The 1969 African Refugee Convention

Blog post written by Tamara Wood (UNSW) and Dr Marina Sharpe (McGill) who will both present on the ‘Mass Displacement and Regional Protection Frameworks in Africa’ panel at the upcoming RLI 2nd Annual Conference. The full conference programme is available here.


The large-scale movement of persons is a defining feature of displacement in Africa. Conflict, generalised violence, persecution, political instability and the effects of natural hazards and climate change – whether alone or in combination – force large numbers of people from their homes each year. In the last decade, situations both protracted and new have forced massive numbers of people to move in countries such Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan. While a small number travel to Europe or beyond, most of those forced to flee seek safety within the region. (more…)

Too many migrants, or too many concepts?

Blog post written by RLI Senior Research Associate Jean-François Durieux who will present on the ‘Mass Displacement and Regional Protection Frameworks in Africa’ panel, and chair the panels on ‘Shared Protection: Rethinking the Role of the State of Origin in International Refugee Protection’ and ‘Flight from Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence’ at the upcoming RLI 2nd Annual Conference. The full conference programme is available here.


A good six months after the adoption of the New York Declaration, the agencies in charge of drafting and promoting the Global Compacts on refugees and migrants – UNHCR and IOM, respectively  – seem to be struggling to define the legal nature and the scope of these instruments. This makes it difficult for scholars and technical experts – whatever their discipline may be – to offer constructive suggestions.  Here, as in all high-level political initiatives on ‘global’ issues – climate change springs to mind – there exists a serious risk of conceptual dispersion: international migration being a multi-dimensional phenomenon, there is almost no limit to the number of peripheral issues and vested interests capable of jumping, so to speak, on the bandwagon. (more…)