Posted on 19 June 2012
Martin Jones, a lecturer in international human rights law at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, has been invited to participate in a thematic panel session on the provision of legal services to refugees at UNHCR's Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva. Martin's presentation will be based on his experience providing legal services and assisting refugee legal aid organisations in more than a dozen countries. The Annual Consultations will be held in Geneva from 3 to 5 July 2012.
UNHCR's Annual Consultations with NGOs attract over 350 individuals from more than 200 civil society organisations from around the world. Participants include representatives of small and large, national and international assistance and advocacy organisations (including those specialised in resettlement). Sister UN agencies also attend. It provides an important forum for NGOs to raise issues, network and exchange views with UNHCR. Topics and speakers at the Annual Consultations are chosen through a process of consultation and negotiation between a range of civil society actors and UNHCR.
While at the Annual Consultations, Martin, in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights (EFRR), will also chair a round-table workshop of Middle Eastern refugee organisations on the topic of "Advocating for Refugee Rights in the MENA Region after the Arab Spring: Prospects and Challenges." The workshop will bring together international and local NGOs from the Middle East and North Africa and UNHCR officials to chart future advocacy strategies and to share best practices in advocacy and service delivery from during and following the Arab Spring. EFRR, which Martin co-founded with two Egyptian lawyers in 2008, is an implementing partner of UNHCR in Egypt and the largest provider of legal aid to refugees in Egyptian courts. It has also recently begun helping refugee community based organisations develop local and international advocacy plans to improve their access to their rights in Egypt.
Image: UNHCR/R. Arnold