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REFUGEES EXPLAINED

Refugees: Rights & Obligations in a Reluctant Europe

What does the refugee definition mean in practice? In the 'explained' series we invite excellent researchers to explain and discuss current and complicated issues.  

Vigdis Vevstad 
Advisor, Son Consult and guest researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo

Jessica Schultz (Chr. Michelsens Institute) will lead the discussion. 

More than 60 million people around in the world are fleeing persecution, war, and serious human rights violations. Most find themselves within the borders of their own countries. The 1951 Refugee Convention, meanwhile, requires that a refugee has crossed an international border. Only then do states have an obligation to offer protection. What does this mean in practice?

First and foremost, states are obliged to give asylum seekers access to an asylum procedure and protection against return to an area where life and security are in danger. States must therefore distinguish between those who need protection and those who do not. What is a refugee gives answers to the many questions related to the refugee concept and related state obligations. In particular, this presentation also explores challenges and opportunities connected to the development of a Common European Asylum System and Norway's role in the region.

Vigdis Vevstad is an advisor in Sonconsult and guest researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. She is a Lawyer with expertise in international public law and has written books «Utlendingsloven, kommentarutgave» (red.), «Utvikling av et felles europeisk asylsystem» og «Refugee Protection? A European Challenge».

This event forms part of the new series Explained/Forklart at the Bergen Resource Centre for International Development. In this series we invite excellent researchers to explain and discuss current and complicated themes and countries.