The Refugee Law Reader is a comprehensive on-line model curriculum for the study of the complex and rapidly evolving field of international refugee law. The Reader provides sections on international and regional frameworks of refugee law, covering Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
The Reader is aimed for the use of professors, lawyers, advocates, and students across a wide range of national jurisdictions. It provides a flexible course structure that can be easily adapted to meet a range of training and resource needs. The Reader also offers access to the complete texts of up-to-date core legal materials, instruments, and academic commentary. In its entirety, The Refugee Law Reader is designed to provide a full curriculum for a 48-hour course in International Refugee Law and contains over 1500 documents and materials.
Participants at the 3rd Latin American Refugee Law Reader course in 2016 in Buenos Aires.
The Refugee Law Reader’s four language versions (English, French, Spanish and Russian) have served as a basis for several refugee law courses in recent years and its user base by 2014 has already exceeded 100 000 individuals worldwide. A new edition of all language versions were published in 2015 on the new, user-friendly website of the Refugee Law Reader.
In 2013, the HHC embarked on a joint initiative with UNHCR’s Global Learning Centre to convert the Reader into a global capacity-building tool, with special emphasis on the former Soviet Union region, the Middle East and North Africa and Latin America. The project aims to establish three regional networks of universities committed to start and maintain refugee law courses, support and promote refugee law education in regions where it is yet scarcely available and to promote the refugee law clinic method. Following a global kick-off event in December 2013, two regional courses were held in 2014: the first in July in Tbilisi, Georgia (covering countries of the former Soviet Union), the second one in December in Quito, Ecuador (covering Latin America). Both courses received excellent evaluation and resulted in a number concrete plans and commitments aiming at improving refugee law education and building regional networks.
In 2015, the HHC continued its joint initiative that started in 2014 with UNHCR’s Global Learning Centre to convert the Reader into a global capacity-building tool, with special emphasis on the former Soviet Union region (CIS+), North Africa (Maghreb) and Latin-America. In December 2015, the HHC held its second Latin American regional course in São Paulo, Brazil, with nearly 40 professors attending from the entire continent. The initiative contributed to the start of new refugee law courses and initiatives envisaging the creation of legal clinics in 2015.
In February 2016, the HHC held its second CIS+ regional course in Russian in Yerevan, Armenia, with nearly 30 professors attending from the entire region. In April, the HHC held the first Refugee Law Reader course in French in the Maghreb, with over 25 professors attending from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. Both courses received extraordinary evaluation.
The Refugee Law Reader was initiated and is supported by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).