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W. Courtland Robinson, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8144
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2004


W. Courtland Robinson has worked in the field of refugee and migration programs and policy since 1979, both in the United States and internationally. He received his PhD in Demography from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2004 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Health Systems Program with a joint appointment in the Department of Population Family and Reproductive Health, and is also core faculty with the Center for Humanitarian Health. His research interests have focused on populations in migration, whether displaced by conflict or natural disaster, or in the context of migrant labor and human trafficking. Since 2010, he has been involved in the estimation of prevalence of, and risk factors associated with, labor trafficking, forced labor and forced marriage in East and Southeast Asia. He also is involved with a variety of projects around the world, measuring demographic characteristics of populations affected by disaster, humanitarian emergency, and displacement.

Honors and Awards

AMTRA Award (Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognition) (2010)

Paul A. and Esther C. Harper Award in Population and Family Health Sciences (2004)

MacArthur Foundation, Program on Peace and International Cooperation, Research and Writing Award (1992-1993)

  • International Health
  • Migration and Displacement
  • Complex Emergencies
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Human Rights
  • Mental Health
  • Demography
  • Mortality
  • Human Trafficking
  • Migrant Labor
  • Migrant Health Policy
  • Survey Research
  • Mixed Methods Research

My research interests focus on populations in migration, whether displaced by conflict, natural disaster or widespread human rights abuse; or in the context of migrant labor and human trafficking. Interests include: • Population-based surveys of marginalized and mobile groups • Impacts of migration and displacement on physical and mental health • Mortality studies applying demographic principles in field settings • Access to health care and health systems among displaced and migrant populations • Operations research in complex emergency and crisis settings • Health and protection policies for refugees, displaced persons, migrants and survivors of human trafficking

  • Robinson C, Lee MK, Hill K, Burnham G. (1999). Mortality in North Korean Migrant Households: A Retrospective Study. Lancet, 354.
  • Robinson, C. 2004. The Indochinese Comprehensive Plan of Action: Sharing the Burden and Passing the Buck. Journal of Refugee Studies.
  • Robinson C, Branchini C*, Thame C. (2017) Debate: Global trafficking prevalence data advances the fight against trafficking in persons. Anti-Trafficking Review.
  • Robinson C. (1998). Terms of Refuge: The Indochinese Exodus and the International Response. London and New York: Zed Books.
  • Robinson C. (2014). “Intractability and Change in Crisis Migrations: North Koreans in China and Burmese in Thailand,” Humanitarian Crises and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses. Routledge.