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FORCED-MIGRATION  September 2008

FORCED-MIGRATION September 2008

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Subject:

Last Call: Deadline 1 October: ‘Is humanita rianism compatible with refugee rights?’

From:

Forced Migration List <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forced Migration List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 10:52:21 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (96 lines)

Call for papers
‘Is humanitarianism compatible with refugee rights?’

Panel at the World Conference of Humanitarian Studies
4 – 8 February 2009
Groningen, The Netherlands


Dear colleagues,

We are soliciting abstracts for papers to be included in a panel 
entitled Is humanitarianism compatible with refugee rights? This panel 
will be part of the World Conference of Humanitarian Studies 
(http://www.humanitarianstudies2009.org), organised by the universities 
of Bochum, Groningen and Wageningen. The panel will be convened by Prof. 
Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond and the 3R Foundation (Stichting 3R), a Dutch 
NGO dedicated to improving refugee rights in the global South. We 
welcome abstracts related to the panel’s theme as outlined below.

Submitting an abstract
Abstracts (maximum of 250 words) can be submitted through the Conference 
website (http://www.humanitarianstudies2009.org). Click through to the 
‘call for papers’ section. You will be asked to create an account. Once 
your account is created, you can add your abstract. The panel conveners 
will then be able to accept or reject abstracts. Should your abstract 
not be sufficiently relevant to this panel’s theme, the 
Conferenceorganisers will assess whether it can be included in another 
panel.Deadline for submissions of abstracts is 1 October 2008.Deadline 
for submission of full papers is TBD with convenors

Funding opportunities
The Conference organisers have a limited number of grants available for 
participantsfrom the global South. Those in need of a grant to 
participate can be recommended bythe panel conveners. Also, the 3R 
Foundation may be able to provide funding for travelor accommodation on 
an ad hoc basis. Please contact the conveners should you 
requirefinancial support to participate.

More information
For more information, please contact Chris Mommers of the 3R Foundation at
[log in to unmask]

Panel outline
Is humanitarianism compatible with refugee rights?Refugee flows in the 
South force international, governmental and non-governmental agencies 
toprovide for refugees’ basic needs on very short notice and often on a 
massive scale. The challenge oflogistical operations involved in 
providing accommodation, health care, water, food and other services,has 
forced such agencies to become large administrative and operational 
bureaucratic entities. Themost obvious example of this is the office of 
the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), whichhas argued that 
material assistance is complementary to – or even a precondition for – 
the fulfilment ofits mandate to protect the rights of refugees. At the 
same time, the UN refugee agency has comeunder criticism for, what is 
seen by some, as prioritising assistance over rights, and thus for 
weakeningits own mandate of protection.

More than that, however, questions have been raised whether the way in 
which assistance to refugeesis managed and implemented, rather than just 
weakening protection, may actually lead to the violationof the 
fundamental rights of refugees. This has been particularly true for 
those refugees who findthemselves in UNHCR-managed camps. The panel aims 
to explore this inherent tension betweenhumanitarianism and refugee 
rights in camp and other settings by focusing on the following questions:
- is humanitarian assistance strengthening or weakening the protection 
of the human rights of refugees?
- should refugee rights, such as the freedom of movement, always be 
respected, even when this means that it will become much more difficult 
to effectively provide material assistance to them?
- are there alternative scenarios in which humanitarian assistance and 
full respect for the human rights of refugees can co-exist?

The panel seeks to bring together academics from various disciplines, as 
well as practitioners whowork on both sides of ‘the divide’; those who 
devote their lives to provide for the basic needs ofrefugees in the 
camps, and those who advocate for refugees’ rights and believe that 
humanitarians are(unwittingly) violating these rights. The panel will 
incorporate both the organisational perspective,focusing on the 
operational difficulties of humanitarian agencies, and the perspectives 
of thoserefugees who are the targets of such assistance.

Chris Mommers, 3R Foundation
[log in to unmask]


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Note: The material contained in this communication comes to you from the 
Forced Migration Discussion List which is moderated by the Refugee 
Studies Centre (RSC), Oxford Department of International Development, 
University of Oxford. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the 
RSC or the University. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this 
message please retain this disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should 
include attribution to the original sources.

List archives are available at 
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/forced-migration.html

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