Refugees are entitled to enjoy their human rights like any other person. Yet the risk of human rights violations often results not only from the persecution that causes them to leave their countries but also from the situations to which they are exposed as they seek asylum. Refugee rights granted under international and national law address some but not all of these concerns.

This project aims to better understand the place of rights in protecting refugees and other persons who flee the risk of violations in their own countries. In particular, it engages with crucial legal and policy questions around the relationship between human rights law and refugee law at the international and national levels. Pertinent questions arise not only in relation to the rights that those seeking international protection must enjoy but also in defining the scope of the different refugee definitions as well as other complementary forms of international protection.

Key publications and other outputs

Key institutional activities

RLI Working Group on Feminist Legal Theory, Refugees and Displacement (created 2021)

  • RLI Working Group on Externalisation (created 2020)
  • RLI short course on “Refugees in the 21st Century” on Coursera (created 2019)
  • RLI book series on “International Refugee Law” published with Nijhoff (created 2013)
  • RLI Working Paper series (created 2011)
  • RLI 13th annual seminar series on “The Changing Nature of Durable Solutions for Refugees” (2022)
  • RLI Conference on ‘Improving the Global Refugee Regime: From Theory to Practice?’ (RLI, London, 2022)
  • RLI 12th annual seminar series on “Asylum after COVID-19: the UK ‘New Plan for Immigration’ in global context” (2021)
  • RLI Conference on ‘Ageing Gracefully? The 1951 Refugee Convention at 70’ (RLI, London, 2021)
  • Kathryn Allinson, Workshop on ‘Refugees and Migrants in the Shadow of Covid-19’ (RLI, London, 2020)
  • Christina Oelgemoller, Workshop on ‘How Can the Global Compact for Migration be Owned and Used?’ (RLI, London, 2019)
  • RLI Conference on ‘Rethinking the “Regional” in Refugee Law and Policy’ (RLI, London, 2019)
  • Christina Oelgemoller, Workshop on‘The Global Compacts, Mixed Migration and the Transformation of Protection’ (RLI, London, 2019)
  • RLI 10th annual seminar series on “Refugee Protection in a Global Community” (2019)
  • RLI 9th annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2018)
  • RLI public seminar series on “Current Thinking in Refugee Law” (2018)
  • RLI Conference on ‘Refugee Protection in a Hostile World?’ (RLI, London, 2018)
  • RLI/IOM/SR on Migrants Panel on “Boat Refugees” (RLI, 2017)
  • RLI Conference on ‘Mass Influx? Law, Policy and Large-Scale Movements of Refugees and Migrants’ (RLI, London, 2017)
  • RLI 8th annual seminar series on “Refugee Law in the New World Disorder” (2017)
  • RLI 7th annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2016)
  • RLI Conference on ‘The Future of International Refugee Law?’ (RLI, London, 2016)
  • RLI public seminar series on “‘Contemporary Challenges in Refugee Protection” (2014)
  • RLI/QMUL/Athens Conference on ‘“Boat Refugees” and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach to Integrating Maritime Security with Human Rights’ (RLI, London, 2014)
  • RLI 5th annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2014)
  • RLI/Monash Conference on “Access to Asylum: Current Challenges and Future Directions” (Prato, Italy, 2014)
  • RLI public seminar series on “‘Contemporary Challenges in Refugee Protection” (2013)
  • RLI 4th annual seminar series on “Refugee Protection at the Regional Level” (2013)
  • RLI Conference “On the Borders of Refugee Protection? The Impact of Human Rights Law on Refugee Law - Comparative Practice and Theory” (RLI, London, 2013)
  • RLI/Centre for Study of Emotion and Law public seminar series on “Refugee Protection and Psychology” (2012)
  • RLI 3rd annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2012)
  • RLI/IARLJ/UNHCR Expert Roundtable on “Country of Origin Information and Due Process” (RLI, London, 2012)
  • RLI Expert Workshop on ‘Refugee Law and Policy for High-Level Commonwealth Government Officials’ (RLI, London, 2012)
  • RLI/Refugee Council public seminar series on “New Challenges in Refugee Integration” (2011)
  • RLI 2nd annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2011)
  • RLI/UNHCR 1st annual seminar series on “International Refugee Law” (2010)

The Expert Workshop on Refugee Law for Commonwealth Government Officials was funded by the FCO (PI: Cantor). The Conference on “Boat Refugees” received funding from UACES (PIs: Cantor, Moreno-Lax and Papastavridis). The Working Paper on Transnational Reparations was funded by UNHCR PDES.