The Department of International Refugee Law and Migration Law has been operating since 1982. 

Its main activities include the development and implementation of courses on International Refugee Law, Internal Displacement, Statelessness and Migration, which take place in Sanremo or in other locations, according to the specific requests of governments and partner organizations. 

The workshops are designed for mid and senior-level government officials and members of the civil society and academia, with the aim of enhancing their knowledge and skills regarding the safeguard of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), stateless people, and migrants.

All the courses organized by the Department aim at:

  • Increasing participants' ability to apply the relevant norms underpinning the protection of refugees, IDPs, stateless persons, and migrants.
  • Encouraging the sharing of experiences among participants with regard to policy, legislation, implementation and monitoring mechanisms.
  • Promoting the respect for, domestication and implementation of relevant human rights frameworks and instruments;
  • Encouraging governments to establish or improve existing legislation and policies on the protection of refugees, IDPs, stateless persons, and migrants.

Since the first Refugee Law Course held in 1982, approximately 6,000 participants from more than 180 countries have attended the workshops offered by the Department.

Description: The Course presents the key aspects of the international protection of refugees. The topics covered range from the analysis of International Refugee Law and its complementarity with other bodies of law to the different displacement phases. The causes that force people to flee, the protection risks encountered through the displacement cycle, and the search and implementation of durable and sustainable solutions are also examined. Additional refugee-related issues are further analysed through a cross-cutting approach, such as gender-based violence and the protection of internally displaced and stateless people. The Course is conducted in light of the developments generated by the Global Compact on Refugees.

Picture: Syrians crossing into northern Iraq near the Sahela border point in 2013. Courtesy of Lynsey Addario/GETTY IMAGES

The course provides instructions for the team members to plan and complete their tasks as well as serves as a repository of templates and useful staff training and development material.