Global Developments and Forensic Practice
Few images from 2015 have been so indelible as those of the exodus of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East trying to make their way into Europe, by boat, by train, or by arduous trek. For some observers, the scenes of men, women, and children being met with barbed wire fences, armed police offi cers, or trains to “reception camps” painfully recollect the reason for the creation of the international framework put into place aft er World War II to help similarly displaced persons (Lyman 2015). When the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) was founded in 1951, its mandate was envisioned to be needed for only three years (UNHCR 2000). Sixty-fi ve years later, the need for a global system to register, house, resettle, or repatriate millions is more critical than ever. On June 20, 2015, World Refugee Day, UNHCR reported that the increase in persons of concern in 2014 was the largest leap ever seen in one year, with an average of 42,500 people having left their home countries every day; in total over sixty million people are under UNHCR’s auspices (UNHCR 2015a). Th e UN High Commissioner for Refugees described 2015 as a “moment of truth,” calling on the world’s wealthiest countries not to abandon the historical principle of sheltering refugees (UNHCR 2015b).