Renewing Commitment
to Refugee Protection
The Stanley Foundation
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Project Summary

A November 2000 conference in Washington to highlight the importance of refugee protection as a basic human right and as a fundamental purpose of the UNHCR.

While the rights of refugees are clearly spelled out in a number of international conventions, the protection of refugees from violations of those rights has eroded severely for want of a unified, consistent, and energetic international defense. More than 300 conference participants heard assessments and ideas from leaders of refugee and internally displaced person communities as well as senior US and UN officials, including the high commissioner herself, Sadako Ogata. Participants and presenters discussed strategies for reversing the erosion of protection and dealing with the practical questions of how to provide refugees around the world with effective protection. The discussions also focused on issues for US policymakers and the necessity for the United States to return to its tradition as a haven for the world's oppressed.

The conference was organized by the Stanley Foundation along with nearly 30 other organizations. Details can be found on the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Web site.

Other Resources

Protecting Refugee Rights Globally from
In the National Interest 2001: Human Rights Policies for the Bush Administration, The Lawyers Commitee for Human Rights. January 2001

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© 2002 by The Stanley Foundation
Photo of Sadako Ogata

"Protecting refugees does not only mean encouraging governments to sign the Refugee Convention and to adopt refugee laws, it also means facing down hostile border guards—who likely have never heard of these instruments—and making sure refugees are allowed to enter and are not detained, mistreated, or abused."

—Sadako Ogata
United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees,
1990-2000