Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Go On! Looking Forward: The Refugee Convention at 60

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest)

Tomorrow, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and ASIL's International Refugee Law Interest Group, along with American University's International Human Rights Law Clinic and Immigrants' Rights Coalition, will host a conference at American University's Washington College of Law commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees:
This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the key document in the framework for the international protection of persons displaced outside of their home countries. Through the last sixty years, the landscape of international displacement and migration has become increasingly complex, begging questions as to gaps in the framework for the protection of forcibly displaced persons. This conference examines the current dynamics of forced displacement, highlighting the challenges that particular flows pose to existing legal standards, and focusing attention on the breadth and limits of the Convention and complementary systems as a framework for international protection of persons who cannot return to their home countries.
The conference opens at 9 am, with opening comments by Tom Syring, co-chair of ASIL's International Refugee Law Interest group.
The first panel, focusing on interpretive challenges, features Pamela Goldberg, Acting Senior Protection Officer at UNHCR, Deborah Anker, Director of the Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Harvard Law School (pictured far left), and Anwen Hughes, Deputy Director of the Refugee Protection Program at Human Rights First. This panel runs from 10:15 to 11:45 am.
Bill Frelick, the Director of the Refugee Program at Human Rights Watch, will present the keynote lecture, Challenges to International Refugee Protection, from 11:45 am to 1 pm.
The second panel, focusing on normative challenges, features Alice Thomas of the Bacon Center for the Study of Climate Displacement at Refugees International (pictured near left), Alexander Betts, Director of the Global Migration Governance Project at Oxford University, and yours truly, IntLawGrrl Jaya Ramji-Nogales. This panel runs from 1 to 2:30 pm.
The final panel, on protracted refugee situations, features Andrew Schoenholtz, Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, Ambassador Clovis Maksoud, Director of the Center for the Global South at American University, Roberta Cohen, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution (pictured near right), and Lavinia Limon, President of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (pictured far right). This panel runs from 2:45 to 4:15 pm.
The day will end with closing remarks and a reception at 4:30 pm.
If you're interested in attending, registration is free but required – please register here.

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