Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the course.
The Centre for Applied Human Rights, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (a network of over 120 organisations working on refugee issues in the Asia-Pacific region), has developed a post-graduate short course on international refugee law and advocacy.
This course will be offered on an annual basis in Bangkok; it will next be offered in 2013.
The short course on International Refugee Law and Advocacy was first offered in September 2011 in Bangkok and attended by over two dozen practitioners from more than 15 different countries in Asia and beyond. The course focused on one of the key difficulties facing practitioners in the region: despite the rapid elaboration in recent years of international refugee law many Asian states are reluctant to accept that they owe any legal obligations to refugees. The central object of the course was to make refugee law relevant to practitioners in Asian states and to help them elaborate their strategies for engaging their states and ensuring accountability for the treatment of refugees.
The residential 5 day portion of the course was preceded by online readings and exercises on refugee law and advocacy delivered through the University of York's Virtual Learning Environment. The short course itself included both lectures and group work. Guest speakers discussed specific advocacy and law reform efforts in the region and came from both local NGOs, including the Thai Committee for Refugees, and larger international organisations such as UNHCR.
There are more than 15 million refugees in the world. The overwhelming majority live in environments where their basic rights are not respected – despite the growth of international and domestic norms concerning the treatment of refugees and the increase in international and transnational mechanisms through which breaches of those norms can be addressed.
The short course provides a rigorous examination of international refugee law and the rights of refugees. It focuses on the various processes through which the rights of refugees are developed and can be enforced. In adopting this focus, it seeks to address the contemporary challenge of those advocating on behalf of refugees: how can we engage the state and the international community so as to better enable refugees to enjoy the rights to which they are entitled?
The short course also looks at the legal and practical situation of refugees in Asia as that illustrates key challenges facing the international refugee regime. More than half the world’s refugees live in Asia, but most Asian states are not party to the international refugee instruments. Although the course draws many of its examples from Asia, the knowledge and skills it provides are equally applicable elsewhere.
The short course combines distance educational pre-sessional training delivered over a 30-day period with a 5 day in-person residential session consisting of lectures, guest speakers and group exercises.
The short course covers the following topics:
Detailed programme information
The course is intended for individuals already involved in or studying refugee issues. This includes civil servants dealing with refugee issues, policy makers, lawyers, paralegals, civil society organization staff, caseworkers, post-graduate students, and refugees. Past participants in the short course have included refugees, local NGO staff, regional NGO staff, humanitarian agency staff, post-graduate students, and embassy staff.
All participants will receive a formal certificate of completion from the CAHR. Formal post-graduate academic credit is also available.
The course fee is £450 (subject to inflation) which does not include travel, accommodation and living costs. Preferred method of payment by debit card or bank transfer with some credit cards accepted. A place on the programme is not guaranteed until payment is received.
100% of participants indicated that they would “recommend the course to colleagues.” Comments received from participants in the short course included:
“A comprehensive and enjoyable course that provided a theoretical overview and provided participants with an opportunity to apply knowledge to real situations.”
“The course is a very comprehensive introduction to international refugee law principles and strategies for advocacy … There was a very good balance between law and advocacy.”
“Personally, I had so many insights from this course – it will be very exciting to apply when I go back to my office!”
“It was an amazing, eye-opening experience! I feel as though I have taken in so much new information in just 5 days!”
“The course provides the best combination of legal-rights [analysis] of refugee issues and the South East Asian context.”