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On 19 January 2021, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), hosted the Southern Africa Regional Sessions of the Virtual Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Session 1: Strategies on Refugee Protection in Southern Africa

Tuesday 19 January 2021
10:30-12:00 CET / 11:30-13:00 SAST

The session reflected on the political dimensions of responsibility sharing and refugee protection in the Southern African region. Discussions zoomed in on the challenges and opportunities for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Botswana and South Africa.

  • Moderator: Prof Frans Viljoen
    Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
  • Dr Cristiano d'Orsi
    Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Johannesburg
    Protecting Refugees in Southern Africa: reflection on the complementarity of the UN Refugee Convention and the OAU Convention in practice
  • Prof Christopher Changwe Nshimbi
    Director, Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria 
    Migration Governance and the Protection of Refugees and Migrant Workers in Southern Africa
  • Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana
    Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, UNHCR
    Topic: The UNHCR in Southern Africa: priorities, partnerships and potentials

Session 2: Local Integration of Refugees: the Southern African experience

Tuesday 19 January 2021
12:00-13:30 CET/ 13:00-14:30 SAST

The session focued on local integration of and durable solutions for refugees in the Southern African region. Panel discussions reflected on regional priorities, promising partnerships, challenges and opportunities for local integration; as well as on the complementarity of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

  • Moderator: Dr Romola Adeola
    Coordinator, Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA)
  • Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi
    Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Department of Law, University of Botswana
    Refugee/Asylum Seeker Protection in Botswana
  • Dr Pedro Figueiredo Neto
    University of Lisbon
    Integration of refugees from Angola in Zambia
  • Ms Jessica Kaye Lawrence
    Attorney, Lawyers for Human Rights / University of Johannesburg
    The shrinking spaces for Asylum and Barriers to Refugee Protection in South Africa


Biographies

Frans Viljoen Prof Frans Viljoen
Director, Centre for Human Rights

Professor Frans Viljoen holds the degrees MA, LLB and LLD from the University of Pretoria, and an LLM from Cambridge University. He is a professor of law and Director of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. His research area is international human rights law, with a focus on the African regional human rights system

Angele Dikongue Atangana Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana
Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, UNHCR

Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana, a Cameroonian national, is the UNHCR Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, based in Pretoria. In this capacity, she assists the Regional Bureau Director for Southern Africa in the oversight of UNHCR’s operations in sixteen countries and to promote sustained partnerships and collaboration between UNHCR and relevant regional economic communities such as SADC, inter alia.

cristianodorsi Dr Cristiano d'Orsi
Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Johannesburg

Dr Cristiano d’Orsi was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. His research interests include the legal protection of asylum-seekers, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons in Africa, African human rights law, and, more broadly, the development of international law in Africa. Cristiano currently lectures in these areas of Public International Law.  

Romola Adeola Dr Romola Adeola
Coordinator, Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA)
Christopher Changwe Nshimbi Prof Christopher Changwe Nshimbi
Director, Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria

Dr Christopher Changwe Nshimbi is Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria. He researches migration, borders, regional integration, the informal economy and water governance.

Elizabeth Macharia Mokobi Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Department of Law, University of Botswana

Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi holds a Bachelor's degree in Law (University of Botswana) and a Master's degree in International Law (University of Cambridge). After several years as a litigation attorney in private practice Dr Macharia Mokobi joined the Administration of Justice as a Magistrate. Dr Macharia-Mokobi joined academia in 2008. Her teaching areas and research areas are international law and criminal procedure. She has written widely on refugee issues in Botswana.

Pedro Neto Dr Pedro Figueiredo Neto
University of Lisbon

Pedro Figueiredo Neto is an anthropologist, architect and filmmaker, currently a research fellow at the Social Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon (ICS-ULisboa) and guest professor at NOVA University (FCSH-UNL). His interests focus on borders, migration, mobility, forced displacement, violence, extractivism, humanitarian regimes and refugee camps, mainly in the African context. More at pedrofneto.com

Jessica Lawrence Ms Jessica Kaye Lawrence
Attorney, Lawyers for Human Rights / University of Johannesburg

Jessica is an admitted attorney who is passionate about human rights and social justice. She joined Lawyers for Human Rights in 2014 and is currently the head of LHR’s Johannesburg Law Clinic, which provides free legal advice and assistance to asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. During her time at LHR, she has worked with vulnerable and marginalised communities on various issues, including access to water and environmental justice and the right to fair labour practices for labour broker workers. In the recent past Jessica has worked on a diverse number of issues, including strategic impact litigation which seeks to address systemic issues within the asylum application system in South Africa

 


