Great Green Wall. The wall is a concrete African response to climate change and the spreading desertification in Africa, and it will help reduce poverty. In sub-Saharan Africa it is young people in particular who are adversely affected by the lack of jobs and prospects. And the COVID-19 pandemic is now exacerbating the situation.“

Fred-Eric Essam - Founding Chairman of ident.africa
Fred-Eric Essam
Founding Chairman of ident.africa
Portrait of Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel
Former President of Brot für die Welt and Deputy Chairwoman of the Protestant Agency for Diakonie and Development

„The German government should campaign resolutely for a fair global order so that the causes of displacement and irregular migration are reduced. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations provide the framework for this. They call for far-reaching changes here in Germany as well, for example ambitious climate action in order to reach the Paris climate targets, fair trade relations with developing countries and restrictive arms exports.“

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel - Former President of Brot für die Welt and Deputy Chairwoman of the Protestant Agency for Diakonie and Development
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel
Former President of Brot für die Welt and Deputy Chairwoman of the Protestant Agency for Diakonie and Development
Portrait of Rolf Huber
Rolf Huber
Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung

„Millions of jobs are created in the Global South by innovative start-ups and small businesses, many of which are aimed at satisfying basic daily needs – and they often have a huge social impact. Improving their operating environment and supporting them creates prospects for people on the ground and is the foundation for stable and sustainable economic development.“

Rolf Huber - Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung
Rolf Huber
Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung
Portrait of Alisa Kaps
Alisa Kaps
Advocacy Officer at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW); until 31 December 2020 Head of Department International Demography at Berlin Institute for Population and Development

„Education is the key for good development possibilities for each individual person and for whole nations. It promotes participation in society, is a prerequisite for better income prospects and helps to prevent conflicts. Whoever wants to sustainably reduce the root causes of displacement must therefore place a high priority on promoting good primary and secondary education in development cooperation.“

Alisa Kaps - Advocacy Officer at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW); until 31 December 2020 Head of Department International Demography at Berlin Institute for Population and Development
Alisa Kaps
Advocacy Officer at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW); until 31 December 2020 Head of Department International Demography at Berlin Institute for Population and Development
Portrait of Ute Klamert
Ute Klamert
Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Advocacy, United Nations World Food Programme

„Reducing the root causes of displacement will be an ongoing task for the German government and must be understood as an investment in the future. Humanitarian assistance remains a key imperative at all times. However, the cost of preventing conflicts and crises is lower than the cost of dealing with the aftermath. Strengthening resilience is a way to help prevent conflicts and to create prospects for people in need.“

Ute Klamert - Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Advocacy, United Nations World Food Programme
Ute Klamert
Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Advocacy, United Nations World Food Programme
Portrait of Gerald Knaus
Gerald Knaus
Founding Chairman of European Stability Initiative (ESI)

„The next German government should launch a coalition for resettlement with participating countries committing to resettle a number of refugees each year that is equal to at least 0.05 per cent of the population of the country accepting them. For Germany that would mean about 40,000 refugees per year. With other EU countries joining in, resettlement commitments of 120,000 people per year could be achieved, and if the US and Canada came on board 250,000 a year would be possible. Without overstretching the capacities of any one country, as a concrete offer of assistance for people in need of protection and for first host countries.“

Gerald Knaus - Founding Chairman of European Stability Initiative (ESI)
Gerald Knaus
Founding Chairman of European Stability Initiative (ESI)
Portrait of Heike Krieger
Prof. Dr. Heike Krieger
Professor of Public and International Law, Freie Universität Berlin; Max-Planck-Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

„That efforts are being made to reduce the root causes of displacement cannot justify that for years the worst kind of human rights violations at the EU’s external borders have been tacitly accepted with the aim of reducing the number of irregular migrants and people seeking refuge in the EU.“

Prof. Dr. Heike Krieger - Professor of Public and International Law, Freie Universität Berlin; Max-Planck-Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
Prof. Dr. Heike Krieger
Professor of Public and International Law, Freie Universität Berlin; Max-Planck-Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
Portrait of Boniface Mabanza Bambu
Dr. Boniface Mabanza Bambu
Coordinator/Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa/Werkstatt Ökonomie

„Reducing the root causes of displacement is not about being engaged in an undifferentiated approach everywhere in the world; it means first and foremost sweeping around our own doorstep. This involves consistently making our own contribution towards building peace – for example by stopping arms exports –, towards fair economic structures and towards preserving the natural foundations for livelihoods by fighting climate change.“

Dr. Boniface Mabanza Bambu - Coordinator/Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa/Werkstatt Ökonomie
Dr. Boniface Mabanza Bambu
Coordinator/Ecumenical Service on Southern Africa/Werkstatt Ökonomie
Portrait of Annette Massmann
Dr. Annette Massmann
CEO GLS Future Foundation for Development

