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COVID-19 and International Refugee Law: ILA (Australia) and Kaldor Centre

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This event is co-hosted by the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

Refugees and other forced migrants are among the world’s most resilient people, but without medical, economic and social support, even the most resourceful will be unable to escape the impacts of COVID-19.

Scientia Professor Jane McAdam, Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney, will address the differential impact of the pandemic on displaced people, showcasing the Kaldor Centre’s blog, COVID-19 Watch, and will also consider the twin ‘crises’ of COVID-19 and climate change on mobility in our region.

Assistant Secretary-General Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commission for Protection, will reflect on the following: As we look forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, COVID-19 has undermined the fundamental norms of human rights and refugee law as almost no other crisis has done. Over 160 states have closed their borders and suspended or restricted access to asylum and many have pushed back those seeking protection, risking refoulement. Once the virus subsides, the longer term challenges are to ensure that regressive laws are not ‘baked in’ and that the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on the most vulnerable people are addressed.


Each presentation will be approximately 10-15 mins, allowing some time for responses to questions via the online chat function.

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