Virtual Conference: 70 Years Protecting People Forced to Flee

The virtual academic conference, "70 years protecting people forced to flee", is taking place on 18, 19, 21 and 27 January 2021 as a contribution towards the research and teaching outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). This conference is co-hosted by the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), a mechanism called for in the GCR to facilitate research, teaching and scholarship opportunities which result in specific deliverables in support of its four objectives. GAIN’s secretariat is currently led by the University of Essex and UNHCR, and partnered with 11 academic institutions with expertise on forced displacement to co-host expert panels in each of the regions of the world where UNHCR operates. The Conference will demonstrate unique contributions from academia to burden and responsibility sharing, protection and solutions for refugees, as well as how academic research can inform policy making, programme implementation and evidence-based decision-making.

Access to tertiary education is the first step in closing the gap between learning and earning and is central to enhance refugee self-reliance, one of the four GCR objectives. Thus, in celebration of the 70 years of protection and in the spirit of responsibility-sharing, we invite you to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign Aiming Higher, which aims to change the lives of talented young refugees: 70 crowdfunded refugee scholarships in commemoration of 70 years of protection.


Kick-off Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony

The kick-off and closing ceremonies are scheduled for 18 and 27 January, respectively, and will consist in global panels co-hosted by the University of Essex, current Chair of the GAIN, and UNHCR, while region-specific sessions will be hosted by 11 academic institutions and are scheduled for 19 and 21 January, with a focus on specific challenges, opportunities and refugee situations in each region where UNHCR operates.

The Kick-off Ceremony and the Closing Ceremonyare held twice in order to accommodate different time zones. The recording will be subsequently available.

Register here


Tuesday 19 January 2021: Regional Sessions

East and Horn of Africa
These sessions were hosted by the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Southern Africa
The sessions were be hosted by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.

Europe
These sessions were hosted by the University of Essex and ASILE Network.

Latin America
The sessions were co-hosted by the Federal University of ABC in Brazil and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Honduras (FLACSO).


Thursday 21 January 2021: Regional Sessions (continued)

Asia Pacific
The sessions will be hosted by the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
The sessions will be hosted by the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo.

West and Central Africa
The sessions will be hosted by the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana.

North America
The sessions will be hosted by the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN). 

 

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On 19 January 2021, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), hosted the Southern Africa Regional Sessions of the Virtual Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Session 1: Strategies on Refugee Protection in Southern Africa

Tuesday 19 January 2021
10:30-12:00 CET / 11:30-13:00 SAST

The session reflected on the political dimensions of responsibility sharing and refugee protection in the Southern African region. Discussions zoomed in on the challenges and opportunities for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Botswana and South Africa.

  • Moderator: Prof Frans Viljoen
    Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
  • Dr Cristiano d'Orsi
    Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Johannesburg
    Protecting Refugees in Southern Africa: reflection on the complementarity of the UN Refugee Convention and the OAU Convention in practice
  • Prof Christopher Changwe Nshimbi
    Director, Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria 
    Migration Governance and the Protection of Refugees and Migrant Workers in Southern Africa
  • Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana
    Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, UNHCR
    Topic: The UNHCR in Southern Africa: priorities, partnerships and potentials

Session 2: Local Integration of Refugees: the Southern African experience

Tuesday 19 January 2021
12:00-13:30 CET/ 13:00-14:30 SAST

The session focued on local integration of and durable solutions for refugees in the Southern African region. Panel discussions reflected on regional priorities, promising partnerships, challenges and opportunities for local integration; as well as on the complementarity of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

  • Moderator: Dr Romola Adeola
    Coordinator, Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA)
  • Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi
    Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Department of Law, University of Botswana
    Refugee/Asylum Seeker Protection in Botswana
  • Dr Pedro Figueiredo Neto
    University of Lisbon
    Integration of refugees from Angola in Zambia
  • Ms Jessica Kaye Lawrence
    Attorney, Lawyers for Human Rights / University of Johannesburg
    The shrinking spaces for Asylum and Barriers to Refugee Protection in South Africa


Biographies

Frans Viljoen Prof Frans Viljoen
Director, Centre for Human Rights

Professor Frans Viljoen holds the degrees MA, LLB and LLD from the University of Pretoria, and an LLM from Cambridge University. He is a professor of law and Director of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. His research area is international human rights law, with a focus on the African regional human rights system

Angele Dikongue Atangana Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana
Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, UNHCR

Ms Angèle Marie Dikongué-Atangana, a Cameroonian national, is the UNHCR Deputy Director for the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, based in Pretoria. In this capacity, she assists the Regional Bureau Director for Southern Africa in the oversight of UNHCR’s operations in sixteen countries and to promote sustained partnerships and collaboration between UNHCR and relevant regional economic communities such as SADC, inter alia.

cristianodorsi Dr Cristiano d'Orsi
Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Johannesburg

Dr Cristiano d’Orsi was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. His research interests include the legal protection of asylum-seekers, refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons in Africa, African human rights law, and, more broadly, the development of international law in Africa. Cristiano currently lectures in these areas of Public International Law.  

