1.1 The name of the Association is the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies / Association canadienne des études sur les réfugiés et la migration forcée (CARFMS/ACERMF)

1.2 The Secretariat of the Association shall be at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University, in the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, or wherever designated in Canada from time to time by resolution of the Executive Committee.



2.1 The mandate of the Association is to foster an independent community of scholars dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of Canadian refugee and forced migration research; establishing active partnerships and collaborations among researchers, teachers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates; advocating for refugees and the advancement of refugee rights;  and supporting publications, conferences, and other fora that contribute to open and inclusive communication and networking around issues relating to refugee and forced migration studies in Canada and elsewhere.

2.2 The vision of the Association is to create a community of scholars and practitioners with an interest on issues relating to refugees and forced migration, to facilitate networking and collaboration between scholars, to disseminate research findings, to foster linkages between scholars and governmental and non-governmental actors, to serve as a forum for debate and intellectual exchange on refugee and forced migration issues, and to be a prime resource of Canadian scholarship and academic contacts in the field of refugee and forced migration studies in Canada and elsewhere. Central to the Association’s vision is the advancement and the protection of rights of all refugees and forced migrants.



3.1 The Association promotes and supports excellence in Canadian research and teaching of refugee and forced migration issues.

3.2 The Association promotes inclusive and open exchange, in a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural and globally-oriented setting, among scholars, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, refugees and other displaced persons in Canada and elsewhere.

3.3 The Association actively facilitates the dissemination of refugee and forced migration knowledge.

3.4 The Association seeks to encourage scholarly and public debate in Canada on issues relating to refugees and forced migration.

3.5 The Association seeks to develop more active and constructive linkages between Canadian researchers and between researchers, governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations engaged in refugee and forced migration issues.

3.6 The Association seeks to support the development of emerging scholars in Canada and among emerging Canadian scholars abroad.



4.1 The Association organizes conferences on a Biennial or Annual basis, and regional seminars and workshops during off-years, focused on the presentation and discussion of research on themes related to the Mandate, Purposes and Objectives of the Association.

4.2 The Association organizes and supports mentoring and professional development opportunities.

4.3 The Association encourages the development of thematic research groups to bring together members with common research interests.

4.4 The Association maintains an active web-page.

4.5 The Association publishes a semi-annual electronic newsletter.

4.6 The Association actively liaises with policy-makers, practitioners and advocacy groups to disseminate and discuss research findings and to match research needs of members with counterparts in the policy, practitioner and advocacy communities.

4.7 The Association actively engages with other organizations, associations and groups engaging with similar issues and concerns.

4.8 The Association provides pedagogical support to those teaching in the areas of refugee issues and forced migration.

4.9 The Association advocates on behalf of refugees and other forced migrants and the research field of refugee and forced migration studies.



 5.1 MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES. Membership in this Association shall be divided into two categories: individual and institutional affiliate. Only Individual Members shall enjoy voting privileges, or be eligible for nomination, election, or appointment to office.

 5.2 INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. Any individual interested in the purpose of this Association shall be duly accepted into its membership after payment of the annual dues specified for such membership.

 5.3 INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATE MEMBERS. Any organization interested in the purpose of this Association shall be eligible to affiliate with the Association upon payment of the annual dues specified for such membership.

 5.4 MEMBERSHIP DUES. The membership dues, along with the membership year, shall be determined from time to time by the Executive Committee in accordance with the Association’s financial needs. In making such determinations, the Executive Committee will make membership in the Association, as well as Association activities, as accessible as possible, requiring only nominal dues and fees for students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or unwaged or low-income researchers. Accessibility may be enhanced through such measures as reduced dues, and financial support to attend conferences and other Association activities.

 5.5 Upon the petition of fifteen percent of the Active Members, the Executive Committee must submit to the Active Members for their approval at the Annual Meeting or by electronic vote any decision to change the dues structure. A simple majority of those responding within 45 days shall then decide the issue.

