Refugee Rights News




Informal Workshop on ICC Intermediaries
Guidelines and Proposed NGO Guidelines

Date: Thursday, 11 December 2014

Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location: Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, 10th Floor

RSVP: Please email your name and affiliation to Taegin Reisman,

The Open Society Justice Initiative, International Refugee Rights Initiative, and UC Berkeley Human Rights Center would like to invite civil society participating in the 13th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to an Informal Workshop on ICC Intermediaries Guidelines and Proposed NGO Guidelines.

For more info, click here.

IRRI Rights in Exile Newsletter

a monthly forum for news and discussion on refugee legal aid

Issue 54, December 2014


News on countries of origin
News on countries of asylum
Detention and deportation news


Eritreans file lawsuit against Canadian mining company for slave labour and crimes against humanity

South Africa: Concerns raised over the detention of immigrants at police stations and the systematic denial of their legal rights by police

Open letter to the Director-General of the BBC concerning the documentary ‘Rwanda, the Untold Story’


A true initiative or another palliative? The Transitional Solutions Initiative for the protracted refugee situation in eastern Sudan

And much more...

Read the full newsletter.


With camps limiting many refugees, the UNHCR’s policy change is welcome

Posted on 2 October 2014 by Lucy Hovil

It is rare to witness a paradigm shift in refugee protection. But such a shift has just happened with the release of the new policy from the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) on alternatives to refugee camps.

For refugees and their advocates, who have been shouting for years about the perils associated with camps, the policy is almost too good to be true. As it states: “From the perspective of refugees, alternatives to camps means being able to exercise rights and freedoms, make meaningful choices regarding their lives and have the possibility to live with greater dignity, independence and normality as members of communities.”

It makes perfect sense. But why has it taken so long?

For decades, the default response to refugee crises has been to set up camps or settlements and coerce refugees into them. Camps, it was argued, were best suited to meet the social, economic and political realities in which refugees are living.

Yet a significant body of research has demonstrated the exact opposite, pointing to the fact that those refugees who have opted out of the camp system – even when that means forgoing any humanitarian assistance – have established an effective alternative approach to exile.

Read more.

Stop the Bombardment of Innocent Civilians in Darfur, Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” (Elie Wiesel)

(8 September 2014) Expressing our alarm and concern with the ongoing bombardment, loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties and livelihood in Darfur, and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where the government of Sudan has dropped over 3,000 bombs since April 2012,

Offering our deepest sympathies to those who lost their lives, those displaced and the millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance, Remembering that the Sudanese government has a history of genocide in the Darfur region,

We concerned Sudanese and international civil society organizations working for Sudan, hereby issue the following statement:

The Government of Sudan is continuously committing major atrocities in avoidable wars in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. These conflicts have now affected over six million people.

Read the full letter.