Photo: NRC
The Human Mobility Hub was established by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in January 2023. It serves as an innovative platform to address legal protection gaps for people on the move. Working with local partners, host communities and people on the move themselves, the Hub aims to understand the different layers and trends of human mobility.

Every day, people move from their homes in search of a better future, either within their own country or by crossing borders. Often, these people face challenges and protection concerns that are overlooked.

People on the move include internally displaced people, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The reasons for their movement vary, but they often do not enjoy sufficient legal protection. Whether they are intending to stay in a location temporarily or long-term, they often lack access to education, a safe home, dignified employment and basic services. They fall victim to harassment, discrimination and exploitation, and have limited access to legal recourse or ways to regularise their stay.

This lack of prospects pushes some to take the increasingly dangerous irregular migration routes in the hope of finding a better life elsewhere. But a growing number are stuck in long-term displacement. As of 31 December 2021, some 89.3 million people globally had been forced to flee their homes. The gap between their needs and the resources required to respond to them continues to grow. And given the global economic challenges, people on the move are increasingly seen as being "in competition" with local communities and (often equally desperate) local youth for jobs and services.

Understanding mobility and finding solutions

To better respond to these complex issues and understand human mobility today and in the future, NRC has launched the Human Mobility Hub. The Hub serves as an innovative platform to find solutions to address (legal) protection gaps for people on the move.

Working with local partners, host communities and people on the move themselves, the Hub aims to understand the different layers and trends of human mobility. By co-designing and implementing with people on the move and local partners, the Hub intends to enhance respect for people's rights, develop their skills to protect themselves and improve their self-reliance. The Hub will make links with countries of origin and transit countries to better support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to access services and rights.

The Hub is currently focusing on North Africa due to the region’s strategic importance as a destination and transit point for migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In addition, North Africa is a hotspot for accelerated climate change and will experience increased competition for resources. Climate change and disasters will play a larger role as a driver for displacement throughout the region, increasing existing tensions and conflict.

The Hub will focus on being localised, tailored, and supporting hard-to-reach people.


  • Working with communities from start to finish to document challenges, needs and priorities as seen by people on the move or those anticipating onward movement. Incorporating them and their priorities in programme design, implementation and evaluation, as well as advocacy.
  • Working with local (legal) aid providers and refugee- and migrant-led community groups to identify innovative approaches to (legal) protection. In particular, providing people on the move or those anticipating onward movement with self-protection skills and information to enhance decision-making on their next steps.
  • Together with local civil society and people on the move, engaging in dialogue with European Union (EU) decision makers covering the southern neighbourhood and host countries in North Africa on reforms and policy opportunities.


  • Working at local, national and regional level to find solutions that have a protective impact and enhance the ability of people on the move to find a protective environment and build a future.
  • Stimulating cross-regional learning and exchange among communities and local aid providers on challenges faced and workable solutions.
  • Producing joint analysis and research on human mobility issues with academia, think tanks and civil society organisations.

Hard-to-reach people

  • Working through community networks to identify and provide adapted responses to people who are most vulnerable, particularly unaccompanied minors.
  • Identifying people who are least likely to access services or have least knowledge about their rights, for example because of fear, social stigma or cultural competency.