5.6 Failure of a Member to pay dues automatically terminates the individual’s membership in the Association, unless otherwise stipulated by the Executive Committee. Upon the request and payment of tardy and current dues, any person whose membership has been automatically terminated for non-payment of dues may be reinstated by the Secretary or Treasurer of the Association.

5.7 Members of the Association with proof of student status at an educational institution shall also be Members of the Association’s Student Caucus.




  1. a) The Executive Committee shall carry out policy as determined by the general meeting of the Association. It shall have the power to approve the budget and to direct and review the general affairs of the Association.
  2. b) The Executive Committee of the Association shall consist of the Officers described at article 6.2, including up to one representative from the Secretariat, who shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
  3. c) One-half of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the official transaction of business. Unless otherwise specified herein, decisions shall be based on a simple majority vote. In the event of a tie, the Past-President shall cast the deciding vote.

6.2 OFFICERS. The Officers of this Association shall be President, Past President (non-voting), Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Conference Coordinator, Communication Officer, Policy Partnerships Officer, Practitioner and Advocacy Partnerships Officer, Student Affairs Officer, Student Directors, and Directors-at-Large.


  1. a) President and Officers of the Association, with the exception of Secretary, Treasurer, and Conference Coordinator, shall serve a two-year term and may stand for re-election for a maximum of two further two-year term.
  2. b) Secretary and Treasurer shall serve a three-year term, renewable for one, two or three years. The Conference Coordinator shall serve a one-year term.
  3. c) The President upon completion of their term shall become Past-President, which shall be a non-voting executive position. The position of Past-President shall be created upon the completion of the term of office of the first President of the Association.
  4. d) Directors-at-Large shall serve three-year terms, with the exception of the first elected Directors-at-Large who shall be elected for one, two- and three-year terms. Following the election of the first Directors-at-Large, one Director-at-Large shall be replaced every year.
  5. e) A term of office shall begin on the day votes are tabulated and announced at the end of the Association’s Biennial or Annual Conference. If an emergency prevents the Biennial or Annual Conference, a term of office shall begin on January 1st of the year following the normal date of the Biennial or Annual Conference, and shall continue until a successor is entitled and prepared to take office.
  6. f) If an elected Officer is not ready to take office within one month of the initiation of their term of office, the Executive Committee may declare the office temporarily vacant and appoint a temporary substitute or, if the elected Officer is not ready to take office within three months of the initiation of their term, the Executive Committee may declare the office vacant and appoint a substitute for a term.
  7. g) Any member of the Executive Committee who misses more than half of the Executive Committee meetings may be required to vacate their position at the discretion of the President of the Association and the Executive Committee. A new person will then be appointed to serve in this position for the duration of that Executive Committee member’s term in office.


  1. a) A Nomination Committee, including at least two Directors-at-Large and acting in consultation with the other Directors-at-Large, shall be responsible for proposing nominees for the seats of officers and directors of the Association.
  2. b) At each annual meeting as the terms of office of Officers expire, the Nominating Committee shall endeavour to present a slate of at least two names each for the offices of the President and other Officers of the Association, and at least four names for two seats of Directors-at-Large. At appropriate times the Nominating Committee shall make nominations for Secretary and Treasurer.
  3. c) The Nominating Committee shall endeavour to ensure appropriate regional representation and representation of the various academic disciplines.
  4. d) After the Nominating Committee presents its list of candidates, nominations may be made from the floor. If seconded, the name of the person(s) nominated shall be added to the list of candidates for election.
  5. e) When only one candidate stands for office, they are proclaimed elected. Otherwise, election shall be by written ballot or electronic voting and the votes shall be counted by the Secretary and a teller chosen by the assembly.
  6. f) Officers shall be elected by plurality vote. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.


  1. a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President and the Vice-President, the Secretary shall convene the Executive Committee for the purpose of naming an acting President.
  2. b) When a vacancy occurs in any office or Directorship, the Executive shall fill the vacant position for a term prescribed by the Executive Committee.


