(Re)visit our 2020 Expert Forums

In November 2020, the PROTECT Consortium organized three separate Expert Forums addressing current protection challenges in three regions of the world: Europe, Canada/North America and South(ern) Africa. We gathered high-profile academics and representatives from civil society, NGOs, and IOs with extensive experience in the field, to discuss and evaluate the performance of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants two years after their adoption. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the events were held online – below are videos of the talks and discussions.

Expert Forum I (EU)

The Two UN Compacts – Refugees and Migrants: Challenges and Implementation in Europe

PROTECT’s First Expert Forum explored the EU’s asylum practices and challenges in light of the obligations and principles articulated in the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Global Compacts – and the potential impacts of the latter in creating a just and effective global asylum agenda.

On the forum’s first day, 13 November, speakers from UNHCR, EASO, and ECRE presented a global and regional take on the implementation and performance of the Global Compacts in Europe. The forum’s second day, 14 November, consisted of two separate panels where the first examined refugee and migrant protection from the perspective of social and economic rights and the second evaluated current anti-discrimination practices from the perspective of different institutions, including the Council of Europe, EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

The event was hosted by PROTECT’s Queen Mary University of London researchers, Elspeth Guild, Nicolette Busittil, and Kathryn Allinson. Full recordings of talks and discussions are available here below:

Expert Forum I (Canada)

Opportunity or Threat: receiving refugees in Canada and the effects of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants

PROTECT’s second Expert Forum took place on 20 November and explored current protection challenges in Canada. The event focused both on the challenges brought on by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as well as assessing the current role of the Global Compacts in providing international protection for refugees two years after its adoption.

The invited speakers represented both civil society organizations, NGOs and legal institutions such as UNCHR, Romero House, No One is Illegal and Leagal Aid Ontario – all considering challenges faced by refugees in specific contexts including employment, healthcare, and detention.

The event was organized by Idil Atak and Jona Zyfi, who represent PROTECT’s Canadian partner university, Ryerson University. Full talks and discussions are available below:

Expert Forum I (Southern Africa)

International protection and the Global Compacts in the time of Covid-19: lessons from South(ern) Africa 

PROTECT’s third Expert Forum, on 26 November, took stock of the role of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants in South(ern) Africa as well as exploring the unique challenges the global Covid-19 pandemic has created in terms of implementation of the two Compacts at the city, national and regional level.

Among the invited speakers we had representatives from regional institutions and organizations such as UNHCR Southern Africa, IOM South Africa, Lawyers for Human Rights, and Jesuit Refugee Service, along with high profile academics with ties to both the African Centre for Migration & Society and Oxford University.

This forum was hosted by Jo Vearey and Nicholas Maple from the University of the Witwatersrand, which is PROTECT’s South African partner. Video recordings of the talks and discussions are available here: