The Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG), the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) and Center for Peace and Justice/BRAC University (CPJ), in close collaboration with BABSEACLE and the Asia Pro Bono Conference and Access to Justice Exchange Secretariat, will host the first-ever virtual Summer School on legal protections for refugees and forcibly displaced populations in Asia.
In 2021, as the world continues to navigate the climate crisis as well as a global health crisis, refugees and forcibly displaced communities continue to live under precarious living conditions with limited access to rights, in increasingly protracted displacement situations. This year, 2021, also marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Historically, the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol have been the key legal documents that form the basis of international refugee law. With 149 State parties to either or both, they define the term ‘refugee’, outline the rights of refugees, and the legal obligations of States to protect them. However, the lives of refugees and forcibly displaced communities continue to be predominantly defined through national laws and domestic legal orders in host countries– and in no place is this more apparent than in Asia. Despite providing refuge to one of the largest populations of refugees and forcibly displaced populations in the world, very few states across the Asia Pacific region are parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol. Instead, they have opted to provide protection through a wide range of national laws, policies, judicial decisions, ad hoc measures and localized practices to offer refuge to those fleeing persecution and forcibly displaced communities on their territory.
In this 4-day intensive, interdisciplinary and participatory Summer School, participants will critically reflect on the laws, institutions, and actors influencing and shaping the lives of refugee and forcibly displaced populations in the Asia Pacific region. Participants will be encouraged to think creatively about the role and use of national and international law, and discuss various methods and approaches to advance and strengthen protections for refugees, forcibly displaced, and at-risk populations in different host countries.
Date: 23 – 26 August 2021
Target Participants: The intended audience of the 2021 Summer School,but not limited to, includes scholars, critical thinkers, activists, and early-career professionals in fields related to refugee law and policy.