Event: COVID-19 and International Refugee Law, 4 June 2020

On 4 June 2020, the International Law Association (Australian Branch) will be hosting the third of its series of Zoom seminars on COVID-19, following the first seminar in April on COVID-19 and public international law and the second seminar in May on COVID-19 and private international law. Previous seminars have recordings posted on the ILA (Australian Branch)’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Details on future events will follow.

The seminar will be cohosted by the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney.

This seminar will feature presentations by Scientia Professor Jane McAdam, Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney and Assistant Secretary-General Gillian Triggs UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. Professor McAdam 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 Triggs 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 the remainder of the seminar for responses to questions via the Zoom chat function.

The seminar will be held on Thursday 4 June 2020 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Sydney time (GMT+10). The seminar will be open to members and non-members. To attend, you must RSVP here by Wednesday 3 June 2020. The meeting link will be sent through on Thursday morning prior to the seminar.