  1. a) The President shall preside at all business meetings of the Association and its Executive Committee. The President shall create and appoint such temporary committees as deemed necessary; receive and analyze the annual reports of the officers and committees of the Association preceding the Biennial or Annual Conference and Annual Meeting during off-years; submit a written annual report of the status, program, and needs of the Association; actively promote the Association’s public relations; represent the Association, or be represented by the appropriate Officer of the Association, at meetings of other educational and professional organizations when possible; and perform those duties usually associated with this office.
  2. b) The Past-President and Officers of the Association shall assist the President when requested. The Past-President shall assume whatever duties are deemed appropriate by the President as approved by the Executive Committee.
  3. c) The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the latter’s absence, disability, or request. The Vice-President will be assigned special assignments by the President that will further the purposes and objectives of the Association. 
  4. d) The Secretary shall act as recording secretary for all general meetings, meetings of the Executive Committee. They shall carry on all routine correspondence in the name of the Association or as directed by the Officers of the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall receive and circulate reports of committees, and prepare and present an annual report of the Executive Committee for the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall also be responsible for the future development of the Association, including thematic groups.
  5. e) The Treasurer of the Association shall collect all membership dues and maintains the official and current membership file of the Association. The Treasurer shall submit an annual financial report to the Association’s Membership. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for fundraising on behalf of the Association.
  6. f) The Policy Partnerships Officer shall be responsible for developing links between the Association, its Members, and the policy community in Canada.
  7. g) The Practitioner and Advocacy Partnerships Officer shall be responsible for developing links between the Association, its Members, and the practitioner and advocacy community in Canada, including the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) and other organisations.
  8. h) The Communication Officer shall be responsible for coordinating the Association’s communications with members and non-members through the Association’s webpage, newsletter, listservs, and other social media.
  9. i) The Biennial or Annual Conference Coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating the Association’s Biennial or Annual Conference, including, convening and chairing a Conference Planning Committee, and reporting to the Executive Committee on the activities of the Conference Planning Committee. The membership of the Conference Planning Committee shall include at least the Biennial or Annual Conference Coordinator, President, and one additional member of the Executive Committee.
  10. j) The Student Affairs Officer and Student Directors shall be responsible for the promotion of the Association among students, the inclusion of students in the business and activities of the Association, and coordinating such activities of the Association’s Student Caucus.



 7.1 The Association shall engage in the preparation, production, sale, and distribution of such occasional or regular publications as the Executive Committee shall determine.

7.2 NEWSLETTER. Published half-yearly, the Newsletter is a communication link between Members and with the academic, policy, practitioner and advocacy communities as well as other organizations. It circulates news from the Association, opinions and viewpoints of members, and information on work in progress, recent publications, recent and forthcoming conferences, research centre activities and research support, and also teaching and pedagogy related to refugee issues and forced migration.



8.1 The Treasurer shall receive dues and other payments, keep accounts, authorize outgoing cheques, and render reports as provided in Article 6.7 (e) above. As the Secretariat and financial management are currently being administered by York University, the University will provide annual financial statements to the Treasurer, to be distributed to the membership as part of the Annual Report at its annual general meeting, to be held either during one of its conferences or separately if it is an off year.

8.2 All revenue derived from dues, assessments, sale of publications, grants or any other source shall be used exclusively for the work of the Association. Such funds shall be expended in accordance with Association purposes consistent with its budget, or with the special terms of a grant or bequest consistent with Association purposes. No part of the incomes of the Association shall be paid to any Member as a share or dividend; but Officers, committee members and employees may be reimbursed for necessary expenses related to their duties; and employees may be paid wages and salaries as authorized by the Executive Committee.

8.3 The Executive Committee shall present to the Association at its Annual Business Meeting the budget adopted for the next fiscal year.

8.4 No Member or group of Members shall commit the funds or other assets and resources of the Association in any way except as stipulated in these Bylaws.