Romola Adeola Dr Romola Adeola
Coordinator, Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA)
Christopher Changwe Nshimbi Prof Christopher Changwe Nshimbi
Director, Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria

Dr Christopher Changwe Nshimbi is Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria. He researches migration, borders, regional integration, the informal economy and water governance.

Elizabeth Macharia Mokobi Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Department of Law, University of Botswana

Dr Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi holds a Bachelor's degree in Law (University of Botswana) and a Master's degree in International Law (University of Cambridge). After several years as a litigation attorney in private practice Dr Macharia Mokobi joined the Administration of Justice as a Magistrate. Dr Macharia-Mokobi joined academia in 2008. Her teaching areas and research areas are international law and criminal procedure. She has written widely on refugee issues in Botswana.

Pedro Neto Dr Pedro Figueiredo Neto
University of Lisbon

Pedro Figueiredo Neto is an anthropologist, architect and filmmaker, currently a research fellow at the Social Sciences Institute, University of Lisbon (ICS-ULisboa) and guest professor at NOVA University (FCSH-UNL). His interests focus on borders, migration, mobility, forced displacement, violence, extractivism, humanitarian regimes and refugee camps, mainly in the African context. More at pedrofneto.com

Jessica Lawrence Ms Jessica Kaye Lawrence
Attorney, Lawyers for Human Rights / University of Johannesburg

Jessica is an admitted attorney who is passionate about human rights and social justice. She joined Lawyers for Human Rights in 2014 and is currently the head of LHR’s Johannesburg Law Clinic, which provides free legal advice and assistance to asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. During her time at LHR, she has worked with vulnerable and marginalised communities on various issues, including access to water and environmental justice and the right to fair labour practices for labour broker workers. In the recent past Jessica has worked on a diverse number of issues, including strategic impact litigation which seeks to address systemic issues within the asylum application system in South Africa

 


Virtual Conference: 70 Years Protecting People Forced to Flee

The virtual academic conference, "70 years protecting people forced to flee", is taking place on 18, 19, 21 and 27 January 2021 as a contribution towards the research and teaching outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). This conference is co-hosted by the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), a mechanism called for in the GCR to facilitate research, teaching and scholarship opportunities which result in specific deliverables in support of its four objectives. GAIN’s secretariat is currently led by the University of Essex and UNHCR, and partnered with 11 academic institutions with expertise on forced displacement to co-host expert panels in each of the regions of the world where UNHCR operates. The Conference will demonstrate unique contributions from academia to burden and responsibility sharing, protection and solutions for refugees, as well as how academic research can inform policy making, programme implementation and evidence-based decision-making.

Access to tertiary education is the first step in closing the gap between learning and earning and is central to enhance refugee self-reliance, one of the four GCR objectives. Thus, in celebration of the 70 years of protection and in the spirit of responsibility-sharing, we invite you to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign Aiming Higher, which aims to change the lives of talented young refugees: 70 crowdfunded refugee scholarships in commemoration of 70 years of protection.


Kick-off Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony

The kick-off and closing ceremonies are scheduled for 18 and 27 January, respectively, and will consist in global panels co-hosted by the University of Essex, current Chair of the GAIN, and UNHCR, while region-specific sessions will be hosted by 11 academic institutions and are scheduled for 19 and 21 January, with a focus on specific challenges, opportunities and refugee situations in each region where UNHCR operates.

The Kick-off Ceremony and the Closing Ceremonyare held twice in order to accommodate different time zones. The recording will be subsequently available.

Register here


Tuesday 19 January 2021: Regional Sessions

East and Horn of Africa
These sessions were hosted by the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Southern Africa
The sessions were be hosted by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.

Europe
These sessions were hosted by the University of Essex and ASILE Network.

Latin America
The sessions were co-hosted by the Federal University of ABC in Brazil and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Honduras (FLACSO).


Thursday 21 January 2021: Regional Sessions (continued)

Asia Pacific
The sessions will be hosted by the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
The sessions will be hosted by the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo.

West and Central Africa
The sessions will be hosted by the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana.

North America
The sessions will be hosted by the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN).