Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter

The Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter is a monthly publication that focuses on the provision of refugee legal aid. It is aimed primarily to be a resource for legal aid providers in the Global South where law journals and other resources are hard to access. It complements the information portal
The newsletter follows recent developments in the interpretation of refugee law; case law precedents from different constituencies; reports and helpful resources for refugee legal aid providers; and stories of struggle and success in refugee legal aid work.

Conferences and courses

Three-day conference on psychocial support for refugees in urban settings
The Psycho-Social Services and Training Institute in Cairo and the American University in Cairo (AUC) Center for Migration and Refugee Studies are offering a three-day conference titled ‘A growing challenge: Psychosocial and mental health support for refugees and migrants living in urban settings’. While refugee camps are designed to provide structured support, urban settings are not; within this context, participants will share their experiences and research about the consequences of urban life for refugees and migrants and their creative efforts to provide effective psychosocial and mental health support.

The conference will take place at the AUC Tahrir Campus in Cairo, Egypt from 1113 April 2012. Fees are USD200, which covers conference materials, refreshments at breaks, ethnic buffet on the first evening and a felucca ride on the second evening. There will be several round tables and panels, on topics such as special problems of the urban context; host country support; self-help; and Inter Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, among others. Application forms can be downloaded here, and should be submitted to this email address by 5 March 2012 for presenters (the February deadline on the application form was extended) and 15 March 2012 for participants.

Switzerland public seminar on immigration detention
'Detention of immigrants: Enforcement, non-compliance, and punishment', a public seminar on the increasing use of deprivation of liberty to enforce immigration policy and the punitive character of this form of immigration control, will be held on 8 March 2012, in Geneva. The seminar is co-organised by the Global Detention Project and the Programme for the Study of Global Migration. It will take place from 12:15pm2pm in Room CV 342 (third floor), La Voie-Creuse 16, Geneva.

Workshop on Palestine refugees and international law
The University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre is holding a two-day, non-residential weekend workshop entitled ‘Palestine Refugees and International Law’. The workshop, taught by Professor Dawn Chatty and Dr Susan Akram, places the Palestinian refugee case study within the broader context of the international human rights regime. It examines, within a human rights framework, the policies and practices of Middle Eastern states as they impinge upon Palestinian refugees. Through a mix of lectures, working group exercises and interactive sessions, participants engage actively and critically with the contemporary debates in international law and analyse the specific context of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza). Dates are 10–11 March 2012, and there is a limit of twenty-five places to be filled by experienced and/or qualified candidates. Fees are GBP300, and further information can be obtained by contacting Heidi El-Megrisi, or accessing this link.

Migrants Rights Network Summit 2012
The Migrant Rights Network (MRN) Summit is a free full-day event bringing together senior leaders, campaigners, grassroots activists and policy analysts from across the UK migrants’ rights movement, to debate how their collective voice can be strengthened in 2012. Migrant support groups are facing the twin challenges of political hostility and economic austerity many communities will continue to be hard-hit over the coming period.

This meeting will be a unique opportunity to get the latest information and analysis from expert speakers about policies affecting migrants in the UK, in particular: no recourse to public funds and destitution; access to justice and advice; employment rights and migrant workers; and access to services. Participants will also debate the campaigns to be undertaken this year, and plan joint activities for International Migrants Day on 18 December 2012.

The summit will be held on 16 March 2012, 10am–5pm, at the Human Rights Action Centre, 17–25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. To register,
fill out the form on this website. If you are travelling from outside London, there are a limited number of travel and hotel bursaries available; please indicate if you will require one in the form.

Fifth South-South Summer Institute
The Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA), the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) are pleased to announce in the framework of the second three-year phase of the Africa/Asia/Latin America Scholarly Collaborative Program the call for applications for participation in the Fifth South-South Summer Institute on rethinking development: Global and regional alternatives for the development in the South. The Institute will be held in Recife, Brazil, from 21 May1 June 2012.

The Institute is primarily designed to offer research training to younger scholars on the diverse problems and challenges facing the countries of the South, in order to promote a revival and expansion of comparative thinking and cross-regional networking among a younger generation of Southern scholars. The main premise of this effort is the glaring inadequacy of the theories and methodologies developed in the North, crystallised in the mainstream social sciences, to provide the required instruments for the attainment of a sound understanding of the problems confronting the countries of the South.

Candidates should have a working knowledge of English. Altogether, 30 people will be selected for participation in the Institute: 10 each from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The full participation costs of the selected laureates will be covered, including their travel (economy return air tickets), accommodation and subsistence. The deadline for the receipt of applications is 16 March 2012. For more detailed information, including the application process, access the website.

Course on violence, armed conflict and international protection
An advanced ELENA course, ‘Generalised violence, armed conflict and the need for international protection’, will be held in Bologna, Italy on46 May 2012. The purpose of the course is to examine the international and regional protection framework for those fleeing generalised violence and armed conflict.

The course will aim to have an in depth focus on a select number of topics including: how the 1951 Refugee Convention and its Protocol can be applied to asylum claims related to situations of armed conflict; the use of the European Convention of Human Rights and the subsidiary protection regime under the Qualification Directive when examining claims from situations of generalised violence; examining access to protection in the context of internal protection alternatives and non-state actors of protection in armed conflict situations; assessing traditional and contemporary measurements of armed conflict; and the use of country-of-origin information in such asylum claims.   

The course is aimed at legal practitioners and advocates from across Europe who defend or who are interested in defending refugees and asylum seekers. The objective of the training is to provide practitioners with the legal tools to successfully represent those fleeing generalised violence who are in need of protection. The course will be conducted in English, and fees vary between EUR445 and EUR585. Deadline is 23 March 2012. For more information on the course and for details on how to register please click here.

CFMS Summer Institute on Resettlement
The Center for Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University has announced its 2012 Summer Institute, ‘Settling resettlement’, to be held from 8–14 July, on the university campus in Evanston, Illinois. The Summer Institute, conducted in English, is a six-day, non-degree earning seminar intended for researchers, policy makers, academics and practitioners working in issues of forced migration, resettlement and humanitarian assistance both within the United States and abroad. Through lectures, focused discussions, workshops and simulation exercises, the Institute provides a forum to exchange ideas, build relationships, develop new approaches and policy recommendations, and learn about new developments in the field.

The deadlines for registration are 15 April 2012 for visa applicants, and 15 June 2012 for non-visa applicants. Regular registration fees are USD1,000, and limited scholarships and partial tuition assistance are available. To apply for financial aid, please send a CV and a cover letter detailing your need request and how the institute will contribute to your professional development. For more information and to register, visit the website.

UK training on working with women seeking asylum and refugees who have been affected by rape and sexual violence
WomenCentre is offering a half-day training for front line staff and volunteers working with women seeking asylum and refugees. The training aims to  increase awareness of: international and domestic protection for asylum seekers; the UK domestic asylum process; and why women flee their country of origin and claim asylum. Other aims are to identify some of the challenges that women face in the UK and the asylum process; explore the issues impacting women refugees affected by rape and sexual violence; and demonstrate and develop practical examples in helping your organisation to better support women seeking asylum and refugees. Limited places are available for the workshop, which will take place on 19 April 2012 from 9:30am1pm, in Huddersfield, UK. Book a place via email or call 01422 386543.

Summer school at York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies in Toronto, Canada
The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University, Toronto, Canada is hosting its Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues from 6–12 May 2012. This non-credit course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas, providing an interdisciplinary, interactive and experiential approach to the study of forced migration. All participants who complete the full course receive a York University Centre for Refugee Studies Summer Course Certificate. The course registration deadline for visa applicants has passed, but non-visa applicants have until 30 April 2012 to register. For more details on the course and how to apply, visit the website.

Oxford Refugee Studies Centre Summer School in Forced Migration 2012
The summer school, to be held from 220 July 2012, is aimed at mid-career or senior policy makers and practitioners involved with humanitarian assistance and policy making for forced migrants. The programme consists of an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. It aims to enable people working with refugees and other forced migrants to reflect critically on the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. Now in its 23rd year, the three-week course combines the very best of Oxford University’s academic excellence with a stimulating and participatory method of critical learning.

Applicants should have as a minimum: experience in working with, or on issues related to, refugees or other forced migrants, and a first degree proficiency in the English language. As a guide, foreign-language English speakers should be able to obtain a score of 7.00 in ELTS/IELTS or 570 in TOEFL. The fee for 2012 is GBP3,220. Pay by 31 March to qualify for a reduced fee of GBP3,050. The fee covers 19 nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation and all weekday lunches; all tuition; all course materials, including reading materials; and a range of social activities. Evening and weekend meals are not included in the course fees.

For more information on the course and application process, visit the website. Deadline for non-bursary applicants is 1 May 2012. Candidates are encouraged to apply early.

Immigration clinicians workshop
The 2012 biennial Immigration Law Teachers Workshop (ILTW) will be held at Hofstra Law School in Hempstead, NY from 31 May2 June 2012. For the first time, this year’s Immigration Law Teachers Workshop will include a day-long program for immigration clinicians, the ‘Immigration Clinicians Workshop’. This add-on day will be an opportunity for clinicians to come together and share materials and ideas.

The Immigration Clinicians Workshop will be held from 11am5pm on 31 May 2012 (before the main workshop begins that evening) and will include lunch. The opening dinner for the main ILTW conference will follow, and the rest of the ILTW conference will be held from the evening of 31 May–2 June.

Announcements about the Immigration Clinicians Workshop will be posted on the Immprof listserv from time to time; however, any substantive discussions about the event will be held on the ICLINIC listserv, a listserv for immigration clinicians. The Immprof list includes discussion of teaching and scholarship issues; immigration, nationality, asylum, and refugee law. To subscribe, send a blank email to this email address. Subscription subject to approval by listowner. If you are an immigration clinician and would like to be on the ICLINIC listserv, please email Veronica Thronson.

World Social Forum on Migration
This year, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) will be hosting the World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM) which will be held from 2630 November 2012 in Manila, Philippines. The forum is a space for democratic debate of ideas, reflection, formulation of proposals, exchange of experience and articulation of social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organisations opposed to neoliberal globalisation and restricting the granting of citizenship and civil rights, political, economic, social and cultural rights of migrants, displaced persons, refugees and stateless persons.

This year’s overarching theme is ‘Mobility, rights, global models: Looking for alternatives’, with four thematic areas: crisis, critique and consequences of global migration; migrant rights are human rights; re-imagining migration proposing alternatives, exploring models; resistance, organisation, action. During the four days of the WSFM, a variety of activities will be held such as workshops, plenaries, and cultural shows by different international civil society organisations.

The WSFM is open to participants who want and are willing to get involved in the event. More information on the event, as well as the registration process, will be available on the MFA website, as well as the WFSM Facebook page. Should you be interested in participating in this event, contact the MFA Secretariat via email or phone (+632 433-3508). 

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