  1. a) In the event the Association is dissolved, the Executive Committee shall remain in existence for not more than 12 months to terminate the affairs of the Association in accordance with the provisions of this section.
  2. b) After payment of debts and obligations, the Executive Committee shall reimburse the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), as well as other institutions and/or research groups, for funds expended on behalf of the Association in proportion of such expenses.
  3. c) After such payments and reimbursements, any remaining assets of the Association shall be transferred to a national refugee advocacy organization.
  4. d) Should the authorized transfer of funds not have been completed by the end of the twelfth month after dissolution of the Association, a majority of the Members of the last Executive Committee of the Association shall have authority to complete the provisions of this section.

8.6 No Member or group of Members other than a duly established committee of the Association shall use the name of the Association or its logo in an activity without the prior written permission of the Secretary-Treasurer acting with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee.



9.1 Except for sufficient reason, there shall be a Biennial or Annual Conference of the Association. One general session of the Biennial or Annual Conference shall be arranged for and designated as the Annual Business Meeting for the purposes of making policy, reporting and reviewing all decisions of the Executive Committee. An Annual Business Meeting shall also be arranged. All decisions of the Executive Committee shall be reported to the Association Membership at the Annual Business Meeting of the Association.

9.2 The Executive Committee of the Association shall have the authority to set the time, place, and registration fees of the meetings of the entire Association. On the petition of ten percent of the Active Members, however, the Executive Committee must call a meeting to be held within three months from the date of the petition.

9.3 Announcement of the time and place of any meeting of the entire Association shall be made as far ahead as is reasonably possible; in every case, notice shall be sent in time to reach Active Members at least 30 days in advance of the meeting date.

9.4 Individual Members of the Association may vote on matters referred to the Association at the Annual Business Meeting, and may initiate business at such meetings. Motions passed at the Annual Business Meeting shall be acted upon by the Executive Committee.

9.5 Items of business requiring the vote of Active Members may be transacted by telephone, mail, or e-mail when the Executive Committee considers such action desirable.

9.6 At the Annual Business Meeting, the Active Members by a simple majority vote may refer any business other than constitutional amendments to the entire Active Membership for a vote by mail. A summary of pertinent discussion on the floor will be included in the materials sent to the Members.

9.7 Minutes of the preceding Annual Business Meeting, with a summary of any other material which concerns a program of the Association for its membership, shall be included in the annual report by the Secretary-Treasurer.

9.8 A copy of the budget as approved by the Executive Committee shall be available at the Annual Business Meeting.

9.9 The financial year of the Association shall extend from January 1st to December 31st.



10.1 INITIATION OF CHANGE. Amendments to, or other changes in, these Bylaws may be initiated in any of the following ways:

  1. a) The Executive Committee may formulate proposals for amendment of these Bylaws and submit them, with any arguments it chooses, to the Active Membership for vote.
  2. b) The President may appoint a Committee to consider revising the Bylaws in general or in particular, and subsequently submit to the Membership of the Association the Committee report, together with recommendations of the Executive Committee for or against the proposals.
  3. c) Fifteen Active Members of the Association may submit to the Executive Committee a proposed amendment or amendments in writing and signed by the sponsors. The Executive Committee shall then submit the proposed amendment(s) with any arguments advanced by its sponsors, and with the Executive Committee’s recommendation for or against the proposed change, to the Members of the Association for action. An amendment formulated in this manner may not be submitted to the Executive Committee within a period of 60 days preceding and 60 days following the date of the Annual Business Meeting.
  4. d) Any defeated amendment shall not be reconsidered before the next Annual Meeting of the Association.

10.2 Amendments or revisions to this document may be considered formally by the Active Members of the Association at the annual meeting. An affirmative vote of at least two thirds of those voting shall be required for acceptance of an amendment. Members may designate a proxy vote by written notification to the Secretary, Treasurer or the President, 30 days in advance of the Annual Meeting.

10.3 Unless otherwise specified, an amendment approved by the Active Members becomes effective on the date selected by official action of the Executive Committee, but in no case later than the next Annual Business Meeting.



11.1 In the absence of any provision to the contrary in these Bylaws, all business meetings of the Association and its various components shall be governed by the Parliamentary rules and usages contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Revised.