„The solidarity we show in dealing with both refugees and migrants determines the basic ethical stance of a society. Poverty, and climate and economic crises mean that active and effective solidarity and a radical rethink by policymakers are necessary.“

Dr. Annette Massmann - CEO GLS Future Foundation for Development
Dr. Annette Massmann
CEO GLS Future Foundation for Development
Portrait of Dirk Messner
Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner
President of the German Environment Agency, Co-Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

„Ambitious climate action in Europe can prevent people in the Global South losing their livelihoods and becoming refugees in their own country or being forced to look for ways to offer their families a safer future beyond the borders of their home country. Failure to protect the climate aggravates the drivers of displacement.“

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner - President of the German Environment Agency, Co-Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner
President of the German Environment Agency, Co-Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Portrait of Sylvie Nantcha
Dr. Sylvie Nantcha
Founder and Chairwoman of The African Network of Germany (TANG), Former City Council of Freiburg

„Migrant organisations are important partners for policymakers: they have much to offer in terms of expert knowledge and the potential to act as mediators between Germany and their countries of origin on migration issues. We therefore recommend that diaspora organisations be acknowledged as important players and partners for German development and migration policy, and as actors in tackling the causes of displacement.“

Dr. Sylvie Nantcha - Founder and Chairwoman of The African Network of Germany (TANG), Former City Council of Freiburg
Dr. Sylvie Nantcha
Founder and Chairwoman of The African Network of Germany (TANG), Former City Council of Freiburg
Portrait of Victoria Rietig
Victoria Rietig
Head Migration Program, DGAP

„To those who say our proposals cost too much, we say: the costs for Germany to reduce the root causes of displacement and irregular migration will always be lower than the costs for Germany of not addressing them – that is the lesson we have learned since 2015.“

Victoria Rietig - Head Migration Program, DGAP
Victoria Rietig
Head Migration Program, DGAP
Portrait of Jürgen Scheffran
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran
Chair of the Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), University of Hamburg

„Global warming adversely affects natural resources and social systems on which many people depend for their livelihoods and for a decent life. Inequality, conflict and displacement are increasingly becoming a problem in poorer regions. Rich countries have a special responsibility for strengthening environmental and climate protection, mitigating climate risks and promoting adaptation. Besides recognition and support for people who have been displaced by climate change, there needs to be closer cooperation between North and South in order to promote climate-friendly development.“

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran - Chair of the Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), University of Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran
Chair of the Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), University of Hamburg
Portrait of Julia Steets
Dr. Julia Steets
Director, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)

„Our government needs to enhance its strategic capability in order to be better able to prevent crises and resolve conflicts. For that it will need sufficient capacities in order to be better able to recognise medium-term risks and translate the knowledge gained into decisions and strategies.“

Dr. Julia Steets - Director, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)
Dr. Julia Steets
Director, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)
Portrait of Christa Stolle
Christa Stolle
Executive Director, TERRE DES FEMMES, Human Rights for Women

„Patriarchal structures and gender-based violence, such as domestic violence or female genital mutilation, make the already precarious living conditions in conflict regions even worse for women. Physical integrity, comprehensive education, gender equality and equal participation in political decision-making – only when these conditions exist can women contribute to the development of their countries and the elimination of the root causes of displacement.“

Christa Stolle - Executive Director, TERRE DES FEMMES, Human Rights for Women
Christa Stolle
Executive Director, TERRE DES FEMMES, Human Rights for Women
Portrait of Tekkal
Düzen Tekkal
Founder & Chairwoman, human rights organization HÁWAR.help e.V.

„I am pleased about the outcome of our almost two years of collaboration in the Commission. We have been able, above all, to put a pointed emphasis on the topic of “women and displacement”. In countries where the suffering of the population is a cause of displacement and migration, the weak socio-economic position of women implies a significant policy value. Their role as agents of change must therefore be strengthened, so that conflicts do not escalate into wars.“

Düzen Tekkal - Founder & Chairwoman, human rights organization HÁWAR.help e.V.
Düzen Tekkal
Founder & Chairwoman, human rights organization HÁWAR.help e.V.
Portrait of Volker Treier
Dr. Volker Treier
Chief Executive of Foreign Trade, Member of the Executive Board of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)

„The reasons why people leave their home countries are many and varied. A wide range of measures is therefore needed in order to successfully address these developments. In my view, sustainable economic development in the industrial and services sectors, support for vocational training and improving agricultural productivity in the countries from which displaced people originate are some of the measures that are necessary.“

Dr. Volker Treier - Chief Executive of Foreign Trade, Member of the Executive Board of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)
Dr. Volker Treier
Chief Executive of Foreign Trade, Member of the Executive Board of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)